If you have a computer under the initial warranty, it is all free. Go
to the Dell web site and start looking. This is what I do with my XPS
8500. I have them install their drivers, etc. In chat, I document to
them their stuff does not work (when it should) and they then try to
Currently, their USB 3.0 is having problems. Works as USB 3.0 when
devices (i.e. external drive) connected directly to the computer. But,
if hook up a known-good USB 3.0 hub to any of the USB 3.0 ports, the
hub is seen as USB 2.1. This is a known problem documented for almost
a year on their web site. They have replaced the mb in my PC--no
change. Have swapped 3.0 hubs--no change.
You would take note of the chip used on the desktop motherboard, the chip
used in the hub, and do some Googling based on that info. For example,
if the motherboard chip was Asmedia and the hub chip was some VIA
device say, then others may have seen this already. Either it's a known
hardware failing (certain chip known not to pick up USB3 tree properly),
or it's a bad driver of some sort. But using the hardware details,
you can do the research for yourself. This doesn't have to be a Dell
issue - it could be when those particular chips are used in any
Considering the electrical signal speed, it could also be
a sub-standard wiring harness to the front panel. Causing eye
closure and insufficient signal for the hub to pick up. You would
start by testing "USB3 hub with rear USB3 port", rather than anything
they've placed on the front ports. The rear ports have less
potential for "bad wiring", compared to the front. They don't always
put USB3 on the front, especially if the motherboard only uses a 2
port USB3 chip, and both ports are on the back of the computer.
And perhaps, that's a good thing.
USB3 ports are signified by a blue connector color. And there
should also be nine electrical contacts inside the connector.
Five contacts are USB3 (two diff pairs and ground), the other
four are USB2. In theory, both sets of wires could work at the
same time, but the driver turns off the set not being used at
the moment. If all nine pins touch (which would be normal with
USB3 on USB3), then USB3 is faster than USB2, so the USB2 pins
are ignored by the driver.
They used separate I/O, so the higher speed USB3 signals could
have their own hardware, and more carefully controlled
conditions. They decided not to mix them.
The pins are recessed, which makes it hard to see them. Especially
when you want to verify the problem isn't a "I got only 4 pins" problem.
If a USB device bumps against some chassis metal, it might not seat
as deeply as it should.