I need to add usb 3.0 to USFF without PCI slots or front panel cable.

  1. Posts : 4
    Windows 7 32/64

    I need to add usb 3.0 to USFF without PCI slots or front panel cable.

    Hello everyone.

    I searched about this and I found an old thread:
    I need USB 3.0 ports but I've no available PCI slots for a card.
    But in the end, the OP did have a PCI slot, so his problem was solved.

    Now my case:

    I have a friend whose computer NEEDS a usb 3.0 port but, the computer is an Ultra small form factor (usff) optiplex 755. Now, in page 8 of the following link I found the motherboard schematics (page 8 is the computer in case):

    As you can see, there are NO pci slots whatsoever. So my first choice was to unplug the front panel and replace it with a USB 3.0 however, when I saw the schematics, the front panel for USB ports is soldered to the mobo.

    So in the end, I cant add it via PCI slot, neither can I add it via front panel. The only solution I was thinking of, was to add this via SATA, or something (RAM slot?).

    I am wondering if anyone here, knows of such a cable. Something that can split the SATA (power and data) cables to the hard drive and give me an extra usb 3.0 port? is that is even possible?

    If not, is there any way to add this usb 3.0 port to it?

    P.S. i see a "Battery" slot on it (page 8, item 7 in front view), what is that for? and can that be my usb 3.0 slot?
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 8,135
    Windows 10 64 bit

    An OptiPlex 755 is a relatively old PC. But there is a PCI slot, according to the Dell manual. You would need a PCI card that is a "Low Profile" type. If you can find a USB 3.0 low profile card, that is the only option.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 4
    Windows 7 32/64
    Thread Starter

    Hey Fireberd.
    Thanks for replying but, can you point me as to where did you find this manual?

    Because I posted their technical sheet in the original post and, in pages 14 and 15 of the DELL Technical Specs, the USFF model does NOT have PCI expansion slots.

    Am i missing it somewhere?
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 8,135
    Windows 10 64 bit

    Sorry, I was looking at the wrong one. It does not have any slots.

    A USB 3.0 device is supposed to be backward compatible with a 2.0 port. That is probably the best your friend can do with this limited model.

    I've used a 3.0 external hard drive with 2.0 ports and worked without problems, although port speed is slower.
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 4
    Windows 7 32/64
    Thread Starter

    Yeah I also thought of that.

    However, I seem to have found a little ray of hope, ...only maybe.

    See, the computer comes with one of those drive bays that usually are for detaching and reattaching dvd/cds drives into laptops.

    Look at the following video at around minute 5:50. At that time, he pulls the dvd drive bay off of it. This is exactly the same computer my friend has:

    So I was thinking:
    1-get that drive out
    2-get a ssd caddy for that
    3-get a sata to usb 3.0

    Sounds good only:
    1- I dont know what kind of connection is that drive bay (PATA/IDE? Custom Dell?
    2- I have not been able to find a sata to usb female 3.0 kinda kit.

    Do you think this is doable?
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 8,135
    Windows 10 64 bit

    Looking at the manual, again, I would think the best thing is to just use USB 2.0. The price of adapters would be as much or more than this PC is worth today (very little, considering its a 9 year old limited use PC).
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 4
    Windows 7 32/64
    Thread Starter

    Yes, unfortunately, he cant spend more than $50 which, I know, is more than the computer is worth today but, to buy another computer is not an option for him. So I thought there would be another way to try.

    Thanks anyway.
      My Computer


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