Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: I need to add usb 3.0 to USFF without PCI slots or front panel cable.

26 Jul 2016   #1

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 System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2016   #2

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 System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2016   #3

Windows 7 32/64

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 System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Jul 2016   #4

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 System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2016   #5

Windows 7 32/64

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 System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2016   #6

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 System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jul 2016   #7

Windows 7 32/64

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 System SpecsSystem Spec

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Using both front panel audio and back panel: solutions
This possibly should go in the hardware forum since it involves the motherboard as well but being a sound issue I assume here would be better. I have an Asus Xonar DG sound card on an Asus P7P55D-E LX motherboard (and AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series video card) running on Windows 7 Home Premium...
Sound & Audio
How to disable read audio panel and make the front panel primary?
Hello. I am having a not so common issue of a problematic REAR audio panel jack. The microphone pin got stuck and broken into the rear/back microphone jack and now the OS/driver thinks there is a microphone in the back panel but I just want to be able to make the microphone work on the front panel...
Sound & Audio
USB 3.0 Front Panel Header
I have a Corsair case with an Asus P8Z77 LX motherboard. I have already had Corsair send me a replacement front panel connection for the USB 3.0 ports, and am now stuck at what to do. Basically USB 2.0 connection speeds are abysmal over the front panel USB 3.0 ports. USB 3.0 (Hard disk and...
Hardware & Devices
Connecting "HD audio" cable from front panel to sound card
My sound card Xonar D1 doesn't work properly and i wrote to ASUS and they told me to connect the "HD audio" or "speaker" cables from the front panel of motherboard to the sound card's front panel. Is that safe to do? weather it will work or not, is it safe to try?
Sound & Audio
Front panel..
Please Help me! I can't make play back and front :( Ihave plugged both and fron and back panel but still have a problem... And my Realtek HD audio manenger looks different... How i have make that with this? there is no Folder option... What should i do on that? :eek: EDITED: Oh ya then i...
Sound & Audio

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:20.
Twitter Facebook