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Make sure you are putting the front usb header connector on the proper USB pin connection on the motherboard. You should see nine pins in 2 rows together. Check the manual that came with the motherboard to find the correct pins location.
I see many comp. with problem on front usb port. In some case USB port isn´t right plug in motherboard, or is everything OK but they don´t recognize USB stick.
Only one, don´t lose you time with that, don´t use that USB port.
For the wires that comes in your CPU casing, mostly used for your front panels like power switch, hdd status, power led, etc. It is indicated on the pins itself so you might not be confused. there are some that comes for front panel USB. (with codes like vcc+ /- ,etc.). The best you can do is to read your Mainboard manual on where you place this pins.
Most Compaqs (in general all brands) have USB ports on both the front and rear of the case. The rear connectors are found where all the other I/O connections are located. They are flat rectangular sockets. When you want to plug in a USB device, you can plug into any open USB port. The plug will also only fit one way, so if it will not go into the connector just flip it over.
Front panel USB connectors are often hidden behind a door. Look for a swing-open or slide-down panel. On some cases the connectors may be on the top or sides.
When connecting devices such as a printer or external hard drive, you should use the rear-panel USB ports. These go directly into the system board and have the best performance. Front-panel USB connectors plug into the main board with cables. For most devices (including your SanDisk) it doesn't matter which you use, but the rear-panel ones are best for high-speed devices or moving lots of data.
You can usually find the user's guide online at the computer manufacturer's website, and that will show you where all the connector are on your system.
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You need a separate cable, called a USB header. It plugs to the connector in the case and onto your motherboard. A lot harder to find that you would think too, my top ports still are not hooked up after several years.