9 Responses

  1. Vydus
    Vydus at |

    I had broke 4 pins on my motherboard’s USB 3.0 female connection. To make the connection work, I placed some twisted fine copper wire from an old USB cable in the 4 corresponding holes on the male connector. The copper wires barely stuck out of the holes to be able to make the contact on the broken female connection. It took me two times of placing the copper wires to get all 4 connections to make without dropping out intermittently due to vibration. I hope this helps.

    1. Justin Merrill
      Justin Merrill at |

      It really does, thanks for that Vydus! I have done similar things with header pins for older 3.5″ Floppy Disks many moons ago, but the smaller diameter header pins are a little more tricky because they are so much smaller. I will use your experience and feedback in my future attempts and suggestion arsenal. Is it just me, or does it seem that people don’t keep the same motherboard for more than 2 – 4 years now? I’m certainly upgrading motherboards now more often now than I used to, but I’m typically reusing my old machines or gifting them to friends, family or charity. Perhaps repairing such things has become a lost art. Thanks for helping to keep it alive, even if only for just a little while longer.

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  2. krusaydr
    krusaydr at |

    Hi Justin!

    Hello from a fellow PHP. MySQL dev stuck in the same G*d d*mn boat as you!

    I broke 2 of my header pins (pin no.1 VBUS and pin no. 7 GND) on my Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H motherboard while cleaning my graphics card.

    The pins have completely come off and gotten stuck into the connector.

    As I write this, I was successfully able to get the dislodged pins free from the female connector.

    The connector’s top most part needs to be free from the sleeve (thick part at the bottom), and then you can see two holes on either sides of the top most part.

    You can use a small pin or screwdriver or a compass (the one found in geometery sets) pin to carefully lift the alternating ends up till it comes clean off.

    Once the top part of the female connector comes off, the pins lodged into it should fall down as their “container” i.e. the female connector was just dismantled.

    Thought that might help somebody, since I had a scary moment when I stuck a straightened stapler pin into it and it would not come out.

    Then I pried the connector open using the above method and managed to free it.

    Was still in a fix about how to get the pins to connect when I saw this post.

    Thanks for the flat headed pin advice, cause I will try that and see if it works.

    I would also like to add my 2 cents about using straightened out stapler pins. Do you think they would do the trick? Obviously they would need to contact the broken pin base, so I think it will be a hit and miss compared to your flat pin head idea since a flat pin head has more contact surface area, but still, do you think it would be possible to do this with them?

    Do post back here and let your visitors know what happened!


    Kanad “Krusaydr” Godse

  3. krusaydr
    krusaydr at |

    Eureka! My friend, I have done it!

    Yes! The sense of accomplishment is so overwhelming!

    Okay so here’s how I did it:

    I tried it your way as you described above: keeping flat heads of the pins pointed to the motherboard in hopes that the larger surface area would make contact with the motherboard.

    But then I realized: this will not work in my case since the pins from the motherboard are totally gone!

    There was nothing jutting out of the motherboard to make contact with the flat heads of the pins.

    Then I had a wild idea: what if I insert the pin into the connector by chopping off the flat head and making sure that the pointy end point the motherboard where the pin previously was located.

    It took a few tries till my female connector had two sharp pins jutting a little bit out of it.

    Then it was the moment of truth: plugged it in, powered the system on, and it seemed a dud! 🙁

    I took out the connector and inserted it back in, and still nothing.

    Then I wriggled the connector while plugged into the socket and voila!

    The USB flash drive’s light began to glow!

    I know that this arrangement is literally a small nudge away from failing so I carefully put all things back in place, closed the cabinet and erected it all the while keeping an eye on the USB drive’s light.

    So far so good!

    Then I quickly removed the USB drive (It was USB 2.0) and connected my WD Passport 500 GB USB 3 drive into it and tried to copy stuff off it and it flew at 59 MB/s!

    I hope this helps other poor souls, but thanks to this page and your post, Justin that I got this idea in the first place!


  4. john dixon
    john dixon at |

    I too broke the pin off next to the missing one on my motherboard USB 3.0 header, I chopped the top 5mm or so off a normal pin with a flat head for sewing & put it in the corresponding hole in the plug & everything seems OK.

  5. René
    René at |

    I broke my motherboard on the last hardware upgrade 1 month ago. The new case has a bit of a strange design with very little room for that connectors, 2 pins on the lower right bend and than broke off.

    I did the same as you. Chopped one pin out of an old VGA cable and put it in thar female connector and …. worked.

    Thx from Germany

  6. hard core technical advise needed - Techist - Tech Forum

    […] hard core technical advise needed Check this out, How Do YOU Fix a Broken Motherboard Header Pin? (VGA,USB,CPU,1394,IDE,case fan,audio) __________________ The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the […]

  7. Domo
    Domo at |

    I had exactly the same thing mate. Only broke off the ID pin and one of the data pins for USB 2. 0 didn’t I? I fixed it with a couple of my wife’s sewing needles inserted sharp end into the female connector and plugged it in. All my USB3 front port functionalities work 100 percent.

  8. Bruce Banner
    Bruce Banner at |

    You could also sacrifice a pin from a male USB header, then use a soldering iron or heat gun to push the pin through the backside of the motherboard, pushing the broken piece out, replacing it with a solid pin.

    btw… the background picture of this webpage is my desktop wallpaper… lol. You must be a Vancouver boy. 🙂


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