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Can i make a USB hub out of a dead computer? Answered

 A while back my family's computer died, so we got a new one. But alas, there aren't enough USB ports.

So here's my question: Is it possible to make a four (or more) port USB hub using only the parts from a dead computer?



No, I don't believe you can.  A usb port needs a way to control the "collisions" of data and your dead computer doesn't have that unless it is able to run a specific program to do so.

Radio shack and other places have add on usb hubs that will add 4 hubs for about $12.  Get one of those and do something else with the dead computer.

if you just implement the old hardware in the new pc, what's the problem then? 

you need some way to control the hardware.  You're asking it to do something that it wasn't meant to do and you might be able to do that but you have to be able to control it.

The computer thinks it's supposed to do something with what's coming in on the usb ports.  It has no idea that it's just supposed to be giving it right back out again.

Check your mainboard for unused USB connections, they often have several because the PC factory didn't think it worth adding sockets to all of them on your PC.
You might be able to remove the old USB sockets and their cables from the old PC and just plug them in.
The attached image shows what you're after, each of those will run more than one socket or a card-reader. (look for similar on your old PC)



 You could design a USB hub circuit board to fit where the motherboard used to fit (Eagle CAD is a free circuit design suite), order the appropriate components, get the board built (maybe use SparkFun's batchPCB online service), solder the components onto the board, and install it in the PC case, but, that's a pretty expensive route to go down, when you can buy a USB hub from china for $4.

The plus side of that is you could have a lot of ports, if you draw power from the PC Power Supply by adding an ATX power connector to your board. You could also add on-board USB devices, like USB-Serial or USB-Parallel circuits.

Atmel has a USB Hub Controller chip, their AT43301 chip. The datasheet for it actually has a full reference design schematic, too.