If there isn't an icon showing the devices as being bad than I would not do this again "uninstalled and reinstalled the USB host controllers and usb hubs in device manager".
You looked in the BIOS so as far as you can tell the USB is on. So that is okay.
Possible problem maybe the cable inside the case is not connected to the front USB ports. Open the case and look and if the front ports are not connected to the motherboard than you know that is the problem (openning the case may void warranty).
If the cable is there than it maybe bad. You may want to take it to a shop, but if you can use an OHM meter you can test it (not a job for a novice).
Or just get some USB extenders cable/adarter sets and just run them from the back to the front on the outside of the case.
Both my MP3 player (toshiba gigabeat) and HP Photosmart rb817 digital camera will not work when connected to either of the two front USB ports on my sony vaio VGC-RB44G comp running windows xp media center. I have connected them to the ports in the back and they work fine and are detected by device manager. Whenever I connect any device to these front USB ports device manager does not detect anything ... I have uninstalled and reinstalled the USB host controllers and usb hubs in device manager and tried the powering off and on of the devices in combination with restarting the computer and nothing is working...I read something about going into the BIOS setup to check the USB but I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking for - When I went to the USB Configuration the three options there were all enabled... I don't want to reach all the way back around my comp to plug in these devices since I will be doing it alot and I can't seem to get the front USB ports to work....any suggestions? drivers I need to install? Or do I need to take it to a computer repair place to fix this problem?? HELP!!