Dead Sata Ports

Currently running an ASUS P8-Z77-V LX. I was putting in a new SSD today and when I shuffled the sata cables around, discovered that 2 ports are dead. I tried various cables and various drives with no success. The ports in question are the Sata 3 GB/s, ports 2 and 3. Is there a chance this is simply a driver issue or does it sound like a hardware fault. I do not think the board is under warranty but will contact ASUS tomorrow.

If I am out of luck, what is the best course or action. I know of SATA cards but hear they die quickly and often. Another option would be to buy a new motherboard but LGA 1155 boards are becoming few and far between from what I can see. A third and final option would be a new motherboard AND CPU because of the new socket. This would cost more money then I would like to spend though, but I suppose would be the last resort.