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  1. #1
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    XP and USB (XP Home)

    I have a Dell Dimension 4100 desktop computer which I upgraded from W98 to XP Home. The two USB ports that came with teh computer were USB 1.0. I wanted to take advantage of USB 2.0 compliant peripherals so I installed a USB 2.0 PCI card. Everthing works fine. But my question is, how do I know that the new card is actually working at 2.0 communication rates (and not resorting to the older 1.0 rates)? Also, is there a way to determine what rate each peripheral attached to my USB is working (1.0 or 2.0 rate)?

  2. #2
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    Re: XP and USB (XP Home)

    As I understand the protocol to work, if you attach a USB 1.1 device to the USB 2.0 chain, the entire chain slows to the original USB spec - on that port only. Since I cannot speak from experience, I am far from providing you with the answer you seek. Perhaps those with more experience in USB 2.0 peripherals can answer that question definitively. USB.org certainly does not have any readily available information on this topic, but you may have better luck than I searching their information. The site itself is geared more towards developers. <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  3. #3
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    Re: XP and USB (XP Home)

    I have both USB 1.1 (motherboard) and USB 2.0 (PCI card) in my environment. I have a hub for each version attached to its respective port on motherboard or PCI card.

    As a test, I inserted my Lexar Media JumpDrive (USB 2.0 rated) into the USB 2.0 port and copied a 400mb file and noted the timings. I then detached the JumpDrive from the USB 2.0 hub and attached it to the USB 1.1 hub and repeated the copy of the 400mb file. There was a noticeable increase in time when using the USB 1.1 port. I know this is not necessarily the scientific answer you are seeking but it satisfied me that my USB 2.0 PCI card was performing as expected.

    As a footnote, Mark is very correct when stating that if you attach a USB 1.x device to a USB 2.0 multi port device, you effectively reduce that USB multi port device to the lowest speed. As an example, my scanner is a USB 1.1 device. I had attached it in error to a port on the USB 2.0 PCI card which set the remaining 3 ports to 1.1 speeds.

    Hope this helps...

    Cheers,

    Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

  4. #4
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    Re: XP and USB (XP Home)

    Hmmmm, it seems to me that I had read elsewhere where the low speed devices attached to the hi-speed port would slow down the other units on the same port to the slowest speed. Gotta do a search for that article.

    You can go to Device Manager and determine if you have the high speed units. Look for the word "enhanced" as that is indicative of the high speed device.

    Cheers,

    Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

  5. #5
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    Re: XP and USB (XP Home)

    I have done some extensive searching since the last posting. I'll report my findings later but in the meantime, here's another area in the Device Manager where you can determine if your USB 2.0 device is indeed tied to a USB 2.0 port. Open the Device Manager, select View and Devices By Connection. Scroll down, open up the components and search for your device as in my example shown below.

    Cheers,

    Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

  6. #6
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    Re: XP and USB (XP Home)

    Ok, I see a "standard enhanced PCI to USB host controller" so that would be the new USB 2.0 card I installed. However, I do not have any of my USB devices (Iomega hard drive, scanner, etc) listed. Shouldn't I? I have checked and find that I do have a USB 1.1 hub connected to my new USB 2.0 card so I would assume that the hub is limiting eveything. I purchased the Belkin hub a few months back and it looks like I did not pay close attention to which USB spec it supported. (I would post a copy of my Device Manage tree for comparison but was not able to figure out how to do that. I did a print screen to the clipboard but was unable to paste it into this message.)

  7. #7
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    Re: XP and USB (XP Home)

    When you opened up Device Manager, did you click on View and then select "Devices by connection"? At this point, I will assume that you have.

    Open up each of the components starting with the USB component containing the word "Enhanced". If you drill down, you will see what devices are attached to your Hi-Speed 2.0 port. In my snapshot shown below, the Lexar Media device is my USB 2.0 flash drive. Now look for the USB ports that do not contain the word "enhanced" and drill down in that area. These will show the devices attached to the USB 1.x port(s). In my snapshot, you will see that I have my mouse, scanner and SanDisk ImageMate on the USB 1.1 port.

    It might appear from your comments that you have your Iomega hard drive attached to the 1.1 hub along with your scanner. Regarding your comment about the 1.1 hub attached to the USB 2.0 card. If your harddrive and scanner are indeed attached to the 1.1 hub then they are restricted to 1.1 speeds. If the devices are truly 2.0 and attached to a port on the USB 2.0 card then you should be getting 2.0 speeds (contrary to my comments in an earlier e-mail).

    Over to you...

    Cheers,

    Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

  8. #8
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    Re: XP and USB (XP Home)

    Got it. The problem was the fact that my hub was USB 1.1. I reconnected my Iomega drive and scanner directly to the USB 2.0 card and voila, speed increased, things were properly displayed in Device Manager. I need to get a USB 2.0 hub to attach to my USB 2.0 card and that will resolve all of my problems. Thanks for your help.
    Jim

  9. #9
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    Re: XP and USB (XP Home)

    Glad it is now working to your satisfaction.

    There are many good USB hubs out there... Belkin and D-Link to name a couple. I am using the D-Link USB 2.0 hub with 4 ports... model DUB-H4, no complaints so far with that unit.

    Have a great day...

    Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

  10. #10
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    Re: XP and USB (XP Home)

    Edited by WyllyWylly to add URL code. See the Quick Guide.[/i] <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    Thanks for the responses. I checked out usb.org. This PDF document seems to tell me that a USB 1.1 hub or other device hooked to a USB 2.0 hub will not affect the high speed compnents (but that was only after a very quick read of the document).

    I am surprised that there is not a place to go, like Device Manager, that would show whether the USB root hub (at least and ideally all USB devices) was 1.1 or 2.0. It also would be nice to have a utiltiy that could run and test the USB actual speed to see if a device or cable is slowing the system down.
    Jim

  11. #11
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    Re: XP and USB (XP Home)

    Mark, thanks for obtaining and posting the URL for the USB 2.0 specs. That particular document clearly outlines the role of the hub... something I was having difficulty finding as a reliable source.

    The one area it didn't appear to cover was the functionality of a multi-port PCI card. However, through our research and practical experience it would appear that the multi-port PCI card would act like a hub. That is, each port on a multi-port 2.0 PCI card operates independently to support either a 2.0 or a 1.1 device without impacting the speed of the other. Only when a 2.0 device is attached to a 1.1 port (or hub) will the speed be reduced. As an example, when I attached my Lexar 2.0 flash drive to a 1.1 port I was presented with a very descriptive menu telling me I was doing something that would impact the speed and gave me some options. (see attachment).

    Thanks again.

    Cheers,
    Regards,
    Bob

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