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USB Port Verification

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September 5, 2006 3:26:17 PM

I have a Dell Latitude which has two USB ports. I thought these were 2.0's. But when I plug in a USB drive XP pops up a dialog box that says the device can run faster if I attached it to a 2.0 port. When I ask it to tell me where the 2.0 port may be it says there aren't any.

My question is, how can I tell, without any documentation or other hints, just what the speeds are of the USB ports available to me. For example my desktop has 8 USB ports (actually four of them are off a hub plugged into a port in the rear of the PC). I know that I had installed a Firewire/USB2.0 card in addition to the ports that came with the PC, and I know the ports it gave me are 2.0. But, again, how can I verify that any specific USB port is a 2.0 or a 1.0? Must I attach a USB device first to do this, or is there some way to get the OS (I use XP Pro), or the PC firmware itself, to tell me.

Appreciate the help

More about : usb port verification

September 5, 2006 4:35:14 PM

Understand, and maybe bringup up my desktop was a distraction. I'm really interested in my laptop whiere I've done nothing. It has two USB ports. I have no documentation. How can I tell if they are 2.0 or not?
September 5, 2006 4:54:29 PM

It's a Dell Latitude 600. No more than two years and it came with XP.
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September 5, 2006 4:58:00 PM

Not trying to sound overly critical... but did you Google for "Dell Latitude 600 specs" or perhaps just go to the Dell site and look up the documentation there? I found your answer without much hassle.
September 5, 2006 5:06:45 PM

Quote:
Understand, and maybe bringup up my desktop was a distraction. I'm really interested in my laptop whiere I've done nothing. It has two USB ports. I have no documentation. How can I tell if they are 2.0 or not?


Check your device manager under usb controllers. If one of them says enhanced than it supports usb 2.0.

For example, the dell I'm sitting at here at work says standard enhanced pci to usb host controller.
September 5, 2006 5:39:07 PM

I did look at Dells' site and the specs there. They say it has 2 USB 2.0 ports. But my question is the same because even though Dell says they're 2.0 XP tells me that the USB drive I attach to those ports is not going to run at 2.0 speed since nether of the ports is 2.0. I know the drive is 2.0 since I also use ot on my other PC (I use it for backup only). When I back up my laptop to it the 40GB backup take 1:40. When I backup the 15GB laptop to it it takes 3 hours. So with 1/3 rd the data to back up it takes 2 1/2 times as long, about what I'd expect for USB 1.0 versus 2.0. That's why I think the laptop ports are not running at 2.0. So that was my reason for the question as to how to verify that the ports run at 2.0.
September 5, 2006 5:46:10 PM

The first USB Controller entry does say Enhanced. Then the next two are identical to it except they don't say enhanced. THen I see 5 USB Root Hub entries and then 2 VIA Rev 5 or later USB Univerals Hub Controller entries. So I aaume that as long as one says Enhanced that they are both 2.0's. But as I popsted to another note, When I back up my 40GB Desktop to the USB drive the backup takes 1:40. When I backup the 15GB laptop to it it takes 3 hours. So with 1/3 rd the data to back up it takes 2 1/2 times as long, about what I'd expect for USB 1.0 versus 2.0. That's why I think the laptop ports are not running at 2.0. So that was my reason for the question as to how to verify that the ports run at 2.0.
September 5, 2006 6:04:56 PM

Desktop HDD's have a higher throughput and rotational speed than laptop HDD's. Unless XP says it's running at low speed it should be utilizing the maximum speed of the device. If the device is attached to a hub, make sure the hub supports usb 2.0. Now a days, most all devices & hubs are usb 2.0.
September 5, 2006 6:10:32 PM

You've already verified it.
Just do some math.
USB 1.1 runs at 12Mbps = 1.5MB/s.
USB 2.0 runs faster, max is 480Mbps = 60MB/s

So you said 15GB took 3 hours.
Soooooo 15,000MB / (3hrs * 60min/hr * 60sec/min) = 1.38MB/s.

Its 1.1.
September 5, 2006 6:12:41 PM

Quote:
You've already verified it.
Just do some math.
USB 1.1 runs at 12Mbps = 1.5MB/s.
USB 2.0 runs faster, max is 480Mbps = 60MB/s

So you said 15GB took 3 hours.
Soooooo 15,000MB / (3hrs * 60min/hr * 60sec/min) = 1.38MB/s.

Its 1.1.


I agree 100% with your math, but not your logic. Isn't there a chance it's a 2.0 port with a 1.1 driver? Just a thought.
September 5, 2006 6:14:11 PM

A 2nd note, I assume your desktop time is 1 hr and 40 minutes.
So thats 40000MB/(100min * 60) = 6.7MB/s.
You might have a slow external backup drive. Might want to check it for errors and such.

Also when you're doing these timings, make sure you're not doing anything else w/ the computer. Especially things that are HDD intensive.
September 5, 2006 6:15:09 PM

Didn't think of doing the calculation.

So, now I have two problems. While the Device manager says its Enhanced, and the Dell site says the ports are 2.0, the ACTUAL speed is 1.0.

Why?

And, my original question was how to tell the speed of a port. So it looks like the only way is to do a data transfer and time it. You cannot rely on Device Manager, nor the specs.

That's not very comforting.
September 5, 2006 6:21:14 PM

The backup drive I use is the same on either machine so even if it were slow it would be the same for each. When I back up I shut down all programs except the firewall. Regardless though, the laptop takes 3 hours to backup 15 MB and the desktop takes 1:40 to backup 45MB. The desktop is 950MHZ the laptop 1.4GHz. Both have 512MB RAM.

Plus the laptop speeds are so far away from 2.0 speed that I cannot believe it operates anywhere neer USB 2.0 speed.
September 5, 2006 6:32:11 PM

Whoa, major screwup. When I checked the Device Driver I was looking at my desktop, not the laptop. Don't ask why or how I did that.

I just looked at the laptop and in the USB Controllers section all I see are Standard Universal PCI to USB Host Controller.

So, in spite of what Dell says, my Latitude D600 does NOT have USB2.0 ports. I guess we could have saved a lot of posts had I done that sooner and not just believed what Dell said.

On a similar subject though, as I look at the Device Manager, under the section titled Other Devices the is a O2Micro SmartCardBus_Reader and a USB Controller entries. Both of these, and the Other Devices line, have a Yellow question mark to the left of each line. Properties indicates that no device drivers are installed and it gives me the option to install them. What are the 'other' devices it's referring to since I don't have any 'other' devices attached.

Thanks.
September 5, 2006 6:41:27 PM

Man, sometimes I really feel stupid considering what I think/thought I knew.

I just updated/reinstalled the drivers for the two entries under OTHER that had the yellow ?. Guess what, My USB device manager entry now says Enhanced.

I'll try a backup again. But I bet it now takes maybe 20 minutes to backup the 15GB.

Hey, I thank you all for the replies, and the calculation idea, which I should have thought of. I appreciate all the quick replies.
September 5, 2006 7:18:44 PM

Quote:
Whoa, major screwup. When I checked the Device Driver I was looking at my desktop, not the laptop. Don't ask why or how I did that.

I just looked at the laptop and in the USB Controllers section all I see are Standard Universal PCI to USB Host Controller.

So, in spite of what Dell says, my Latitude D600 does NOT have USB2.0 ports. I guess we could have saved a lot of posts had I done that sooner and not just believed what Dell said.

On a similar subject though, as I look at the Device Manager, under the section titled Other Devices the is a O2Micro SmartCardBus_Reader and a USB Controller entries. Both of these, and the Other Devices line, have a Yellow question mark to the left of each line. Properties indicates that no device drivers are installed and it gives me the option to install them. What are the 'other' devices it's referring to since I don't have any 'other' devices attached.

Thanks.


Is it a Lattitude C600 (USB 1.1 only) or a D600 (USB 2.0)?

The C600 is black, the D600 is a brownish grey color.
September 5, 2006 7:24:40 PM

It's a D600 and it's gray. Once I updated the drivers (actually installed them since Device Manager said there were none installed) I got the Enhanced description in Device Manager next to the USB Controller entry. I'm going to run a backup later to verify that they're now running at 2.0 speed. I expect the backup of 15 MB to take no more than 20 minutes (2.0 runs about a MB a minute).
September 5, 2006 7:49:45 PM

Quote:

I agree 100% with your math, but not your logic. Isn't there a chance it's a 2.0 port with a 1.1 driver? Just a thought.

Doubtful unless he's running an early version of WinXP (pre SP1) or some earlier version of Windows. SP1 contains the drivers for USB2.0.

check your BIOS too, sometimes its enabled/disabled in the BIOS.

You can rely on the specs, they're just so blasted annoying to interpret. I typically rather rely on cold hard facts like time and MB's moved. Cuz that's what really matters, right? :) 

Also, USB 2.0 should move at LEAST 1.5MB/s if not more. Ideally an external HDD would run at the full 60MB/s, however this isn't true for all external HDDs. It should come close to matching your desktop speed, but I'd say it'll probably be a little slower on the laptop.
September 5, 2006 7:58:07 PM

Quote:

I agree 100% with your math, but not your logic. Isn't there a chance it's a 2.0 port with a 1.1 driver? Just a thought.

Doubtful unless he's running an early version of WinXP (pre SP1) or some earlier version of Windows. SP1 contains the drivers for USB2.0.

check your BIOS too, sometimes its enabled/disabled in the BIOS.

You can rely on the specs, they're just so blasted annoying to interpret. I typically rather rely on cold hard facts like time and MB's moved. Cuz that's what really matters, right? :) 

Also, USB 2.0 should move at LEAST 1.5MB/s if not more. Ideally an external HDD would run at the full 60MB/s, however this isn't true for all external HDDs. It should come close to matching your desktop speed, but I'd say it'll probably be a little slower on the laptop.
I've always found that USB 2 never runs close to 60MB/s for sustained transfers, Firewire is much better in this regard and much better for harddisks
September 5, 2006 8:05:18 PM

OK, just ran a backup on the laptop. 15GB. Yesterday took 2 hours plus. Today took 10 minutes! That's a big spread, but I'm sure the bulk of it was USB 1.0 versus 2.0.
September 5, 2006 8:42:54 PM

Quote:

I've always found that USB 2 never runs close to 60MB/s for sustained transfers, Firewire is much better in this regard and much better for harddisks

Yeah, that's why I put 'ideally' there.
The firewire vs USB debate has been raged. Both have advantages/disadvantages, but I think USB's biggest advantage is the widespread availability/acceptance. Firewire still hasn't reached that point that USB has. I doubt we can say that every single computer has firewire, but we can for USB.
Gosh, I'd love to see Firewire's 800Mbps become standard! That would really be great for external HDDs, but with the advent of eSATA, I'm not sure it'll be embraced quickly.

To the OP:
Great! Glad its working now. Backing up on USB 1.1 is like slowly torturing yourself. :?
!