The hardware-components listed above were purchased individually and assembled by me in August of 2009 with the help and direct supervision of a friend who works in IT and builds several computers per month.
All of the USB connectors (USB78, USB910, and USB1112) on the motherboard are USB 2.0. The Vantec "SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 adapter" is USB 2.0. When I connect a SATA hard drive to any port on the computer (including the Silverstone FP-34) using the Vantec adapter, Windows XP gives me message-balloons saying that the device is unknown, or that the device is unrecognized, or XP simply rejects the device altogether and ignores it, or that the device is recognized but it would transfer data faster if it were connected to a USB 2.0 port.
When USB stick-drives (2 GB and 4 GB) are connected to the computer, they are all correctly recognized as USB 2.0, so I thought that the problem might be in the Vantec SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 adapter.
When the Vantec adapter/device is connected to an XP laptop and a Win2K desktop, there are no problems whatsoever. (Except that the XP laptop reads the external hard drive as an *internally installed* hard drive...which doesn't make sense to me, but it functions without a problem).
How do I get this machine to consistently and correctly recognize USB 2.0?
Are you using an old hard drive, or a new one? The owners manual that came with the Vantec adapter should help you solve your problem. Page 9 has the instructions on how to create a new partition on the hard drive. Page 11 also has troubleshooting tips that sound like the problem you're experiencing.
"Q. My computer sometimes recognizes the IDE-USB Adapter, but
sometimes gives me errors.
A. If your computer is giving you problems with the SATA/IDE-USB
Adapter, be sure to connect the USB cable to a rear port, directly
off the motherboard or USB PCI card. The cables connecting
front USB ports are not always properly shielded and cannot
properly handle USB 2.0 speeds, thereby corrupting the signal
between the SATA/IDE-USB Adapter and the computer."