I'm wondering if I can use a 2.0 USB external hard drive on my 5-year-old Dell computer. I have found that one of the USB ports is "enhanced" by looking in the Device Manager, but it also says System Reserved 11%. Does that mean I can't use it? If I can use it, how do I figure out which one it is?
You need to plug it in to the power supply if there is an external power supply. Then you need to plug the usb cable into the device, as well as into a usb port on your computer. It does not matter which one you use. Next, insert the installation disc that came with your hard drive into your cdrom drive. Follow the directions for the the installation of the driver software for your device. What is the specific name or model of the hard drive? If you do not have an installation disc, and you are connected to the internet, windows will try to find the drivers for the external hard drive for you. If windows cannot find the drivers, you need to check the manufacturer's website. You can find the drivers for the device there, and this is why it is important to know the manufacturer and model of the hard drive. The drivers you need to run the device should be on the manufacturer's website. If you have the installation disc, you can skip that step. You will do nothing wrong to your computer by sticking the usb cable into any of your usb ports on your computer. Any and all usb ports should work with what you are using it for, but as stated, you may need driver software if you do not have the installation disc for the device. I believe 11% reserved feature has to do with ElectroStatic Discharge protection. It just has to do with power usage and protection from a power surge. In order to figure out which usb port has this feature, I need to know where your usb ports are. In the front of the computer case? In the back of the computer by the power supply?
Also, if you use the drivers on the manufacturer's website, make sure you are installing the drivers that correspond with your operating system (windows xp, vista, windows 7, mac osx)