How can you make XP Pro to run USB ports at 2.0 speed?
October 3, 2009 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Why are my netbook's USB 2.0 ports running at 1.1 speed under XP Pro, and what can I do to fix this?

I have an Asus EEE 1000HA netbook that originally came with XP Home. I installed XP Pro, including complete patches, upgrades, updates, and current service packs, and have been happily computing for almost a year.

I recently noticed that whenever I plug in a USB device (be it external hard drive, disk drive, TV receiver stick, or flash drive), XP pops up a warning that the device could run faster if I'd only use the right 2.0 port. Problem: all three USB ports purport to be 2.0, but none of them are. Now that I think back, I think it has done this since the beginning, so it's not a recent development.

I'm running completely updated XP Pro and a current version of the BIOS (and no, the standard fix to turn "OS installation" in the BIOS to "complete" is not an option in this BIOS version). I've tried uninstalling all the USB devices and let Windows discover and install them, but they're still 1.1. But I know that the hardware is 2.0 compatible because both on-board camera and flash reader work - camera doesn't work at 1.1, and the flash reader runs at 2.0 speed (or at least a hell of a lot faster than the USB stick). [It's not a difference in media: same microSD card in USB stick is hella-slow, but stick it into the flash reader inside the SD adapter, and it's full speed ahead). So the 2.0 USB hardware is on-board.

I've spent more than an hour with ASUS tech support, and they say that they don't have a patch, and that it's actually a known issue with XP, and to try calling MS. I'm abroad for the next 3 months, so I really don't want to have to pay international long distance to be parked in on-hold-telephone-tree-hell at MS.

So does anyone have a work around or patch? (I can't install a linux distribution because I need to be able to run my law school's exam software... otherwise, I'd be all about it...)
posted by yggdrasil to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
This used to happen to me on my XP machine a lot and my fix was always just to go into the device manager and uninstall (not delete) all the drivers for the USB ports. After a reboot, all the drivers would reinstall and I'd have 2.0 again.
posted by cabbages at 10:43 AM on October 3, 2009

I have an EEE 1005HA. Assuming your bios is like mine:
Enter Bios -> Advanced -> Onboard Devices Configuration and make sure USB 2.0 Controller is enabled. USB Functions enabled too (that's probably already on).

Also, are you SURE your ports are all USB 2.0? Click Product Specs on that page. Most Google results show USB 2.0 for that unit, but maybe they were manufactured in different 'batches'?
posted by cyniczny at 10:52 AM on October 3, 2009

Something else to be aware of.
posted by cyniczny at 10:54 AM on October 3, 2009

If the ports actually work at that speed, what's the problem? Ignore the warning. There's probably a policy editor command that will shut off the warning as well.
posted by gjc at 1:51 PM on October 3, 2009

Response by poster: BIOS settings are what they're supposed to be; I've tried uninstalling the drivers, but the devices/ports reinstall as 1.1; specs on the ASUS website, as well as the markings on the netbook itself, claim that the ports are 2.0; I get the same "this 2.0 device could perform faster" warning whether it's an integrated plug or a cable.

Is there somewhere I can get the 2.0 drivers for XP pro? I would just force install those and see what happens....
posted by yggdrasil at 1:54 PM on October 3, 2009

But I know that the hardware is 2.0 compatible because both on-board camera and flash reader work - camera doesn't work at 1.1, and the flash reader runs at 2.0 speed

But on-board stuff most likely isn't using USB, so that means nothing.

I get the same "this 2.0 device could perform faster" warning ...

That's a warning because the device is reporting itself as USB 2.0-capable, not that the controller can perform faster.

At this stage, I'd be suspecting the ASUS specs & netbook markings are wrong. At the least, I'd be looking to see what the manufacturer/model the USB chip identifies itself as - actually identified from your hardware, not what the manufacturer or some other random website says it is - and Googling to see if it is 1.1 or 2.0
posted by Pinback at 4:54 PM on October 3, 2009

Response by poster: @pinback: actually, the onboards are USB, or at least the camera is - it's listed as a USB device in the device manager and in explorer, and it stops working if you switch off "hi-speed USB controller" in the bios. and i think the card reader is listed under USB devices as well.
posted by yggdrasil at 12:23 AM on October 8, 2009

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