USB 2.0 on Dell Dimension.

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I know this is a long shot but I own an old Dell Dimension 8100 PC which
comes with USB 1.1. It's a good, reliable computer and still going
strong after 12 years. Some time ago, I bought an ALi USB 2.0 PCI card,
and it seemed to install ok with Windows showing it under Device Manager
as 'ALi PCI to Enhanced USB Host Controller', 'USB 2.0 Root Hub' and
'Enhanced Host Controller' under its own 'USB Controller'.

There is another separate 'USB Controller' category shown with similar
sounding sub-categories, presumably relatimg to the integrated USB 1.1,
ie 'Standard Universal PCI to USB Host Controller', 'USB Root Hub' and
'Generic USB Hub'. There's also an 'ALi PCI to USB Host Controller'
(without the word 'Enhanced') listed here as well.

Here lies the problem. Whenever I insert a USB 2.0 device into a port on
the ALi PCI card, I always end up with USB 1.1. The device is shown as
a'USB Mass Storage Device' under the 'USB Controller' category, not the
one for the Ali card showing the 'Enhanced descriptions'. So how do I
rectify this to get my USB 2.0? I have a feeling this is to do with the
BIOS but having looked in there I can't see any means of switching off
the integrated USB 1.1.

Re: USB 2.0 on Dell Dimension.

Frank wrote:
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The controllers should be separate from one another.

For traditional USB hosts, the USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 logic
blocks co-exist. So your USB 2.0 card has both a USB 2.0
personality and a USB 1.1 personality.

Your USB 1.1 on the motherboard, would be just USB 1.1.

When a device is plugged in, there is a negotiation
process. It sounds like something is failing there.
The PCI card USB2 chip has a switch. It can either connect
up the USB 2 logic block to the port, or the
USB 1.1 logic block.

Since you have the word "Enhanced" in the Device Manager,
that means you have a USB 2.0 driver.


No real details stated here, but it looks like someone
else has the same symptoms.

You can poke around this site if you want, but be aware
that some of the advice is quite dated - Windows Service
Packs have likely invalidated at least some of the
suggestions. I'm not particularly happy, when a
poster comes back and says they've fired some
Hotfix into their system, because it's quite likely
to be an inappropriate solution in the year 2013.

If the Device Manager is clean, the driver file names
for the USB2 entry look reasonable, I wouldn't be
in a particular rush to install some hotfix from ten
years ago. Something worse might happen to your system.
If you do want to try that, no problem, just do a
backup first. That way, you won't be back later
asking how to undo a mistake :-) I screw stuff up
all the time, and backups are my friend :-)

On WinXP, you can look for the file setupapi.log .
The entry nearest the end of the file, shows
attempts by the OS to install drivers. You might
have a look in there, and see if the OS is struggling.
A device install, has two "chunks" of text that
look very similar, as if it does the same thing
twice. That seems to be normal. What you're looking
for there, is any message that indicates the effort
failed. See C:\WINDOWS\setupapi.log . On later
OSes, there are files with similar-sounding names,
but the content of the files is not nearly as

The files "roll over" when they get too big - I have
four files in C:\WINDOWS that mention setupapi, and
the chunk I copied below is from one of the older

When you look at your USB2, you can compare to mine.
This is a motherboard USB2, and the difference there is,
the motherboard passes BIOS tables, with things like
Class Codes (CC). In this case CC 320 was detected, and
usbport.inf matched. When you install Intel motherboard
drivers for USB2, basically all the Intel portion adds
is the name string in Device Manager - the driver files in
this case, are Microsoft-specified and the details
can be found in usbport.inf . So when you're in setupapi.log,
not only are you looking for some "Enhanced" fun, you're
also looking to see if the usbport.inf got called or not.
If it didn't get called, then... post back.

[2012/06/01 21:26:40 1100.2223 Driver Install]
#-019 Searching for hardware ID(s):
#-018 Searching for compatible ID(s):
#-199 Executing "C:\WINDOWS\system32\setup.exe" with command line: setup
#I022 Found "PCI\CC_0C0320" in C:\WINDOWS\inf\usbport.inf; Device: "Standard
Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller"; Driver: "Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host
Controller"; Provider: "Microsoft"; Mfg: "(Standard USB Host Controller)";
Section name: "EHCI.Dev".
#I023 Actual install section: [EHCI.Dev.NT]. Rank: 0x00002005. Effective driver
date: 06/01/2002.
#I022 Found "PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_293A" in C:\WINDOWS\inf\oem18.inf; Device:
"Intel(R) ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293A"; Driver: "Intel(R)
ICH9 Family USB2 Enhanced Host Controller - 293A"; Provider: "Intel"; Mfg:
"Intel"; Section name: "INTEL_USB2".
#I023 Actual install section: [INTEL_USB2.NT]. Rank: 0x00002001. Effective
driver date: 02/05/2007.
#-166 Device install function: DIF_SELECTBESTCOMPATDRV.
#I063 Selected driver installs from section [INTEL_USB2] in
#I320 Class GUID of device remains: .
#I060 Set selected driver.
#I058 Selected best compatible driver.
#-124 Doing copy-only install of
#-166 Device install function: DIF_REGISTER_COINSTALLERS.
#I056 Coinstallers registered.
#-166 Device install function: DIF_INSTALLINTERFACES.
#-011 Installing section [INTEL_USB2.NT.Interfaces] from
#I054 Interfaces installed.
#-166 Device install function: DIF_INSTALLDEVICE.
#I123 Doing full install of
#I121 Device install of
"PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_293A&SUBSYS_82771043&REV_02&11583659&0&EF" finished


Re: USB 2.0 on Dell Dimension.

Paul wrote:
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Yeah, perhaps I should have given a bit more info although I thought I
had posted enough as it was. The Ali USB card came with its drivers on
CD which I installed. I discovered that it was this installation that
gave the separate Ali USB Controller branch under Device Manager. Once I
uninstalled this, Windows 20000 SP4 (my OS) no longer displayed this,
but the standard USBC branch remains with Standard Enhanced PCI to USBHC
also remaining as well as USB 2.0 Root Hub. Ie Windows is using its own
USB 2.0 generic driver to run the PCI card, and when the driver for that
card was installed it now seems irrelevant anyway as SP4 was still using
its own drivers. The point of all this seems to be with speed transfer.
I have a USB 2.0 flash drive. Whem I transfer data to this drive I get a
rate of just over 3 MB/sec which is appallingly slow. On the other hand
whem I transfer data from this drive back to my HDD the rate rises to
about 14MB/sec, still slow but something I can live with. It was this
that suggested to me that that after all that my PC is only running USB

Re: USB 2.0 on Dell Dimension.

Frank wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Aha. This is good info.

Especially the transfer rates of 3MB/sec and 14MB/sec.

If you were using USB 1.1 rates, the transfer rate (theoretical)
is 12megabits/sec or 1.5MB/sec. Due to packet overheads (polled
transfer method), the practical transfer rate of USB 1.1
(to, say, a USB drive), is a measly 1.0MB/sec. I've verified
this crappy rate, on my Macintosh :-( The MB stands for megabytes.

You're getting 3 and 14, which is roughly 3x and 14x as good
as USB 1.1 is capable of.

In other words, you're *definitely* running USB2 protocols.
You may think 3 and 14 stink, but they're 3x and 14x better
than an actual USB 1.1 transfer rate would be.


Note that, there are many qualities of flash drives out there.
There are some older ones, so horrid, that their flash
chips (while controller runs in USB2 mode), only transfer
at below 1MB/sec. The controller is capable of doing 30MB/sec,
but the flash chip limits performance to "sub-light speeds".

I bought a Sandisk and a Kingston Datatraveller, which transferred
at 4MB/sec, and were stuttering during writes. Read operations
can generally be a bit better. The POS "Sandisk Ultra" (big mistake)
I bought at Staples last week, averages around 4MB/sec on writes,
and 20MB/sec on reads. The flash key sports a LED that "looks
like a heartbeat" and changes in intensity. The light stutters on
writes, but stays at full intensity (doesn't bother with its
animated effect) on reads. Those are examples of crappy as hell
USB flash sticks.

I bought a OCZTechnology Rally2 several years ago. It does
somewhere in the neighborhood of 15MB/sec write and 30MB/sec read.
It is a "dual channel" design, meaning controller plus two
flash chips sit on a double sided PCB inside the key. That's
a pretty decent USB key.

The winner so far, is the Lexar Jumpdrive S73 32GB, in orange
and white plastic trim. It's a USB3 key. I tried to get the
store staff to verify it was both USB3 and USB2 compatible,
but it was like pulling teeth. When I got it home, I could
count the required 9 shiny contacts inside the connector,
which tells me it can do both protocols (4 contacts are USB2,
5 contacts are USB3). I couldn't see it clearly enough in-store,
to verify. I didn't bring my collection of magnifying glasses
with me.

Now, the Lexar is rated 45MB/sec read and 20MB/sec write
on USB3 connectors. When plugged into a USB2 connector,
specs are not given. Using HDTune, I got a nice steady
35MB/sec on read. And writes were even better than the
suggested 20MB/sec. This is not the fastest USB3
stick you can get, but it's a pretty good deal
for what I paid for it (on sale for between 20 and 30 dollars).

In conclusion, you can see anywhere between less than 1MB/sec
(for the most horrid USB2 stick from years ago), to around
35MB/sec for a relatively good one. My USB hard drive enclosure
only does 30-31MB/sec or so, and so the USB3 key is actually
beating it on performance.

A lot of sticks, don't print specs on the label. The
crappy Sandisk calls itself an Ultra, and claims to
read at 20MB/sec. But once you see just how horrid
the write speed is (slow and stutters), no one
in their right mind could recommend it. And
I paid almost as much for the Sandisk as I
did for the Lexar S73.

On the Lexar S73, you select the 32GB model, as
the best compromise on speed and capacity. 32GB
gets what seems to be, more channels internally
than the 16GB model. The 16GB model is slower
on writes. The 32GB or larger ones, give as much
speed as possible for the S73 product family.

The company "Patriot" makes a few USB3 drives, and
some of the more rotund sticks (possibly 4 channel inside),
manage 80MB/sec or more on USB3 protocols. On your USB2
computer, I would expect the Patriot or the Lexar S73
to achieve the same speed limit (can't go faster
than 35MB/sec).

My big mistake, is impulse buying these things.
But the trouble is, I don't know where I'm going to
shop, so it's rather hard to preview the stock of
the store I might wander into.


1) The performance can be improved by using a
    more capable USB key.
2) Yes, there are some inferior USB2 implementations.
    I don't know all of them by heart or anything.
    A certain ATI Southbridge (SB400???) USB2 ports, will only
    do 20MB/sec on a good day. If you plug in a 35MB/sec
    key, you'll get 20MB/sec. Most other USB2
    motherboard ports do around 30MB/sec to a USB hard
    drive. As my Intel USB2 port shows, you can get 35MB/sec,
    if the stick is a USB3/USB2 one.
3) For reasons unclear to me, USB3 storage devices
    seem to be able to squeeze a few more percent out
    of the 60MB/sec USB2 cable wire rate. The OS
    hasn't changed protocols (there are no UAS drivers
    on my WinXP machine), and yet I got to see a
    nice 35MB/sec transfer rate, with the backward-compatible
    USB3/USB2 key.


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