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USB 2.0 Extender Card question


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#1
ilovesharpei

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Greetings! Anyone able to help a novice with a PCI card question. I bought my 'refurbished' DELL Dimension E521 about 16 months ago. It's works well overall. It runs Windows Vista.

On the specs, the computer listed the USB ports (2 in front/2 in back) as 2.0. However, when I checked recently (because I bought a 1T external drive) my actual computer shows my ports as 1.0. Bummer!

My boss' husband suggested I buy a 2.0 USB extender card (or PCI card). I would like to do this but I have no idea where to buy or how many ports I should get (I have seen some on EBAY 5 ports and 8 ports). Also not sure exactly what to buy.

I also only have 2 PCI ports. One of which I just added a wireless adapter PCI card to last night (with the help of another member of this forum).

That appears to leave one left and it has something in it. I belive what is currently installed is some type of phone mode (looks like phone type plugs). I don't think I need this because I have a 2 wire AT&T wireless router/modem. So, I think I can take that out to add the extender.

Any advice would be appreicated. What type/size should I buy and can I replace the phone PCI thing in my desktop?

Thanks in advance!
-Ilovesharpei
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#2
123Runner

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There is no reason that a computer that young/ old should not run USB 2.0
Your system specs show 4 ports in back, 2 ports in front, and 2 internal.
The internal are probably off the board where you can add additional ports.

Have you tried your drive or a flash disk in any other ports?

I am not familiar with Vista, but I assume some type of device management would show the ports. On XP, they come up as "enhanced".
You could try uninstalling them, rebooting the computer and let Vista find them and reinstall the drivers for them.

EDIT:Your MANUAL shows USB 2.0 under specs.
Also in bios, you can turn the front and rear ports off. "On" is default.

Edited by 123Runner, 22 March 2009 - 01:04 PM.

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#3
ilovesharpei

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Hi There! Thanks for getting back to me. Yes, I noticed the manual showed the USB ports should be 2.0. However, my computer is a refurbished computer from Dell so I think I may have been jipped.

Also, You are right I have 4 USB ports in the back and 2 in the front. I have my speakers, my scanner, my printer, my 1T external drive along with my mouse and keyboard all connected via USB. That is all 6 and I need room for at least one more (two would be great to use a die cutting machine I have and my camera). So that is why I was looking for a PCI extender and wondered what brand/type I shoule buy.

Here is what I am seeing under Device Manager on my computer:

Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller - PCI bus, device 11, function 1 - 20% bandwidth used

Standard OpenHCD USB Host Controller - PCI bus 0, device 11, function 0 - System reserved 10% bandwidth used, HID compliant mouse 1% bandwidth used & HID Keyboard Device 1% bandwidth used

USB Mass Storage Device - Port_#0008.Hub_#0002

USB Root Hub - on standard open HCD USB Host Controller - HID keyboard device 100mA - HID compliant Mouse 100mA, 6 port(s) available 0mA

USB Root Hub - on Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller - USB Mass Storage Device 2mA, 7 port(s) available 0mA


Is there a way to verify they are 2.0? I could swear I found somewhere previously where I saw they showed as 1.0 or 1.5 but I can not recall how I saw that information.

Please let me know your thoughts. I am interested in any advice on purchasing a PCI extender card to allow for at least 2 more USB devices. I also need to ensure I can pull out what I think is a modem PCI card that is currently in the only extra PCI slot I have on my desktop.

Thanks in advance for you help!
-Ilovesharpei
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#4
123Runner

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Ok, you are out of USB spots.
Pretty much any pci to USB card will work. There is really not alot to them. As for how many slots. That would be a personal preferance. The more slots will add more $ to the cost.
Not a lot though.

The card you want to take out will either be a modem (phone) or NIC (Lan-cable card).
If its a phone modem, the jack will fit a phone adapter.
If its a NIC card, its plug will be a little wider than the phone (but will look similar).
If it has nothing in it, then there should be no problem removing it.

Be sure you power off the computer and only touch the sides of the cards to eliminate static.
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#5
ilovesharpei

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Thanks so much; I really appreciate your help. Just curious, on the other question I asked....how can you determine if your current USB ports are in fact 2.0 or not?

Please let me know if you have time.
Thanks again!!
-Ilovesharpei
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#6
123Runner

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Generally anytime a USB device is plugged in, if will pop up a message about being able to run faster if the hub is 1.1 and not 2.0
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