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Some general USB questions

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Hi people, I am a newbie as you may guess from the topic. I just wondered if someone could clear up a few things regarding USB for me.

I have 6 USB ports on my desktop, four at the back on-board the mobo, and 2 at the front connected via a 10-pin socket as far as I can see.
First of all, what is a USB host controller, and a USB root hub, and how do these relate to the actual ports?

How do you find out which are high-speed (USB2.0) and which are normal (USB1.1) without transferring data onto a mass storage device and recording the time, or relying on the "you have a HI-SPEED device in a LOW-SPEED port" message from Windows? (as both have proven inconclusive).

I thought that the 4 at the back would be 1.1 and the 2 at the front 2.0, but transferring a 300MB video clip onto a USB2.0 External HDD took 30 seconds using every single port. Technically, USB1.1 (12mbps) should have a rate of 1.5MB/s and USB2.0 (480mbps) 60MB/s, but 300MB in 30 seconds is obviously 10MB/s which seems to be in between the 2, what's going on? Are all my ports high-speed but just not functioning at their full potential? (Also, I do not get the message regarding port speed at all, for any port)

This post may be a little fragmented as I am adding questions as they come to mind, I'm not sure how to structure it!!!! Sorry....

In Device Manager it shows 5 "USB Universal Host Controllers" (Intel) - 4 are normal and 1 is "enhanced" (=USB2.0) - this seems strange considering the above "experiment". There are 5 "USB Root Hubs" so I presume there is one hub to each controller? There is also a "USB Composite Device" which is the receiver for my wireless keyboard and mouse and a "USB Mass Storage Device" which is actually a 7-in-1 card reader. The front USB ports are connected to the motherboard via a 10-pin socket as mentioned before - is this the "controller"? The card reader is connected to a separate 5-pin socket - if these are both controllers, that leaves 3 more for 4 ports at the back which I don't understand.

Lastly, I do actually have a "problem" rather than just questions:
There is a problem with my 1GB Seitec Flash drive - I connect it and it's recognised fine, appears in My Computer fine, I can access it fine, but when I copy anything onto it, after about 10 seconds I receive the error message "Cannot copy [filename]. Cannot find the specified file." and then something else about checking the path, but I just used drag-and-drop.... Then the Flash drive freezes, giving 0 bytes capacity and no data. The activity LED remains on, permanently. I am unable to scan for errors or format in this state. But if I remove it, and reconnect it, everything's fine until I actually try using it! (Copying onto it). This is with every port. All other USB devices work perfectly which points to the simple conclusion that there is a defect with the device, BUT, the device works perfectly on my other PC, and also my brother's laptop, indicating that it is my USB setup which is faulty (which is why I asked all the questions above - I just need a better picture of what's going on!)

Possibly important info is that my computer was bought ready-made and has had a few hardware upgrades, without any problems, BUT the motherboard (which is still the original) is an Advent Freeline series, about which I can't find any info at all, it might be a bit crappy. But my system has never frozen and I have had no other hardware problems so the motherboard seems ok.

Any response greatly appreciated!

Edited by tomdrayson, 03 August 2005 - 06:46 PM.

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Topic: Some general USB questions
Date: 4th AUG- 2005


Appears you have been active in your quest on USB. I have listed several links that can help you
– a lot better than I can –

About your motherboard – here is anther good link: Download the free Home Version.
Install on your PC & learn about motherboard & all -


Here are some links to visit:

Here is a good article

Here is a good book on USB

Another Article:

Another tidbit

You can also “Google”: USB Questions
and get results like:

Happy “Googling”

Edited by Jack123, 04 August 2005 - 05:20 PM.

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