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USB1 to USB2

Old 28th Aug 2008, 00:01
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USB1 to USB2

Hi everyone,

A friend has a Packard bell desktop which in all respects is adequate except it has only USB1 sockets.

It has a microstar MS-6511 v1 motherboard with an AMD XP2200 chip. The BIOS is Megatrends 07.00T

How can I upgrade it?

Following a PC world suggestion I have tried a Belkin USB PCI card but this crashed the system. Do I need to uninstall anything before installing the new PCI card, eg. the existing USB stuff (but how) or the modem PCI card that was removed to free up a PCI slot. Help!!

Thanks in anticipation.
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 00:47
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Shrugs, what little I know from experience is that 2 cannot interface with 1.1 UNLESS the 2 device has it's OWN psu.
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 00:58
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Thank you for the reply glad rag.

Sadly you have lost me already. Are you talking about desktop pc, I am?! Whats a PSU?
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 01:26
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A PCI USB2 card "should" work. How exactly did it crash the system?

My previous laptop was USB1.1 only. I bought a PCMCIA card with 4 USB2 sockets on it, and it worked just fine.

There are a wide variety of USB2 PCI cards on offer, and they are extremely cheap - I'd be inclined to buy another one that isn't Belkin.
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 10:37
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What OS are you using?

I've used one of these (not necessarily this supplier) in an old, probably similar vintage, PC. Works fine and puts your sockets at the front.

Not sure about power from PCI cards though ie if you want to run a something like a usb-powered hard disk that does not have a separate power supply? - Keef?
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 12:18
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It is possible that the version of PCI that the motherboard supports is not the same as the version of PCI that the card requires.

If the PCI version is correct, you might find that by re-arranging the physical order of the PCI cards that you can get it to work (slight possibility).

I have posted before about this incompatability - there are PCI versions 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2 (among many others), and just because a card will physically fit in a socket doesn't mean it will work - as you may have just found.

Check your mobo manual for the exact version of PCI supported and ensure that the replacement card you get is equal to or less than that version.

I have had problems with PCI graphics gards, sound cards and network cards in the past - although I am, like you, using a Belkin 4-port USB 2 card (which I bought about 2 years ago), in my case in a PCI v 2.1 socket, in an 8-year old PC. It is entirely possible that the "same" Belkin card is now at a higher PCI version, though.

Another thing to bear in mind: you can connect USB 1.1 ports on the front panel to a new USB 2 card with the existing cabling, but they won't run at USB 2 speed. You need a complete replacement solution (such as the link Background Noise posted) for this to work.

An alternative is to use a USB 2 extender cable - this simply plugs into the USB port(s) at the back and gives you a port at the other end of the 1 m cable which you can position as you see fit.

Shrugs, what little I know from experience is that 2 cannot interface with 1.1 UNLESS the 2 device has it's OWN psu.
Complete and utter nonsense!

A USB 2 only device that is plugged into a USB 1.1 socket simply won't work, irrespective of its power requirements.

A backwards-compatible USB 2 device that is plugged into a USB 1.1 socket will work fine, but only at 1.1 speed, irrespective of its power requirements.

SD
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 14:41
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SD - what about power? Is a PCI/USB card able to draw (enough) power via the PCI slot to run something like an ext hard disk?
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 14:46
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Try a different USB2 card, i picked up a cheapy from Hong Kong on ebay for about 6 which had 7 ports and firewire..... might just be your pc does not like the one you have.

Aso did it not come with a driver cd or was it a search for drivers on istall?
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Old 28th Aug 2008, 15:19
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Is a PCI/USB card able to draw (enough) power via the PCI slot to run something like an ext hard disk?
The USB ports must comply with the electrical specification for the USB standard, irrespective of how or where the port is implemented (mobo, PCI, PCMCIA) - so yes, if the device is designed to rely only on the USB port for power, and it conforms to the relevant spec, then it will work.

Some devices actually have 2 USB sockets so that they can get double power.

It gets a bit confusing when you have multiple devices on a single USB root hub, as the spec. defines the power to the root hub, IIRC*. So a device may have enough power if it is the only device on the root hub, but not if there are other power demands by other devices on the same root.

This is not the same as a USB hub, BTW - that is a downstream splitter from a single USB port that may or may not inject its own power supply.

SD


* I may be mis-recollecting this - please correct if so.
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Old 29th Aug 2008, 01:56
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The power thing can be confusing.

The spec says (simplifying a bit) that each socket may be asked for up to 500mA. If you use a non-powered USB hub connected to a single USB port on your computer, you can easily exceed that, with potentially interesting but unpleasing results.

A powered USB hub should resolve that.

USB hard drives are mostly either small (and can live with 500mA), or have their own power supply. A few are "oddball" - I've got one here that connects to two USB ports: it needs 800mA.

With PCI cards, the general rule is that the PC is "backward compatible" - so if you get one of an earlier vintage than your PC, it should work. If you put a later one in an earlier PC, it may not.
You may still get away with it - I do, most times.
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Old 29th Aug 2008, 13:17
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I'm happy with the USB powered device concept - I have mains powered drives, single usb powered and twin usb powered. I know that when I inadvertantly connect the twin lead drive in the wrong order, ie drive end, then one of the PC ends, it immediately comes up saying 'too much power - usb port disabled' or something similar.

My real question was not about that end of things but whether you could draw power (and/or how much) from a pci slot, ie how does the power get from the MB to the usb socket using one of these pci-based devices.
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Old 29th Aug 2008, 13:49
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Originally Posted by Background Noise View Post
My real question was not about that end of things but whether you could draw power (and/or how much) from a pci slot, ie how does the power get from the MB to the usb socket using one of these pci-based devices.
The PCI slot on the motherboard has its own feed from the power supply. The PCI USB card uses that to feed the USB sockets.

Given that a graphics card can be fed off a PCI slot, and given the power consumption of some graphics cards, I wouldn't expect any problem with USB. I've not seen a PCI USB card with any restriction on the power that can be taken from the USB - other than the standard "500mA per socket".
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