USB 3

Since using USB 3 I have experienced several problems with various systems and after searching the web I’ve found I’m not the only one. It seems though that there are a lot of questions and not so many answers that actually provide a solution.

The first problem that I encountered was that the USB 3 drive I was using worked perfectly with a new Toshiba satellite laptop when plugged into either the USB or the USB 3 connections, but when plugged into my tower system it just crashed the PC. It also worked fine when plugged into my Asus netbook and my girlfriends old Hewlett Packard pavilion but crashed a newer Hewlett Packard netbook. Puzzling to say the least!

Searching the internet lead to various answers, mainly suggesting that the drivers were the problem, after trying to update I came to the conclusion that it was nothing to do with the drivers, running the machine in safe mode (without drivers running) made no difference.

I had remembered before on a previous machine that my old powered USB drive didn’t work when connected to the front panel USB sockets but worked fine on the rear ones that were mounted on the motherboard. So I tried to see if this made any difference but plugging into front or rear USB had the same effect of crashing the machine. I should just add that both front and rear sockets worked with my other USB powered drive.

In the end I concluded that it must be something to with hardware probably due to the current the USB 3 drive was consuming however I’m fairly sure that USB 3 is supposed to be compatible with the old USB sockets and should just work at a slower speed and not crash the machine, maybe the drive I had was consuming more current than the USB 3 specs say?

I finally bought a CSL USB 3.0 PCI express (PCIe) controller USB internal hub for my tower system that plugged into the PCI express slot. It also has to be connected to the computers power supply via the Molex connector which makes me think again that my original USB sockets weren’t giving out enough current.

Anyway the card comes with two USB 3 sockets accessible from the back of the tower and header to connect to front panel sockets if you have the required hardware on your case if not you can use the Anker® 3.5 inch Front Panel USB Hub with 2 USB 3.0 Ports [20 Pin Connector & 2ft Adapter Cable].

With windows 8.1 and 7 the drivers installed themselves without having to use the provided disk. The acid test of plugging in the drive was successful and it didn’t crash my system. The speed increase was also very noticeable and backing up my files to the external drive was very speedy. As to why it won’t work with the Hewlett Packard netbook is the next project.

Another thing worth noting if you are having problems is that of USB 3 has different hardware and had more connections on the plugs and sockets so if you are trying to use and older extension lead with a plug on one end and a socket on the other so as to give easy access to rear sockets like this, they won’t work and you will need a USB 3.0 A-Male to A-Female Extension Cable (2 m / 6.5 Feet).