In my last article, I explained how I had just purchased two Toshiba Canvio 3TB external HDD's. Part of my learning process involved getting a new USB 3.0 hub that could take advantage of their speeds. Therein my journey took place to fix my USB 3.0 problems.
USB 3.0 Hub
have been looking for a good USB hub for quite some time, and buying
the two Canvios prompted me to purchase one since only two of my four
USB 3.0 motherboard ports currently work. I had bought some USB 2.0 hubs
on clearance a while back, but the first started having problems
whenever it was moved. This indicated a cable irregularity, but nothing
could be done since it was part of the product. It is now a toy for my
young daughter who likes to chew on things (disconnected of course!).
went through our local shops and priced a few USB 3.0 hub brands. I
found the cheapest and it did look aesthetically pleasing. I bought it
and brought it home. I connected the hub only to find it would not
recognize my drives. On the fine writing on the hub itself it states
that it cannot support drives higher than 2TB! True to form, my Canvios
were not recognized when inserted and turned on.
USB 3.0 Hub Driver Fix!
easiest thing to do is ensure that you have checked the motherboard's
manufacturer's website, downloaded and installed any USB 3.0 drivers
(I'll explain why later). The next would be to check the cables and try different ones, as well as different USB items. If that doesn't work, continue on...
first thing to do is go into Windows 7's Device Manager and open the
USB items. I found the generic hub and right-clicked to access
Properties. I clicked on the Drivers tab and noted the Driver Provider, WHICH IS IMPORTANT!
I then found this site: USB3.0 Drivers
should note that I had a 4-port hub, not a 2-port hub. Yet, I installed
the 2-port driver for AsMedia. I uninstalled the driver (also under the
Driver tab) for the generic hub within the device manager, but YOU
SHOULD NOT TO DO THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE TO!!! Installing the downloaded
driver, if it has a setup executable file, should work fine. If you do
uninstall the driver, make sure you have drivers for your motherboard
from the manufacturer.
Once the driver was installed the hub immediately found both of my drives. If you do not have a setup.exe file, you will need to have Windows browse to the folder where the USB 3.0 drivers are and hope that it sees them. (Check the subfolders option just in case.)
USB Hub Limit Fix!
you're USB 3.0 hub does happen to state it does not allow external
HDD's higher than 2TB (or possibly some other amount), you're not
out-of-luck yet. I fixed it by installing the drivers above. It was able
to recognize the 3TB Toshiba Canvios, BUT this may only be a viable solution for USB 2.0 hubs as described directly below...
Fake USB Hub!
I did some tests with AS SSD, and yes, it does work with HDD drives. My findings were
unacceptable, but not that shocking for a generic Chinese brand. The
speeds I was getting is indicative of a USB 2.0 hub, not a USB 3.0 hub. I
tested each drive directly connected to my PC and to my hub, and the
results were too large to be a mistake. So, I went back to the shop I
bought it from and traded it in for another, slightly more expensive,
Driver - Different Amount of Ports?
new hub worked, but I thought that the USB hub could be faulty, since
only two of the ports were working. I then remembered that the driver
was meant for a 2-port hub, so I thought I would seek out another driver
and try my luck before returning that model too.
I found a newer version of the AsMedia drivers here on
a French site that had a ton of drivers for whatever you can think of. I
used the executable setup file to install the drivers and tested the
two ports that had not been working. Voila! The USB 3.0 hub is now fully
functioning on all 4-ports. BUT, after testing the drive speeds again, the
transfer rates have been downgraded to USB 2.0...
at this point in time, I had the option of using two USB 3.0 ports at
full speeds; or all four USB 3.0 ports at USB 2.0 speeds.
Note: These drivers may work for other hubs of different providers, or you may need to look elsewhere as I had to.
Motherboard Manufacturer USB 3.0 Drivers
I originally uninstalled my USB generic hub drivers, I inadvertenly
took away the ability for Windows to recognize my Seagate external HDD
which is connected directly to my PC via USB 3.0. This created a lot of
trouble, hence why I learned about all the driver information here!
the last set of drivers I installed for USB 3.0 forced my computer to
do a reboot. (You can double-click the setup.exe file - if you got one -
and it should hopefully give the option to remove the drivers in
addition to repairing.) It hanged on booting, but a restart quickly
fixed that. Once in my PC I reinstalled my motherboard drivers (which I
had not been able to do before for unknown reasons), and the USB 3.0 hub
immediately recognized my drives. On further testing, the speeds are
what they should be, so the USB 3.0 hub is now fully functioning.
Motherboard vs. Provider Drivers
you read through the horrors above, then you're probably thinking,
"There's no reason not to use the motherboard manufacturer drivers."
However, there are a couple reasons. The most obvious are that your
motherboard manufacturer doesn't offer any with your computer, or, like
me, you were unable to install them.
more importantly was the information I got from the tests I ran. While
only one of the drivers above worked for USB 3.0, it did have an amazing
speed increase on write-to-disk. I gained about 10-15MB/s on each
Toshiba Canvio. However, the motherboard drivers gives my USB 3.0 Seagate a push
of around 5MB/s for read-from-disk, and 2MB/s on write-to-disk.
the toss up for me is having all four ports functional as USB 3.0, with
a bit slower Toshiba Canvios and a slightly faster Seagate; or having
only two functioning USB 3.0 ports with faster Toshiba Canvios. I have
opted for the latter since I could really use the extra ports, and I did
pay for four.
I am using a motherboard that no longer gets updates from the
manufacturer, so a newer motherboard may still be getting updated USB
3.0 drivers which may increase your transfer rates.
What Have We Learned
The knowledge set forth should allow you to get a USB 3.0 hub working (partly), or at the very least,
have the knowledge on how to go about trying to fix one. In addition, it is possible to breach the limit of a USB hub, for better or worse. These things never
seem important until they actually are, so if you feel you have wasted
your time, trust me, you haven't. Will you remember what I have written is another matter.
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