Add USB 3.0 or Firewire 800 ports to 7-years old Gateway PC

June 15, 2012 at 16:17:40
Specs: Windows XP, AMD Athlon 64X2 4200 / 2048 MB DDR
I want to add either USB 3.0 or Fire-wire 800 ports to the avail expansion slots. It's a Gateway Desktop about 6-7 years old. I want to make sure I use the correct expansion port. Adding External Back-up hard Drive and want future flexibility as well. Any suggestions?



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#1
June 15, 2012 at 17:27:28
I suspect you can. Sometimes you see stuff on sale. Keep watching your favorite places for sales.

For a simple backup using ntbackup with a usb 2.0 shouldn't take too long.

Hang up and live.


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#2
June 15, 2012 at 18:14:12
My USB 2.0 ports are almost maxed out. I also have FW 400 ports I don't use. I have available expansion slots (old fax modem slot which is a white PCI) and two other (black) PCI and PCIe I think... If I use the white slot (removing the fax/modem, I think it will botteleneck and not improve my transfer speed. Also I may want to upgrade my video card in the future so I want to leave the black express slot open. I wonder if the larger black slot can be used for a PCI(e) card. Seems that's the most common offering out there. I've found USB 2.0 with Firewire 400, but not a USB 3.0 / Firewire 800 1394(b) Combo.

My Ext HD (Seagate) has a 3.0 USB output but claims you can increase the speed using a "Firewire 800" or "Thunderbolt" adaptor.

I'm ok with getting a card with USB 3.0 ports becase the speed is better anyway and likely where the market is going, but I want to make sure I connect to the right slot and take full advantage of the speed is all.
Thanks for your help! .


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#3
June 15, 2012 at 21:19:40
PCI slots do not have the bandwidth for the USB 3.0 you want to add. If you had a PCIe 1x slot then you can get the card you want:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
But you will only find USB 2.0 expansion cards for the PCI standard slots you have. Your PCIe graphics slot has the bandwidth but you should save that for your graphics upgrade.
An easier upgrade would be to get a simpler eSATA front port that would just plug into one of your open SATA ports and give you a fast data port for an external drive at full SATA speeds, which is basically what you want. You may also need an open USB 2.0 port for power only unless you can use an external power supply for the drive. Look at this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#4
June 15, 2012 at 22:52:51
Hmm,

At this point I'm just frustrated. I think once I'm over the initial Back up set, Ill be fine. It's just 90GB and 12 Hrs is a bit extreme! I like the direction you are suggesting though.

The Ext HD has it's own power supply and provides a USB 3.0 port as well as a 3.0 to 2.0 cable. If I free up one usb 2.0 port from the HD then I have two open USB's for additional use. That's cool!

The computer already has a 9in1 media console. and looking at your suggestion on NewEgg, I would only be gaining that single SATA port (along with the other ports I already have). Even simpler could I use a SATA to USB 3.0 cable and secure it through the back panel with a grommet? or provide SATA port(s) thru the back. Then an SATA(m) to USB 3.0(m) cable would be all I'd need, correct?


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#5
June 16, 2012 at 09:39:40
90G at usb 2.0 ought to take maybe an hour. Not 12.

There is some other issue here. I guess you could attempt to save it to a shared folder on a lan and see how long it takes.

What are you using for backup? Could you be setting compression too high? Is the hard drive on your system very slow or maybe too little ram or too many programs running?

Hang up and live.


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#6
June 16, 2012 at 19:15:55
Jefro may have a point there....

You could use one of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
to add 2 eSATA rear ports, BUT you probably would have a hard time finding a converter that you want. It would be better to remove the hard drive and purchase an eSATA external case and put the drive in there and you will be done.

Another thought, if you do not need the back up portable, why not just put another SATA internal hard drive (like I do) and use that for your back up destination? Fast, Simple, No adapter to fail, No external cord to knock out.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#7
June 16, 2012 at 21:53:17
What is the serial number of your Gateway computer ?

Where is the serial number located on my desktop?
http://gateway-us.custhelp.com/app/...

"Even simpler could I use a SATA to USB 3.0 cable....."

It wouldn't be just a cable - it would be an an adapter with circuitry between the ends.
It appears there are USB 3.0 to SATA 300 mbytes/sec hard drive adapters you plug into an existing USB 3.0 port, but not the other way around

"I have available expansion slots (old fax modem slot which is a white PCI) and two other (black) PCI and PCIe I think... "

If the slot the fax modem is in is not exactly the same length as the black PCI slots, it's not a PCI slot it's a special slot that's used onlly for dial-up modems or combo dial-up modems / sound cards.

AMR slot - divider in the middle
dial-up modems or audio adapters or combos of both only
http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/...

Side by side AMR and PCI slots
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio/...

CNR slot - divider not in the middle
dial-up modems or audio adapters or combos of both or network adapters only
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commun...

You can buy a firewire 800 PCI card.

AGP slot
http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/...

PCI slot
http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/...

PCI Express
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Ex...

Scroll down to picture - side by side

PCI Express ×4
PCI Express ×16
PCI Express ×1
PCI Express ×16
Conventional PCI

The colors of the slots can be any color.


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#8
June 16, 2012 at 22:41:20
Real world external hard drive benchmarks.

Benchmark Results: Access Time And Throughput
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...

No USB 3

Read and Write

eSATA best - fastest 94 mbytes/sec
firewire 800 - fastest 76.8 mbytes/sec
USB 2.0 and firewire 400 ~ same - fastest firewire 400 40.1 mbytes/sec


USB 2.0 Benchmark Results
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...

One or two USB 2.0 external hard drives, USB 2.0 controllers

Fastest 38.2 MB/sec slowest 18.5 MB/sec (mbytes/sec)


USB 3.0 Speed & Drive Benchmark
http://www.everythingusb.com/speed....

flash drives - fastest 124.33 mbytes/sec

2.5" external drives - fastest 99.12 mbytes/sec
3.5" external drives - fastest 125.59 mbytes/sec
..........

"90G at usb 2.0 ought to take..."

If the external drive is capable of, say, 38 mbytes/sec....

90 gb = 92,160 mb divided by 38 mb/sec = ~ 2425 seconds divided by 60 seconds/minute = ~ 40.4 minutes

Is your USB 2.0 support actually installed in Windows ?
If you have installed Windows from scratch, the USB 2.0 support XP with SP1 or later updates has built into it is NOT installed until AFTER you have installed the main chipset drivers for the mboard.

Look in Device Manager.
E.g. RIGHT click on My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager.

Look under USB controllers.

There should be at least one listing for an Enhanced USB controller if the USB 2.0 support has been installed.

(I'm assuming the USB 2.0 support has been enabled in the bios Setup - it is by default.)



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