|Where it says USB 2.0 in the following, in most cases, the same applies to USB 3.0 support. |
USB 3.0 controllers and devices are backward compatible with USB 1.x and USB 2.0 devices and specs. USB 2.0 controllers and devices are backward compatible with USB 1.x devices and specs.
The main chipset drivers would have been installed in the original brand name software installation, and the USB 2.0 support would have been loaded in Windows.
However, if you have re-loaded just Windows from scratch since, you must install the main chipset drivers in order for Windows to install the USB 2.0 support.
When the mboard has one or more USB 2.0 controllers, if the Windows USB 2.0 support has been installed in Windows, in Device Manager - USB controllers, the lines shown there
- are for support for both USB 1.1 (USB 1.x; USB 1.0 and USB 1.1) spec devices and USB 2.0 spec devices
- if the USB 2.0 support has been loaded, one or more USB controllers are listed as Enhanced controllers or similar - all the rest of the USB controllers listed are for USB 1.1 (USB 1.1 or USB 1.0) support
- most of the Root Hub listings are for the USB 1.x support - they usually have two USB ports per hub, but may have 1 or 3 in some cases
- one or more of the Root Hub listings are for the USB 2.0 support - they always have MORE than 3 USB ports per hub.
- the total number of USB ports for the Root Hubs for USB 1.1 (1.x) support = the total number of USB ports for the Root Hubs for USB 2.0 support - they are the same number of available USB ports, each USB port can be used to support either USB 1.x or USB 2.0 devices.
To find the total number of USB ports supported by a Root Hub, double click on a Root Hub line, click on the Power tab.
It's the total number available, or the total number still available plus the total number of any USB devices listed that are using a USB port., or if all the USB ports on the hub are being used, the total number of USB devices listed that are using a USB port.
Same number of available USB ports = the physical ports that are built into the mboard plus the number of USB port connections available by connecting wiring to (a) USB header(s) on the mboard.
E.g. a laptop or netbook often has a memory card reader that connects to one USB port connection on a header on the mboard.
A desktop computer usually has one or more USB header(s) - often the front ports lower down on the case are each connected to the pins for one USB port on a USB header. The desktop case may also have a memory card reader installed on the front of the case that connects to a connection for one USB port on a header.
The early mboards that had USB 2.0 controllers often had USB 1.1 only controllers as well - in that case certain USB ports supported only USB 1.1 or USB 1.0 devices, you would get the same message you're getting, or a similar message, if you plugged in device that informs Windows it would work better if plugged into a port that supports a faster speed, other USB ports supported both USB 1.x devices and USB 2.0 devices, you would never get the message you're getting, or similar, unless the wiring from a mboard USB header was inadequate to the port, but that was a brief situation, and newer mboards that have USB 2.0 controllers always support both USB 1.x devices and USB 2.0 devices for all USB ports.
If it's ONLY the external drive you get this message with when you plug it into a USB port that's built into the laptop, or if the external drive is NOT plugged into a USB port that's built into the laptop, see the last part of response 4 !
I don't have any computer that has a USB 3.0 controller, so, I don't know if there are listings in Device Manger - USB controllers
- for both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices / support
- for separate Root Hubs for USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 support. If they are listed separatey , it's probable that the total number of USB ports for the Root Hubs for USB 1.1 (1.x) support = the total number of USB ports for the Root Hubs for USB 2.0 = the total number of USB ports for the Root Hubs for USB 3.0 support.
If you're not sure if bios settings are set to enable the highest speed of all USB ports, load bios defaults in the bios Setup, Save settings - that always enables the hardware support for the highest speed of all USB ports.