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USB 2.0 NEC card problem!

Posted on 2004-10-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Hi, I recently purchased a 4x USB2.0 PCI card (SWEEX Essentials) with one internal & four external USB 2.0 ports. IT's based on the NEC chipset. My computer is one and a half year old Packard Bell.
Once installed, XP automatically recognized the card as Enhanced PCI to USB controller. When I attach an external hard drive (150GB), XP recognises the disk and makes it visible in explorer. However, when I try to copy a file to it, the process starts for a few seconds, but then XP freezes and I have to turn off/on my PC.

I tried to install the drivers that come on the CD, and the latest version on the www.sweex.com website. The freezing problem is then solved, but the copy process still comes to a halt with a message like "delayed writing failed" or something like that.
I have XP SP1, with all updates installed, including KB22603, the USB related fix.

I have tried anything I knew, but nothing works. I use a USB2.0 certified cable to hook the device up to the USB 2.0 port. Also, the hard drive has its own power supply, so it does not come from the USB port itself.

I ran out of solutions. Anyone that can help me solve this gets 250 points :-D
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Question by:Neo-242
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by:Pete Long
ID: 12265949
It looks like youve done everything I would have doe :(

just as a footnote, if its a two year old PB PC does it have USB on the board? Im willing to bet its an ATX board is there two USB 1.0 ports built in? if so have you tried disabling them in the BIOS?

Pete
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by:Neo-242
ID: 12265962
It has 4 onboard USB1.0 ports. I will try to disable them in the BIOS & let you know!
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Author Comment

by:Neo-242
ID: 12265976
OK, I disables onboard BIOS support, and the problem is still there. I'm getting crazy of this! Should a hammer on the card work? :-D
I think it's driver related stuff!
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by:Pete Long
ID: 12265985
>>Should a hammer on the card work

LOL - Ive been there a few times :D if youve just bought it what do the good folk at  SWEEX Essentials have to say
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Author Comment

by:Neo-242
ID: 12265995
It's a company that makes the card itself. A little search on the net learned me that a ton of people have problems with the NEC USB chipset. But I never found a solution there. Scares the creep out of me... Any other tips to try? USB 1.0 devices work fine on the card!
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by:Pete Long
ID: 12266015
ouch - You have sequentially done everything that I would have done, my next action would be to bawl out a shop assistant :)
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by:Neo-242
ID: 12266177
Should it be wise to do a BIOS update? I have version 1.7 on my system, and there is a 1.9 version for my type of MOBO (NOVA)
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by:Pete Long
ID: 12267067
Mmmm well normally Id say no -but as youve explored all the obvious options why not :)
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by:wjal
ID: 12267820
A BIOS update would be my first suggestion. This is a very common cause of USB2 problems.
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by:Neo-242
ID: 12267911
I will try it tomorrow. First time that I do such a thing :-o
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Author Comment

by:Neo-242
ID: 12268379
I found the problem myself, and maybe it's handy for everyone:

the problem is the autoprotection of Norton Anti-virus (mine is the 2003 version). Looks like it slows down file transfers to the USB 2.0 device significantly. When I disable the auto-protection, all works fine & fast!

****, I love Norton for AV protection, but that program has tackled me quite some times with silly stuff like that!
I hope someone else can do something with this info too!

Anyway, thx for everyone that responded. I'm glad I didn't to that BIOS update.
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by:MarkDozier
ID: 12269202
WAY cool finding that answer.Iam adding that to my personal KB.
I would suggest that you do SP2 on XP. I am satified that it is safe to do.
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Author Comment

by:Neo-242
ID: 12272011
OK forget that solution. This afternoon, I tried it again and I had the same problem again, even with NAV2003 disabled. I had enough of this. I'm gonna take the card out, buy some better stuff and use a hammer & circle-saw on this crappy one!! I can't believe tons of people have the same problem but there is no solution for it. Stupid NEC chipsets :-P
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by:wjal
ID: 12273821
There are 5 different USB2 chipset makers.
SIS and Intel chipsets are OK.
Via and Ali are bad news.
NEC makes the most reliable USB2 chipsets on the market. Having said that, it is still possible that the card may be bad. It seems to me that we have not yet determined whether the problem is with the card or the drive. What do they look like in Device Manager? Do you have another USB appliance that you can try in the card?
Which model of PackardBell is this? If it is a laptop, you will have to use a 2-port.

By the way, there is a newer BIOS version than 1.9, namely, 2.1,which is available at the Netherlands site.
I think you should be looking into your manual and on the PB website for instructions for flashing that BIOS. The most reliable way to flash is from a floppy disk. Sometimes this process is simplified with an included autoexec batch file and this seems to be the format used by Packard Bell. Download the file, put a clean floppy in the drive and double click the file. It will extract to the floppy and create an autoexecuting flash program which will run automatically when you reboot. It may be necessary to tap the F8 key when it is restarting to force it to boot from the floppy.

http://support.packardbell.com/nl/mypc/index.php?PibItemNr=6908120200&PibItemParent=platform_clipper_legend

When the program starts, it will issue a couple of warnings;

"1. To prevent your motherboard's BIOS being damaged,Do NOT power off the computer during the BIOS flashing process!                                                
                                                                     
 2. Do NOT use this BIOS unless you are VERY SURE that it is the correct BIOS for your motherboard."  

and then ask you if you wish to proceed. If you choose YES, it flashes the BIOS and  gives you the following message:

"Remove the diskette from the drive and restart the computer
The computer MAY start with a CMOS CHECKSUM ERROR message
This is proof of a successful BIOS update and no cause for alarm."


"Press F2, F10 and then ENTER to save the new settings.
Your computer will reboot, the new BIOS settings will take effect
You may want to write down these instructions before restarting."

I notice that it doesn't give you the option of saving the old BIOS, so what I would do instead is to download version 1.9 as well and extract that to a separate floppy as a backup, just in case. It never hurts to be a little cautious when flashing a BIOS>

If you have questions or concerns, post back and ask.

/pax
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Author Comment

by:Neo-242
ID: 12274860
The problem should not be the drive, as it works on other people's computers with USB 2.0.
I have a I CONNECT 8500 from Packard Bell, a desktop, not a laptop.

http://support.packardbell.com/benl/mypc/index.php?sernr=028998620037

Unfortunately, my current BIOS is version 1.7, which I cannot download at the site in case an update to 2.1 will not work.
Also, will the BIOS update enable all default settings again or will it remember my settings? Not that I have altered much, but you never know...
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by:wjal
ID: 12278732
Download 1.9 as well as 2.1 and use the 1.9 as backup instead of 1.7. You are unlikely to need a backup unless you have downloaded the wrong file, the power goes out during the process, or the BIOS chip is damaged. There is no evidence of a damaged chip and it looks to me like you have the right file. You can download both files (2.1 and 1.9) directly from the ICONNECT 8500 product description page that you posted.
Yes, the BIOS will be reset to defaults. There are usually two default settings in the BIOS. You will likely find your machine reset to "Failsafe" defaults. You can go back into the BIOS later and reset it to "Optimized" defaults which should work fine for you as long as USB is enabled. You can tweak settings later if you like.

http://support.packardbell.com/uk/mypc/?PibItemNr=instr_BIOS_Nova&PibItemParent=platform_clipper_legend#show

/pax
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Author Comment

by:Neo-242
ID: 12279003
Thanks for the info! I will try it later this evening...
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Author Comment

by:Neo-242
ID: 12280610
OK, I flashed my BIOS to version 2.1. (Man, that's a piece of cake on Packard Bell computers!! What a relief!)
Unfortunately, the 'delayed writing problems' are still there when I try to write to the USB 2.0 hard disk.

A list of what I have tried already for anyone who like to give me tips on this one:

1. Update PCI to USB drivers, used MS standard drivers, used drivers on CD that comes with the card, used drivers from developer's website.
2. Played a bit with caching options in the settings of the external hard drive
3. Tried different USB 2.0 ports on the card
4. Verified if the drive works on someone elses' computer (it did)
5. Disabled my USB 1.1 Ports & Legacy support in the BIOS. Enabled again when it did not help.
5. Put the PCI to USB card in a different PCI slot, to make sure it doesn't use shared IRQ's. (Actually it did, it shared IRQ 16 with my ATI Radeon 9800 pro video card)
6. I updated my Radeon 9800 pro video drivers to make sure it did not mess with the shared IRQ
7. Cleaned up all USB devices & mass storage devices in the device manager, both in normal XP mode, AND in safe mode
8. Installed all MS patches (so also those related to USB)
9. Tried different cables (USB 1.1 & USB 2.0 cables)
10. Disabled Norton Anti-virus to make sure the virus-scanner does not interrupt or slow down the fast data transfer
11. Installed service pack 2 for XP Home Edition
12. Upgraded my BIOS for NOVA motherboard from version 1.7 to 2.1. Left all settings to default.

The only other things I can possibly think off are:

1. Try another card in my PC
2. Try the foolish devil-posessed card of mine in another computer.

First time that I cannot solve a problem on my own computer. I hate it!!
But thanks to everyone that put some help in. At least I got a completely updated PC in the proces (especially happy to have updated the BIOS).

Maybe someone else has a few other ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:wjal
ID: 12283686
Glad to hear you got that BIOS flashed but sorry to hear that it did not do the trick for you. At least you don't have that possibility niggling at the back of your mind anymore..
Have you installed the 2.03 chipset drivers from PackardBell?
I agree with swapping those parts. That should tell us something.
Hang in there. You WILL get this done.
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by:wjal
ID: 12283717
What kind of External drive are you using. Have you installed drivers for it?
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Author Comment

by:Neo-242
ID: 12284614
I will try to update all other drivers that are on my PC. The external drive is one from Medion, which I borrowed from a friend.
There is a ATA 100 disk inside...
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Accepted Solution

by:
schvankus earned 250 total points
ID: 12285188
About a year ago I installed a USB 1.1 card with a Via chipset in an HP computer. the install seemed to go fine, but everything I plugged in came up as "unknown device." This was after installing drivers for the devices. I tried everything but nothing worked. I ended up with another identical card and swapped it out. Viola! Everything worked.

I used to think that if it's new it's gotta work. Now I know better.

Definitely try it in another computer. You'll have your answer fast.

Cheers

g
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Author Comment

by:Neo-242
ID: 12707608
Replaced the card with another one from another manufacturer, did the trick... First one who suggested replacement gets the points...
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