USB 2.0

Posted on 2005-04-29
Last Modified: 2013-12-09
I have a quick question about USB. I'm not familiar with how USB 1.1 and USB 2.0s. I have a USB key that is encrypted, i need to use it between 2 PCs. One is a new built PC with USB 2.0 on it. The other is a compaq 5290 running windows 98SE. For me to get USB 2.0 on the compaq, do i need to get a USB PCI card and install it, or can I just upgrade the OS, or flash the bios?
Question by:selhs
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    When USB connectors were introduced on computers around 1997 or so they were rated at 12 Mbps, that means that 12 megabits of data could flow to or from the device each second. That's a 1.6 megabyte file every second.

    It was called USB version 1.1 or just USB 1.1.

    That technology was fine for USB keyboards or mice and even printers. But when multimedia devices arrived such as digital cameras and MP3 players arrived on the scene they needed a faster connection because pictures, audio and even video files can be huge. So the industry created version 2 of USB called USB 2.0.

    This is a connector that looks the same as USB 1.1 and works with USB 1.1 devices. However when paired with a USB 2.0 rated device its speed is boosted from 12 Mbps to 480 Mpbs which is 40 times faster. That's a 60 megabyte file every second.

    Computers starting in 2003 were equipped with USB 2.0. However don't despair if your computer is older. You can upgrade to USB 2.0 by adding a USB 2.0 PCI card that slots in the back of your computer.

    Here's where you get one.

    Once it arrives, you'll have to power down your computer and unplug it and take the cover off. Inside are white slots that back onto the rear of the computer's back plate. You may have to take a slot protector off which looks like a silver piece of metal to expose a hole in the back.

    Then unpack the card and push it into the PCI slot with the USB ports exposed through the slit in the backplate and screw it in place. Put the cover back on, power up and install any software that came with the card.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I also wanted to say, yes, in answer to your question, you must get a PCI Expansion card.  You cannot make a usb 1.1 go to 2.0 with software alone.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    rjmiller15 is correct, you have to get a new piece of hardware, like this:
    You also need to install the drivers for it, because Win98 does not support USB natively.  This card comes with Win98 drivers:

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