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No usb2 in Device manager but Dell specs say it has usb2

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I fix PCs for a living. I have a Dell Inspiron 1501 with Windows XP Media Center SP2 in my shop. It takes about 4 minutes to copy a single 350 MB file from a new USB2.0 flash drive/ usb stick / thumbstick to the HD at a time when the PC has finished starting up and no startup process's are running, no windows open except for Explorer and the laptop has NO AntiVirus SW (which might be doing a scan or checking what is coming in from the usb stick). And has no virus's (I DO THIS FOR A LIVING, YOU JUST NEED TO TRUST ME ON THIS).

4 MINUTES TO COPY a single 350 MB file FROM A USB STICK IS RIDICULOUS AND ABSURD under the above circumstances.

So I go to Device Manager and expand the USB serial bus controller line and NOTICE that the phrase 'usb2" does NOT occur in any line, not even in one line. As a professional I know for CERTAIN that most PCs (since 2006 when this was sold) have ONE line with usb2 in that list.

AH HAA !! That might mean that the Inspiron 1501 has usb and not usb2 which would explan the long time as usb is 13 times slower than usb2. I go to the specs on the Dell web site and they say it has 4 usb2.0 connectors.

I then do a Google search on the problem and immediately find OTHER people WITH EXACTLY WHAT IS ABOVE, VERY SLOW USB TRANSFERS, DELL SAYS IT HAS USB2 BUT DEVICE MANAGER SAYS OTHERWISE.

QUESTION: IF THERE IS NO "USB2" seen when expanding the USB serial bus controller entry in Device Manager for Windows XP SP2, does that mean THAT THERE IS ONLY USB AND NOT USB2 ON THE PC ??

Note: This is a YES or NO question. Please do not answer unless you are AT LEAST 90% CERTAIN, no guessing, please.

WHY AM I POSTING? Because for $21 Newegg.com will send me a USB2.0 Express Card and BINGO !!! I now have USB2.0 and a solution. BUT I am wasting my money if I am "misreading" what is in Device Manager and like Dell says the laptop ALREADY HAS USB2. Note: The Inspiron 1501 has NO PCMCIA slot, it has an Express card slot.

IMPORTANT
(1) I checked the BIOS and there is not option reducing the usb performance of this PC.

(2) YES, I know this model has a SLOW CPU chip by current standards (again per Google search this is very clear) BUT the copy operation I am doing would mostly depend on transfer rates, not cpu speed OR at least that is what I believe.

Regards,
  Mike
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Question by:mgross333
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by:MarkieS
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Hi Mike.  Is this running with all the Dell Drivers, diagnostics and applications installed from the Dell Drivers disks.  

My one line answer NO...  if the incorrect driver is in use.
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by:kaapsliic
kaapsliic earned 200 total points
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If your Device Manager shows an ENHANCED USB Host Controller, the system has High Speed USB (USB 2.0) capability.  Otherwise it's USB 1.0 or 1.1
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by:brewsterm
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I would also suggest you do not plug into a port that is using a HUB or the front ports on the machine.

Sometimes those front ports are plugged into the motherboard directly but the case and those front ports are only USB1.  The back ports directly on the motherboard should be 2.0.
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dbrunton earned 300 total points
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NO

See http://www.usbman.com/Guides/checking_for_usb_2.htm

Look at your USB device listing and see if there is an entry for Enhanced Host Controller.  Refer to the link above for more information.
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by:MarkieS
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Your definitive answer would be to look up the PCI/VENDOR id and match that to the Hardware manufacturers specifications.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
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The 1501 definately has USB 2.0 capability
See: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins1501/en/om_en/html/specs.htm

So either there's a hardware fault or more likely the USB/Chipset drivers are corrupted and need reinstalling.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mgross333
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DM etc.  shows "Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller", not "ENHANCED USB Host Controller"
BUT
dbrunton's link indicates that wording ALSO means it has usb 2.0.
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by:mgross333
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MASQUERAID:

I already said in my question that
" I go to the specs on the Dell web site and they say it has 4 usb2.0 connectors."

so your post adds nothing to my question. The point is that for every PC I have checked the the phrase usb2 appears in the DM>USB etc expansion on one line (inlcuding my Office PC and many PCs I have looked at). Yet experts here are saying NO, that is not necessary, the phrase Enhanced is what to look for, not usb2, to determine if the PC has USB 2.0 functionality.

Mike
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
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What I was trying to add was that ALL the USB ports on the Inspiron 1501 are quite capable of running as USB 2.0, but if the base drivers on the system are not installed correctly (or the USB hub is faulty) Device Manager will only recognise them as USB 1.1 or worse and so the term "Enhanced" won't appear - not because the port can't run as USB 2.0 but purely because the software isn't installed correctly.  The description in Device Manager is how Windows sees a device not always what it actually is.
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by:MarkieS
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Again - The definitive answer is to check the PCI|VENDOR id and check that against the chipset manufactures specs - regardless of what drivers are install and what OS it's running on.
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by:mgross333
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Masqueraid,

My cucstomers do not know how to change drivers !! This laptop's drivers are exactly as delivered by Dell and furthermore even if Windows XP is scratch/reformat installed from a MS or Dell supplied CD, the usb drivers are installed by Windows Plug and Play. The only missing drivers (which might be user installed) are Lan, Wireless, Audio and Video and (very rarely) chipset.

After further resarch I have concluded the problem is the cpu. For VERY CONVINCING PROOF see the first post at

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081119120529AAGS73V

from someone who obviously knows more about this than either you or me
PLUS I HAVE OBSERVED
practically anyting I do on this PC drives the CPU to 100% usage for extended periods of time in Task Manager. Even the most mundane things.  While available memory stays above 500 MB (the total memory is 1 GB).

It's the PATHETICALLY SLOW CPU.

Regards,
  Mike
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by:mgross333
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MarkieS:

Regarding
> Again - The definitive answer is to check the PCI|VENDOR id and check that against the chipset manufactures specs - regardless of what drivers are install and what OS it's running on.

 Where would I get the 'PCI|VENDOR id" from ??

Mike
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by:mgross333
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MASQUERAID,

(1) Regarding
"Device Manager will only recognise them as USB 1.1 or worse and so the term "Enhanced" won't appear - not because the port can't run as USB 2.0 but purely because the software isn't installed correctly.  The description in Device Manager is how Windows sees a device not always what it actually is"

First, as I indicated above, the DM DOES say "Enhanced USB etc etc"

But your statement above seems to say that Enhanced can appear in the DM, YET usb2.0 may NOT be supported. Is that what you are saying??

(2) Regarding you remark "(or the USB hub is faulty)" IN THAT CASE would I usb2.0 Express Card from Newegg.com work at usb 2 speeds even if the mobo USB hub is bad ?? (note the Inspiron 1501 supports Express Cards).

In case you mean an external 3rd party usb hub, this laptop has NO such hub attached.

(3) Also in my post to you above this one, I menationed "(very rarely) chipset drivers" I want to point out that if someone does a scatch reinstall of Windows and they need the chipset drivers where will they get them from ?? The Dell web site (for the Inspiron 1501) is where MEANING even in that case they STILL got the right drivers.

Mike
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by:MarkieS
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Hi again Mike - ;-)

Windows Device Driver, Look at the properties for your peice of hardware concerned.  Go to the Details Tab and this should show the "Device Instance Id"

This will give you the PCI Vendor Id, Subsys and Revision id, of the hardware that is in the machine.
You can CTRL-C (Cant rightclick copy) to the clipboard - let me know what it is..

cheers
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by:MarkieS
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Taking a step back and a cup of tea!
- Do you get a quicker transfer from your USB2.0 Stick to a known good PC?  Do you get a similar time using another USB2.0 stick?

ie - It's not the stick?
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Author Comment

by:mgross333
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MarkieS:,

Regarding
> - Do you get a quicker transfer from your USB2.0 Stick to a known good PC?  Do you get a similar time using another USB2.0 stick?

yes the transfer is MUCH faster to a known good PC.

Also please review my post above of 03/01/11 04:22 PM, ID: 35011953
and go to the link there etc BEFORE replying again here
. If you do that, I think you will find there is nothing else to say about this. BTW, this is NOT job for my business. A customer GAVE me the laptop and you know what my mother said about things that are TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE ?? NOBODY gives you a laptop worth anything FOR FREE. He knew it was wothless.

Of course what is at that link (that the laptop was a loss-leader designed JUST to get people to call Dell) does not reflect well on Dell Computer.

The ONLY thing the Inspiron 1501 is good for is internet access and for some peope that is enough. However as I have an iPad, my planned uses for the Inspiron are OTHER THAN internet access and hence the usb transfer speed is critical to me.

Mike
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