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How many USB devices can be connected to Dell XPS 8700?

Hello experts,

My Dell XPS 8700 desktop has 10 USB ports and I have 3 USB hubs connected to 3 of the ports. Each of the hubs have 4 devices connected to them.

If I connect a new device to one of the unused ports, I get the message that I've exceeded the number of devices that can be connected and I have to remove a device in order to get rid of that message and make the new device work..

Any ideas?

Thanks for your time.
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focus15
Asked:
focus15
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8 Solutions
 
Raymond PengSystems EngineerCommented:
Does it say the hub has exceeded its power?  You may want to check the output and specs of each hub.  Theoretically I believe you can hook up to 127 devices per host controller which could be 2 more USB ports through daisy chains.  Realistically with mapped drives / letters, they end at Z.
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks Raymond.

Not power actually, just exceeded the number..

I believe this is the message that I got:

"You have exceeded the number of supported USB devices on the intel USB 3.0 extensible Host Controller"
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Raymond PengSystems EngineerCommented:
That is interesting ... Have you tried updating firmware / drivers for your Dell machine?  I would also check for Windows updates while you're at it.

Let me see if I can find specs on this controller.
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Raymond PengSystems EngineerCommented:
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks again, Raymond.

I'm not sure which one to install..series 6 or 7.

I found this link but it wasn't very helpful :(

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/usb3/sb/CS-033082.htm

USB Controller..
CPU
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jcimarronCommented:
"I get the message that I've exceeded the number of devices that can be connected and I have to remove a device in order to get rid of that message and make the new device work.."I get the message that I've exceeded the number of devices that can be connected and I have to remove a device in order to get rid of that message and make the new device work."


The answer is how many milliamps (mA) the individual devices consume versus how many milliamperes the individual ports can supply.
Open Device Manager|click the + to the left of Universal Serial Bus Controllers.  Now you should see a window looking like that on the right of the screen shot.  Right click on an individual USB Root Hub icon and then Properties|Power tab.  Now you should see the window on the left.  You can see how many milliamperes (mA) are available at that hub. Do that for all the USB Hubs.

You will have to determine how many milliamps are consumed by each device you are using.  If you exceed the milliamps available you could try using a powered USB hub.

USB Hubs
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks a lot, jci.. That makes a lot of sense.

None of my hubs are powered.. I have 2 USB 2.0 hubs and one USB 3.0 hub.

If I order a powered USB 3.0 hubs, it should obviously be backward compatible to USB 2.0 devices, right?
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jcimarronCommented:
focus15--
Yes
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks jci..

Would you recommend this hub:

http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Port-2-5A-power-adapter/dp/B00DQFGH80/

Or if you have a personal favorite, it would be great if you could let me know.. Thanks again.
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jcimarronCommented:
focus15--
Since I do not use a  Dell XPS 8700 I would prefer not to make a recommendation.
But I suspect the AmazonBasics hub would be fine. :)
Good luck.
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks jci.. Ordered it and should be here tomorrow.

From the link that Raymond posted, how do I find which one is compatible to my desktop?

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=eng&FamilyId=42&ProductID=3467&ProdId=3467

Thanks for your time.
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jcimarronCommented:
focus15--
I suspect you will not need a new driver or that the hub will find an appropriate one itself.
Hold off and see how use of the new hub goes.
But concerning use of the drivers Raymond recommends, do you have either of the chipsets mentioned in that reference?
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focus15Author Commented:
Alright, I'll wait for the new hub.

Apparently the desktop doesn't have either.. It looks I have Series 8:

Series 8
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Raymond PengSystems EngineerCommented:
Great feedback jci - I should have asked about the power consumption from the hubs,  self-powered vs regular hubs.
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nobusCommented:
just to add to the above, i always recommend POWERED usb hubs, like the one you selected.
i assume your usb 3 hub (which has more power available for usb 3 devices) just resets itself to usb 2 mode - having a max of 5 V at 0.5 A = 2.5 W max !
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks again everyone..

@nobus: Thanks for your response. So you'd recommend my other USB 2.0 hubs (that are connected USB 2.0 devices) to be powered as well?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Very simple rule:    NEVER use passive (non-powered) hubs for USB, whether v2 or v3.

This is the #1 way that folks destroy their USB ports on computers ... and while it's not a major catastrophe on a desktop (you can always add an add-in card with more USB ports), it IS pretty catastrophic on a laptop (not the case here, of course).

I'm a bit surprised at the specific message you're seeing, however.   The error message should show a power overload if that's the issue.    Go to Device Manager, and select "View Devices by Connection" ... then see what the USB sections shows (post a picture here).
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nobusCommented:
i always recommend powered hubs, so you minimise the power draw on the usb chips in the pc; it may not burn it out, but it certainly will contribute to unstable functioning
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focus15Author Commented:
Jeez! I've been using non-powered hubs forever :(

I bought 2 quantities of AmazonBasics 4 Port USB 3.0 Hub with 5V/2.5A power adapter and will get 1 more since these hubs are backward compatible to USB 2.0 devices anyway..

I've had some USB 2.0 powered hubs that were making some white noise whenever they were powered on but won't when they're not powered.. So I decided to not to power them :(

@ Gary: Once my system is running, I'll plug all my devices and post a snap from "Device Manager".

thanks for the replies, Gary and nobus..

And btw, it's better to have 2 hubs with 4 ports instead of having a 7 or 10 port hub, right? or?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... And btw, it's better to have 2 hubs with 4 ports instead of having a 7 or 10 port hub, right? or? " ==>  As long as the hub has enough power for the # of devices it supports it doesn't matter.    But I have seen some 8-port hubs that used the same power adapter as a 5-port version of the same hub ... in a case like that, I'd use a couple of the smaller hubs.
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nobusCommented:
it also depends on how the hubs are connected (for speed)
 if you are using 2 disks connected on the same root hub, they will share the total speed between them - but not if they are connected to different root hubs
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jcimarronCommented:
focus15--
Has your original question been satisfactorily answered?
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nobusCommented:
i would only use the passive hubs for low power devices like usb sticks,
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focus15Author Commented:
@nobus: So, Front, Back and Top USB ports have different root hubs obviously, right?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
It's not so simple -- the front and top USB ports on a case simply connect to USB headers on your motherboard.   The rear ports are wired directly to the ATX panel on the rear.    But the exact match of which ports go to which root hub isn't simply based on where the ports are located -- it depends on how they're connected to the chipset controller.

If you look in Device Manager under USB controllers, you can see how many actual controllers you have -- only count those that say "Enhanced" or "Extensible".    It will also show how many root hubs the ports are distributed across.

The reality is it doesn't matter -- just be sure you only use powered hubs; and connect your devices to whichever ports you want.
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focus15Author Commented:
Thanks for the explanation, Gary..

Would be great if you guys could answer this related question:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_28503171.html
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