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USB 3.0 drive connecting at USB 2.0 speed

I have a Western Digital 1TB USB 3.0 external drive. I am connecting it to the correct (blue) USB 3.0 port on my Acer Aspire 5755-6647 laptop which runs Windows 7 x64.

 

Upon connection, I get the "This device can perform faster: This USB Mass Storage Device can transfer information faster if you connect it to a Super-Speed USB 3.0 port" message. When copying files off the drive, I get about 32 MB/s, which corresponds to USB 2.0 speeds.

 

I have tried disabling USB power management in the USB 3.0 Host Controller Utility. I have tried uninstalling the device and reinstalling it. The cable I am using came with the drive and is a USB 3.0 cable. I have the newest Renesas USB 3.0 driver installed (2.0.34.0). I have also tried using an older Renesas driver. My BIOS is up to date (P5WE0121).

 

I can't figure out what else to do. If it helps, the first time I connected this drive to my laptop, it was on a USB 2.0 port (I had for some reason misremembered which side of the laptop had the 3.0 port and didn't check for blue). As I said, though, I've uninstalled the device completely. I suspect that Windows may be "remembering" the device and installing it with the 2.0 driver.

Answers

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member

    It gets weirder:

     

    I connected the aforementioned WD drive to the USB 3.0 port on a different computer. It immediately worked on USB 3.0 with the correct speeds (~140 MB/s).

     

    I connected a DIFFERENT USB 3.0 drive to my Acer's USB 3.0 port... It also works.

     

    So, for some reason, the WD drive + my Acer = fail. Now I really think that the issue was that I originally plugged it into a USB 2.0 port, and despite uninstalling it, Windows is remembering the drive. How do I completely uninstall drive and make Windows forget about it?

  • Alan-LondonAlan-London Posts: 793ACE Pioneer

    Assuming your diagnosis is correct...

     

    As you have found, deleting an installed driver will simply reappear should the device be plugged in again.
    This is because Win7 will store all drivers that have been introduced to the system.

     

    As well as storing the driver in the correct location for execution, Win7 places a 'master' copy in the driver cache. This is a protected area so the correct method of removal needs to be employed.

     

    I would suggest you follow the necessary steps here:

     

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc730875.aspx

     

    After clearing the driver from the store, remember to uninstall the driver (through device manager) in the normal way.

     

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member

    Thanks, just tried that, didn't fix the issue. However, I'm not entirely sure I removed the right driver. I removed the Renesas USB 3.0 driver as there was no other driver that was obviously associated with my external drive. Many of the drivers had fairly generic names ("Intel" etc). Should I just completely remove every USB driver, 2.0 or 3.0, and let them all reinstall once I reboot?

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member

    I just used USBOblivion to supposedly remove all trace of USB drives, then reinstalled it, and it behaves the same. At this point I think I will try uninstalling every USB driver in the system. Next step will be reinstalling Windows.

  • Alan-LondonAlan-London Posts: 793ACE Pioneer

    I suspect you will need both methods as, looking at USBOblivion, it only clears the registry and not the actual drivers etc.
    If you are going to remove all USB drivers, check and download them first so you can reinstall as necessary.

     

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member

    Amazing, that didn't work either. I currently have no USB 2.0 driver installed (confirmed because when I plug something into a USB 2.0 port nothing happens). I installed the USB 3.0 driver alone, then plugged in the WD drive... and once again it installed as USB 2.0. No clue how to proceed.

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member

    Could the Renesas driver be storingg information somewhere about devices it has seen that is separate from the windows registry? I've completely uninstalled and re-installed the driver and all associated software at every step.

  • Alan-LondonAlan-London Posts: 793ACE Pioneer

    Very unlikely USB data is held external to registry (.ini or .sys file for example).

     

    Assuming device manager shows your external HDD under 'Disk drives' and it's linked to a controller under 'Universal Serial bus Controller', are you dealing with both? You *may* have to but be very careful here as if you remove an incorrect 'Disk drive' driver from the cache you may have shot it!!

     

    Also, you may wish to try out this nice little util that can help identify what is connected and to which controller:

     

    http://www.uwe-sieber.de/files/UsbTreeView.zip

     

    It will also show which controllers are capable of 3.0 (3.0 is 'superspeed').

     

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member

    The way I removed the drivers was by sorting by connection in device manager, which shows you the entire USB controller with the devices under it. I removed the whole thing, no trace of USB left. The only issue I see is that, because the laptop has a built-in webcam, as soon as the computer reboots it does in fact seem to reinstall the USB 2.0 drivers because it detects the webcam as a USB device. So, when I then install the USB 3.0 driver and plug in my WD drive, the 2.0 driver is in fact present. Still, I've supposedly removed all trace of previous USB devices, yet this issue persists. I don't understand it. At this point, I may bring it to Microsoft as it seems to be purely an OS issue.

  • Alan-LondonAlan-London Posts: 793ACE Pioneer

    Sorry I've been of little help (well no help at all really!).
    That is an odd problem - I've not come across it before.


    From your description it appears both your Acer and HDD are happy to work at 3.0 but not together. Like you, I don't understand it. If I should have a brainwave, I'll post back.
    In the mean time, I hope you manage to find a resolution.

     

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member

    I really appreciate you trying to help!

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member

    Microsoft support actually had a great idea - to try the drive under Safe Mode, and then to try a Clean Boot. I am giving those a shot tomorrow morning, and I'll also try to boot into a Ubuntu Live USB to try it through there - hopefully there will be a compatible USB 3.0 driver available for Ubuntu.

  • Alan-LondonAlan-London Posts: 793ACE Pioneer

    Fingers crossed. I'd be interested to hear your findings.

     

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member

    Results:

    Safe mode = same deal

    Clean boot = same deal

     

    and, incredibly... Ubuntu 13.10 Live USB environment = same deal!!! The 3.0 USB controller is recognized and active, yet when I plug in this WD drive it is rerouted to the USB 2.0 hub, actually the same hub that runs the USB 2.0 port right next to it. At this point I'm going to Acer support because this is an incompatibility that they need to address. I went to Renesas but they said that they don't provide end user support and that I should go to Acer.

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member

    Well, if there are no other ideas... looks like I am going to pay for out-of-warranty Acer support. Thankfully my SquareTrade warranty will reimburse me for it. I bet they're going to make me reinstall Windows even though I've replicated the issue under a totally different OS.

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member
    Accepted Answer

    Update: I ended up trying one last thing before going to Acer for support. I thought that perhaps not enough power was being supplied by my USB 3.0 port to the drive, forcing it to "downshift" to 2.0. So I bought a Y-cable for $5 to provide auxiliary power from the adjacent 2.0 port. Result: IT WORKS. Immediately connected as a USB 3.0 device and transfer speeds are USB 3.0.

     

    Solved. Kinda disappointed in Acer/Intel for the sub-par USB 3.0 port, though.

  • Alan-LondonAlan-London Posts: 793ACE Pioneer

    Note that the USB 3.0 specification provides the option of two power variants, 150mA and 900mA. Off hand, I don't know which is specified on the Aspire 5755 so you may be being a little unkind to Acer!

     

  • astarothastaroth Posts: 13Member

    I think it's pretty clear that they used the lower power spec on the 5755. I'm not saying they are violating the USB 3.0 standard, I'm just disappointed that they chose to skimp on that (while not really informing anyone - yep you cannot find this spec from anyone and I only figured this whole thing out by accident).

  • Alan-LondonAlan-London Posts: 793ACE Pioneer

    Yes, I hear what you are saying. I am not taking sides here. I'm simply saying that, if Acer elected to use the low power option then so be it. I do agree with you re the stated spec - or lack of it. I too have found it very frustrating on occasion trying to get the 'real' spec of a product. Today's consumers are far more 'savvy' than of old and many have a real and valid need for the nitty gritty. Hopefully things will improve. At least you have found a work around!

     

  • krowkrow Posts: 1Member

    astaroth wrote:

    Update: I ended up trying one last thing before going to Acer for support. I thought that perhaps not enough power was being supplied by my USB 3.0 port to the drive, forcing it to "downshift" to 2.0. So I bought a Y-cable for $5 to provide auxiliary power from the adjacent 2.0 port. Result: IT WORKS. Immediately connected as a USB 3.0 device and transfer speeds are USB 3.0.

     

    Solved. Kinda disappointed in Acer/Intel for the sub-par USB 3.0 port, though.


     

    I'll need to pick up one of those cables next time I'm at a computer store it seems. Cheers for finding a (temp.)solution, I thought my 5755G's 3.0 port was broken or something =| It reasures me to know that that isn't the case and is simply a design fault/error/idiocy -_- Though having to use two ports for just one device is going to hurt bad, especially when there's only 3 of them, might need to pick up another hub while I get that cable =|

     

    While at that, given that the problem exists due to a lack of power supplied to the port would it be safe to assume that a USB 3.0 hub, with adapter for itself, connected to it would work properly? I don't want to invest that much on a hub to find out it doesn't and I'm getting the performance of something I could've bought for 1/3rd the price xD

  • marcof11marcof11 Posts: 1Member

    just bardging into this thread, since I am a HP Elitebook 1040 user.

    I have similar situation with my WD My passport USB disk. I noticed that I get that message if I have connected something else earlier to the same port.  ( in my case a wirelesss Logitech USB keiboard mouse hub.

    It seems that the system has downgraded that port to USB 2, until I power the computer  off and reboot.

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