The USB 2.0 specification was released in April 2000 and was ratified by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) at the end of 2001.
Today, USB is enjoying tremendous success in the marketplace, with most peripheral vendors around the globe developing products to USB 2.0 specification. All new PCs come with one or more USB ports on the box. In fact, USB has become a key enabler of the Easy PC Initiative, an industry initiative led by Intel and Microsoft to make PCs easier to use.
Although most USB devices can connect to your computer with a USB 1.1 or 2.0 port, you won't see optimal performance without the hi-speed 2.0 connection with few latest devices or for storage needs.
You can check which levels of USB ports your Windows computer offers, and you can verify that your hi-speed USB 2.0 ports are enabled.
Checking USB Port Levels
- On your host computer, right-click the My Computer icon and select Manage.
Sometimes you may need to click Start to access the My Computer icon.
- Click the Device Manager icon.
- Expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers entry.
If Universal Serial Bus Controllers is not listed, there is a problem with the USB controller or the USB controller is not enabled in the computer's BIOS. Please contact the computer or card manufacturer for updated drivers and/or for information on how to fix or enable the USB controller.
- Examine the expanded entries under Universal Serial Bus Controllers. (Manufacturer names are usually listed in front of each listed controller or root hub. The controller or root hub names indicate their type and USB level.)
- If you see names that include text such as "Enhanced Host Controller" or "USB 2.0 Root Hub Device," then the computer has USB 2.0 ports.
- If the names include text such as Universal Host Controller," "Open Host Controller," or "USB Root Hub (Device),", then the computer has USB 1.1 ports.
Verifying Hi-Speed USB Ports Are Enabled
Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports run at speeds up to 480Mbps. USB 1.1 ports run at either full-speed 12Mb/s or low-speed 1.5Mb/s. If you use Windows XP and try to plug a device designed for use with Hi-Speed USB into a regular USB (1.1) port or hub, you'll see an error message similar to the ones listed below:
- The Generic USB Hub is a HI-SPEED USB device and will function at reduced speed when plugged into a non-HI-SPEED port.
- HI-SPEED USB Device Plugged into non-HI-SPEED USB Hub. A HI-SPEED USB device is plugged into a non-HI-SPEED USB hub.
This can be an unpleasant surprise if you thought you had Hi-Speed USB ports available. Unlike USB 1.1 ports, Hi-Speed USB ports sometimes require some effort to configure in both BIOS and the port's driver.
If your system uses an Intel chipset that provides Hi-Speed USB ports, you need to enable the High-Speed USB support option in the USB Configuration submenu to receive Hi-Speed USB 2.0 performance.
Follow This Steps To enable USB 2.0 (Reference: Intel Mother Boards) :
- Reboot (or power on) system.
- Press F2 during POST (Power-on Self Test) to enter system BIOS setup program. (Sometimes, you may require to enter a different key or combination of keys to enter the BIOS Setup Menu, watch the post boot screen for the right key to enter BIOS Setup.)
- Select ADVANCED menu using arrow (left and right) keys.
- Select USB Configuration and press <enter>.
- Enable High-speed USB.
- Press F10 to Save & Exit BIOS setup program. (Hi-Speed USB 2.0 controllers are now enabled and your operating system should detect New Hardware during the next normal boot cycle and you will be able to work at High-Speed.
Note: USB 3.0 specification was published on 12 November 2008. Its main goals were to increase the data transfer rate (up to 5 Gbit/s), to decrease power consumption, to increase power output, and to be backwards-compatible with USB 2.0. USB 3.0 includes a new, higher speed bus called SuperSpeed in parallel with the USB 2.0 bus. For this reason, the new version is also called SuperSpeed. The first USB 3.0 equipped devices were presented in January 2010.