Computer and Software Support



There is four different versions of USB ports

  1. Version 1.0 - obsolete and most systems do not use

  2. Version 1.1 - most older systems and devices use this version

  3. Version 2.0 - New systems and devices use this version. (Didn't come out till 2001)

  4. Version 3.0 - Available in expansion cards but not on systems yet. This is relatively new.

Version 2.0 is the fastest USB version on the market at the present time. It will allow devices connected to the system perform at the same rate of speed as if it was connected internally in the system (That is until the devices get faster).

The devices are hot swappable. This means you can plug the device in while you are in windows. This will not corrupt the windows or damage the system. Other connections can harm the system or corrupt windows if you plug it in while in windows. The connections that will harm the system is parallel cables, PS2 cables, monitor cables, speaker cables and other non USB cables. To connect non USB cables require you to turn the system off first and then connect the cables.

To disconnect a USB cable, you have to stop the service. To stop the service, click on the icon for hardware removal by the clock and choose the device you want to stop. Then it will give you a message that it is safe to remove.

Another advantage of USB is that you can plug the USB device into any USB port. If there is four ports, you can plug it into any of the four ports.

USB allows up to 127 USB devices to be plugged in. However, each device uses power and resources of the system. Each system has different specifications and unable to list the number of devices each system will handle because of it.

There is two types of USB

  1. Self powered - They pull their power from the computer

  2. Non powered - requires a wall outlet to get their power.

I do not recommend the self powered USB devices. The more devices that is connected to a computer using the power supply for devices, the less power each device has available. A self powered may not work all the time because of the power requirement. The power supply may not be able to provide the required amount of power to run the device.

Most systems come with 2 to 4 USB ports. If you need more ports, you can use a USB hub to add ports. You can also daisy chain hubs (connect a USB hub to another hub and that hub connects to the computer) to have additional ports.

If you have version 1.1 and want to upgrade to version 2.0, you will have to install a USB 2.0 PCI card. You will not be able to upgrade the 1.1. After installing the card, you will have the 1.1 ports and 2.0 ports.