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usb speed errorHave you ever seen the “this device can perform faster” message when you connected a USB device to your computer? This message is Windows The Windows 7: Ultimate Guide The Windows 7: Ultimate Guide If you are afraid to upgrade from Vista or XP because you feel it is completely different to what you are used to, you should read this new guide. Read More ’ way of telling you that you’re missing out on the theoretical speed of your hardware, but it may not be clear how to fix the problem. Like many computer issues, particularly with hardware, this problem has a number of possible causes and solutions.

The message tells you to connect your device to a USB 2.0 port, but what if it’s already connected to a USB 2.0 port? Or what if you thought it was connected to a USB 2.0 port already – how can you tell the difference?

Device & Port Mismatch

First thing’s first – ensure your device can actually perform faster. For example, if you dig an old, USB 1.1 flash drive The Office Worker’s 101 Guide to a USB Thumb Drive The Office Worker’s 101 Guide to a USB Thumb Drive Flash drives today are not just about storing your important files: you can use them to run programs and even entire operating systems. Read More out of a closet and plug it into a USB 2.0 port, Windows will show you this warning message. This message doesn’t necessarily indicate that the device itself can perform faster, only that the USB port itself is operating at a lower speed than it supports.

This problem can also occur if you’re plugging a USB 2.0 device into a USB 3.0 USB 3.0: Everything You Need to Know USB 3.0: Everything You Need to Know USB 3.0 beats USB 2.0 in so many ways. Here's everything you need to know about why you should always pick USB 3.x when possible. Read More  port. USB is backwards compatible, but speed is sacrificed when using an outdated port or device.

Drivers

Problems with your system’s USB drivers can also result in this USB speed error. To fix it, you can try downloading and installing the latest USB or motherboard chipset drivers from your computer manufacturer’s website (or your motherboard manufacturer’s website, if you built your computer yourself.)

Another way you can try to fix the USB drivers is by launching the Device Manager – type Device Manager into the Start menu and press Enter. Look for any USB devices with yellow exclamation point icons next to them under the Universal Serial Bus controllers category. If you see one with an error, right-click it and tell Windows to update or install drivers for it. You can also try updating drivers for devices that don’t have a yellow exclamation point icon.

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usb speed error

Cable

The problem could be with your USB cable. If the cable was originally designed for USB 1.1 devices, it may not work properly at USB 2.0 speeds. It may also just be a faulty cable – when it doubt, try swapping the cable.

Damaged Hardware

Try plugging your USB device or cable into a different port on your system. It’s possible that the USB port itself is faulty How To Diagnose Hardware Problems When Your Computer Won't Turn On How To Diagnose Hardware Problems When Your Computer Won't Turn On Last week I showed you some of the simplest DIY repairs and upgrades that you can do yourself, but one reader asked how to diagnose which component was the problem. Today I’d like to walk... Read More and doesn’t work properly.

It’s also possible that the problem is with the device itself – you can try plugging your USB device into another computer that doesn’t experience this error. If you see the same error everywhere, the problem is with your device, not your computer.

high speed usb error

Power

Some devices may need more power than they’re getting from the USB connection – for example, external hard drives The Best External Hard Drives You Should Consider Buying [Gadget Corner] The Best External Hard Drives You Should Consider Buying [Gadget Corner] Ah, the external hard drive. This unsung hero of the gadget world can be found on almost any geek’s desk, usually tucked away behind a monitor or stuffed in a drawer. Yet it’s of great... Read More require much more power than USB keyboards 5 Heavy Duty Mechanical Keyboards For The Hardcore Gamer 5 Heavy Duty Mechanical Keyboards For The Hardcore Gamer We’ve made quite a song-and-dance about mechanical keyboards here at MakeUseOf, and now that more and more manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon they’re no longer specialised bits of kit reserved for the upper echelons... Read More , which require fairly little power. This can often occur if you’re using a USB hub that doesn’t provide power – if you’re using a USB hub and you receive this message, you should connect your device directly to your computer instead of the hub.

There are actually two types of USB hubs – hubs that only draw power from your computer and hubs that include a separate power connector. Only hubs that include external power connectors can provide enough power to support power-demanding USB devices. This also applies to other devices that function as hubs, such as monitors with included USB ports – connect your USB device directly to your computer or a powered USB hub.

It’s also possible that your computer isn’t routing enough power to its USB port. This isn’t the way USB connections are supposed to work, but it’s a possibility with faulty or badly designed hardware. Try connecting your device to a different USB port.

high speed usb error

BIOS Settings

Many computers’ BIOSes have a setting that can toggle between different USB modes for compatibility purposes. While computers generally ship with the optimal setting, this setting could have become changed.

To access your computer’s BIOS, you’ll have to restart your computer and press the key that appears on the screen – often F2 or Delete – during boot up. Once you have, you’ll be in a special BIOS menu. Look for a USB Mode option and ensure it’s set to the highest possible speed – for example, if your computer supports USB 2.0, the USB Mode setting in the BIOS should be set to 2.0 Mode, not 1.1 Mode. This setting may also be named something like “high speed” USB mode, depending on your BIOS.

Disabling The Warning

If you can’t resolve this problem, or if you’ve determined it’s a problem with your device or computer and you’re stuck with it, you can always disable the bubble 5 Distracting Desktop Notifications & How To Turn Them Off [Windows] 5 Distracting Desktop Notifications & How To Turn Them Off [Windows] When you are working on a computer, it takes a fair bit of will power to resist the attempt to multitask. But even if you manage to restrain yourself, many programs manage to throw in... Read More that appears when you connect your USB device to your computer. The device will still run at a much slower USB speed than it theoretically could, but at least Windows won’t bug you about it.

To do so, open the Device Manager (type Device Manager into the Start menu and press Enter), right-click the USB host controller under Universal Serial Bus controllers, and select Properties. Uncheck the Tell me if my device can perform faster check box on the Advanced tab.

usb speed error

Have you run into this problem? How’d you fix it? Did you use a solution not mentioned here? Leave a comment and let us know!

Image Credit: USB Connection Port via Shutterstock

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