Users who have confirmed the presence of USB 2.0 controllers in their systems have reported that USB 2.0 devices plugged into the systems mount as 1.1 devices no matter what.

While this is frustrating, even more frustrating is the Device Manager showing that the 2.0 controllers appear to be installed correctly -- they show up as "USB Enhanced Host Controller" devices or "Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller" devices. A USB 2.0 device, when plugged in, may produce a pop-up balloon that reads, "This device can perform faster."

That happens if the device was, for whatever reason, incorrectly enumerated during Windows setup. One way to avoid that when setting up Windows on a new machine is not to install any USB 2.0 devices or controllers until after installation is complete and you have applied all relevant fixes and service packs. If you're dealing with a pre-loaded version of Windows, though, this usually isn't an option.

Here is one way to work around the problem. Remove all USB device entries from the Device Manager and force them to be redetected. Then, follow these nine steps:


  2. Obtain a PS/2-interface mouse and keyboard. Shut the machine off and plug those in, as this will prevent any problems that occur when you disable USB devices and then suddenly lose keyboard/mouse support. (If you use a PS/2 keyboard/mouse already, then you can continue normally.)


  3. Do

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  1. not unplug or remove any of your normal USB devices, including any USB controllers.


  2. Boot the system in Safe Mode by pressing F8 at boot time.


  3. Open the Device Manager by right-clicking on My Computer and selecting Manage, then expand the Device Manager from the left-hand tree.


  4. Expand the "Universal Serial Bus Controllers" tree in the right-hand pane.


  5. Remove each device in turn by right-clicking on it and selecting Uninstall.


  6. After you remove all USB devices, shut down the computer and replace the USB keyboard and mouse (if you were using them).


  7. Reboot normally. The system will then redetect and re-enumerate all USB devices, which may take a few minutes.


  8. After everything is reinstalled, plug in a high-speed USB 2.0 device and make sure it works normally.

Please let us know how useful you find this tip by rating it below. Do you have a useful Windows tip, timesaver or workaround to share? Submit it to our monthly tip contest and you could win a prize! 


Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter. Check it out for the latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- and please share your thoughts as well!


This was first published in September 2005

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