If you plug a USB 2.0 device into a USB 1.1 port, Windows XP will display a warning message indicating that it will drop back to the slower data transfer speed. (USB 2.0 clocks in with a data transfer speed of 480 Mbits/second to USB 1.1's 12 Mbits/second.) In order to find out what version of USB controller is on a computer before you connect a USB device to it, follow these steps:
- Press [Windows][Break] to access the System Properties dialog box.
- Select the Hardware tab and click the Device Manager button.
- When Device Manager appears, click the + sign next to the Universal Serial Bus Controllers branch.
If you see an entry containing the words Enhanced USB Controller, then the system has a USB 2.0 controller. If you see an entry containing the words USB Controller, the system has a USB 1.1 controller.
Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Professional editions.
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Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.