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Upgrading USB 1 => 2.0

By techedge ·
Is it possible to upgrade a notebook from USB 1.1 to 2.0? Is this hard/firm/software? I'm on a Thinkpad a22p and didn't find anything helpful at IBM, er, Lenovo website ....

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Simple answer is no it can not be done

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Upgrading USB 1 => 2.0

The only possible way of doing this short of changing the LT is to buy a PCMCIA USB 2 card and use that.

The USB ports in your existing LT are hardware controlled and are not convertible in the normal sense of the word. If you could get a new M'Board to fit in the case that would be one way but the only real alternative is to go with a USB 2 PCMCIA card if you have that option and don't have every PCMCIA slot filled. It is also a cheap way around the problem as I think from memory that a 4 Port USB 2 PCMCIA Card is around $40.00 AU which is a lot cheaper than a replacement LT.

Incidentally if you want to ask a question there is the Tech Q & A section where you will get a faster response to your questions and whenever anyone replies you'll get an auto generated notification of the reply instead of a 3 hour delay between notifications through the Discussion Forums that you are subscribed to.


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by techedge In reply to Simple answer is no it ca ...

Thanks for the info. I tried a PCMCIA => 2 port USB 2.0 card purchased at Circuit City. It was less than successful. Install was simple enough, but it would not recognize any devices including the camera that is driving my attempts. It also produced "severe technical errors" or similar Windows language --really nasty screens that are clearly not Windows standard! From some additional reading, I find that these thing are pretty flaky in general and my results were hardly unusual.

Can you recomend a specific card?

Alternatively, would there be a chance that (OK, I'm desperate now) flash upgrading my BIOS would add support for USB 2.0?

I'll move future posts to the Q&A section; the distinction eluded me .... thanks again.

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If you Flash the BIOS

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

You'll get a newer version of BIOS which no doubt some improvements but you'll still have USB 1 Ports which should be fast enough for a Camera.

Which version of Windows are you using and how much RAM is in the LT?

As on my LT I haven't had any problems with any PCMCIA Card that I've slotted into the ones I've had over the years. I currently have a REPOTEC 4-port USB 2.0 which I carry around with my LT just to save needing to carry a USB Hub and haven't had a problem with it as yet although I'll admit that I don't use it all that much only when I'm on site somewhere and require some extra USB ports from the 3 that come with the LT when I'm at home or in the office I use Powered USB Hubs for the extra USB devices that I run. About the only place where you will notice a real difference is with a USB external HDD and large Data Files being transfered it will be quicker on a USB 2 over a USB 1 but for just about everything else there will hardly be a noticeable difference.


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XP Pro

by techedge In reply to If you Flash the BIOS

with 500 MB of RAM. The interface to my LT (presuming Lenovo Thinkpad here) doesn't quite cut it to my Canon Digital Rebel. It just cuts out and quites intermittently. Whereas on my Toshiba Satellite with USB 2.0, the interface performs flawlessly. You mention you have a LT and are using a REPOTEC 4 PORT USB 2.0 PCMCIA card -- does your LT already have USB 2.0 and you're just using the card for more USB slots ... or is the LT USB 1.0 and the card does the magic to get you to 2.0. That's the puppy I'm looking for: a PCMCIA card that will work in my LT to get my USB 1.0 => 2.0 ... Is that so wrooooonnnnggggggg???? <g> ...

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My LT is or was new in December

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to XP Pro

After a minor accident with a big excavator and the LT sitting on a track when the excavator unexpectedly moved far enough to squash the LT.

It's got all USB 2 ports on it 3 standard along with a Fire Wire port as well just for good measure the PCMCIA Card is only for on site work where I need the extra USB sockets but I did use one of these on an older IBM think Pad without any reported problems. I was getting reports that the devices could perform faster when they where plugged in so it must have had USB 1 ports on it and the USB 2 PCMCIA Card seemed to work as I haven't heard any complaints as yet from the owner but I did update every driver in the LT while I had it here.

With W2K or XP I've never run across a problem with PCMCIA Cards and the old LT had USB 1 ports in it and I used a USB 2 PCMCIA cards when required without a problem for external HDD's that I carry with me. With each of these systems I've never had to load a Propriety Driver I've just gone with the ones in Windows and they seemed to have worked OK.

Of course with 98 there where numerous USB problems associated with that OS. It was even possible to trash the OS by just installing a USB driver, I've done that a few times but that was all with 98 or 98SE.

But other than Modems I have never run into any problems. A few of the Cable companies here refuse to use USB connections between ADSL Modems and computers they have had too many problems with that interface so they insist that you use the RJ45 connection to access the Modem.


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What OS are you running?

by TheChas In reply to Upgrading USB 1 => 2.0

The core hardware should be able to handle a PCMCIA USB card.

Are you running Windows 98 or 2000?

I believe for Windows 2000, you need to be at either SP3 or SP4 in order to have USB 2 support.

As to a BIOS flash, that "might" get you past any kind of hardware conflict that is getting in the way of using the PCMCIA card. But, won't in and of itself get you to USB 2.0.

For safety's sake, do NOT flash the BIOS unless the list of fixes includes your problem.


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XP Pro

by techedge In reply to What OS are you running?

I'm on XP Pro SP2. Just looking for a *compatable* PCMCIA card that will get me to USB 2.0 ... I hear you about the BIOS flash; that's why I haven't done it; couldn't find anything about upgrading USB in the notes ...

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