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Could a USB 1.1 hub report as USB 2.0? (too slow to be 2.0)

By Mugsy
Apr 23, 2015
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  1. I just purchased a 7-port "USB 2.0" hub with Power Adapter off eBay to replace a USB 2.0 hub that I lost the power adapter for.

    When I plug it in, Windows 7 claims to detect it as a "USB 2.0 hub" and auto-installs the drivers for it, but when I plugged my webcam into it, I got a message telling me it would "perform better if I plugged it into a USB 2.0 port."

    Suspicious, I tried a few file copy tests to a Flash drive and it took over 2 minutes to copy an 800M file to it (plugged directly into a USB 2.0 port, it took about 58 seconds.)

    I plugged the new hub into the exact same USB 2.0 port my old (unpowered) hub was plugged into (this is a new PC with USB 2.0/3.0 ports. No USB 1.1 ports.)

    Removing the new hub and plugging my old one back in, not only did file copy speed return to normal (58 seconds for an 800M file), but no "speed warning" when plugging my webcam into it.

    So my questions are: 1) Could a USB 1.1 hub incorrectly report it is a USB 2.0 hub? and 2) Could it truly be a USB 2.0 hub and it just installed the wrong drivers? (it's a generic hub and should use the same driver as the other.)

    PS: I plugged the new hub into a USB 3.0 port to see if it had any effect, and the same 800M file copy took over 10 minutes!
     
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    What is the make of the hub? The issue could be with the quality of the hub itself.
     
  3. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 361   +9

    Thanks for the reply.

    No name generic Made in China hub.

    While Windows reports "Installing USB 2.0 hub" when I plug it in, the Device Manager identifies it as only "USB Hub" where my old hub appears as "USB 2.0 hub", so I'm reasonably sure now the hub itself is not 2.0. I've already requested a refund.

    It's annoying that Windows reports it is installing "2.0" drivers for what appears to be a 1.1 hub. Very misleading. Most users (including the retailer) would never know.

    (This is the eBay link.)
     
  4. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,966   +70

    How many ports do you need?
     
  5. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 361   +9

    Without the 7-port hub, I have 4 USB 2.0 ports on the back of the PC for devices like my printer & webcam, and 4 on the front for frequently swapped devices like Flash drives (all ports used.)

    I have 2 free USB 3.0 ports on back plus 1 (out of 2) free USB 3.0 ports up front that I'm saving for devices that need the extra speed (I have an IDE to USB 3.0 adapter in one.)

    So, while I could use my USB 3.0 ports for USB 2.0 devices (and sometimes do out of need), I could really use the extra ports. And if I'm going to buy a new USB 2.0 hub, why buy something with just 3 or 4 only to eventually run out again?

    PS: The eBay seller refunded my money w/o requiring me to return the item.
     
  6. hwertz

    hwertz TS Rookie

    Yup. Just came across this myself. In my case, I got a 4-port hubman a while ago in the store that was USB 2, but it wore out. I just got one mail order (for some ridiculous price like $2.05) and it's USB 1.1 speed. I googled, and found that the hubmen will typically have 1 4-port USB hub chip 05e3:0606 and 7-port ones will have 2 of these chips. Unfortunately, (per Google), the true Genesys 05e3:0606 is a USB2 hub chip, but there are counterfeit 05e3:0606 that are not :oops:. Here's why Windows "lies" (and Linux does too). A few lines from lsusb, then explanation:
    .....
    bcdUSB 2.00
    bDeviceClass 9 Hub
    ...
    bDeviceProtocol 0 Full speed (or root) hub
    ...
    idVendor 0x05e3 Genesys Logic, Inc.
    idProduct 0x0606 USB 2.0 Hub / D-Link DUB-H4 USB 2.0 Hub
    bcdDevice 7.02
    iManufacturer 1 ALCOR
    iProduct 2 USB Hub 2.0
    iSerial 0
    So, this information is not truly detected, it's all burned into a small ROM on the USB device (hub in this case) and read out when the hub is plugged in (I assume at 1.5mbps USB "low speed", since the computer won't know what speeds are supported yet.)
    So, Windows and Linux will claim it's a USB 2 device because of the "bcdUSB 2.00" line; this should be bcdUSB 1.10 on a USB 1.1 device. Furthermore, the manufacturer and product name are just strings, and I think Windows shows them when a device is plugged in... they set iProduct to "USB Hub 2.0", so Windows will show this. (If you wondered how Windows knows you've plugged in a "FropCo XYZ-768" *before* you installed drivers, that's how.) But bDeviceProtocol "Full speed" means USB 1.1 speed (a bit confusingly, 480mbps USB 2 speed is "high speed".) I'm shocked any USB 1.1 chips are still on the market, but I guess...
     
    Mugsy likes this.
  7. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 361   +9

    That explains a lot. Returned the cheap hub I bought off eBay long ago citing my own speed tests, and he refunded me w/o even needing to send the item back. He probably knew.
     

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