USB backward compatibility

By jibjab ยท 5 replies
Oct 2, 2006
  1. Good day and thanks for your help. Most every external HDD is USB 2.0, and backward compatible with USB 1.1. My friend has an old Gateway Windows 98 first edition that's ready to die. I'm trying to find an external HDD that will not only work with 98 first edition, but also USB 1.0. Any suggestions? She wants to wait for Vista before upgrading, but I'm not sure she has that much time left in the current computer. Thanks.
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    As far as I`m aware a usb 2.0 drive will work with both usb1.0 and usb1.1. It`ll just be slow, but should be backwards compatible with all previous versions of usb.

    See HERE.

    Regards Howard :)
  3. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    I second that. USBs are backwards/forwards compatible to any other usb device, except a few odd ones here and there. The connection speed will just revert to the lowest possible speed, and it won't supply power like 2.0 would (i think).

    For windows 98, you may need to install the drivers that came with the external HDD to get it to work.

    If you're up to it, i'd suggest purchasing a HDD enclosure kit and an IDE HDD seperate (size is up to you). That way if the USB on the enclosure doesnt work with that particular PC then you can just pull it apart and plug in the HDD directly on an IDE channel inside the PC (slaved of course). Then put it back into the enclosure and plug it into the USB of the new PC etc..
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Any USB drive that has drivers for Windows 98SE, will work with FE as well. They'll even work with Windows 95 r2 ;)
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    the USB 1.1 spec was adopted so quickly that there are few devices that are
    purely USB 1.0 AND the 1.1 will still support that as well
  6. jibjab

    jibjab TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks again for all your help. What a great forum, helpful and fast! Time to shop hard drives.
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