Windows 7 Win 7 is offering to help - not


TechSpot Chancellor
The attached screen dump clip0001 shows that Win7 is suggesting I have 8 USB ports free - there are in fact only 6 on the PC, and four are in use. It also says my USB attached drive (Seagate Freeagent Desktop 320Gb) can work faster, but testing with HD tune says the device works at 30MB/s which to me seems just as it always was, and much the same as it was on my previous XP pro PC.

I just realised that I never installed any driver software on the Win 7 PC, so I have done that, with zero performance change of course. The second screen dump clip0002 is of device manager, telling me I have one USB2 enhanced port. My questions are: Have I actually got the device plugged into a USB 2 port, and if not how can I tell which is which?



Ex Tech Spotter
This is my best guess interpretation based on what I've seen/read about Windows over time

> Your snapshots show you have one USB2 Controller

> Windows' use of the word "port" in the DevMgr screen shot of "Unused Ports" is misleading. These are NOT the external USB ports you see on your computer. Rather, these are the connections the USB2 Controller can support via its Root Hub (all of this is on the motherboard)

This is easier to visualize if you use USBView for Windows. With USBView you see them as numbered locations. Note the screen shot from my computer also shows 8 "locations" two of which are connected.

> I believe the connection between external USB ports and the USB controllers on the m/b are not fixed but a dynamic decision Windows makes. USB2 devices should end up connected to a USB2 controller. Not sure why this isn't your case :(

p.s. You can also see a quick view of which devices are connected to which controllers using Device Manager. Click View->Devices By Connection, expand ACPI devices then the PCI bus to view how everything connects to it.
Devices By Connection.jpg

/* EDIT */
It's more likely the chipset drivers and h/w that are supposed to make that USB2 port to USB2 controller decision?


TechSpot Chancellor
Your tip about viewing devices by connection is the answer for me. Thank you. I would never have found that by myself, but now I know that the one USB2 host controller is indeed supporting the Seagate FreeAgent drive as I thought it must be.
Quite why Win 7 thinks I should disconnect the drive and plug it into another connector is beyond mere human understanding......
Checking out USBview too.