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Old 12-23-2012, 06:33 PM   #1
VirtualLarry
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Default Did the USB3.0 standards people drop the ball on controller standards?

The reason that I'm asking is, there seems to be a number of different USB3.0 controller chips, that each need their own unique driver. (Etron, Renasis/NEC, AMD, Intel, ASMedia, etc.)

Back in the days of USB 1.1 and 2.0, there were standards for the controllers, (OHCI, EHCI, etc.), and a driver written to that standard, would work with any brand controller than was also mfg to that standard. Thus, allowing OS-level USB support in Windows, that was controller brand-agnostic.

Now, I know that Windows 7 does not support USB 3.0 out of the box, and this causes issues for machines that ONLY have USB 3.0 ports, and no optical drive, to install Windows 7 on.

Supposedly, Windows 8 supports USB 3.0 out of the box, but does that simply mean that it includes drivers for all of the prevalent brands of USB 3.0 controllers on the market today, but future USB 3.0 controller hardware might not be supported?

This seems like a gaping hole that the USB 3.0 standards folks should have fixed.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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On a related question, if Intel integrated USB3 into the 7 series chipset, why does it need a seperate USB driver? Why does it not get installed as part of the chipset driver? I can understand a seperate .inf style file for boot applications but thats all.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:44 PM   #3
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Its no different than before. Intel provided a Win95a USB1 driver for the 430 chipsets and a 98-XP SP1 USB2 driver for USB2 8xx chipsets. Only this time there are more players and none of them made a xHCI class driver. Win7's mainstream support doesn't end until 2015 so if a SP2 comes out by then it should include one.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualLarry View Post
Now, I know that Windows 7 does not support USB 3.0 out of the box, and this causes issues for machines that ONLY have USB 3.0 ports, and no optical drive, to install Windows 7 on.
There should (and frequently is) be an option to run those USB3 ports in legacy mode in the UEFI/BIOS if it uses an Intel USB3 controller. If its a 3rd party then you are SOL, and need to slipstream a Windows installation with the required driver...
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by lamedude View Post
Its no different than before. Intel provided a Win95a USB1 driver for the 430 chipsets and a 98-XP SP1 USB2 driver for USB2 8xx chipsets. Only this time there are more players and none of them made a xHCI class driver. Win7's mainstream support doesn't end until 2015 so if a SP2 comes out by then it should include one.
^^ This. People just forgot how it was in the past
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:34 PM   #6
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If its a 3rd party then you are SOL, and need to slipstream a Windows installation with the required driver...
I've done that with a Windows 7 installer... using drivers from all the known (that I knew about at the time) USB 3.0 controllers.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:52 PM   #7
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Its no different than before. Intel provided a Win95a USB1 driver for the 430 chipsets and a 98-XP SP1 USB2 driver for USB2 8xx chipsets. Only this time there are more players and none of them made a xHCI class driver. Win7's mainstream support doesn't end until 2015 so if a SP2 comes out by then it should include one.
I think Microsoft is done with service packs though.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
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For Windows 7 there are no SP2, thats true. But who knows what happens when heads are rolling inside MS.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:07 PM   #9
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Will we see a Windows 7 Second Edition released after Windows 8? We can only pray.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:12 PM   #10
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Will we see a Windows 7 Second Edition released after Windows 8? We can only pray.
Doubtful. If MS is really moving towards a more frequent release cycle that will most likely mean less updates to older software.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:18 PM   #11
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Doubtful. If MS is really moving towards a more frequent release cycle that will most likely mean less updates to older software.
Good luck with that ... corporate customers won't like it. It won't change anything for them, they will buy software that has long support cycle, even if it is generations behind last one.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:18 PM   #12
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Will we see a Windows 7 Second Edition released after Windows 8? We can only pray.
Maybe a rushed Windows 8 SR2 or Windows 9
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:49 PM   #13
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Good luck with that ... corporate customers won't like it. It won't change anything for them, they will buy software that has long support cycle, even if it is generations behind last one.
And I'm sure for servers they'll provide ones, but for workstations that era may be over and those customers may be stuck with Win7 as it until they realize that. With BYOD taking off and everyone but MS pushing out new releases every 6-12mo something has to give and chances are it'll be MS if they want to stay relevant.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:00 PM   #14
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I really don't understand what MS's plans are for the enterprise client OS. Enterprises including mine are only just beginning the epic migration from XP onto Windows 7. There's no way they'll be entertaining Windows 8, especially as it appears to bring nothing to the table for an enterprise.

Productivity users have been lost in the sea of mobile and tablet OS and with Windows 8 the new "Windows", I really think MS should use the foundation of Windows 7 and create a line of enterprise client OS's with that as a starting point. A tablet UI for the enterprise just doesn't work.

I have been waiting for Anandtech's Windows 8 x86 desktop review for a while now and I would have expected an enterprise chapter. I haven't missed this review have I?
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:59 PM   #15
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To get back on topic, there is a standard, just like for USB 1.1 and 2.0, xHCI.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EXtensi...nterface_(xHCI)

New devices are supposed to be compatible with it, and I wouldn't be surprised if at least some older chips can support it.
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