Question How to get a proper USB 3.x connect in Windows?

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
15,429
5,633
136
Does anyone know how to get a USB 3.x device to connect to a Windows box consistently at USB 3.x, as opposed to Windows inexplicably downgrading the speed to 2.0?

I was doing a drive clone via USB, I definitely used a USB 3.0 capable port, and Win10 decided to run at USB 2.0. As the transfer was destined to take nearly three hours at that rate, I decided to safe-disconnect the drive, reconnect it in the same Windows session, reboot Windows, then I got USB 3.x connectivity.

Or if my first question isn't possible (I suspect it isn't), is there a way to query Windows to find out what Windows is allowing the device to communicate as?

I'll go have a poke around Device Manager now to see if there are any giveaways about the connecting speed.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,758
8,008
126
Windows, I suspect, is fine. Your hardware on the other hand, might tend to look at it.

(Windows has never down-graded a connection on me to USB2.0, unless my physical USB port isn't making proper contact with the USB3.0 pinout pins, which are a secondary recessed set of pins in the socket.)

Since you are normally dealing with "older" systems, I strongly suspect dirty / damaged contacts in your case.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
6,460
996
126
VL is right, usually it's device's problem. What devices are you talking about?

Did you search its average performance reviewed by other users on the internet?

There is a USBTreeView utility that shows USB device's spec and connection info. But I don't know if it really helps.


USB flash drives performance usually sucks, even if it's labled USB 3.0

USB 3.0 flash drives that have good/great performace are expensive.

Buy SSD/NVMe drives and put them in USB 3.x enclosures might be a better option.
 
Last edited:

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
15,429
5,633
136
Windows, I suspect, is fine. Your hardware on the other hand, might tend to look at it.

(Windows has never down-graded a connection on me to USB2.0, unless my physical USB port isn't making proper contact with the USB3.0 pinout pins, which are a secondary recessed set of pins in the socket.)

Since you are normally dealing with "older" systems, I strongly suspect dirty / damaged contacts in your case.
Wow, really? I've seen it across loads of systems. It's not common, but it's definitely a common enough concern that I check the throughput in Task Manager.

Based on what I just found on this page:
In Win10, going in to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and other devices, the HDD enclosure is currently showing up as "connected to USB 3.0", but I don't know if it would say that even if it's running at USB 2.0.

@mxnerd I'm currently using a USB-powered HDD enclosure, but I'm sure I'll have seen it with my mains-powered enclosure as well, and likely USB 3.0 capable flash drives. I haven't felt sufficient reason to keep track of which devices have had problems on which systems.
 
Last edited:

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
6,460
996
126
You need to find out what HDD drive model it is and look for it's spec from HDD vendor. By the way, HDD is slow.

And there is a huge diffrence between transfering a big file vs many small files.

Get some disk utilities

Also make sure the mobile drive is connected to USB 3.x port. Plug into different ports to test.
 
Last edited:

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,758
8,008
126
In Win10, going in to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and other devices, the HDD enclosure is currently showing up as "connected to USB 3.0", but I don't know if it would say that even if it's running at USB 2.0.
Is the actual problem, one of effective throughput, or Windows explicitly popping up a notification in the corner, that "the device may perform better connected to a USB 3.0 port".

If it's the latter, your device or socket contacts may be b0rked, if both device and host port are rated for USB 3.0 (blue).

If it's the former, then it's probably just the device performance itself.

It could be a lack of power to the port, as well.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
6,460
996
126
I tested my 2TB Transcend 2.5" 5400rpm HDD drive

connected to USB 2.0 port
Untitled.png

connected to USB 3.0 port
Untitled2.png
 
Last edited:

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
15,429
5,633
136
@mxnerd

It's a Samsung 870 EVO :) It's going as fast as the HDD will let it during the clone process now that it's working on USB 3.0. When I noticed the problem it was doing about 25MB/sec, after I reconnected the enclosure I'm getting >100MB/sec.

@VirtualLarry

No notification, just USB 2.0 throughput.

In connection to my earlier idea, I connected my USB 3.0 flash drive to a USB 2.0 hub, and Settings > Devices says that it could go faster if it was connected to a USB 3.0 controller. I'll try to remember for the foreseeable future to check Settings > Devices to see whether the enclosure is believed to be working at USB 3.0 then run the transfer and see what happens. If that's the best case scenario I can hope for, it's still quicker than starting the transfer and having to stop it later.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
6,460
996
126
Nice. sometimes the USB cable won't contact correctly on the plug. Some wiggling might just fix it.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY