USB Hub confusion.

  Southernboy 15:01 13 Jan 2005

I have an old PC running W98SE. It has two USB1.1 sockets, to which I have connected a USB2.0 Hard Drive and a USB2.0 Zip Drive. Both work well.

However, I also have a USB1.1 Agfa Scanner which I wish to use, but it is a pain swapping the devices around because it often changes the drive letters for the two external drives which, in turn, causes problems with the backup programs.

So, I have purchased a 4xsocket USB2.0 USB hub, which the shop assured me would work with all my devices, notwithstanding the fact that the PC is USB1.1 and I have a mixture of USB1.1 and USB2.0 peropherals. So far so good.

What confuses me is the USB Hub comes with a power supply, that is to say, a large plug with cable that connects to the hub. Given that all the devices have their own power supply, why does the hub also need one? I was under the impression that, as the PC USB sockets are powered by the PC, and the peripherals each have their own power supply, a further supply to the hub was unnecessary. A friends advises I use the hub without the power supply, but I don't want to do anything that might cause problems. There were no instructions with the hub, nor does it appear to have a maker's name.

Have I bought the wrong thing?

If anyone could clarify this for me, I would be grateful.

  Sethhaniel 15:04 13 Jan 2005

as the computer only powers each USB at a small rate - for the USB hub to work it need to power each additional item plugged into it. ;)

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:17 13 Jan 2005

Printers and modems are often power hungry and would not work in the same haub if unpowered.

Your hub is plugged into a port whih can only deliver 500MA.

the hub has 4 port of its own that's 125ma per port (unpowered).

By powering the hub each port is boosted back to the 500MA per port.

  Diemmess 15:19 13 Jan 2005

A PCI to USB2 card

This is not expensive, and plugged into a slot on your motherboard would make available true USB2 speed to any device plugged into it. I'm thinking of your HD and Zip drive particularly which should show a marked difference in data transferring speed.

  Southernboy 13:36 14 Jan 2005

I now understand. It is so helpful to have access to those who can assist people like me with little knowledge and a great fear of doing the wrong thing!

Diemmess - I regret I have no knowledge of the internal workings of a PC and have no one who could help me. I would be terrified of opening up the case. In any event, I suspect the components of my 1998 PC are obsolete - I was told some time ago my motherboard could not be converted to USB2.

Thank you, again.

  Diemmess 14:29 14 Jan 2005

I do understand your reluctance to open the box, particularly without someone experienced showing you the way.

BUT - If someone can support your adventure, then all you need to do is to plug in to a spare slot (like those already be in use for a sound card or dialup modem).

4 nice new USB2 ports will then be at the back of your computer close to the leads to your speakers or the telephone connection. The drivers that come with a PCI-USB adapter will allow Win98SE to relate and your problem is solved.

You could then plug your hub into one of these new ports and have the full USB2 speed there as well.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:50 14 Jan 2005

click here

shows you how to fit a particular type of card but the principle is the same for all cards.

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