I’m thinking of purchasing a USB device, but it requires USB 2.0. I can’t find anywhere on my machine that tells me whether or not I have this. How can I tell if I have USB 2.0?
USB (for Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 is a significantly faster version of USB 1.1. Some devices can be quite speed intensive, and hence manufacturers are starting to require the faster connection. Most new machines come with USB 2.0 already built in. But what about an older machine? How do you tell?
It’s easy, just not at all obvious.
The tidbit of information you’re looking for is buried in the device manager:
- Right-click My Computer
- Click on Properties
- Click on the Hardware tab
- Click on the Device Manager button
- Scroll down as needed until you see Universal Serial Bus Controllers
- Expand that by clicking on the boxed plus sign in front of Universal Serial Bus Controllers
At this point you should see something like this:
Note the highlighted line: “Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller”. While the exact text may vary, the key is the word “Enhanced”.
If it’s “Enhanced”, it’s USB 2.0. If it’s not, then it’s USB 1.x.
Now, wasn’t that obvious?
Important: on most machines the presence of “Enhanced”, even only once (which it typically is), means that all USB ports are USB 2.0 ports. Typically a machine will have only one type of port and this tells you which kind they all are.
The one exception to this scenario is a machine with USB 1.1 ports that has a USB 2.0 expansion card added. In this case I know of no way to tell which is which, other than simply knowing you added a USB 2.0 card to a machine with built-in 1.1 ports. Obviously in a case like this, the built-in ports are 1.1, and the added expansion card ports are 2.0.