Highlighted
lLen
1 Copper

Alienware 18 Usb 3.0 ports running at 2.0 speed

Hello,
Recently I bought an External HDD from WD,my passport model,for some backup purposes. However,when I connect it,it doesnt get recognized as connected in SS usb mode,in fact,when i go on PC and Devices settings,it reports "Device can perform faster when connected to 3.0",or when i run a test with Alien Autopsy,it detects it as connected in 2.0 mode. I'm not a computer savvy and I'm really getting puzzled on what may cause this. The USB hub im using came from the HD box and is 3.0 as well,my OS is windows 8.1. Help!


OT question: I noticed on the right side of the notebook a 3.0 port with a bolt symbol to the SS one,what does that symbol mean?

0 Kudos
7 Replies
Alienware-Naomi
4 Ruthenium

RE: Alienware 18 Usb 3.0 ports running at 2.0 speed

Hi!

Do you get the same message if you connect the external HDD to any of the other USB ports on the computer, or have you tried connecting other 3.0 devices to the same USB ports? Please verify this and let me know.

The USB port on the right side with the power bolt has the PowerShare feature, this allows you to charge devices such as cellphones or MP3 players even when the system is turned off, using power from the battery. This feature has to be enabled from the BIOS first.

Alienware-Naomi
Dell | Alienware Technical Support Alienware Arena
#IWork4Dell
Opening your case does not void your warranty! Check out Alienware Artificial Intelligence
I can't always reply to PM's, if you need extra assistance visit: YouTube Logo Facebook Logo Twitter Logo

0 Kudos
lLen
1 Copper

RE: Alienware 18 Usb 3.0 ports running at 2.0 speed

Hello!
thanks for your reply,anyway in the end I found out it was caused by a mistake of mine. I already knew that the 3.0 connectors wants you to plug it deeper in the usb port,but little did I know that if you don't thrust it deeper fast enough,it would be recognized as a 2.0

0 Kudos
Alienware-Naomi
4 Ruthenium

RE: Alienware 18 Usb 3.0 ports running at 2.0 speed

I'm glad to hear it's working! Let me know if you need anything else.

Alienware-Naomi
Dell | Alienware Technical Support Alienware Arena
#IWork4Dell
Opening your case does not void your warranty! Check out Alienware Artificial Intelligence
I can't always reply to PM's, if you need extra assistance visit: YouTube Logo Facebook Logo Twitter Logo

0 Kudos
tedbacc
1 Copper

RE: Alienware 18 Usb 3.0 ports running at 2.0 speed

So having googled the universe and called out premium support who changed my motherboard twice, I've finally diagnosed a solution to my issue which is exactly as titled above, but maybe a different cause as I'm using Win7 and Win10LTSB. Or maybe it is....

So it goes like this.... USB3 stick and any other USB3.0 device is consistently recognised as USB2.1 in only the left rear port..... this happens both in Windows 7 and 10. The strange part was that after a motherboard change it would work fine for an hour or so, then revert back to its defective behaviour.

The port drops back to USB2 speed (and in Win7 would alert that "device will work faster if you put it in USB 3 port") and no amount of driver reinstallation or uninstalling USB drivers fixes anything. Support were very helpful and advised BIOS A12 re-flashing, resetting and Intel USB3 driver updating from the Drivers section of the site. Nada, nothing helped.

And since the exact same symptoms are shown in Win7, fresh Win10 and also latest Ubuntu tests, we all assumed it had to be the hardware that was fried and the entire motherboard had to be replaced.

Which fixed the issue and the port reverted to USB3 for an hour or so.

Using a free utility called USBdeview (goggle it if you want it) shows the following

screenshot.9.jpg

and this is what it should look like when it's recognised as USB3....screenshot.10.jpg

The fact that it's not recognised as a USB 3.0 device is also confirmed by speed tests (which finally annoyed me into launching support calls)

So after many days of pattern diagnostics, I eventually narrowed it down to be caused by a completely unrelated BIOS switch for DMC enable/disable, which should only affect the DMC (Dell Maintenance Card?) which isn't even fitted as far as I know, thus I was disabling it every time I saw that option, before I set the Airplane Mode (Fn+F2/Antenna) to only disable WiFi (my preference as I use BT mouse)

And coincidentally I would only do this once I ensured the system was stable and burned in. Then at some random time later I'd notice my stick was back to USB2.... ;(

Hoping this saves someone some time and frustration....

Otherwise I absolutely love this laptop, it's completely stable and heat has dropped dramatically after applying CoolLaboratory Liquid ULTRA to all mating surfaces. It's tricky but delivers amazing results. I love my Alienware 18 so much I bought an Alienware 13 to travel with !!!

Good luck and have fun!

Moderator
Moderator

RE: Alienware 18 Usb 3.0 ports running at 2.0 speed

tedbacc,

By default, DMC is Enabled in the Bios under Wireless. DMC stands for Digital Media Controller which in this case is the SiBeam WiHD controller. You are saying that setting this to Disabled fixed the USB 3.0 issue? By doing so, you will not be able to stream media to compatible WirelessHD devices.

0 Kudos
tedbacc
1 Copper

RE: Alienware 18 Usb 3.0 ports running at 2.0 speed

Noooo, exactly the opposite. I was turning DMC OFF as I knew it was not used, and that is what turned the port to USB2 only.

So to fix the issue and restore USB3 functionality to LR port, ENABLE DMC

0 Kudos
judal7837
3 Zinc

RE: Alienware 18 Usb 3.0 ports running at 2.0 speed

same problem here with an alienware 15 R1

the problem was since the 1st day... almost 2 years later and no fix at all

my problem is worst than yours. 2.0 inteast of 3.0 and i cant plug any kind of smartphone... usb and external HDD no problem, but i cant plug a smartphone

www.youtube.com/watch

0 Kudos