The horror - do I have USB 1.0?

Hello people,

I use a Tascam US-224 with N track and often run into a bit of popping and stalling when I have 9 or more tracks running with a handful of effects on them. This has not been an enormous problem for me as I only really mess about writing with bass, guitar and wav file generated by software for drums, but I am sure I should get better performance than I am.

Over the weekend I used a friends USB DVD writer to back up some files and was surprised to receive a message telling me that I am using USB 1.0 so will only get write speeds of 4x on the external USB drive. I brought my laptop PC almost exactly a year ago and just assumed that it would have USB 2.0 as default in that ‘generation’ of computer. The laptop is a HP pavilion ZE4500 with 512 meg RAM (64M eaten up by on board video), and an Athlon 2500 processor.

I am not looking to tweak my laptop all that much at the moment and can live with it’s speed issues, but have a couple of questions about this USB thing.

1. Is there a way to verify if I really have USB 1.0 in case the software I used to burn a CD is not 100% reliable?

2. If I do have USB 1.0 then can I expect much better performance if I buy a PCMCIA card with USB 2.0 ports (assuming such things exist)?

3. Is there another way to upgrade my USB capability?

Any advice at all will be much appreciated.


Mark :)

right-click on "My Computer"
open the “Hardware” tab
click on "Device Manager"
Double-click on "Universal Serial Bus Controllers"

If you see an entry that says “USB 2.0 Root Hub” or something simialr with a “2.0” in it, you are in good shape.

You can buy a PCMCIA(?) USB2.0 card for about $60, I had to get one for the lap-top that I bought 8/2003.

And yes, 2.0 is much faster than 1.0.

Everything you need to know about USB.


  1. Download THIS and it’ll tell you gobs of stuff about your system.

    2) You can add a PCMCIA card to get USB 2.0 capability.

    3) Nope.

    Anyway, I have a Tascam US-122. If I am not mistaken ALL the Tascam USB interfaces run at USB1.0 speeds of 12Mb/s. You are the second guy to post on here with USB problems with HP laptop. Sounds fishy to me. Have you perused the HP support site for any driver updates and such?


    EDIT** From the US-224 spec sheet…

    Connector: USB Down stream connector
    Format: USB Version 1.1
right-click on "My Computer"
open the "Hardware" tab
click on "Device Manager"
Double-click on "Universal Serial Bus Controllers"

When you do that also check for devices in the Universal Serial Bus Controllers "folder" that are question marks. It could be the driver isn't set up (which I've seen many times). Just go to properties on that device, then driver and update driver. Windows should be able to find it on it's own no problem then.