USB and USB 2.0 (is USB 2.0 backwards compatible?)
Thread poster: Joanne Parker

Joanne Parker  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:03
German to English
Feb 20, 2004

Following on from (and related to) my other thread about protection about power cuts, can you tell me if I can use USB 2.0 devices on my Dell, which definitely doesn't have USB 2.0?

I recently bought a USB 2.0 hub to fit into my PC, which should have been easy to install. It was, but resulted in a plug and play configuration error and my Windows 2000 blue-screening on me, for the first time since I bought it 3 years ago. I don't have the time or the inclination to start messing around with PCs at operating system level to sort out the config error, and will upgrade my hardware in a year or so's time.

If anyone can tell me if the new range of USB 2.0 devices are backwards compatible, I'd really appreciate it. Searches on the Internet have never really cleared this one up for me.



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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:03
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
You should be able to do so Feb 20, 2004

I´m using a new Canon scanner with USB 2.0 with my PC, which only supports USB 1.1 (or 1.2, I´m not sure), and it wokrs perfectly well.
The only limitation you have is the speed. The new USB 2.0 standard is much faster.

Kind regards

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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:03
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
USB 2.0 is downwards compatible Feb 20, 2004

However, Windows XP brings up a warning that a high-speed USB device has been attached to a low-speed port. I don't know if 2000 was trying to do the same thing. I got so fed up with this message on my old computer that I bougt a USB 2.0 PCI card and installed it quite easily (had to get the Windows XP service pack 1 though). I wanted the extra speed for my external harddisk - and what a difference it made (USB 2.0 is nominally 40 times faster than USB 1.0).

If you only have a 2.0 hub, perhaps it is worthwhile swapping it for the 1.0 version.

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Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 10:03
German to English
Yes Feb 20, 2004

Hi Jo

They should all be backwards-compatible - I get that same error (mentioned above) when I connect my USB 2.0 iPod to my computer, but i ignore it and it still works

Will call you soon, I promise!

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Marcos Broc  Identity Verified
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
Possible driver issue / Windows Update Feb 20, 2004

There are some issues with USB devices on XP and 2000. It may not be your case, but you should make sure you have installed any Windows Update with the word USB on its headline. You can find those updates on the Microsoft website.

In addition to that, USB connections tend to be slightly more fault-prone than other technologies. Test the hub on somebody's machine. My digital camera USB port stopped working when I plugged it to my recently installed XP. I had to return it and got a new camera.

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