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Old 08-16-2019, 03:13 AM   #1
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Default USB Hub

I think that I need to do some tidying up around my desk and with this in mind I think that a USB Hub would help.

My machine runs USB 2 but I gather that USB 3 is backwards compatible and so I would like to purchase a USB 3 hub. Who knows, I may buy a more up-to-date pc at some stage. I'm not sure what is involved in making my current pc into a USB 3 unit or even if it would be worthwhile.

I think that I will only need a 4 or 6 way hub and am wondering if someone could recommend a good make/model for me.

Whilst having a live thread... again, I have a Seagate Freeagent Desktop Hard Drive that I can't see anywhere when it is connected. The active light is showing but there is no whirring sound. I have tried different USB slots and cables without any joy. Can I assume that it has died?

Many many thanks again to all involved in helping when I ask my questions. It really is very much appreciated.
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: USB Hub

If you mean external USB hubs then yes they are backwards compatible. Exception could always be there from bad makers.

If you wanna just increase USB ports, you could get an internal hub. Like that you might be able to upgrade to up to USB 3.1 if the motherboard supports it; e.g. thru PCIe 3.0 x4 at least to get real high speed on several ports at the same time.

I'm afraid I cannot recommend brands because I don't have actual experience in many. But I am using a Belkin Flex USB2 4-port hub right now and had it for years and it's working great. It's an old USB2 hub so I can't recommend it since you're asking USB3.

As for the Seagate HDD, if you're lucky it could be the case. If all attempts run it fail, you can open the case and connect the real HDD to a computer internally. Maybe you can have access to the SATA ports without opening all of the case, if you're even luckier.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: USB Hub

While it's true that USB 3 is backwards compatible to USB 2, if you plug a USB 3 hub into a computer that only supports USB 2 you will only have a USB 2 hub.

If you want to be able to use the full features of a USB 3 hub, then you will need to add a card to your machine that gives you USB 3 ports. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/FebSmart-Self...gateway&sr=8-5

For the most part, one brand of hub is as good as another. One thing that I would suggest to you when purchasing a hub is to make sure you get one that is powered and comes with a power supply. Non-powered hubs are less expensive but require your computer to supply power for the hub as well as the USB peripherals. Some USB devices draw a lot of power and may exceed what your computer can supply, especially if you need to run multiple USB devices. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/USB-Hub-Charg...87196075&psc=1
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: USB Hub

Thank youSmart Guy and strollin, input is much appreciated.

Looking at the link for the FebSmart USB Card, I presume that this would replace the card that is currently in my machine. Would you be able to offer a little further guidance please. My computer has USB sockets on the back, top and front, how would any new card affect these outlets? Is it possible to buy a card that would convert all of them, I think that there are 6 in total?
Thanks again.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: USB Hub

Those existing USB ports are fixed and can never be converted even by Jehovah Witness Missionaries.


The internal cards are add-ons adding only the ports they provide on them. That's why find the right card with the right number of ports and the right interface to get the right speed. Personally I'd look for a 4-port PCIe x4 USB3.1 card, and that's the max performance to get I could find.


You have a card on your system already? Not sure, but I think it's just an extension bracket connected to the motherboard with a cable thru USB pins. If you mean the hard wired, those are even more fixed and have more faith than the bracket extension. They cannot even be removed.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: USB Hub

Don't think too much about what brand to buy, the differences are not that big. As strollin has already written: make sure to take one with external power supply, otherwise your devices might not get enough power. I personally prefer those, where the power supply is optional: they work fine if you only connect one or two devices and if you need more, you simply connect the cable
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: USB Hub

Right chaps, thanks for all the help. I have been away for a while but am back now and have ordered a powered USB Hub and will give a bit of feedback when I've been using it for a while.

Thanks again, very much appreciated.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: USB Hub

Following on from all of the help given to my question re the USB Hub, I purchased this
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

My question now relates to disconnecting a drive. I have two drives that I use for back-up purposes and they are only ever connected to the pc when the back-up is scheduled to run. Previously I always went to the bottom corner of my monitor and clicked on 'Safely remove hardware etc' before actually disconnecting. My question therefore is, can I simply 'switch off' these drives at the hub without going to the 'Safely remove' option. Is it safe to do this and is it as effective as actually unplugging the drive.

Thanks again for the help and guidance with the hub purchase.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: USB Hub

The main reason for the "Safely remove..." option is to ensure that all data has been written to the disk. If you disconnect too early, you could interrupt some delayed write and could potentially corrupt the data on the disk.

You should be Ok as long as you don't power off the drive the absolute second your backup completes. You want to ensure that all writing has completed. As long as you wait 30 seconds or so after all disk activity ceases, you should be Ok.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: USB Hub

Thank you strollin. I thought that just pulling the plug as it were, could possibly damage the drive. I'm obviously incorrect with that thought.

I tend to 'disconnect' the drive/s simply to limit the chance of it/them becoming corrupted by malware. If it's not connected for the same amount of time that my pc is on, there is less chance of this happening. So, is switching the drive off at the hub as effective as disconnecting it?
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: USB Hub

The thing is, in some instances you cannot tell if something is accessing the drivers connected thru the hub. For example opening a media file with a software that crashes but still keeps hold of the file somewhere in an incompletely closed state where the software seems closed but you can still find it hanging in the Task Manager's tasks. Not a common occurrence, but happens never the less.


Now, there are power/performance states (called policies) for storage that can even protect the external storage from this. There is a policy that enables you to just disconnect the drive without Safely Removing it. There are other policies for otherwise.


To get to those, go to Device Manager (search it literally in Windows search bar to find it), go to storage devices and right click on the drive of which policy you wanna edit. Not sure if policies are saved for later connections after removal. I suggest to make sure of that before taking it for granted in later removals. I'm also not sure if the external device will show there or somewhere else, or the hub itself in the USB controllers' list. In all honesty, hub should automatically enable the direct removal policy by default. External storage devices are meant to be disconnected regularly.


Who knows, maybe that hub of yours has a feature that allows you to just switch the storage off. Check the manual or ask in where you bought it.



Having that said, I personally don't recommend removing a storage device without making sure it's not being accessed or without using the Safe Removal feature to assure that. Sometimes my external devices refuse to disconnect with the Safe Removal feature so I turn off the computer to remove them.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: USB Hub

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart_Guy View Post
The thing is, in some instances you cannot tell if something is accessing the drivers connected thru the hub. For example opening a media file with a software that crashes but still keeps hold of the file somewhere in an incompletely closed state where the software seems closed but you can still find it hanging in the Task Manager's tasks. Not a common occurrence, but happens never the less.


Now, there are power/performance states (called policies) for storage that can even protect the external storage from this. There is a policy that enables you to just disconnect the drive without Safely Removing it. There are other policies for otherwise.


To get to those, go to Device Manager (search it literally in Windows search bar to find it), go to storage devices and right click on the drive of which policy you wanna edit. Not sure if policies are saved for later connections after removal. I suggest to make sure of that before taking it for granted in later removals. I'm also not sure if the external device will show there or somewhere else, or the hub itself in the USB controllers' list. In all honesty, hub should automatically enable the direct removal policy by default. External storage devices are meant to be disconnected regularly.


Who knows, maybe that hub of yours has a feature that allows you to just switch the storage off. Check the manual or ask in where you bought it.



Having that said, I personally don't recommend removing a storage device without making sure it's not being accessed or without using the Safe Removal feature to assure that. Sometimes my external devices refuse to disconnect with the Safe Removal feature so I turn off the computer to remove them.
Thank you for this Smart_Guy, the hub that I purchased has a push button switch next to each of the USB slots, there is also a blue light indicator at the side of each one which goes out when you press the switch.
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