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Which USB 2.0 cards for old motherboards

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Reply 20 of 149, by Totempole

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swaaye wrote:

I just want to use it for storage. USB 1.1 is so slow. Can you guys post photos of your cards that do work on 1997-1999 boards?

The card that I have is some ultra cheapie with a VIA VT6212L but it simply doesn't work on chipsets before 2000-2001. My guess is the controller isn't the problem, the card's construction is.

Funny... I have that exact card and it works ok on my 440BX system with Win98SE. I bought one a few weeks ago on eBay for $3.00. Speeds are erratic, but it definitely works.

My Retro Gaming PC:
Pentium III 450MHz Katmai Slot 1
Transcend 256MB PC133
Gigabyte GA-6BXC
MSI Geforce 2 MX400 AGP
Ensoniq ES1371 PCI
Sound Blaster AWE64 ISA

Reply 22 of 149, by smeezekitty

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RacoonRider wrote:

Cards on NEC chipset are known to work, that's what Russian retrocomputing forums suggest. Cards on VIA chip sets never worked for me.

That is strange. The VIA card seems to be atleast picked up even my 486 board

Reply 23 of 149, by RacoonRider

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smeezekitty wrote:
RacoonRider wrote:

Cards on NEC chipset are known to work, that's what Russian retrocomputing forums suggest. Cards on VIA chip sets never worked for me.

That is strange. The VIA card seems to be atleast picked up even my 486 board

And 3 other VIA cards prevented the system from posting on my 430HX motherboard 😀 Hit and miss?

Reply 24 of 149, by smeezekitty

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I don't think I have a 430 based board to try right now. But I managed to get the VIA USB card working in DOS! (http://www.pcxt-micro.com/dos-usb.html)
On my 486 board. Maybe some chipsets or implemented poorly? Or a BIOS bug? Who knows but it does sure seem to be hit or miss
but obviously some boards before '99 work

Reply 26 of 149, by shamino

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I'm a little late, but just to weigh in I had issues with VIA USB on a super socket-7 machine. I don't remember if the problem was with onboard USB, or if it was an addon VIA USB 2.0 card.
It could run a mouse but that's about it. Any long operation like transferring files or running a printer would fail. Don't remember if it locked up or what the symptom was exactly.

I replaced it with an NEC card which was chosen based on the newegg reviews at that time, and it solved the problem completely. This was on a Tyan S1590, VIA MVP3 chipset board. I don't know what the PCI spec of that board is, but it's from 1998.

This is the info from the card that I had typed in my old notes:

Koutech "Hi-Speed USB 2.0 PCI Host Controller" PU520
5-port USB 2.0 (1 internal)
complies with OHCI and EHCI
NEC chipset:
NEC
D720101GJ
0415PPA10
PCB markings:
04V0 94V-0 0428
E119801
sticker on back of PCB:
PCI USB2.0 4+1 PORT CARD
WITH NEC CHIPSET
<barcode> *9200000799*

Reply 27 of 149, by Jorpho

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I was using a VIA VT6212L in my TUSL2-C for a while and it was often problematic, giving me bluescreens in Windows 2000 whenever I tried to disconnect an external hard drive. Then one day the PSU suddenly died, and after that the computer wouldn't even POST while the card was plugged in.

I think I have a NEC now and it's been problem-free.

Reply 28 of 149, by swaaye

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shamino wrote:

I'm a little late, but just to weigh in I had issues with VIA USB on a super socket-7 machine. I don't remember if the problem was with onboard USB, or if it was an addon VIA USB 2.0 card.
It could run a mouse but that's about it. Any long operation like transferring files or running a printer would fail. Don't remember if it locked up or what the symptom was exactly.

VIA USB 1.x was troublesome for many devices. Though can't lay all the blame on VIA. A lot of motherboards were poorly/cheaply built back then and it caused all sorts of problems.

Reply 29 of 149, by NJRoadfan

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Odd, I had no problem with a VIA USB 2.0/Firewire combo card that I got on clearance from CompUSSR. Windows 2000 autodetected it without a problem on my 440BX machine.

Reply 30 of 149, by swaaye

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NJRoadfan wrote:

Odd, I had no problem with a VIA USB 2.0/Firewire combo card that I got on clearance from CompUSSR. Windows 2000 autodetected it without a problem on my 440BX machine.

Yup as has been said it's quite hit or miss for some reason. I have a feeling some cards are not built for good compatibility and that it's not necessarily the controller's fault. It could also be that some motherboards are pickier.

The VIA VT6212L card that I have is some of that nearly-free Chinese engineering so who knows. 😉

Reply 31 of 149, by NJRoadfan

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Correction, the card was purchased at Radio Shack of all places. Part # 25-3323.

http://www.radioshack.com/graphics/uc/rsk/Sup … 03323_PM_EN.pdf

Reply 32 of 149, by borgie83

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I use this a Startech USB 2 PCI 6 port card and it works beautifully on my SE440BX-2 motherboard running windows 98 se.

http://www.startech.com/Value-6-Port-USB-20-P … ard~PCI625USB2I

The drivers are available for download from the website above. If you have any trouble using usb sticks, you can always use the universal usb drivers found here:

http://www.technical-assistance.co.uk/kb/win9 … age-drivers.php

The universal drivers work great and detect almost everything I connect. Don't seem to work with USB 3.0 sticks though but that's to be expected given the age of windows 98.

Reply 33 of 149, by borgie83

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I just realised that the card I mentioned above has been discontinued so you may have a little trouble getting a hold of one.

I also own 2 of these (below) but haven't tested them yet. Judging from all the positive reviews though, you shouldn't have an issue.

http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-Port-Card- … eywords=pciusb7

Reply 34 of 149, by Logistics

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Could have sworn I saw a few PCI USB 2.0 cards at my local place with Texas Instruments chipsets. What about those?

Are there any ISA cards to add at least USB 1.0/1.1?

Reply 35 of 149, by smeezekitty

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Logistics wrote:

Could have sworn I saw a few PCI USB 2.0 cards at my local place with Texas Instruments chipsets. What about those?

Are there any ISA cards to add at least USB 1.0/1.1?

This is the only reference to ISA USB I have ever found http://www.simtec.co.uk/products/EB1161ISA/gallery.html
But it seems unobtainium

Reply 37 of 149, by swaaye

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I messed around with that VIA VT6212L card some more last night (photo on page 1). It turns out that with the ASUS K7M (AMD 751 + VIA 686A) it is detected in some PCI slots, but other cards don't always get along with it and can cause it to not be detected. And, even as the only PCI card installed, it locks up Windows when I try to plug a USB device into it. I also had a Windows protection error on one boot up. I get the feeling that it is doing evil things to PCI.

So that card is going into the recycle bin and I await the arrival of the NEC-based card.

Reply 39 of 149, by swaaye

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Logistics wrote:

What version of Windows are you running?
Did you try assigning it an IRQ in the BIOS?

98SE. The BIOS reports the card having 3 IRQs for 3 USB controllers. I guess that puts it as 2+2+1 for its USB ports to controllers.

I also tried disabling the mobo USB and all other unneeded ports so I don't think it is a IRQ conflict issue. It was the only PCI card in the system too. The card just seems out of spec with its PCI operation and causes problems. When I plugged a USB HDD into it the system slowed to a crawl. My thought was maybe the USB card caused some problems for the VIA PCI-based IDE controller.

The one time I got it to be detected with my Intel Pro 100 and Vortex 2 cards installed, I got a Windows protection error during boot.

Whatever the deal is, it is very touchy. Not worth the effort.