USB port issue


J

Jo-Anne

The beginner's guide to a backup program for my Windows XP SP3 desktop
computer says to always connect the backup USB device directly to a port on
the back of the computer. It emphasizes "Do not use 2-4 port connectors." I
have a 7-port hub connected to one of the USB ports on the back of the
computer. It seems to work OK, in that when I connect the USB drives to the
hub, they show up in Windows Explorer and in the taskbar. Is there any
reason not to use the hub for backing up to the USB drives?

Thank you!

Jo-Anne
 
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B

Bill in Co.

Seems safer to me to go more directly to the source (i.e. the ports on your
computer), rather than going through a hub (which I presume that adds
another layer of software drivers. And for backing up things, "less (in
the path) is more" (i.e. a more direct and safer approach). (That would
be my understanding, but somebody can correct me if I'm wrong here,
however).
 
P

Paul

Jo-Anne said:
The beginner's guide to a backup program for my Windows XP SP3 desktop
computer says to always connect the backup USB device directly to a port on
the back of the computer. It emphasizes "Do not use 2-4 port connectors." I
have a 7-port hub connected to one of the USB ports on the back of the
computer. It seems to work OK, in that when I connect the USB drives to the
hub, they show up in Windows Explorer and in the taskbar. Is there any
reason not to use the hub for backing up to the USB drives?

Thank you!

Jo-Anne

One potential issue with a hub, is power.

First of all, there are a couple kinds of external enclosures.
A 3.5" has its own power supply. It doesn't need to draw power from
the USB port to work. If you wanted to use a USB hub, between the
computer and that kind of enclosure, it should work.

A 2.5" external USB drive, may try to extract the power it needs
to run the hard drive, from the USB bus. A port on the back of the
computer, is good for 500mA. If you use a bus powered hub (i.e.
a hub without its own power supply), then each port on those hubs
is limited to 100mA. If you use a self-powered hub (hub has a
good sized wall wart to power it), then each port should be
capable of 500mA again. I think one self-powered hub I saw, had
something like a 3 amp supply for a wall wart.

If you have any doubts about your USB hardware, then plugging into
the back of the computer is good advice. If you know your external
hub is USB2 capable, and has its own power source, then chances are it
won't have any limitations to speak of. But when hubs cost so little,
there is also the possibility of some junky hubs as well.

Paul
 
J

Jo-Anne

Thank you, Bill and Paul! I just checked my hub, and I think it's OK. It's a
Kensington with its own power supply, which claims to be .6 amp. A good
thing, given that I'm backing up to portable drives, which don't have their
own power supply.

What I read at the user forum for the backup software is that sometimes a
backup will "error out" during a restore from a drive connected to a USB hub
(even if the drive has worked before while connected to that hub) but will
restore well if connected directly to a USB port on the computer.

I'll keep that in mind in case I run into trouble.

Thank you again!

Jo-Anne
 
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