Search Google or the Dell forums and you will find many users with this problem. The USB 3.0 port on the XPS laptops fails to operate as a USB 3.0 port. Hopefully this post will help some of you.
A few problems with my XPS 15z laptop. First, plugging a USB 3.0 external hard drive (Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1TB STAA1000101) into the combo USB 3.0/eSATA port results in a balloon popup message telling me the drive can transfer information faster if it's plugged into a Super-Speed USB 3.0 port. So - the USB 3.0 port fails to recognize USB 3.0 drives as USB 3.0. Secondly, the transfer rate is actually faster with this drive through the regular USB 2.0 ports! Both the 2.0 ports transfer files faster than the 3.0 port. I was very precise in my testing and used the same file as a transfer test. I then tested read rates with HD Speed software. I tested a USB 2.0 drive on all 3 ports and then tested my USB 3.0 drive on all 3 ports. I performed the test several times. Here are the results:
USB 2.0 drive in USB 2.0 port 1: 26 MB/sUSB 2.0 drive in USB 2.0 port 2: 26 MB/sUSB 2.0 drive in USB 3.0 port: 30 MB/s
USB 3.0 drive in USB 2.0 port 1: 70 MB/sUSB 3.0 drive in USB 2.0 port 2: 85 MB/sUSB 3.0 drive in USB 3.0 port 1: 31 MB/s
The one thing that's clear from this - a USB 3.0 drive plugged in to the USB 3.0 port does not operate at USB 3.0 speeds. After 86 minutes on the phone with tech support (yes, 86 minutes to the second) and updating all relevant drivers, the problem persists. A new motherboard is being shipped and a tech will be out early next week to replace it. I'll post the results back here when it's done.
I am sure that tech support suggested installing the latest Renesas drivers, but incase they did not, then I certainly suggest doing so, they may improve connection stability and speed. The drivers may be found from the following link.
Please let me know if you have the latest drivers installed and if switching out the system board helps out.
Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices#IWork4Dell
I'm curious if you can uninstall USB 3.0 drivers to downgrade USB 3.0 ports to USB 2.0 functionality?
I've seen USB 3.0 issues reported on laptops w/ completely different mother boards and daughter boards. I don't know what similar components they share. Some have had success w/ daughter board swap; interesting since daughter boards are very different.
I have yet to see this issue reported on a i3 or intel 3000 graphics. Is yours nvidia with i5 or i7?
I have driver version 18.104.22.168 installed. Had previously tried 22.214.171.124, as well as updating chipset drivers and BIOS. The phone tech today gave me a link to the 126.96.36.199 driver. Strange that the current driver version on the Dell site is an earlier one. I haven't notice any connectivity issues as far as disconnects (like others report). For me it's just transfer rate and recognizing a drive as USB 3.0. Tech want to do mobo swap Monday, but that won't work for me. Will have to be later in the week. Again, I will post the results.
NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M, BIOS A06, Intel i5-2410M @ 2.30 GHz. I have not downgraded to USB 2.0. No reason for me to even try that (don't even know if that's just a driver thing).
Same here. I am connecting a 1TB Toshiba Canvio. if connected to eSATA, it works fine except it displays a message at the bottom right of the screen that i have plugged in a usb 3.0 device to a non usb 3.0 port. If i connect it to either usb 3.0 ports, it doesn't detect the external HD but if i plug it in halfway to either ports, it works but the notice at the bottom right again pops up saying that i plugged a usb 3.0 device and it will work faster if i plug into a 3.0 port. i have updated to 188.8.131.52 (R296459) but still same issue persists. I have the XPS15z with i7 2640M just got it last november 2011. Completely wiped out and fresh installed Windows 7 Ultimate 64. everything works fine except this usb 3.0 port issue
Thanks for the info, please let us know if swapping out the system board helps.
Thanks for posting, looks like you have done your troubleshooting. I am going to wait until Jac replies back before suggesting having a service done. If you like though, please shoot me a private message with your contact info and the service tag of the notebook in case we need to set up a service.
I've the exact same problem as Lan Hero for Toshiba Canvio 1TB USB powered HDD. Is there any update on the issue?
I'm using the factory installed Win7 home premium system. I went ahead and installed USB 3.0: Renesas Electronics* USB 3.0 Driver. (184.108.40.206). But that didn't help.
Same here with the toshiba canvio 1TB, however, I did get the drive to work once when I deleted the drivers when I got it to show itself on "devices" window... Then a restart, then when I plugged it in, it installed like a brand new device and worked fine... One thing I did notice tho when it wouldn't show up under computer it was using one .sys file as a driver, and when it did actually work it was using 3 .sys files as drivers... Two of them were disk.sys and part...sys under system32 directory... Can't remember the whole thing.... I will let you know if I get to work again... But yea overall... Help!!!
OK here it is, when plugged in and not showing under computer, but shows under devices, it's using USBSTOR.SYS under system32... When working properly it's using DISK.SYS, PARTMGR.SYS, STDCFLTN.SYS as drivers. The question is once it starts working why does the computer forgets what drivers the HD is using once it's unplugged... Personally I have no idea, any guesses????
Really??? Nothing??? Dell can't solve a connection problem??? Come on guys give me something... I got my boss to buy me a dell and now they're laughing at me...
Ultimately, the reason why is because your drive is pushing drivers every time it's plugged in. Sometimes your system isn't processing the drivers being pushed so it uses the default driver. The real question is.. what's different when you plug it in and it works and when it doesn't.
-- Terry W.
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.” - Edgar Allan Poe
You're right! And to figure that out we need our trusted friends at Dell... I upgraded to renesans 2.1.... Hoping maybe that would make a difference but today I couldn't get my xps to recognize my toshiba canvio not even once... Really frustrating people.... You made a computer that can't use the USB 3.0's that it has.... I don't think the xps knows that it has USB 3.0 ports...
Well your trusted friends at Dell are only going to be able to go by what you tell them. So when you plug in the drive and see it's working make note of things like what programs are open and what you were doing just before you plugged it in. Do this also for when it's not working. It will give you an idea of maybe what is causing it. There are other programs you can use to watch what's going on, but unless you've got some ideas at what you're looking for it wouldn't be useful to have them.
OK the couple of times that I got it to work was when I was using the NEC drivers... And never any programs running because ıt was always after a restart I did because I had uninstalled the drivers before... So it was kind of like this...
Plug it in >> not working >> unplug it >> plug it in >> not working >> open devices and printers >> There it is >> double click and check the drivers >> looks fine, it tells me there's a Toshiba USB 3.0 Device plugged in >> open Computer >> no External HDD >> back to Devices and printers >> double click on the usb 3.0 device >> uninstall/remove the drivers >> restart the computer >> Plug it in and let it find the external drive >> now at this point it always tells me that the drivers can't be installed because the drive was "ejected" (I'm translating from a Turkish windows) >> couple of plug in and unplugs later it might see the drive...
and that's it never any programs running always after a clean restart... USB 2.0 devices work fine, and I'm sure if I could find a USB 2.0 cable for the external HD, it would work fine...
so far that's it, thanks..
Okay.. so do this.. when you see the drive but it's not in my computer do this.. go to disk management (if you have windows 7 or vista you can search for disk management or right click on my computer and select manage, then go to disk management) and look for the drive there. If it's there, you just need to assign it a drive letter by right clicking on the drive and change drive letters and paths... hopefully you can get it from there :)
I will try that as soon as I get home...