Takeaway: Before you connect a USB device to your Windows XP machine, learn how to determine whether a USB 1.1 or USB 2.0 controller is on your computer.
by Greg Shultz
If you plug a USB 2.0 device into a USB 1.1 port, Windows XP will display a warning message indicating that it will drop back to the slower data transfer speed. (USB 2.0 clocks in with a data transfer speed of 480 Mbits/second to USB 1.1's 12 Mbits/second.) In order to find out what version of USB controller is on a computer before you connect a USB device to it, follow these steps:
1. Press [Windows][Break] to access the System Properties dialog box.
2. Select the Hardware tab and click the Device Manager button.
3. When Device Manager appears, click the + sign next to the Universal Serial Bus Controllers branch.
If you see an entry containing the words Enhanced USB Controller, then the system has a USB 2.0 controller. If you see an entry containing the words USB Controller, the system has a USB 1.1 controller.
Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Professional editions.