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PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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USB HCI Issues

In addition to the standard they support—OHCI, UHCI, or EHCI—USB host controllers vary in how well they are implemented. Early host controllers from all manufacturers, including Intel, have numerous bugs and incompatibilities, which may manifest in various ways, from minor performance glitches to a complete failure of the USB to recognize devices.

It is important to be aware of the particular host controller your system uses. That information can save you trouble when you are attempting to connect various devices to your system, and may even help you avoid buying a new USB device that has known incompatibilities with your existing configuration. In general, HCI issues are independent of operating system. That is, an HCI that has problems under Windows 9X is likely to have the same or similar problems under Windows 2000/XP and Linux.

Here are details about some of the USB host controllers you are likely to encounter:

ALi chipsets

Although we do not have extensive experience with ALi chipsets, there have been enough reported problems that we consider USB support to be suspect. When configuring an ALi-based system to use USB, we recommend updating the main system BIOS to the most recent available, installing the latest chipset drivers, disabling ACPI and power management in BIOS, and setting the BIOS PnP OS? option to No. In Windows, replace the ALi USB Host Controller with the Windows Standard OpenHCI USB Host Controller, and disable USB error detection (for Win98 ...

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