The front USB ports on my case are definitely USB 2.0. And, they always worked that way until recently. But for the last few weeks, I'm getting the following error message whenever I plug a USB 2.0 device into those ports:
The [insert device name here] is a HI-SPEED USB device and will function at reduced speed when plugged into a non-HI-SPEED port.
It is indeed only working at USB 1.1 speeds, although the device manager on my computer shows all my USB ports as 2.0.
Any ideas on what might be wrong here? This is one of those things that's proving almost impossible to troubleshoot online, as most results just point back to a Microsoft article [support.microsoft.com] that can only recommend upgrading to the latest XP service pack, which I already have.
I get that and I've never tracked down the cause. But when I reboot the laptop all returns to normal. I think one of my USB devices is causing the ports to work at reduced speed. Try a reboot and plug the device that came up with the message first of all.
I checked the BIOS settings and USB 2.0 is enabled. The ports also show up as 2.0 in my Device Manager. I've rebooted many times since this began, but the problem persists with virtually every device I plug in.
I'm wondering if I just need to reinstall the USB drivers, but I kind of hate to do that except as a last resort.
the problem persists with virtually every device I plug in
If any device operates at full speed then the USB drivers are ok (as is the hardware).
Windows has a nasty habit of remembering things that it shouldn't. It is quite possible that it is simply remembering a past problem and dropping down to USB 1.1 as a precaution. I would recommend uninstalling the individual USB devices in the device manager. When you plug the devices back in, reinstallation of drivers should be automatic.
Also, I have seen this problem occur (temporarily) when a USB 1.1 cable is used with a USB 2 device - something to consider maybe.