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How do I upgrade my old USB port to USB2.0?

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How do I upgrade my old USB port to USB2.0?

Postby bsulliva on Tue May 13, 2003 12:53 am

Hello all.

I'm a novice in the land of CD burning so be gentle.

I have an IBM Thinkpad T22 running Windows ME which is a couple of years old now so I'm assuming my only USB port is 1.1 at best. I need a CD burner for creating CD photo albums and backing up my hard drive files. I like the idea I've seen in a couple of postings where you hook up an external enclosure to a laptop that houses an internal burner.

Question is, how do I get from USB 1.1 to a position where I can use a SUB2.0/Firewire device? Assuming you're USB2.0 compliant, do these enclosures then connect to a laptop via the USB2.0 port?

I've seen a couple of PCMCIA adapter cards that might do the trick - can anyone recommend some good ones, particulary those that support USB2.0 and Firewire? Are there any other options or is PCMCIA the only way ahead?

Many thanks for your patience,

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Postby Boone on Tue May 13, 2003 1:15 am

Yeah, you'll need a PCMCIA card to get USB2.0. Take a look at newegg and see what they offer (I can't suggest anything based on not having first-hand knowledge).

Remember, there's also USB2.0 CD-RW drives out there that can be purchased (and will resort to 4x if plugged into a USB 1.1 slot). External cases that have an ATAPI->USB2.0 (or Firewire) aren't cheap.


edit: Look at the PR that came out today!
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Postby Nibbler on Fri May 16, 2003 7:09 pm

Adaptec makes a couple of good products.

High-speed 2-port USB 2.0 CardBus Adapter.


2-port USB 2.0 and 1-port FireWire combination card.

Both are reliable.
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Postby bsulliva on Fri May 16, 2003 7:37 pm

Thanks for the advice!
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Postby KCK on Fri May 16, 2003 9:37 pm


Sometimes USB 2.0 PC Cards don't work with certain controllers:


Hence it would be safest to get a PC Card from IBM. However, IBM doesn't seem to be offering combo USB 2.0/FireWire cards; a quick search only found IBM Cardbus USB 2.0 for $99:

http://www-132.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/store ... &storeId=1

and IBM Cardbus FireWire for $49.99:

http://www-132.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/store ... &storeId=1

On the other hand, this SIIG combo for $52.56 looks attractive:

http://www.neutronexpress.com/prod.cfm/ ... SX_1000BLX

This is just an example; use Google to find others.

Dell was also offering a combo card a month or two ago; however, I can't find it right now. In the Dell Talk forum

http://delltalk.us.dell.com/supportforu ... d=inspiron

you could search the PC Card Peripherals and USB/IEEE-1394 boards for messages from SpeedStep, who used to include a relevant link.

Of course, getting a combo card and a combo external enclosure provides more versatility, but the combined price increase is considerable. Further, in practice there are significantly fewer complaints about FireWire cards than USB 2.0 cards. Hence, unless you really need the extra versatility, I would recommend sticking to FireWire.
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Postby lightningbaron on Sat May 17, 2003 8:51 pm

bsulliva - I used to have an IBM ThinkPad T22, but now have an IBM ThinkPad T23 (WinXP Pro), I am using BusLink's USB 2.0 Cardbus for Notebook (4 USB 2.0 ports) without issues, I usually attach the Sony DRX-500UL to do data backup.

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