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Product: USB2Connect 3100LP
Company: Adaptec
Estimated Street Price: $69.99
Review By: Julien Jay

Card's Design

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Card & Drivers Installation
3: USB 2.0 Explanations & Tests
4: Conclusion

   With more than twenty years of experience in the computer market, Adaptec provides a well designed extension board. The card sports a green PCB and is small in size so it won’t waste valuable space in your computer. The USB2Connect 3100LP offers 4 USB 2.0 ports: 3 USB connectors are on the rear panel of the card while one internal connector is fixed on the board. The Adaptec USB2Connect card is powered by a NEC USB EHCI controller and has received the full USB-IF Hi-Speed Certification guaranteeing USB 1.1/2.0 compatibility and hassle-free operations.

Adaptec USB2Connect 3100LP (click to enlarge)


   Installing the card is painless and will take only a couple of seconds. You simply have to plug Adaptec’s USB2Connect 3100LP into one free PCI slot of your computer. Once it’s done start your computer. Now comes the most delicate step: installing the drivers! 

Drivers Installation

   Here is the problem: none of today Microsoft’s operating systems support natively USB 2.0. When you’ll start your computer with a freshly added Adaptec USB 2 card, Windows will detect only the USB 1.1 features of your card and will tell you it cannot find any drivers for the USB 2.0 controller. That’s why Adaptec provides its own set of drivers for Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows Me and Windows 2000. Installing Adaptec’s drivers on these operating systems is quite simple: you just have to put Adaptec’s CD in your CD drive and let the ‘add new hardware wizard’ automatically installs the right drivers. Once drivers are installed, you’ll have to reboot your computer and you’ll be ready to live a new experience when using new USB 2.0 devices. 

However with Microsoft flagship Windows XP, there’s a small issue. Indeed Adaptec hasn’t released any drivers for this operating system and Microsoft is dragging along to release its official Windows XP USB 2.0 drivers. During the beta test of Windows XP, the announcement that Microsoft won’t provide inbox support for the USB 2.0 was the talk of the town. Microsoft quickly issued a denial stating their USB 2.0 drivers need more testing to ensure they work correctly and that they will release free USB 2.0 drivers once Windows XP will be officially released. Microsoft USB 2.0 drivers were expected to be available the day Windows XP was launched, then for Thanksgiving, now rumors say that those highly awaited drivers might be released sometime in January. Whenever they will be released, the Windows XP Service Pack 1 will offer native support for the USB 2.0. Nonetheless we managed to get our hands on Microsoft’s hot official and final USB 2.0 drivers to test this Adaptec card.


Adaptec USB2Connect 3100LP Windows XP Drivers (click to enlarge)


« Introduction USB 2.0 Explanations & Tests »


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