I feel silly asking such a simple question—I can build a computer blindfolded, but from time to time I shock myself at the little things I haven’t learned: If I buy a USB-powered headset and install a Sound Blaster card on my motherboard, will my headset take advantage of the soundcard even though it’s plugged into a USB port (and not directly into the card)?
I have a problem booting from my Windows XP installation disc. When I installed Windows XP for the first time, I didn’t have any problems. I could see “press any button to boot from CD,” and pressing the button would start the installation process. As soon as Windows XP is installed, I reboot and I see “press any button to start from CD,” but nothing happens when I press a button, and it loads Windows from the hard drive, not the installation CD. It looks like the keyboard isn’t recognized.
I have a Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI motherboard and a Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 videocard. My processor is an AMD 64 X2 4800.
See the solution to Vitaliy's problem after the jump.
Last week, Corsair announced its new 128GB Voyager flash drive, a super-capacious thumb drive with a super-high price tag ($400). At the exact opposite end of the spectrum, OCZ today announced a new line of USB flash drives, dubbed Zee, aimed at users on a tight budget.
"Designed for the consumer on the go, the compact Zee is an economical USB drive that makes it easy to transfer images, multimedia, and essential data between multiple computers," commented Alex Mei, CMO of OCZ. "The Zee is designed to be affordable to the complete range of consumers, and is available in large capacities up to 16GB yet is both lightweight and compact so that it is highly portable."
In addition to 16GB, the Zee is also offered in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB capacities. Other details remain sparse, including rated transfer speeds, price, or availability.
Whenever we receive a press release from iBuyPower, we expect it to detail the boutique system builder's latest gaming PC, but that isn't the case today. Instead, IBuyPower today announces the its proprietary USB Internal Expansion System, otherwise known as an IES Controller.
So what exactly does it do? According to iBuyPower, the IES Controller "enhances control and boosts power to front panel USB ports and add-ons like card readers." It does this by connecting your front panel ports directly to your system's power supply, making it possible to deliver more juice to power hungry peripherals.
In addition to supercharging your front panel ports, the IES Controller also adds an internal USB port that iBuyPower says can be used for storage expansion with a flash drive or for adding a USB wireless router. Or hook up a Bluetooth module to the IES to free up a front panel USB port and sync up with your mouse, keyboard, printer, or other Bluetooth device.
For the time being, the IES is only available with the purchase of a new iBuyPower PC as a $14 add-on, or $24 with Bluetooth capabilities. No word on whether or not the OEM plans to sell the item as a standalone part.
All of a sudden we feel woefully inadequate waving around our 16GB and 32GB thumb drives. That's because Corsair on Thursday launched what it claims is the the world's fastest high capacity USB flash drive, the 128GB Flash Voyager GT.
"High performance is a key requirement for super-high capacity flash drives, such as the 128GB Voyager GT, simply because it is able to store such a large volume of data," said John Beekley, the VP of Applications at Corsair. "The 128GB Voyager GT is nearly twice as fast as other high-capacity flash drives, which means less time waiting for your music, video, or office files to copy to and from the drive."
According to Corsair, the MLC-based drive can hit read speeds of up to 32MB/s and write speeds of up to 25.6MB/s thanks to the Voyager's dual-controller architecture. The company also says you're more likely to run into bottlenecks with your USB 2.0 bus or OS system overhead before the drive loses its pep.
All that speed and capacity doesn't come cheap, however. The 128GB Voyager GT is available now with a street price of around $400.
Intel and Micron have developed a new 34nm NAND flash memory technology that is capable of 3 bits per cell, which allows for greater density than the standard 2 bits per cell technology currently in use, the two companies announced this week.. According to Micron, this will pave the way for high-capacity USB flash drives.
Micron also said the technology isn't yet as reliable as flash memory based on 2 bits per cell technology. Because of this, the 3 bits per cell chips will only be used in the manufacturer of flash drives that don't require the data storage reliability of an SSD.
"The chip is not for all markets," claims Jim Handy of semiconductor market researcher Objective Analysis. "The companies explained that they need more experience in production volumes before they will be confident to position it as a chip suitable for the high-write environment of the SSD."
Micron said the chips will be in mass production in the fourth quarter.
You can never have enough USB ports, but when it comes to wireless devices, wouldn't it be groovy if they all ran off of a single USB dongle? We certainly think so, and so does Logitech, who today announced the release of its Unifying Receiver.
Logitech's Unifying Receiver lets multiple wireless gadgets communicate with the host PC through a single USB dongle, and to kick off the proprietary technology, Logitech announced four compatible products. These include the Wireless Keyboard K350, Wireless Keyboard K340, Marathon Mouse M705, and Wireless Mouse M505.
As is the case with other Logitech wireless products, the new devices each use 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, but they no longer each need their own dongle. The Unifying Receiver further saves space by only protruding 8mm.
Up to six compatible devices can be connected at the same time, with each subsequent peripheral needing to be configured using Logitech's Unifying software. All devices connect securely using 128-bit AES encryption, and they work with Windows 7, Logitech says.
Active Media Products, makers of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Penguin and Panda USB drives, has added to its Penguin line with a bootable Linux USB (BLU) drive that the company says is compatible with Windows 7.
"These bootable Linux USB drives are handy for users who need flexibility in an OS, and will be an invaluable tool for disaster recovery and system maintenance," Active Media stated in a press release.
Designed in the likeness of an emperor penguin with "exacting detail," the new drives come in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB capacities, each one pre-loaded with the full installation of Ubuntu Linux 9.0.4., which occupies about 700MB of space.
The drives are available now ranging in price from $13 (1GB) to $44 (16GB), with 5 percent of the retail price donated to World Wildlife Fund.
It took some time, but motherboard makers and case manufacturers have finally wised up to the concept of never having enough USB ports. It's not uncommon to see motherboards equipped with 8 USB ports, and it would take six of said motherboards to still not equal the number of ports on the 49-port Professional USB-2 Hub.
The mega-hub supports the USB 2.0 specification and includes a "separate transaction translator for every port." Each port independently comes with its own Vbus current limit, and multiple rail regulators and localized clock generators keep errant signals from mucking with data transfers.
"We engineered this professional-grade product for dependability and performance first, aimed squarely at the business user - not as a cost-driven commercial product," UK developer Cambrionix stated on the USB hub's product page.
Even still, we could see this filling a niche in the power user segment, though probably not at the £399 (about $660 USD) asking price. Can anyone else imagine stuffing the entire line of Transformers USB keys into this?
I’m having a blue-screen problem on a T42p ThinkPad with 2GB of RAM running Windows XP Pro SP2. This is a corporate laptop issued to me as a mobile employee, so I have admin rights to it.
Every time I plug a USB device into either of the laptop’s two USB ports, it blue-screens. As long as the device is plugged in, the laptop loops through a boot process to a blue screen. Once I unplug the USB device, it behaves. Exceptions: If I put a USB power cable into the ports in the laptop for power only, there is no problem. I have a PCMCIA USB adapter too, and anything I plug into these USB ports works fine.
This PCMCIA USB adapter has a USB power cable, which I plug into the USB port in the laptop without incident. I have the PCMCIA USB adapter plugged into the PCMCIA slot, with a seven-port USB hub plugged into it running a printer, a wireless mouse, a keyboard, and a hard drive. I have a second hard drive’s data cable plugged into the USB hub, while its power cord is plugged into the laptop’s USB port, with no problem.
When I called the corporate help desk, they assumed I had a bad motherboard and sent me a replacement laptop. Same problem but worse. The new laptop, which was a 1GB machine, did not recover when the USB port was unplugged. I had to do disc recovery involving file and index cleanup to get it to behave. I went through this several times.
I used the same boot drive, which I had to transfer back and forth, on both laptops.
Fortunately, when I returned the hard drive to the old laptop, it worked the same as it had originally. I have returned the “new” replacement laptop since it did me no good, keeping the original laptop.
I’m to the point of reinstalling the OS, but I don’t have access to the corporate image without driving 90 miles, and at this point, I’m leery of just installing a different OS copy, with a different serial number.