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Thread: Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates

  1. Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates
    Hi All,

    I have a Toshiba Portege R830, running 32-bit Windows 7 (SP1) enterprise (for work).
    I also boot into Linux Mint 14 64-bit, which I have installed on a portable USB HDD (outside work).

    I recently bought a USB 3 HDD, but when I connect it to the USB 3 port on my R830, it only gives me USB 2 speeds (25 MB/s).

    I checked with some diagnostic utilities (usbdeview, etc), which say that the drive is connected in USB 2.1 mode.

    The drive reports itself as being USB 3, the cable is USB 3 (SuperSpeed), and the port I'm using on the R830 is 3.

    I experience the same, whether I boot into windows or linux.

    I updated all drivers on both OSs, to no avail.

    next i tried to update the BIOS, but I keep getting the following error:
    "An error occurred while preparing the update environment.
    You have not given permission to execute the update."

    For the record, this is the BIOS I'm going from, & to.
    BIOS Version : Current Ver.2.80 --> Updated Ver.4.10
    EC Version : Current Ver.1.10 --> Updated Ver.1.60

    Does anyone know why I would not be getting USB 3 speeds (which, for my drive, are expected to be around 40 to 50 MB/s), or why all diagnostics are saying USB 2?

    Does anyone know how to overcome the BIOS update issue?
    (I've tried safe mode, disabling AV, disabling NX)


  2. Re: Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Is this USB driver installed?

    Please try to install it and check USB speed again.

  3. Re: Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates
    Hi Pedro, thanks for the suggested link.

    I've previously updated this driver from the Toshiba Australia site, which has a driver by the same name, but newer.
    (30 Nov 2011 vs 21 Dec 2010)

    The setup confirms that a newerr driver is installed.

    But, as I'm willing to try anything, I'll roll back to that version, and see how I go.

    i'm really hoping it's not a driver issue, because that would mean that i'll hit problems on linux, and possibly almost every other computer which I use the device on. (only problem will be speed though, as falling back to USB 2 still works fine)

    And I will be trying it on another machine next week.

  4. Re: Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates
    I tried the older driver, but same result.

    I've also contacted Western Digital about the drive, so I'll see what they have to say.

    I'm perplexed... No errors anywhere (apart from the BIOS upgrade bombing out), and all components are saying they are USB 3, and with latest drivers.

    Does anyone have any experience, good or bad, with USB 3 devices attached to an R830?

  5. Re: Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates
    Some of those USB3 WD drives have compatibility problems with some USB3 controllers. Try another brand of HDD.

    The USB controller may be set to USB2 in the BIOS, changing it to USB3 may cause problems with the WD drive.

    The BIOS update is not working because you need Toshiba Value Added Package installed in Win7, or because Enterprise restrictions are blocking the BIOS update.

  6. Re: Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates
    Thanks Akuma,

    I'm trying to kick WDC to give some answers through their support... May take some time.

    I think I've reached the limit of what I can try on my laptop... Need to find another PC to try it on. (No USB 3 settings in my BIOS to try)

    VAP is installed, but you might be right about the enterprise restrictions.

    I'll come back when I get somethign out of WDC.

    Thanks again.

  7. Re: Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Your description has holes you assume we believe you would've tried and weren't asked about until now:

    I'm not reading the part you've verified the external drive and cable has been proven to perform at USB3 on a different system afflicted with USB 2 on two differing Operating systems.

    When you tail dmesg in Mint, are you getting errors and stepdown messages from attempted connections at usb3 before downstepping into 2 ?

    Your BIOS upgrade, you're trying it from Windows or using the dedicated update cd and perofrming regardless of any Windows GPO policies you're wondering about ? I don't read you trying that method which would bypass a Windows domain policy. If your box is coporate managed and those policies are sereptiously prevfenting you from upgrading to USB3, ..... why aren't you asking your internal IT if they're stopping you by policy or already aware of thepitfalls ?

    I don't care whether you're getting in trouble upgrading to USB3, your career isn't my worry, but it will make a difference if you manage to circumvent domain policies just to see your system logcially kicked backed right into the USB 2 only state you're currently loathing and would happen at your next domain logon.

  8. Re: Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates
    oneclayve, as I've come into this forum new, and not contributed anything in the past, I've been appreciative of those who took the time to offer some advice.

    'Your description has holes...' - I'm not going to waste people's time with a 3 page essay. Trying to balance between too much & too little information. And since I'm not a computer expert, I wouldn't know all of the key points. That's why I'm here, to ask people that know more than me. And in turn, I try to help others in areas where I do have more knowledge than PCs.

    dmesg shows the drive being recognised as high-speed USB, which I beleive is USB2.
    No stepdowns, or errors/warnings, or any reference to USB3.

    As for verifying the cable & drive on another PC, I already mentioned that I don't have access to another PC until next week, when I will test further.

    No I haven't attempted any method which would bypass any GPOs yet, but I don't even know if there are any relevant issues resolved in the BIOS updates as yet. This is still an action on me.

    Apologies if I'm mis-understanding you, but you appear to be coming off as quite assertive. If that's the intended stance, then I'm happy for you to not respond any further to this thread, and I'll stay away from this forum.

  9. Re: Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates
    What USB settings do you see in the BIOS?

    There should be a USB setting that lets you choose Speed or Compatibility (or something similar). Set it to Speed for USB3 speed.

  10. Re: Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates
    After booting from a CD, to install the BIOS update for my R830, the western digital HDD is now recognised as USB 3 (in both windows & linux).

    I'm not sure why... I have no notes on the BIOS update to know what may have been patched, if anything.

    Thanks again to those who contributed to this thread.

  11. Re: Portege R830 - USB 3 & BIOS updates
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Good news. Thanks for the feedback.

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