USB Port type one or two?

Long story short, for a simple cordless laser mouse, is it necessary to have a USB type 2 port for XP?

How do you tell what kind of port that you have? I can’t find it under ‘My Computer’. And Bellarc adviser just gives me numbers.

The rest of it….

I’m trying to pick out a cordless laser mouse for my Mom. She is 100 miles away so I don’t have easy access to her machine. It’s a Sony. About 4 years old.

The logitec that I want to recommend does not specify if it needs USB type 2.


I would think that a USB 1.1 port (12 Mbps max.) would be plenty fast enough for a mouse.

If all you’re using on the port is a mouse, 1.1 is fine. I use a USB mouse on my old clunker of a computer and all I have is 1.1 ports.

I suspect it’s a moot point, however, as any computer “about 4 years old” is gonna have USB 2.0 ports. They came out in the year 2000, at least according to wiki, and when they came out, 1.1 was quickly phased out in new computers.

About the only thing you will see a real difference between a 1.1 and a 2.0 is mass data transfer stuff like external hard drives. Printers, mice, keyboards, all the usual bells and whistles get little if any real benefit from 2.0 speedwise.

That’s a heck of a simplification. I hadn’t even heard of USB2 until 2002, and I hang with some real computer geeks. USB2 wasn’t really standard until 2004 at least (I built a machine with a mid-range Soltek m/board in 2003 that I had to later fit with a USB2 card), and there were still plenty of low end machines with USB1 being sold until 2005 at least. So it’s very likely that a machine built in early 2004 would have only USB1.

It’s all backward and forward compatible anyway, so with a mouse, it doesn’t matter.

What does matter, though, is that plugging a USB 1.1 device into a USB 2.0 port will force all other devices connected to that hub to communicate at USB 1.1 rates - even if those devices are fully USB 2.0 compliant.

Thanks everyone, I won’t worry about it.

What? Really? [Read that as surprise, not doubt.]

I didn’t know that.

My computer was purchased in 2003 with USB 1 ports – I think. I added a module of USB 2 ports – I think.

Question is, (also asked by the OP) how does one tell which ports are which?

Actually, it looks like it may not be universally true any more - mixed speed hubs are apparently available, so I guess it will depend on the chipset that is used.

Dunno - the device manager entries don’t look particularly descriptive. If you plug a 2.0 device into a 1.1 port, Windows (XP, SP2) will usually pop up a balloon saying “this device can perform faster”.

There must be something in the registry…

I had that problem - finding out what ports are actually doing rather than what they are supposed do (I was tearing my hair out trying to get external drives to play ball on my system)

I ended up using “USBInfo” which gives a pretty good display of what’s going (in my case it was simply that 4 of my ports would only run at 1.1 despite having all the right drivers etc)
It has a 15 day trial and I fixedthe problem in the first 5 mins of that. I ponyed up the registration ‘cos I was grateful for the fix - however, IIRC, there is some kind of restriction on what machines you can install it on (which is the kind of shit I hate), which isn’t made explicit when you pay; so I can’t recommend paying
I couldn’t find a freeware util that was as informative tho’

Thanks for all the responses.

Just discovered that my Moms current mouse is not USB. It’s PS/2.

Would/should/could a wireless mouse plugged into a USB port recognise the mouse if it’s looking for it on the PS/2 port?

Do I need to look for a wireless that plugs into the PS/2 port?

Thanks again.

Any USB mice will be plug-and-play, pretty much any computer using Windows 98 or newer will be able to spot the mouse when it’s plugged in and start using it shortly afterwards. PS/2 connectors are an older thing which are kept on computers pretty much out of tradition and legacy support. I doubt you’ll have any problem with a USB mouse here.

That would be easiest, but there are USB to PS/2 adapters if you need them. Not sure you can find many PS/2 mice around anymore, but they’re out there if you look.

Thank you all again.

Thanks for the info. It amazes and frustrates me that this straightforward system information is so difficult to uncover.