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New Inspiron 660 USB 3 w/SIIG enclosure

by wpgwpg / March 10, 2013 11:00 AM PDT

I have a new Inspiron 660 with Windows 7 Professional and have begun my indoctrination into USB 3. I have a SIIG USB 3 enclosure with a 1 TB Seagate SATA drive in it that doesn't play nice with the USB 3 ports. It works fine in the USB 2 ports, but will not install with the USB 3 ones. After spending two hours with Dell's tech support and not resolving it, I took the bull by the horns and bought a Sabrent docking station (model DS-U382), put the Seagate HD in it, plugged it in and voila, it installed in seconds and works just fine - about 4 times faster than with USB 2. Now I'm wondering why the problems with the SIIG enclosure (model JU-SA0212-S1). Is this a known problem? Is there a fix? I've always had good experience with SIIG in the past, FWIW. I know I've seen Bob Proffitt suggest that USB 3 is too new to have all the bugs worked out, is that just what we have to expect for a while longer?
Any words of wisdom on this subject welcome!

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All Answers

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Dell knows this one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 10, 2013 11:11 AM PDT

I can't guess which firmware and driver are needed but it's been a few years and yet you see this issue continue.

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Update - now I can prove it's Dell's problem w/USB3
by wpgwpg / March 13, 2013 9:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Dell knows this one.

Today I bought a PCIe card (Inland) with USB3 and installed it on my test computer. I also bought a brand new 1 TB Toshiba SATA hard drive and installed it in the SIIG USB 3 enclosure. It had the same symptoms on the new Dell computer, but it ran fantastically on the test system. Since it runs extermely well on my test system but not at all on the Dell's USB3 ports, I'd say that's pretty good evidence it's Dell's problem. I opened an incident with them Monday which is still open, and I'll get back with them tomorrow. I tested with Windows 8 on the test machine, so I've got to test it with Windows 7 there to be sure I'm comparing apples with apples, but isn't this interesting! Wink

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Today Dell support says it's a mobo problem
by wpgwpg / March 14, 2013 3:13 AM PDT

After another 90 min. with Dell's tech support, they now say it's a defective motherboard and they will send a tech to my house to replace it under warranty (heck the PC is only 11 days old). I told them some experts say USB 3 has been a common problem with Dells and was told it was only something that happens in a tiny number of motherboards. Uh huh. Mischief

I'll say this about USB 3. When it works right, it it is one incredibly fast thing. I saw data transfer rates of 114 MBps with sustained rates of about 50 MBps. It's so fast my little E5200 2.5 MHz dual processor had to get 55% busy to keep up. I'm telling my age now, but I remember when IBM first announced the 360 line of mainframes, they had a screaming fast 2301 drum that ran 1.2 MBps. Boy have times changed! Happy

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Tipping my hat a little.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 14, 2013 3:32 AM PDT

Just last year I was overseas and we had some issues we were trying to solve. Weird random one or two failures that were creating bad impressions with clients. Found it. There were counterfeit parts in the builds so some 40 Volt part was actually 30 Volts and while that worked on the bench and in test, it would sporadically fail in the field. They had done a good job remarking the parts so your quick visual would not find it but as the part smoked you knew something was off.

The industry is full of issues like this and it keeps folk like me busy.

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Today Dell replaced mobo & SIIG responded
by wpgwpg / March 15, 2013 7:18 AM PDT

Dell, to its credit replaced the mobo today. However the SIIG enclosure still doesn't work with the Dell Inspiron 660. The new mobo made absolutely no difference. Other than this problem, the new Dell PC has been great, I have to say.

<div> I got a reply back from SIIG saying (this is a direct quote):
Hello,Install the latest driver for your USB 3.0 host controller.Regards,Erick SIIG Support". Cry I wrote them back that both Dell & I had already done that & asked if they could help. I also asked if this enclosure has been tested with the integrated Intel USB 3 ports. My suspicion is that they haven't, but this enclosure has been on the market over 2 years and I could find no other reports of problems with it doing a Google search.
The SIIG controller works on another computer with an Inland PCIe USB 3 expansion card and on the Dell's USB 2 ports, but not the Dell's USB 3 ports.

Ain't this FUN! I'm betting that within the next 6 - 12 months one of these two companies will come out with an updated driver, and suddenly the problem will go away. In the mean time I'll just use the Sabrent enclosure with the Dell PC and the SIIG enclosure on the other one. If I ever need another USB 3 device on the Dell, maybe I'll add an Inland PCIe card. I don't plan to jump through those hoops any time soon. I've been enough of a masochist for now! Plain

Stay tuned.


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I'm sure you want more.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 15, 2013 7:55 AM PDT

If you've been on the ride for long this sort of issue has been around a long time. Remember firewire discussions and folk dissing certain chips?

In early USB 2.0 days there was a problem with clock jitter that well, the industry was in full sales mode but you found that a different cable or sticking some USB 2.0 hub in the middle might fix it.

I hear there are no such problems in North Korea.

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N. Korea eh? How 'bout Iran?
by wpgwpg / March 15, 2013 1:28 PM PDT

You planning to move to N. Korea? I'd buy a few politicians I know a one way ticket. Grin This is still the best country around, warts notwithstanding. Like Churchill said "democracy is a terrible system except for all the rest". Oh yes, I remember when USB 2 came out, people called it "plug and pray". I go back a whole lot before that. If you never saw OS/360 ring the bell 3 times and bring a 5 million dollar machine to a screeching halt, you don't know what you missed (but you should be glad if you didn't have to). I guess the problem with technology is that by the time it becomes stable, some clever devil puts another order of magnitude of circuits on a chip, and we get to reinvent some of these wheels with cheaper and faster technology. Ain't technology wunnerful! Grin

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Sorry but I guess my joke was without the platform.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 16, 2013 3:33 AM PDT
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The Youtube video has been removed...
by wpgwpg / March 16, 2013 5:48 AM PDT

...but I knew it was a joke, Bob. No problem. I remember early problems with USB 1 & 2, but I don't remember them lasting over 2 years like this one with USB 3. Oh well, I've got a working circumvention, and there's always eSATA. It certainly would be nice if people would test these things and admit when there was a problem though. There I go dreaming! Grin When I started out as a programmer decades ago, I was surprised at how much gets to market without adequate testing. In some environments programmers expect the next department down the chain (Quality Assurance, Product Test, whatever you want to call it) to do the testing, and of course these departments aren't often staffed with the best and brightest. Even if they were, nobody knows the code like the programmer who wrote it. I'm tired of chasing my tail so I'll keep the dialog with SIIG open, but I'm going to give it a rest with Dell for now. Like you say, it's good job security for folks in your job. Wink

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Dell & USB 3 - Inspiron 660 update
by wpgwpg / March 19, 2013 8:05 AM PDT

The motherboard was replaced by Dell with zero changes in the results. The computer will not boot or shut down when the SIIG enclosure is attached. I also had problems with an Inland USB 3 enclosure. SIIG's response was to get the latest USB 3 drivers which I downloaded from Intel's web site. However it made no difference in the results. Dell needs to either use PCIe cards for USB 3 or get with Intel to resolve. It's amazing to me that USB 3 can be on the market over 2 years and still be so buggy. Dell's hardware used to be rock solid, but in my opinion (and experience) they've slipped. If they can't get USB 3 to work, they should use hardware that DOES work. Don't they TEST these things? Apparently not very well in if they do. I've got a workable circumvention for now (but I had to make 3 trips, waste a lot of time, and spend $115 to do it), so I'll just leave Dell and Intel to their knitting for now, but I'll sure be a lot more cautious about recommending Dell to folks in the future. Sad

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Thanks for the update.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 19, 2013 8:10 AM PDT

If you recall and for those that don't my last HP laptop would not boot when my smart phone was plugged in. I tracked it down to a BIOS bug and found their choice of Insyde was a factor as other laptops with that BIOS would hang on boot under same conditions.

In my case it ended badly with a 3 month old laptop dead from HP's repairs and 9 months later still dead. I've written that laptop off and you may see I can't write nice about HP for now. It's a shame since at work, office and home we've had HP gear since the 1970's and now I can't give anyone a nod to pick up anything by that name.

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