September 4, 2016

Identify USB 1 and USB 2 Cables

Here's an easy way to identify the difference between a USB 1 and a USB 2 cable:


Look at the 'B' part of the cable, it's the end that usually connects to the computer. The end casing for the USB 2 is a bit bigger. The end casing for USB 1.1 is 4.5 MM, where as the end casing for USB 2.0 is 5.2 MM.

A quick check would be to compare the end of an unknown USB cable with a USB mouse or keyboard.

Newer USB devices have color distinctions, so it's much easier to tell the newer highspeed types. Its just difficult to tell the difference between the 1.1 and 2.0 series.

How I encounter the Problem

If you're having problems with some of your USB devices. You may want to check the type of cable that you are using.

I was having problems scanning and printing with my Epson Stylus CX7800. The computer could not find the printer. What made it frustrating is that some times it would work.

I checked several settings on multiple computers and could only get the scanning to work on my old Powerbook G4. For some reason, the scanner wasn't being recognized on some of the newer computers.

The problem was that I was using an old USB 1.1 cable, where I should have been using a USB 2 cable.

Once I tried a different cable everything worked fine. I notice an immediate difference when I plugged the cable into the computer, the scanner would acknowledge that a computer was connected, where it didn't do that before.

Lession Learned

If you're having problems with your USB device, you may want to double check the cable that you're having. Save time in the future and label old USB 1.1 cables, so it doesn't happen again.


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