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P70 - Change USB3 ports to USB2?

2018-10-02, 23:00 PM

I have a new THINKPAD P70, and need some help.

I'm running Win7 Pro, pre-configured from Lenovo, with XP as the virtual machine.


All works well, except for the following problem:


All four of the laptop's USB ports are USB3.

As we now know, XP in the virtual machine will NEVER recognize any USB3 ports. Period.


For my work, I need to have a USB2 port that Windows XP can "see."

Hanging a USB2 hub on the USB3 port as some have suggested, does not fix the problem... it's still a USB3 port and XP in the VM cannot access it.

The computer needs to "see" an actual port as a real USB2 port.


Some older Bios versions apparently had the option to "defeat" the USB3 spec and cause all of the laptop's USB ports to function as USB2 ports. This provided a quick, simple, and easy-to-implement fix for this issue.


However, my Bios (V2.24) does NOT have the USB3 defeat feature... bummer!


Does anyone know if there's an older Bios version with this USB3 defeat option that I can "downgrade" my P70 to?

Or, is there any other fix for this issue?


If not, it looks like I unfortunately bought myself a very expensive (and otherwise fantastic) laptop that I cannot use for one of my vital work needs.


Thank you.


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Re: P70 - Change USB3 ports to USB2?

2018-10-03, 2:36 AM

I don't recall I've ever seen the "defeat USB3" option on my P70 (currently running at July BIOS of 2.25).  It's certainly not there now, nor anything vaguely similar.


I have a recollection that there once was a USB-related setting of "legacy", perhaps on my W530 laptop, although I don't remember ever studying that setting.  I don't know if that meant to force the two USB 3.0 connectors on the W530 back to USB 2.0 or what, but I think have this memory of a "legacy" option for USB.  I will look at it later.


But for sure there's nothing like it in the P70 BIOS.


I suspect the reason is that USB 3.0 is implicitly how the Embedded Controller on Skylake and newer chipsets work to support USB mouse/keyboard.  That's why you can't install the original retail Win7 onto a Skylake and newer machine unless you add the mandatory USB 3.0 driver to the Win7 installation media (using one of several vendor-provided utiltiies to do just that).  So since USB 3.0 is the new minimum standard of hardware in Skylake and newer, I can't imagine they'd be able to justify having any BIOS option to disable USB 3.0.  Not possible.


Sometimes advances in technology make it just impossible for old legacy environments to survive, with "compatibility mode" just not able to support the old product any longer.  I can not install Photoshop 5 in Win10, although I've been installing it on all versions of Windows ever since 1995.  I cannot run 16-bit DOS programs on Win10, nor can I install 32-bit products on Win10 that use old 16-bit installers.  MS simply said that with Win10 we're finally truly done with 16-bit. Period.


My sympathy about having this particular XP app running in a VM that must have USB2 ports.  It may be necessary to buy and keep an older non-Skylake physical laptop which DOES still have genuine USB 2-only ports, just to allow you to run this very old XP environment.


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Re: P70 - Change USB3 ports to USB2?

2018-10-10, 9:01 AM



I believe the ThinkPad P70 has an ExpressCard slot.  Have you looked for an ExpressCard to USB 2.0 adapter?




Aryeh Goretsky


I am a volunteer and neither a Lenovo nor a Microsoft employee.

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