Windows 10: How to use these different types of USB 3.1 ports & Optical Drive

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
  1.    03 Dec 2017 #1

    How to use these different types of USB 3.1 ports & Optical Drive


    I am checking out some Windows 10 laptops on-line
    Without regard to Make/Model at this time, please help me understand these USB 3.1 ports
    Ports: 1 USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 (data up to 5Gb/s) 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (data transfer only).

    USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 (data up to 5Gb/s)
    --- What description are they?
    --- How is it best used?

    2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (data transfer only)
    --- What description are they?
    --- How is it best used?
    --- Are they limited to how they are used?
    --- What does data up to 5Gb/s mean?

    Some laptops don't include an optical drive. Why?
    --- Could it be because Media drive: Multi-format digital media card reader can do the job of what an optical drive can do?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 10,670
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       03 Dec 2017 #2

    Hi MeAndMyComputer

    USB Type C is the newest USB configuration. It is fast and it does not have to be plugged in with a certain orientation. Are you sure it is a Gen 1 and not a Gen 2. All USB ports prior to this you had to get the proper side up which drove people crazy. The ability to connect older devices should be checked. It might be an adapter, or a new cable. Having this port will help future proof your device.

    USB 3.1 (Type A, rectangular) ports look like all the USB ports in the past but the little tongue within is usually blue. It is backward compatible as should be the Type C.

    The 5Gbps is how fast the data moves through the port. Not an issue to copy one or two pictures but let's say you wanted to image your 200GB drive, the faster data moves the shorter the process will be.

    USB ports can be used for keyboards, mice, watch connectors, printers, data drives, little lights, drawing tablets and the list goes on and on. Most of these don't need the speed. Data transfers, large data transfers want speed.

    Not sure why your two USB 3.1 Gen 1's are listed as data transfer only as I thought all USB ports put out a nominal amount of power. Like when you connect one of those enclosed backup drives.

    DVD / CD are slowly going the way of the dodo. Software vendors usually sell you a box with a license key in it or just a plastic card, you download the software, people stream music or they outright download it. Then there is the issue of how much data you can get on a disc, USB Thumb drives hold magnitudes more data. This keeps cost down and the space can be re-purposed. If you need a CD there are plenty of small externals on the market for around $35 or less.

    Now if you have a vast collection of blue-rays or DVD's you might want to play on trips, the market place says rip it.

    Let see what other members add.


    Ken
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,415
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       03 Dec 2017 #3

    Guess I've been lucky with USB of the last 10+ years [at least since Win98SE which was the first to give support for USB 2.0 drivers], all the ports on a computer have been indexed so the devices would plug in only one way. USB 3.0 ports [blue centers] mostly will fall back to USB 2.0 but have seen issues with printers losing communication if plugged into USB 3. Some Thumb drives and External HDDs have issues but the last few years have been better with those.

    As to power, some External HDDs provide their own supply but if in doubt or have issues I always use a Self-powered Hub to assure smooth operation.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 901
    Windows 10
       03 Dec 2017 #4

    USB 3.1 is relatively new and very little hardware to connect to it, as yet. All these USB version transitions have taken years, good thing as most people use a mix of old and new hardware.

    The speed of USB is the speed of the slowest hardware component in the route, that is why it's "up to". The port itself may in theory deliver data up to 5 Gb/s. But that is meaningless for say a Mouse or a cheap USB key drive.

    "Some laptops don't include an optical drive. Why?"
    A lot of people have problems burning Optical Disks, thus they are auto-rejected for spurious reasons. It also adds weight and size to a Laptop. It is one of personal choice and how your Laptop is used. If it sits almost permanently on the desktop then size weight does not matter so much.

    I use CDs/DVDs as another backup 4+ copies onwards, to other backups for important stuff, cheap and easy (for me anyway), my oldest disks are about 16 years old. No HDD, floppy disk has lasted that long.
    An Optical Drive has no need for the speed of any of the latest iterations of USB 3.1.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    03 Dec 2017 #5

    Caledon Ken said: View Post
    Hi MeAndMyComputer
    USB Type C is the newest USB configuration. It is fast and it does not have to be plugged in with a certain orientation.

    Are you sure it is a Gen 1 and not a Gen 2.

    DVD / CD are slowly going the way of the dodo. Ken
    The type C that do not need a certain orientation sounds good to me.

    The information I posted is from the list of specs for one of the computers I was checking out on-line.

    I was wondering if optical drives are on the way out. I create system image backups using Macrium Reflect Free and use DVD-R to create their rescue media but I'll try to use the USB method next.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    04 Dec 2017 #6

    @Berton, you reminded me of when I had a Windows 98SE computer. I believe it was originally Windows 98 and then became 98SE probably via a Service Pack? I even extended its use by a year beyond it's EOL date and thought I was accomplishing something especially because I used safe computer practices. But I don't do that anymore, when my subsequent computers reached EOL I just moveD on to the next OS.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    04 Dec 2017 #7

    Helmut said: View Post
    USB 3.1 is relatively new and very little hardware to connect to it, as yet.
    That makes sense to me. I'm glad I asked the questions I did because I appreciate comments on what specs computers go by in todays world.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,415
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       04 Dec 2017 #8

    MeAndMyComputer said: View Post
    The type C that do not need a certain orientation sounds good to me.

    The information I posted is from the list of specs for one of the computers I was checking out on-line.

    I was wondering if optical drives are on the way out. I create system image backups using Macrium Reflect Free and use DVD-R to create their rescue media but I'll try to use the USB method next.
    As for the Optical discs/drives, could be and it's similar to floppy disks and Zip disks, insufficient capacity. But maybe the Blu-Ray will catch on with their 25GB and 50GB discs? And costs of External USB HDDs are within reach of lots of folks.

    As for the cable plugs, the standard USB 2 and USB 3 plugs can go only one way but the problem is that there's a 50-50 chance the wrong way will be chosen first and some research way back showed that a person has a 90% probability of making that wrong choice first.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    04 Dec 2017 #9

    The main plus of usb C is a more robust connection at the device end. I have lost count of devices that get worn out connections. Downside is too few devices have embraced it needing a conversion cable which rather defeats point of it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    09 Dec 2017 #10

    I just noticed a couple of my USB's have Red "alignment tabs". What are the Red ones for?
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Related Threads
:confused: Fresh install of Windows 10 on Dell Inspiron M5030 from my KLite USB drive where I have only added the correct, workable AMD-4200 video driver to the normal Windows 10 ISO. Windows 10 is functioning properly EXCEPT my TSST DVD+/-RW...
So ive spent some-odd hours trying to fix this and its not looking good. That in and of itself is perplexing but I figured if its doable, you guys here would know how! So I'm aware of the means of which you can change your Drive letters, not an...
I was just wondering if you could make a Virtual Machine without an optical drive since I have more than one Virtual Machine and not enough USB drives. So if anyone could help that would be great.
Hi all, I'm sure this question has been asked multiple times, but it seems this forum is active, so hopefully someone can help me! I just ordered Windows 10 off newegg.com for a custom gaming PC i'm building. I'm not sure if its coming as a...
Optical drive disappears in Windows in Drivers and Hardware
My LG Bluray-Burner (internal) has been disappearing for the second time. It appears under hidden items in Device Manager (under Properties, it is claimed that the drive is disconnected), but not as a drive letter. Last time I fixed it by...
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:03.
Find Us