Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a Dell Inspiron Desktop 580 into which I have installed a RocketU 1144A USB 3.0 card. The system is running FreeNAS 8.0.1-BETA4, which is based on FreeBSD 8 and supposedly has USB 3.0 support...

I have four Western Digital MyBook Essential 2TB USB 3.0 drives. One of them was previously working with this system on a built-in USB 2.0 port before the new USB 3.0 card was installed. Now that the new USB 3.0 card is installed, the system doesn't see any of the drives regardless of whether they are plugged into the new USB 3.0 card or the built-in USB 2.0 ports!

It's very odd and doesn't make sense. I know that BSD recognizes the High Point USB card:

[root@chef /mnt/Chef/home/jnet]# usbconfig 
ugen0.1: <XHCI root HUB 0x1b21> at usbus0, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=SUPER (4.8Gbps) pwr=SAVE
ugen1.1: <XHCI root HUB 0x1b21> at usbus1, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=SUPER (4.8Gbps) pwr=SAVE
ugen2.1: <XHCI root HUB 0x1b21> at usbus2, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=SUPER (4.8Gbps) pwr=SAVE
ugen3.1: <XHCI root HUB 0x1b21> at usbus3, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=SUPER (4.8Gbps) pwr=SAVE
ugen4.1: <EHCI root HUB Intel> at usbus4, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE
ugen5.1: <EHCI root HUB Intel> at usbus5, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE
ugen4.2: <product 0x0020 vendor 0x8087> at usbus4, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE
ugen5.2: <product 0x0020 vendor 0x8087> at usbus5, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=SAVE
ugen4.3: <DT 101 G2 Kingston> at usbus4, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=HIGH (480Mbps) pwr=ON
ugen5.3: <Dell USB Entry Keyboard Dell> at usbus5, cfg=0 md=HOST spd=LOW (1.5Mbps) pwr=ON

Those first four XHCI root HUBs must be the 4 channels on the card... But when I plug one of the USB hard drives in, I don't get an entry under /dev and the only message which shows up in dmesg or syslog is:

ugen0.2: <Unknown> at usbus0 (disconnected)

Where ugen0.2 may be ugen0.2 - ugen3.2.

I am not using any USB hubs. The system is booted off a USB thumb drive, but apart from that, has no other USB devices connected.

I wonder if part of the problem could be that I installed the USB 3.0 card, a 4x PCIe 2.0 card, in the 16x PCIe slot on the motherboard? Yet, the card is recognized by the OS...

UPDATE: Could this new USB card have somehow fried my new drives??? I suddenly can't get them to mount on any machine. But like I said, I know one of them was working -- I loaded 1.6 TB of data onto it!

I just plugged a USB 2 drive into the new USB 3 card, and that mounted successfully...

share|improve this question

Enough time has passed that I suspect you've already got a solution to this; if so, could you post it?

Otherwise, some starting points:

  • You might try using one of usbconfig's options (like dump_device_desc or dump_config while a drive is connected to see if you can see anything:

    usbconfig -u 0 -a 2 dump_info

  • If the product and vendor combo isn't currently recognized by FreeBSD, it can't tell which drive to attach to the device. I don't know if different devices are presented to the OS for USB 2 vs USB3, but it's a possibility. You might check /usr/src/sys/dev/usb/usbdevs for FreeBSD 8 and/or FreeNAS 8.0.1 to see if the devices vendor/product combo is listed (if you can determine them with usbconfig, or maybe from /var/run/dmesg.boot when the machine is booted with the drives attached.)

  • Most USB3 devices are downward-compatible; does the system recognized the drives when you plug them into a USB2 port?

share|improve this answer
I should have come back and posted. The answer is DO NOT USE WESTERN DIGITAL 2TB USB 3.0 DRIVES!!!!!!!! I went through no less than nine of these, all of them failed. Drives themselves were fine, the USB enclosures' USB-to-SATA adapters died on me! – Josh Jan 9 '12 at 16:50
I would say that that is highly unlikely and that there must a a reason that all nine failed. Even if it is only due to an earth loop. But then again, I have been at the failing end of the IBM deathstar drives. (7 out of 8 failed in 3 months). – Hennes Sep 10 '13 at 21:34

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.