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I have a Jetway NF9E-Q77 motherboard which supports USB 3.0. An Intel driver is available to enabled USB 3.0 support in Windows 7.

Assuming the driver is installed, should xHCI hand-off be enabled or disabled in BIOS setup?

BIOS USB Settings Screenshot

The BIOS manual says this:

Excerpt from BIOS manual

I know Windows 7 doesn't natively support USB 3.0. That being the case, it seems the setting should be enabled.

On the other hand, the Intel driver enables USB 3.0 support in Windows 7. That being the case, it seems the setting should actually be disabled.

Which one is correct?

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I asked over at Intel Communities to try get to the bottom of this. It turns out Intel Engineering has something to say about this:

"According to engineering, it is necessary to leave it as “enabled” for xHCI".

Does the Intel USB 3.0 driver for 7-series chipsets support xHCI hand-off?

So that's that then. When running Windows 7 + Intel's USB 3.0 drivers, xHCI hand-off must be ENABLED in the BIOS setup.

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    Incidentally, while xHCI hand-off should be ENABLED, eHCI hand-off should be DISABLED. – misha256 Oct 8 '14 at 0:18
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    Interesting, and somewhat unrelated note. If you are installing VMWare ESXi 5.5+ and the entire USB System cuts out midway through boot, then eHCI hand-off needs to be ENABLED – edhurtig Mar 25 '15 at 5:35
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    "While xHCI hand-off should be ENABLED, eHCI hand-off should be DISABLED". How true. I found Silverstone EC05-E USB 3.0 controller would "disappear" upon re-boot in Windows XP or Windows 8.1, in an old motherboard with PCI Express 1.0. After changing BIOS to disable eHCI hand-off, EC05-E now works as expected, ie. the device and driver no logner disappers updon re-boot, and USB 3.0 works fine in both Windows XP or Windows 8.1 on an old motherboard with PCI Express 2.0. Although EC05-E is designed for PCI Express 2.0, many USB 3.0 cards will work at up to 2500 mbps, or half the 5000 mbps USB 3. – user438961 Apr 18 '15 at 22:15
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I found an interesting bug relating to EHCI handoff - it may only be on some motherboards.

For later operating systems, you would normally run with EHCI handoff disabled.

On an Asus M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 (and maybe others) if you need to use USB legacy support to allow BIOS control with a USB keyboard, then you must also enable EHCI handoff, otherwise several USB controllers will fail with code 10.

If suffering from this problem, you must uninstall the failed controllers in Device Manager, and then allow them to be redetected - they should then come back OK ... I thought I'd blown some USB ports until I found that.

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