One of my PCs is an older one, and it has no USB 2.0 ports. This doesn't really bother me, because I don't ask much of this machine.

I do, however, frequently plug in a flash drive to transfer a few fairly small files. I don't particularly care that the file transfers take 4 seconds instead of 400 milliseconds. I can wait. Maybe I'll take a quick power nap as I while away 3.6 seconds.

What does test my patience, though, is that Windows XP warns me every! single! freakin'! time I plug my drive in that I've plugged a "HI-SPEED"1 device into a "non-HI-SPEED"2 hub.

Look Microsoft, I know. I've done it umpteen-thousand times. Stop telling me.

Every once in a while, I'm even tempted by its sugary-sweet bait that promises to help me solve this little dilemna, if I'll only click the little popup.

Ooh, if I click, will Microsoft buy me a new computer with HI-SPEED USB ports? Or has Microsoft figured out some amazing software patch that will automagically upgrade my old USB 1.1 hardware to full USB 2.0 glory?

But alas, every time I fall for its little ruse, I end up disappointed like a virgin on her wedding night. Windows tells me "There are no HI-SPEED USB host controllers installed on this computer."

I already knew that, Microsoft, and not just because you've already told me a gazillion times! And if you already knew, too, then why did you promise me magic? You acted like you were my friend, and tempted me with a relaxing journey down the soothing trail of problem-resolution, but in the end all you did was tease me and taunt me with your "this behavior is by design". You hurt me, Microsoft. You really hurt me.

If I don't have any USB 2.0 ports, does it really make sense to incessantly harass me about plugging my HI-SPEED device into my puny little USB 1.1 ports? Really? Am I doing it wrong?

Go away, Microsoft! I know what I'm doing!

Please, somebody tell me how to stick a sock in Microsoft's two-timing shameful mouth so they'll stop telling me I've done a POSSIBLE thing when I should have done a non-POSSIBLE thing.


Before long, somebody will probably bring up a link to this discussion (or something similar) which advises to go the USB host controller's properties in Device Manager and check the "Don't tell me about USB errors" checkbox. I'd really prefer to find a way to disable this very non-ERROR that doesn't involve turning a blind eye to actual errors incurred by USB devices.

1 Is that an acronym? Why the all-caps? Why the marketing-speak spelling of "high", which Microsoft normally doesn't use? hmmm... Hateful Idiotic-Stupid 'Puters Eat Every Device?

2 I guess "non-HI-SPEED" is more accurate than "LO-SPEED". Or maybe this warning message was written by a non-SMART person.


Not a perfect solution:

  1. Go to Device Manager and open USB Controllers.
  2. Find your USB Host Controller, right-click and choose Properties.
  3. Go to the Advanced tab.
  4. Tick "Don't tell me about USB errors."
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    At the bottom of my question, I mentioned this. It is indeed not a perfect solution. I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. I'm not even sure why this option is here. Should we also have the option to disable notification of harddrive errors, I wonder? Is our desire not to be annoyed more important than our data? – P Daddy Dec 9 '09 at 23:20

Do you have Tweak UI for Windows XP? If not, that link will send you to Microsoft's site to get it. Install that, then run it and go to Taskbar and Start Menu and uncheck "Enable Baloon tips". That should help quite a bit.

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    I do indeed have Tweak UI, but disabling balloon tips is not a desirable solution. Although I have heard those who disparage them, I actually like balloon tips quite a bit. They're much less intrusive than modal message boxes and less likely to get accidentally dismissed if I happen to typing <kbd>Enter</kbd> or <kbd>Space</kbd> when it pops up. (I have accidentally dismissed message boxes before seeing them more than once this way). Besides, just as disabling notification of any USB errors would take away information I might need to see, so would disabling balloons globally. – P Daddy Dec 9 '09 at 23:25

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