Windows 8 and Intel USB 3.0 Host Controllers

[Important: As of Windows 8.1, we don’t recommend replacing the in-box Windows USB 3.0 stack with the Intel Windows 7 stack, as described in this post. This post is being kept for historical background, but we recommend working with your computer manufacturer and/or Microsoft on any remaining issues with the built-in Windows 8.1 USB 3.0 stack. Feel free to also comment below if problems remain but Plugable cannot take any responsibility for any issues this process may cause to your computer. Continue at your own risk.]

One of the new features of Windows 8 is the built in XHCI host controller software and USB stack. While this brings some benefits like UASP support, there are some devices that currently don’t work with the Microsoft stack on the Intel USB 3.0 host controller. This can be fixed by forcing Windows to use the Intel USB 3.0 host controller drivers instead of the built in stack.

*NOTE* These instructions are only for machines with an Intel eXtensible Host Controller. Look for the Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller under Universal Serial Bus controllers in Device Manager.

First, download the latest driver package from Intel. It’s currently at version 1.0.6.245 and can be downloaded from the following link:

Intel(R)_USB_3.0_eXtensible_Host_Controller_Driver rev. 1.0.6.245

Once the download has finished, extract the .zip file to a known location.

Now download these two .inf files which have been modified to allow the Intel driver to install on Windows 8:

We are going to replace the existing versions of these two files with the ones we just downloaded. Place the files in the following directory of the unzipped driver package and click yes when Windows warns that we are over writing a file with the same name:

Intel(R)_USB_3.0_eXtensible_Host_Controller_Driver\Drivers\Win7\x64\

This will update these two infs with the modified versions that will allow the Intel driver to install on Windows 8 when the Host Controller and USB hub drivers are updated.

To install the Intel drivers in place of the in box XHCI stack, we’ll have to temporarily disable Driver Signing Enforcement. To do this press the Windows key + R and in the run box type:

shutdown.exe /r /o /f /t 00

Now make the following selections to boot into the Start Up Setting Screen

Troubleshoot — Advanced options — Start Up Settings — Restart

Then, when the machine restarts, select “Disable driver signature enforcement”. Your machine will start with Driver signing enforcement disabled until the next reboot.

When the machine restarts, open Device Manager (win + r, devmgmt.msc). Double click on the entry for the Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller and select the Drivers tab. You should see that the driver provider is Microsoft.

Now click “Update Driver” and then select “Browse my computer for driver software”.

Next choose “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”.

Next, select “Have Disk”.

In the Window that pops up titled “Install From Disk” choose “Browse” and navigate to the location where we replace the original infs with the two modified .inf files we downloaded earlier. Select iusb3xhc.inf and click ok.

Windows will warn that the driver is not signed and will require you to confirm the installation.

Once the installation is complete, reboot the machine following the same procedure as above:

shutdown.exe /r /o /f /t 00

Now make the following selections to boot into the Start Up Setting Screen

Troubleshoot — Advanced options — Start Up Settings — Restart

When the machine starts, select “Disable driver signature enforcement”. Your machine will start with Driver signing enforcement disabled until the next reboot. Once logged in, open Device Manager (win + r “devmgmt.msc”) and locate the entry under Other devices for an Unknown device, to find the correct one, double click on the entry for the unknown device view the details tab. Make sure it has the VID_8086.

Once you have located the correct device right click on it and choose “Update Driver” Choose “Browse my computer”, Windows will ask you to identify the type of device, scroll down and select “Universal Serial Bus Devices”.

Click next, choose “Have Disk”, “Browse” and select the modified iusb3hub.inf that we placed in the Intel(R)_USB_3.0_eXtensible_Host_Controller_Driver\Drivers\Win7\x64\ folder earlier and click ok.

Again, Windows will warn about driver signing, when the install is finished, reboot your machine.

When it restarts look at the driver tab for the Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller and the Intel(R) USB 3.0 Root Hub to confirm that you are now running the Intel drivers.

To return to the built in Microsoft USB 3.0 driver stack, use the uninstall drivers button from the driver tab in device manager. When it’s finished, select the Action menu of Device Manager and “scan for hardware changes” Windows should find the Intel USB 3.0 host controller and re-install it using the built in Microsoft XHCI stack.

Thanks to Ekko for his original work on this. Please comment below if you have any corrections or refinements. We’d also love to have comments mentioning the problems you were having, and whether the Intel stack solved them for you. Thanks!

306 comments on “Windows 8 and Intel USB 3.0 Host Controllers”

  1. Dheeraj Reply

    I tried and after installing the not signed driver, all of my usb ports stopped working on windows. But its working in bios… Please help.

  2. isidorocañone Reply

    me trajeron una notebook con este problema que la habian llevado a varios servicios tecnicos y nadie habia podido arreglarla. Con los paso que escribiste me funciona todo. Muchas Gracias.

  3. Maharaja Reply

    Thank you! Nice job! It helped me. Moreover incidentally it helped with usb 2.0. My OS Win 8.1.

  4. Brandon Reply

    Thanks this fixed the issue I was having connecting my HTC Evo LTE phone in fastboot mode.

  5. fiqar Reply

    This works for my Ideapad Y500. Which was having problem with its 3.0 driver from windows after running update for win 8.1..

    Thanks a bunch!

  6. Tanguy Reply

    For those of you stuck after the second reboot with advanced settings because there is no more working USB host, so no keyboard control, just turn off your computer then start again. Then go back to device manager and restore previous version of the hardware you updated after the first reboot with advanced settings.
    For me, it magically reset the native driver and everything is working fine now, I can use my USB 3.0 ports

  7. Marcin Reply

    Great job! This is for Intel c220 chipset and is working fine. I search for this about 2 months and destroyed 2 USB 3.0 pendrives when looking for solution. Earlier with ChipGenius software I’v got the message that my usb 3.0 working as… usb 2.1, and now I have no problem. THANK YOU very much :-)

  8. Nicolas Reply

    I am trying to do this for Windows 8.1 64-bit. Gee, I must be doing something wrong… When I do “Have Disk” , select the updated file, and ignore the Microsoft warnings about the digital signature, the Device Manager shows the USB 3 is not working. Then After the 2nd reboot when I check the device manager I don’t see a listing for “OTHER”….

  9. przemock Reply

    This solution didn’t work on my Win 8.1 with C220 Chipset (I got error code 10), but I found information about modification .ini files:
    “In Drivers\win7\x64 edit iusb3hub.inf and iusb3xhc.inf by copying the information under [Intel.NTAMD64.6.1] to directly below [Intel.NTAMD64.6.2]”

    Installing both .ini fiiles according plugable.com instruction with this modification works pefectly. Maybe it will help someone.

  10. Horstus Reply

    Thought i found this as a solution and did not read the Comments:
    My Win8.1 freezes and i just spend 4 Hours to work on a solution!!
    Please update the article and write that i doesnt work anymore, and that shit would not cost me about 6 hours of my life!
    Hope that a ps2 Keyboard and mouse help me to loggin and correckt the mistake but where to get on at these days!
    THX to the author for not updating his article and stealing me Time and verves!
    THX!

  11. Mike Reply

    HELP PLEASE, same problem here:

    I did everthing written in the article and my Win8.1 X64 freezed from the first moment i installed the: •iusb3hub.inf.
    Had to to a hard shutdown and now i can not loggin any more, because alle USB ports are deactivated!

    What can i do now?

    Will a PS/2 mouse and Keyboard work, my Motherboard would have these ports?
    How can i logging and deactivate this •iusb3hub.inf and go back to the original Settings?
    What can i do?

    I tried everything with Windows repair function despite of Setting back the System because i fear to loose a lot of data!

    HELP please, bythe way i think that this article should Content the advice that you might destroy an working System!

    Looking Forward for an advice!
    THANY a lot i am desperated!

    • Nicolas Reply

      If you can get to the Device Manager (Windows button + r, then type “devmgmt.msc”) then select the USB devices and double click the USB 3.0 device, then in the “Driver” tab select “Uninstall”. Then reboot, and the PC will automatically reinstall the built-in Microsoft driver for USB that’s part of Win 8.1. (I’m on a laptop so I can use my built-in cursor pad, not sure if this helps you though…)
      -N

  12. mike@mikelis.de Reply

    Did work with PS2:
    But i recommend not to try it if your MB doesnt have PWS2 Ports or you made a restoring Point, that you can set back the System…

  13. arush rao Reply

    Thank you very much. I’m using a Sony Vaio fit and this is the only solution that has worked for me. Also i wanted to know if there was some way I could get better transfer speeds. The max I can get right now is about 59mb/s. Thank you once again!

  14. glnz Reply

    VERY interesting post BUT now that we have 8.1 (Win 8.1 Pro 64-bit), what are your current recommendations?
    Today, Feb 8, 2015, my Device Manager in 8.1 shows the following:
    Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller – 0100 (Microsoft) (Driver date 10-6-2014 and version 6.3.9600.17393)
    and
    USB Root Hub (xHCI) (Driver date 10-7-2014 and version 6.3.9600.17396)
    Leave alone?
    Thanks.

    • glnz Reply

      To above, should have added:
      Dell Optiplex 7010 MT (now with 16GB RAM) that also shows this:
      Intel(R) 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller – 1E2D (Driver provider Microsoft, date 6-21-2006, version 6.3.9600.17238)
      and
      Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3470 CPU @ 3.20GHz
      Thanks – very interested in comments about using this hack on my system (this Reply and the preceding post).

      • Bernie Thompson Bernie Thompson Reply

        Hi David — For your system, you’ll want to ignore the post above. It looks like your system is a USB 2.0 EHCI system, and that works fine as-is with the Microsoft stack. The post above only concerns Intel’s USB 3.0 generation XHCI controllers, won’t work on older ECHI controllers, and wouldn’t have anything to offer anyway.

        For people with Intel XHCI controllers (USB 3.0 systems purchased in the last few years), there are definitely some substantial pros and cons of the Intel developed stack (the one highlighted in this post) and the Microsoft stack (the one in Windows 8). But they’re pretty complex to untangle, so at this point it’s best to leave well enough alone in most cases.

        That said, in addition to performance differences, one area that’s particularly tricky is in how each stack deals with the endpoint and device limits of Intel’s current XHCI controller. The XCHI controller built into the current generation chipsets supports significantly fewer devices and endpoints than their USB 2.0 generation EHCI controllers did. But there are some software tricks you can do to compensate a little. Our impression is Intel does some of these tricks in their stack, while Microsoft does a more straight-on implementation. We’re going to have a new blog post in the coming week or two exploring device limits (host controller resource issues) in depth and making recommendations.

        Thanks for asking!
        Bernie Thompson
        Founder, Plugable Technologies

        • Sanjiv Shah Reply

          thanks — i am having issues with a new system (purchased december 2014) and would a link to your new blog post helping to untangle these issues.

  15. glnz Reply

    Bernie – thanks for your quick and informative response.
    But I wish to emphasize (per my two posts above) that my Win 8.1 machine shows both USB 3 and USB 2 “devices” in device manager and that my machine has both USB2 and USB 3 sockets. Further, my particular USB 3 “devices” seem to be the subject of this thread.
    Just want to be sure I’m getting the most out of my USB 3 ports and “devices”.
    Same advice, or should i take any steps? Thanks.

  16. glnz Reply

    Bernie – sorry for repeat reply (see below (?)), but my Optiplex 7010 on Win 8.1 shows BOTH USB 2 and USB 3 “devices” (per my two posts directly above) , and it has BOTH USB2 and 3 socket-ports.
    Since I’d like the USB 3 to work as well as possible, should I try to do something with the USB 3 entries? Thanks.

  17. Cory Gallaher Reply

    My Windows 8.1 Dell XPS 8500 kept having the devices connect to the Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller become unrecognized. This solution has resolved that problem for me. Thank you very much.

  18. Cory Gallaher Reply

    I would also suggest updating the post to show device manager in “View Devices by Connection” mode so you can see what devices are connected to the Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller. If all of your devices are including keyboard and mouse move them to a different controller. If you don’t have a different controller don’t use this solution as none of your devices will work (of course you can use PS/2 if you have that choice).

  19. Christian Reply

    Hi!

    I hope someone sees my comment.
    I have an external SSD that is disconnecting and reconnecting to my laptop, and I tried every fix I could find online with no luck. I found this page and it is very interesting!

    I got to the point where I was going to check that the VID_8086 text was in the driver. Oddly enough, it wasn’t. The closest I could find was VEN_8086, so I just tried proceeding and see what happens. Turns out, it failed at installing in the next step. I just gave up, uninstalled the driver, scanned for hardware changes and reinstalled the old driver.

    Unless somebody has a fix for this to give me, I am just so frustrated that it doesn’t work and I will just give up at this point.

    I still want to thank you for making this page, it seems to have helped a lot of people! It’s just unfortunate that it didn’t work for me. And yes, I followed every step closely and correctly until the VID_8086 point. Such a shame, I really wanted my external drive to work!

    Either way, thanks! If anyone does have time to help me, then thank you, but if not, then have a good day! :)

    • Krys Reply

      I have the same problem with external SSD and I’m also frustrated. I got to the point where I’m instaling from the disk for the first time iusb3xhc.inf. The message appers: “Windows encountered a problem instaling the driver software for your device. … found… but encountered an error while attempting to instal it. Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller. The device cannot start. (Code 10). If you know the manufacturer of your device, you can visit its website…” I have tried everything… I really need help :|

  20. Ali Reply

    Thank you, it fix my prolem when i enable XHCI Mode on bios usb 3.0 doesn’t work on Windows 8.1.

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