Windows 8 and Intel USB 3.0 Host Controllers

[Note: 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 PC maker and 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.]

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!

261 thoughts on “Windows 8 and Intel USB 3.0 Host Controllers”

  1. Why doesn’t the author of this post no longer recommend this solution with windows 8.1? I see other folks using it, with some modifications. How is the average user to know which USB 3.0 devices won’t crap out on their windows 8.1 machines? I have three usb sticks, all purchased at the same time. One of them won’t work with MS drivers but work fine with the intel.

    I’m not a lazy dude, but damn, we might as well be asking the average user to install linux, because the above instructions will be greek to them.

  2. i was getting < 5mb/s speed on win 7 x64. Updated the Intel eXtensible Host Controller for 4th generation (link in 1st comment) and voila speed jumped to 100mb/s. Very happy, Thanks.

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  4. Hey Guys,

    if your USB devices are running, but youre still having some problems then it could be just as simple as this:

    Windows 8.1 comes with a new power saving feature, which just might prevent the USB 3.0 devices from getting enough power to work properly.

    I can only see the menu in german- i will try to translate as good as possible ;)

    Goto the energy options (usually right click on the battery sign in the taskbar and choose energy options) and switch to “Full Power (?)” Mode. Mine was in “balanced” mode and my USB 3.0 device just would only work as 2.0! After the switch to full power mode, its working as 3.0.

    Well, these assholes at MS just stole one day of my life. And the best thing is, they wont tell you about this ^^

    I hope I could help ;)

    1. Hello,

      In my case i had to go BIOS settings and disable AUTO-SMART USB 3.0 POWER SETTINGS.
      But with your post i’ve been able to start thinking about the issues.

      So thanks for the post.

  5. Me again (from above) , never mind the my advise. This damn OS just switched back to USB 2.0 again after some restarts. I hate it.

  6. AMAZING!!!! Thank you! I was working on this for 4 straight hours now and only this worked on my user’s Windows 8.1! All the other solutions (usb selective power… etc.. didn’t work)

  7. THANK YOU!!!! I’ve had nothing but trouble with my DisplayLink 3.0 USB port replicator. SO ofcourse i spent hours 4head in palm cursing the thing before some wise soul sent me to this link.

    Fucking Brilliant! Thank you so much for your guidance.

  8. Why when I carried out all instructions and set the last driver Intel from 2014 at me it is displayed as the driver of 2012. It is all about inf’s files? It as that influences operation of the driver?

  9. I have had the same(?) problem win7.8,8.1. 8.1 worst. Not intel usb 3 controller, Renesas, Asmedia. None of these hacks seem to work for me. Not to mention: Most tooo complicated for my Computer skills. Windows randomly runs into problems with usb host controllers, inactivating them. Painful to log in or repair without neither keyboard or mouse function! Device manager disable-enable cycle usually works, but often the device just disappears and ” scan for hardware changes” randomly works -or not. People seem to tout victory after few successful reboots, however, in my opinion too early. Hate to throw away fine Computer, but this really makes it unusable. Please do not suggest driver update or reinstallation of the operating system, these options are nonsense after three OS upgrades. And again, these complicated hacks do not seem promising.

  10. Just used this guide, even though the note advised not to use this method. I’m on Windows 8.1 Pro x64 and everything worked perfectly. I had to use this to be able to unlock the bootloader and flash ubersonic RC3 rom on a inactive HTC Evo 4G. Without this, I couldn’t even use the android sdk toolkit to adb fastboot into the device as windows would give errors that the device isn’t recognized.

    Thanks for this, now reverting back to the original drivers.

  11. Thank you so much !! it works perfectly ! We have to read carefuly but if it’s doing seriously it’s perfect !

  12. When you say ;

    ‘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.’…

    ‘Other Devices’ does not show up in my list!! Please help as I have completed everything correctly up until this point but now there is a big yellow ‘!’ next to the USB!

    1. I had this same issue but had to restart the computer after installing it to get it work. Only way i could shut down the computer was to manually hold down the power button till it shut down. But when it came back on it worked.

    2. doesn’t work for me either-when I select 3xhc for install I get error message–windows sees file but encounters installation problem.

  13. GREAT! Thanks! I spent all day trying to fix my mum’s windows laptop (I am a mac os girl..) from various issues mainly linked to windows 8.1! and then came up with this usb 3.0 issue which has caused me no end of headache! Wow great and clear instructions! You allow me to now actually sleep tonight! Thanks! :)

  14. At first i though it will not work as i was tired of trying every possible fix and not worked, but this, this surprisingly worked as a charm… i might even do a video tutorial with these instructions… thank you whoever posted this, i love you man . thank you, thank you, thank you………

  15. Super cool, it really saved my day. I updated my Windows 8.1, after this,my usb 3 port doesn’t work anymore,due to intel usb driver replaced with built-in Windows usb driver. I tired to update driver by intel usb driver, but can’t update. After read this article, i realized inf file should be modified. Thanks author and the guy who modified inf file. Hope Microsoft can fix his usb driver asap to work with intel usb chipset .

  16. I have an Asus G750 notebook with Intel i7 processor, don’t know how to find out what the chipset is. The OS is Windows 8.0 Pro. There are four USB 3 ports. The device manager shows an Intel 3.0 eXtensible host controller and USB root hub (xHCI), among other devices. I need to instal the Intel Windows 7 drivers on the offchance it might get my USB video capture device working. I’ve followed the instructions on this page, and I can get the eXtensible controller driver to update to the Intel version 1.0.6.245, but the xHCI root hub driver doesn’t update – it stays with the Microsoft driver, version 6.2.9200.16728. The two don’t work together! So I seem to be stuck. Does anyone have any further suggestions?

  17. After searching and searching and trying all solutions including the one above I finally decided to check the BIOS. I ended up disabling the XHCI setting in BIOS and now everything works as new. Please try this first before wasting time. My disc reads perfectly and transfers with no issues.

    1. Yes things work, except now you are not running USB 3.0, you are running USB 2.0 on your USB 3.0 ports. Some USB 3.0 devices (APPLE lightening) won’t work in this configuration.

  18. My Windows wasn’t able to recognize my Hitachi Mobile Pro. I searched for the solution for a long time, and it’s the only that worked.
    BIG THANKS!

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  20. i cant get this to work… when i try to instal the .ini file i say that i “have disk” etc and then when it tries to instal from that file it says there was an error updating the driver (error 10) (i think)….. and it wont let me continue :(

    1. specifically the error says “windows encountered a problem loading the driver software for your device” this device cannot start (code 10)

  21. I was getting the same error code as Ky (2 September). I suspect your fix only works for the Intel C216 chipset. My Asus ROG750 notebook has the C220 set. Can you provide modified .inf files for C220, or advise me how to go about modifying the existing .inf files (after first backing them up, of course)?

    Thanks,
    Andy

  22. After in install the first inf driver, usb ports freeze and so no keyboard or mouse. i had to force power down the PC by press and holding the power button. If i start the PC now, mouse or keyboard doesnt work. i had to use the windows 8.1 DVD to do a system restore. Any suggestions please?

  23. After i install the first inf driver, usb ports freeze and so no keyboard or mouse. i had to force power down the PC by press and holding the power button. If i start the PC now, mouse or keyboard doesnt work. i had to use the windows 8.1 DVD to do a system restore. Any suggestions please?

  24. I DIDNT READ COMMENTS, THATS WAS MY MISTAKE.
    I have hp laptop with touch screen
    after replacing first file , touch screen didn’t work
    then I update the driver to the original and it worked again

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