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!

290 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…

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