Plugable USB 3.0 Hub Firmware Upgrades

4.26.13 Updated with new versions

Note this post is only about hubs. For our own UD-3000 dock, please don’t follow this post — we have a separate post on the customized UD-3000 firmware upgrade.

USB 3.0 is rapidly evolving with new hardware and software that create new compatibility considerations, and Plugable is committed to staying on the cutting edge.

Skip background and jump to firmware update steps

This update utility is Windows-only and requires a USB 3.0 capable PC. If your PC has USB 2.0 rather than USB 3.0 ports, or if you use a Mac, you will not be able to complete this upgrade, and should instead contact support@plugable.com. For Mac customers wishing to update, a Windows installation in BootCamp can complete this update, however virtual machines like Parallels, VMWare, or VirtualBox are NOT able to complete this update.

Plugable products for which the updates in this post are relevant are listed in the table below. Since the updates vary with chipset, to update your hub, you must first determine it’s chipset. You may check the table below for expected chipset based on shipping date, however checking in device manager or system profiler for the device’s vendor and product ID’s is the more accurate and recommended method. Instructions to check this follow the table below.

USB3-HUB81X4

USB3-HUB7-81X

Please carefully identify the chip version of your hub first. VIA’s firmware update utility does not automatically distinguish chips, and writing the wrong firmware will brick your hub. If you’re unsure but have evidence that you need a firmware update, just email support@plugable.com and we’ll be happy to help.
VL811 Units shipping from Mid-March 2013 have firmware v9.83- this is the latest available version. Older units shipped with firmware versions 9.20, 9.72, and 9.82- customers with any of these older versions should use the Plugable VL-811 USB 3.0 hub update utility. Units sold until November 16, 2012 have the VL811 chipset. These units shipped with firmware versions 9.20, 9.72, and 9.82- customers with any of these older versions should use the Plugable VL-811 USB 3.0 hub update utility.
VL812 Units purchased from Amazon US after November 16, 2012 (January 17, 2013 for Amazon UK orders) have the VL812 chipset. Depending on your order date and location, these units may have had firmware version 8564, 8571, or 0701. Customers with any of these older versions should use the Plugable VL-812 USB 3.0 hub update utility.

The discontinued USB3-HUB4 (white) also used VL811 and can follow the same steps as the black four port using the Plugable VL811 USB 3.0 hub update utility.

How can I tell what chip and version of firmware I have?

Windows

To launch windows device manager, hit the Windows-R hot-key and run devmgmt.msc

  1. Find your hub under “Universal Serial Bus controllers.” The device will typically be listed as a “Generic SuperSpeed USB Hub” although it may appear as a “Renesas USB 3.0 Hub” “AMD USB 3.0 Hub” or other entry depending on your system’s USB 3 host controller chipset and driver. Pictured below on the left, highlighted in a red box.
  2. Right click on the device and choose “Properties” (not pictured).
  3. From the properties window that comes up, select “Details.” After doing so the window will update to show information similar to what is pictured on the right below.
  4. From the device’s details page, select “Hardware IDs” as pictured below on the right.

The firmware version can now be seen under the “Details” tab and “Hardware Ids” as pictured below, highlighted in blue on the bottom right.

812win

Note the “REV” details listed after the VID and PID are the version numbers to check in the “Latest Firmware Versions by chip set” section below.


Mac

To launch Apple’s system profile, from the left your menu bar, click the Apple Logo, hold down the alt/option key, and click “System Information.” Different models of hub will display differently, however you’ll know you found the right device when you find one with the following details: in the lower right hand section of the next 2 images:

Product ID: 0x0812
Vendor ID: 0x2109 (Via Labs, Inc)

Note the OS X System profile entries for hub firmware version (both old version 8564 and new version 8571 are pictured below, two hubs were connected)

Mapping USB VID, PID, and REV to your chip and firmware version

VIA does not set USB REV to be consistently mapped to the firmware version, but you can map them like this:

Hardware Ids (USB VID, PID, and REV VIA chip and firmware version
VID 2109, PID 0812, REV 8571 VIA VL812, firmware version 8581
VID 2109, PID 0811, REV 3198 VIA VL811, firmware version 9.83

Once you have your firmware version, you can compare against the latest available firmware versions.

Latest firmware versions by chipset

Chipset Firmware
VL811 9.83
VL812 8581

Firmware Update Utility system compatibility

As mentioned before, the actual firmware update process requires a USB 3.0 capable Windows PC.

We’ve tested this firmware flash utility on 32 and 64 bit Windows 7, 64 bit Windows 8, as well as 32 bit Windows XP with good results. We were also able to successfully update the firmware on a hub running Windows 7×64 in BootCamp (Parallels and other virtual machines, however, will not work).

If you do not have access to a Windows PC with USB 3.0 support (or a BootCamp partition on your Mac) please contact support@plugable.com for assistance.

Updating VL811, VL811+, or VL812 USB 3 Hub Firmware

Download the appropriate firmware upgrade utility below. Save the file, do not run it from its current location.

Plugable VL-811 USB 3.0 hub update utility.

Plugable VL-812 USB 3.0 hub update utility.

After the file is downloaded, double click on the file, and follow the prompt: pressing Y (then enter) to continue when prompted.

The utility will either confirm that it has detected a VIA VL811 or VL812 hub and briefly show the current firmware version before proceeding with the update, or inform you if no hub is detected. Confirmation of whether the upgrade has completed successfully or failed will also be shown. This should happen within 15-30 seconds after launching the utility and pressing Y (then enter) when prompted.

After update has fully completed successfully, you must unplug both power and incoming USB to the hub to reset it. After waiting a few seconds, plug the power, then the USB cable to your PC back in. If you follow the steps above for checking the firmware version, you should see the newly applied version.

Please feel free to comment with your results and observations if you run into issues during the actual upgrade. We welcome your feedback, and will update the post with any improvements.

Thank you!

30 comments on “Plugable USB 3.0 Hub Firmware Upgrades”

  1. David Segura Reply

    Does this resolve the issues with the USB3-HUB7-81X connecting to Mac’s? Great documentation by the way :)

    • Bernie Thompson Bernie Thompson Reply

      Yes, with these updates we’re seeing good results now on all USB 3.0 Macs, based on the customer cases we’ve been able to gather. We’ve also tested in our labs on both a 2012 Macbook Air (which has tended to be fine) and a 2012 Mac Mini (which has tended to be one of the problematic macs, according to customers). Note, though, that you need to get the very latest Apple updates that are specific to your Mac — they contain essential USB 3.0 fixes (not sure what, because Apple doesn’t have that level of detail in their release notes, but definitely affect USB 3.0). If you have any trouble at all, just comment here or email support@plugable.com and we’ll be happy to work through it!

      • David Segura Reply

        I plan on ordering this weekend then to go on my 2012 Mac Mini Server. I will let you know if there are any issues, but I plan on having using 3 x Seagate Backup Plus (powered) drives on this box. It shouldn’t have the sleep issues as it will be running 24/7 and sleep will be disabled.

    • Bernie Thompson Bernie Thompson Reply

      Unfortunately, no. VIA’s firmware update tool is Windows only. Linux users need to track down a friend with a Windows machine to do the update, unfortunately.

  2. Eric Linneman Reply

    My hub is showing the following:

    USB\VID_2109&PID_0810&REV_0374

    Is this updateable?

  3. Judd Reply

    I’ve tried above. When I run the HUBFWUpdateToolV1.1.sfx.exe file, it opens a DOS COMMAND window. When I press “Y” to proceed, I get the messages:
    VLI HUB PW Update Tool V1.1
    —————————-
    1. Intitialization Success
    Start Search HUB
    !!! NO device found!
    Press any key to continue..

    I tried rebooting and repeating, but same message

    My HUB continues to behave like the USB devices attached are being disconnected and connected repeatedly.

    Any suggestions?

    (PS – the device manager shows several possible USB devices, including 2 “Generic USB HUB”s, “Intel(R) USB 3.0 Root Hub”, Intersil(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller” and “VIA USB Root Hub” among others.

    It seems the closest to what is described above is one of the Generic USB HUB’s. Here is what is listed in Detail/HwareID:

    1st one:
    USB\VID_8087&PID_0024&REV_0000
    USB\VID_8087&PID_0024

    and the 2nd one:
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1E31&SUBSYS_50071458&REV_04
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1E31&SUBSYS_50071458
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1E31&CC_0C0330
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1E31&CC_0C03

    Can you give me any guidance for updating firmware or getting rid of repeating USB device Disconnect/Connect behavior?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Judd

    • Jeff Everett Jeff Everett Reply

      Hi Judd-

      I’m not sure that our firmware is relevant to you. Our firmware update tool is only for VL811 and VL812 based hubs, with the VID 2109 and PID’s listed in the post. If you don’t find these matching VID and PID numbers on your system (I don’t see them in the results you posted, thanks for posting with details though) unfortunately this upgrade is not relevant. If you do have a Plugable hub please email support@plugable.com and we’ll work with you to figure out what’s wrong.

      Best wishes-

      Jeff Everett
      Plugable Technologies

  4. Kenneth Chiu Reply

    I have a USB3-HUB4, Rev. A. The hardware IDs are:

    USB\VID_2109&PID_0811&REV_2997
    USB\VID_2109&PID_0811

    I’m also getting a “No device found” error, however. I’m running Windows 7, 64-bit.

    • Jeff Everett Jeff Everett Reply

      Hi Kenneth-

      Thanks for posting with your question!

      While the VID and PID indicate this is a Via based hub that this update might be relevant for, this is a different revision than what we’re used to seeing, so I’m not sure if there might be an issue upgrading from this firmware version. I have sometimes found that unplugging and replugging the hub’s USB connection AFTER launching the firmware update utility helps. Disabling any antivirus software might also help. If you have a Plugable brand hub and neither of these suggestions help please shoot an email to support@plugable.com with your Amazon Order ID and we’ll get you taken care of!

      Best wishes-

      Jeff Everett

  5. Lloyd Michener Reply

    I just purchased your 4-port USB 3 hub, but the firmware ugrade utility can not find the hub. I can see it under device manager as “NEC electronics USB hub” – there are two of them, with the following hardware IDs.

    USB\Vid_2109&Pid_0811&Rev_0392
    USB\Vid_2109&Pid_0811&Rev_0292

    I’ve rebooted the PC, rerun the utility, unplugged the USB cables and power and repeated the installation, and still get the “no device found” message.

    Advice?

    I’m running Windows 7, SP1, 64 bit.

    Lloyd Michener

    • Darren Leung Reply

      Lloyd, I had the same issue as you. also Win7 64 bit.
      Just run the install in Windows 7 compatibility mode. It will detect and upgrade from 9.2 to 9.83.

      peace,
      Darren

  6. Richard Hamilton Reply

    My new UD-3000 USB 3.0 Universal Dock worked great for about 3 or 4 days and then went into a “Slow” mode. The screen updates where ‘way’ behind and the Internet was at a crawl.
    Bypassed the Dock and the screen/Internet was flying. Did several USB input unplug and power reset. Tried the firmware upgrade and it failed.
    Generic USB 3.0 hub – USB\VID-2109&PID_0811&REV-3198

    Now what??

    Thanks

    Dick

    Windows 8, MS Surface Pro

    • Bernie Thompson Bernie Thompson Reply

      Hi Richard – Thanks for commenting! First, importantly, this post is only about firmware updates for our stand-alone hubs. Please do not apply generic VIA hub firmware to the hub in a docking station – it can brick the unit.

      Then in terms of the performance problem, since everything worked well for 3-4 days, it sounds like a software problem. We’ll be able to take a look at what might have happened, if you can send your DisplayLink Support Tool logs to us at support@plugable.com. Here’s how:
      http://plugable.com/support/tools/displaylink-support-tool

      Thanks for doing that, and thanks for your patience while we try to figure out what might have changed at the point where the performance dropped. Thanks!

  7. Jeff Everett Jeff Everett Reply

    Hi everyone-

    Today we’re happy to announce the release of new firmware versions for our VL811 and VL812 based hubs.

    These updates resolve a few cases where, on Windows 8 only, devices may not be detected in “downstream” ports 1-4 on VL812 based 7 port hub units with firmware v8571, and with detecting some usb 3.0 mass storage devices on VL811 based units with earlier firmware versions 9.20, 9.72, and 9.82.

    Most users do not need these updates: if you have previously updated a hub and are not experiencing one of the described issues, a 2nd update is not recommended and should not be needed.

    Please feel free to contact support@plugable.com or comment back with any questions.

    Best wishes-

    Jeff Everett
    Plugable Technologies

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  9. Mike B Reply

    Hi, I’m trying to get my new USB3-HUB-81×7 USB 3.0 7 port Hub working with my raspberry pi. Whenever I plug anything into it the port flashes blue for a moment then turns off – it doesn’t matter what device (hard drive, mouse, keyboard) or what port (1-4 or 5-7).

    This doesn’t seem to happen when I plug it into my macbook pro retina however.

    I took a look to try and see if I needed to update the firmware, and if that would help, but when I plug in my hub (to my macbook pro) it’s showing up in my system information under ‘USB High-Speed Bus’ not ‘USB 3.0 Hi-Speed Bus’ or ‘USB 3.0 Superspeed Bus’.

    Anyway, if I grab the PID and VID they don’t match – here’s what I see:

    Product ID: 0x2812
    Vendor ID: 0x2109 (VIA Labs, Inc.)
    Version: 85.70
    Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec
    Location ID: 0x1a120000 / 4
    Current Available (mA): 500
    Current Required (mA): 100

    Any help you could give would be very much appreciated – I’ve tried to mail your support email address, but I get no response (not even an email with a ticket #). Thanks!

    • Curious Reply

      I’m interested in getting a hub for my RPi as well. Would appreciate if someone from Plugable can comment on whether the VL811 or VL812 based hubs are compatible with it or not.

    • Rafael Reply

      Did you make it work on your Raspberry PI? I’m trying to make it work here, but no success. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

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  11. MikeB Reply

    I am having issues plugging a usb3.0 thumb drive into ports 1-4. It works in ports 5-7. This was under Windows8 64-bit. The hub shows up with a hardware id of:
    USB/VID_2109&PID_2812&REV_8570

    I believe I need to upgrade the firmware using VIA VL812, firmware version 8581

    The updater could not find the device.

    So, I plugged the hub it into my Windows7 64-bit machine. It shows up as a Renesas USB 2.0 Hub, with the same hardware ID. The updater could not find my hub to apply the update.

    This hub was plugged into a usb3.0 port on the host machines (win8 and win7).

    • Jeff Everett Jeff Everett Reply

      Hi Mike-

      We’ve seen issues with updating from from older driver versions on the NEC/Renesas host controllers- in most cases driver updates have helped customers be able to flash.

      If you’re familiar with how to check a devices properties in device manger, the “hardware ID’s” option under device details will show the PID and VID that are necessary to determine whether you have a newer or older NEC/Renesas USB 3.0 host controller. We used these chips in our PCIe expansion cards, so we have the latest available driver for each posted on our driver download section at the link below, along with screenshots of both the new and old VID/PID info so you can determine which chip you have and try the latest driver.
      http://plugable.com/drivers/renesas

      Alternatively, email a copy of the output from support@plugable.com along with your Amazon order ID and we’re glad to check what chip you have and recommend the latest relevant version- or provide an exchange for an updated unit if needed.

      Hope this helps but let us know if not!

      Best-

      Jeff Everett
      Plugable Technologies

  12. Kevin Reply

    Hi,

    I’ve purchased the USB3-HUB81X4 from Amazon, but when i plug it in, the PID & VID reads USB\VID_2109&PID_3431&REV_3098 instead of PID 0811 or PID0812. and when i tried to do the firmware update using the links provided, both the updater for 811 and 812 is unable to detect the hub. Does that means that the unit i got wasn’t using VIA 811 or 812? Is this expected?

    • Jeff Everett Jeff Everett Reply

      Hi Kevin-

      Thanks for posting! First, rest assured that we’ll be happy to get you taken care of.

      This isn’t expected, but there are a few possible reasons. First I’ll mention that the firmware looks like a known version for the 811 chip we expect in this unit- v9.83 (expected and reported as 3098- confusing, I know).

      So, the first thing that comes to mind is that either this is because some screen other than Hardware ID’s is the one you’ve seen this on.

      Even if this is in hardware ID’s I wouldn’t worry about it unless you’re seeing something that isn’t working- there are a number of reasons the firmware updates don’t work, mostly that the systems USB 3.0 (xHCI) host controller driver is outdated, but BIOS and firmware updates for the xHCI have also been needed in some cases.

      If you are seeing any issues with the devices connected to the hub just let us know!

      Best wishes-

      Jeff Everett
      Plugable Technologies

  13. Marcelo Lopez Reply

    Supposedly there is a newer revision of the VL-812(B2) chipset firmware. Revision 9081, and I’m curious when/if the plugable hub’s firmware will be updated to this reivision ?

    • Jeff Everett Jeff Everett Reply

      Hi Marcelo-

      Thanks for asking. I’ll try and offer a quick summary here, and please be aware we’ll be starting efforts to replace this article with one that spells things out in more detail since we’ve both expanded our product line and made some updates in the months since this post.

      For the latest units with the VL-812 B2 chip, firmware version 9081 is already shipping on the currently available seven port Aluminum USB3-HUB7A, and will begin shipping soon on the Black USB3-HUB7-81x.

      For earlier versions of the VL812 (not the B2 version) used in our older 7 port hubs, the 9081 update will not be relevant.

      The black four port USB3-HUB-81×4 uses the VL811 chip, rather than the 812, and thus 9081 will also not be relevant to any customers with this model.

      This update is only relevant to units that have revised hardware, not to the units produced previously- so existing customers don’t need to think about 9081.

      To put that another way, the only units that need 9081 will be shipping with it- so customers purchasing today shouldn’t need to worry about any updates.

      Feel free to let me know of other questions, we may not be able to reply right away but will work to ensure they are addressed in the upcoming post detailing the firmware versions appropriate to different products purchased at different times.

      Best wishes-

      Jeff Everett
      Plugable Technoloiges

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