Plugable USB 3.0 7 Port Hub Firmware History

Customers purchasing Plugable hubs after 9/2013 should not need to worry about firmware updates. Firmware versions on hubs shipping after September 2013 on all Plugable hubs have no known issues with Linux, Mac, and Windows hosts.

Customers who purchased 7 port black hubs before 9/2013 may need firmware updates. Many customers with VL812 hubs have asked if they can/should update to firmware v9081, and this is not needed or recommended. The 9081 firmware for the VL812-B2 chipset cannot be flashed onto a VL812 hub with 8581 firmware. The primary purpose of this post is to enable customers to confirm that their hub is already on the latest firmware, and clarify that updates are NOT needed for currently shipping USB 3.0 7 port hubs- only for older 7 port hubs purchased before September of 2013.

Plugable products for which the updates in this post may be relevant are listed in the table below.

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.

USB3-HUB7-81X

USB3-HUB7A

VL812 Units purchased from Amazon US after November 16, 2012 (January 17, 2013 for Amazon UK orders) have the VL812 chipset. Amazon US customers, depending on your order date and location, these units may have had firmware version 8564, 8571, or 0701. Amazon UK customers currently will receive 0701 firmware. Customers with any of these older versions should use the:

Plugable VL-812v8581 USB 3.0 hub update utility.
No Update Needed

Units purchased on or before 8/2013 came with the VL812 running firmware 8581.
VL812-B2 No Update Needed

Units purchased after 10/2013 in the US may contain the VL812-B2 chipset with the firmware version 9081, or the VL812 with 8581. In either case, this is the latest firmware version and there is no need for an update.
No Update Needed

Units purchased in or after 9/2013 have firmware version 9081.

I have a black hub purchased before 9/2013: How can I tell if I need to update?

Even on older firmware versions 8571 and 0701, many users will not have problems. Only if you are having issues with devices not connecting as expected is updating recommended. In case of issues, to determine if hub firmware might be to blame, please check your system’s device manager or system profile to determine the firmware “rev” or “version” as shown below.

Alternatively, you can send a copy of your PlugDebug report to support@plugable.com for assistance determining if hub firmware or other updates may be relevant for your system:
Instructions to download and use PlugDebug.


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: 0×0812
Vendor ID: 0×2109 (Via Labs, Inc)

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

Firmware Update Utility system compatibility:

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.

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. The firmware flash utility at this time will not work with Windows 8.1. We were also able to successfully update the firmware on a hub running Windows 7 x64 in BootCamp on a Mac (Parallels and other virtual machines, however, will not work).

If you do not have access to a Windows PC with USB 3.0 ports (or a BootCamp partition on your USB 3.0 Mac, or you are running Windows 8.1), please contact support@plugable.com for assistance.

Updating VL812 USB 3.0 Hub Firmware:

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

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 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!

2 thoughts on “Plugable USB 3.0 7 Port Hub Firmware History”

  1. Joshua, thanks for this very detailed and helpful guide. I was able to confirm my anker 7-port usb 3.0 hub has firmware 90.81 and needs no update.
    However, there is one issue remaining and maybe you can help.
    I am using a MacPro (late 2013) and have three hard drives connected to the hub. When I start the Mac with the key down it gets into the boot selection screen. I am now able to select my boot drive. Unfortunately, at this point the mac doesn’t recognize any of the drives connected to the hub. But i am certain they all have bootable partitions (they become visible when connected directly to any of the Mac’s ports or when connected through an usb 2.0 hub).
    After the bootup process I can access any drive on the Anker usb 3.0 hub without problems.
    Any idea ?
    Thanks and best regards
    Martin

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