Category Archives: News

Plugable Products Now Available in Canada

In response to the huge demand from our customers in Canada, we are happy to announce that Plugable products are now available in Canada via amazon.ca. Within the next few weeks we will be rolling out our entire product line.

We’re really excited about this, as it allows our neighbors in the north access to great products like our Plugable UD-3000 USB 3.0 Docking Station for docking laptops and USB graphics adapters like our Plugable UGA-2K-A USB 2.0 Graphics Adapter and Plugable USB3-HDMI-DVI USB 3.0 Graphics Adapter for adding up to 6 monitors to a system.

Just order any of our offered Plugable products on Amazon.ca, and Amazon will dispatch the product from their Canada warehouse to your destination quickly along with perks like FREE Super Saver Delivery on eligible items.

Customers in Canada can now expect the same direct-order, fast, low-cost, no-hassle shipping and support experience that we consider essential to serving our customers the “Plugable” way.

For everyone who has asked about shipping to Canada in the past, thanks for your patience! And to all our customers, thanks for going out of your way for Plugable products!

USB3-SATA-U3 (ASMedia 1051e) Firmware Update

Plugable is pleased to announce that a firmware update for our USB3-SATA-U3 adding the following features is now available:

  1. Improved support for 512e “Advanced Format” drives.
  2. Spin down disks after 10 minutes of inactivity, resume on access.
  3. Spin down disks on system sleep, resume on system wake.

Any customers who have a USB3-SATA-U3 in roughly March-August 2012 who are NOT using 32 Bit PC and wishing to access volumes above 2.19TB should apply this update. To be clear, this update is recommended for most users with docks beginning with serial numbers 991 101, or 102.

For customers with older docks with serial numbers beginning with an 8 or lower, these docks used a different chip set, and this update is not relevant. Issues with these older docks are more likely due to outdated USB 3.0 host controller drivers. For customers with newer docks beginning with serial numbers 103 or higher, this update should have already been applied and should not be necessary- feel free to use the firmware check utility below to confirm, and proceed with update as needed.

Checking firmware version

All units with serial numbers beginning with 991, 101, or 102 are expected to have firmware version 12092681f600.

A utility to verify firmware version on Windows is available here.

Mac users can open system information (open the Apple Menu, hold the alt/option key, and select system information). From the USB section of System Information, click to highlight the USB3-SATA-U3, and then verify the serial number as shown here:

serial 101

serial991

If your serial number in system profiler begins with 991, 101, or 102, this firmware update is recommended.

After update, docks will report a serial number matching the one shown below, 1051E121005010000:
firmware 121

Updating Firmware

Updating firmware on the USB3-SATA-U3 is only possible on Windows, however nearly any Windows PC with USB will do, as this update can be completed over USB 2.0. Mac users may wish to borrow a friend or neighbor’s Windows PC to complete this update, however for Mac users can also use virtual machine options like Parallels or VirtualBox to complete this update by assigning the USB3-SATA-U3 device to the virtual machine, and using it to complete the update. Mac users who cannot get access to a USB 2.0 capable Windows PC can instead contact support@plugable.com to make other arrangements.

To update your USB3-SATA-U3, first download the firmware update utility here, and follow the steps below.

  1. Double click the“U3_FW_Updater_130220.exe” update utility.
  2. If prompted by User Account Controls, select yes. User Account Control Approval
  3. Check to see that your U3 is listed by the update utility as pictured here, and press start:
    ASMedia FW Update
  4. After upgrading verify that firmware version 13022081f602 is reported by the update utility.

For deeper technical details, read our post on understanding large SATA volume compatibility.

Please let us know if you have questions or run into issues by posting below, or shoot an email to support@plugable.com.

[usb3-sata-u3-post]

DisplayLink Windows 7 Compatibility Issues with Basic Mode and Chrome

Two important Windows 7 compatibility notices, for users of DisplayLink devices:

1) A Windows update deployed by Microsoft on 2/27/2013 is leaving Windows systems in Basic mode, which then causes problems with older DisplayLink drivers prior to 6.3 M1, including the very common 5.6 M1 version. The particular update causing the breakage appears to be a Microsoft change to DirectX. When first released on the 27th, Microsoft had it as a “recommended” update so it was pushed out widely. Microsoft has now switched it to be an “optional” update. You can read discussion of the affects of the update here.

This problem is Windows 7 specific.

There are a couple options for solutions:
1) Install the latest DisplayLink drivers (currently 7.1 M1). You can download the latest DisplayLink drivers here.
2) Uninstalling the offending update individually. Here’s how.
3) Doing a system restore to 2/26/2013 or prior will solve the issue.

A separate problem, but one that appeared around the same time, is Google Chrome tabs hanging on load.

On Feb 22nd, Google Chrome updated to version 25.0.1364.97m. This version conflicts with any installed DisplayLink version 7.x drivers and higher, on Windows Vista and up. Google is working to fix this in a Chrome update, but until then you can work around the issue by passing the –disable-gpu flag to chrome. To do this, type “chrome” in the Windows start search box, but don’t hit enter. Then right click on “Google Chrome” and select properties. Enter the –disable-gpu parameter as the last part of the “Target” string (note that’s two dashes before the word disable!). Here’s what it looks like:

chrome-disable-gpu

Please let us know if any problems persist after these new Microsoft and Google updates. Feel free to comment below. We’ll help however we can. Thanks!