A possible solution to get USB 3.0 devices to work

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A possible solution to get USB 3.0 devices to work

Postby gabrielh » 2011-03-15 09:54


First sorry for any English mistake as I am French.

I use Debian 6.0 (Squeeze) amd64.

I had some problems to get my USB 3.0 external hard drive to work on my USB 3.0 express card (a Trendnet TU3-H2EC). Before, it mounted randomly, say one time on ten. If it didn't mounted after I boot, then I had no other choice than to reboot again and again until it is finally mounted.

I was a little exasperated by this behavior and searched some solutions on the web. None of them worked for me.
Firstly, here is my output of lsmod | grep xhci :
Code: Select all
xhci                   33444  0
usbcore               122386  6 usb_storage,usbhid,uhci_hcd,ehci_hcd,xhci

Among the proposed solutions, here is what I tried :
  • added an option to the kernel line. I tried to edit the file /etc/default/grub and added the following in the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX parameter : xhci_hcd.enable=1, then xhci-hcd.enable=1, with no luck. Also tried xhci.enable=1 (sounded more logical to me as I think I don't have any xhci_hcd module) but I then got the error "xhci : unknown parameter enable" and xhci was then disabled. I guessed that this could be the path to the resolution of the problem, but I don't know which parameter this module is accepting. I didn't forget to do a update-grub after I edited this file of course.
  • created a file /etc/modprobe.d/xhci with content "options xhci enable=1" or /etc/modprobe.d/xhci_hcd with content "options xhci_hcd enable=1" but no luck with that.
  • created a file /etc/pm/config.d/unload_module or /etc/pm/config.d/xhci_hcd or /etc/pm/config.d/xhci with content "SUSPEND_MODULES=xhci_hcd" or "SUSPEND_MODULES=xhci" but still no luck except that now the "hibernate" command is shutting down my computer (not hibernate, a real shutdown).

So nothing worked so far.

I felt that xhci was loaded too late and so failed to work properly most of the time. We have to find a way to load it before the other modules.

Here is what I then tried after having restored all the files I modified :
  • append "xhci" to /etc/modules" so that it now contains the following :
    Code: Select all

    This should have for effect to load the module at boot time.
  • added a line "softdep ehci-hcd pre: xhci-hcd" to /etc/modprobe.d/aliases.conf before the last two lines to ensure that xhci is loaded first ; here is the last three lines of this file :
    Code: Select all
    softdep ehci-hcd pre: xhci-hcd
    softdep uhci-hcd pre: ehci-hcd
    softdep ohci-hcd pre: ehci-hcd

Then rebooted. It worked ! Then rebooted again. Worked again ! Then rebooted (to ensure that is worked). Worked again ! My hard drive is now mounting properly !

So if you got the same problem, you can try my solution. It worth a try !

Hoping to help someone someday !

Posts: 1
Joined: 2011-03-15 09:21

Re: A possible solution to get USB 3.0 devices to work

Postby jbesquire77 » 2011-11-28 18:29

Seems to have worked for me, using a Samsung 1TB (S2 Portable) external hardrive.
Transfer speeds are only about 28 MB/s but it at least it mounts on my usb 3.0 ports.

Running: Debian 6.0.3
Kernel 2.6.32-5-amd64
System76 Gazelle
Posts: 1
Joined: 2011-11-28 18:21

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