Question Does a 1x PCIe to USB 3.0 card exist that doesn't require drivers?

Brcobrem

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Hi,

I'm wondering if there are any 1x PCIe to USB 3.0 cards that don't require drivers? I'd like to get USB 3.0 ports on a 1x PCIe card where the 3.0 ports are natively recognized by USB 3.0 boot devices/media.

Thanks for your help with my wish list.

Regards . . .
 

Brcobrem

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Hi SkyNetRising,

Thanks for the heads-up! I've never had a reason to know this, but now I do. I appreciate you sharing your experience on this : )

For the benefit of others, if you intend to use one of these PCIe USB controllers and expect it to work with non-WinPE, Linux or other OS's, you must have a way to inject the driver into the stick's/CD's/OtherMedia's build.

I would add, that if you don't want to/can't inject, and if using a WinPE/Linux/etc boot device, you should make sure that the card's chipset is natively supported by the version of the boot OS that you're attempting to use.

Hum . . . Seems to me that your answer might be specific to PCIe cards connected to the southbridge. Because we can insert a graphics adapter into (e.g.) 16x slot, which has direct access to the northbridge, and we know you can post/boot and see the Bios/UEFI, no drivers required. I look forward to your thoughts/comments/corrections.

Regards . . .
 

InvalidError

Titan
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Using add-in-board USB3 for boot requires either that your BIOS is able to enumerate and initialize the card at boot (unlikely to happen on a board without native or integrated USB3 ports) or that the card itself has an UEFI module to provide boot-time services. GPUs are available at boot because they have a UEFI block for the system BIOS to use to make it so. If you put a pre-UEFI GPU in a UEFI-only PC, the GPU won't work until the OS' drivers are loaded.

To be able to boot from USB3, you would need a USB3 card with an on-board UEFI to tell the BIOS how to boot from it. At a glance, those either do not appear to exist or are extremely rare.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
Too expensive to manufacture. When everyone is selling $16 pcie-usb expansions and you throw in a $100 expansion that's identical, does the same job, doesn't do anything other than facilitate boot options, you aren't going to have a large enough market wanting it, demanding it, buying it to make it viable to create.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Too expensive to manufacture. When everyone is selling $16 pcie-usb expansions and you throw in a $100 expansion that's identical, does the same job, doesn't do anything other than facilitate boot options, you aren't going to have a large enough market wanting it, demanding it, buying it to make it viable to create.
All of the ASMedia USB3 chips I have looked at support an optional firmware SPI (EEP)ROM, so adding the UEFI blob would cost maybe $2. Small enough of an incremental cost that it would get lost in the pricing noise of generic non-bootable cards.
 
Every device connected to PC or part of a PC needs a driver to work properly so OS knows of it's existence and use it properly. Only possible difference is whether OS has a built in driver or not. When such device is PnP, BIOS will also be aware of it's existence and OS too.
 

Brcobrem

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Hi SkyNetRising, Karadjgne, InvalidError, and CountMike,

This is an informative PCIe thread and I sincerely appreciate everyone sharing their knowledge.

Check this out:
USB 3.0 boot with ASMedia controllers - yes!
Here's one with that ASM1142 Chipset.
Another one.
Another one.

Well, I think I'm about done going down this rabbit hole any further. I was going to buy one of those above just to see if it works, but alas, the legacy motherboard I'm toying with only has a two 1x PCIe slots and one 16x graphics adapter already occupied. All those v3.1 high-speed (10Gbs theoretical) ASM1142 cards above require a 4x minimum.

To boot or not to boot . . . that is the question. I'll stay subscribed to this thread and look forward future posts. Thanks again : )

Regards . . .
 

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