Which USB 3.0 interface


I have an external drive that I use for backups. It has two ports - 1*USB 2.0 and 1*USB 3.0 the 2.0 has the standard USB port and the 3.0 has the "other" style, i.e. the larger plug. My new laptop boasts all 4 USB ports are 3.0 but physically, they are the same as the "old" style standard ports.

So, my question is, has the "new" 3.0 physical port been superseded by a resurgence of the old style port? If so, is there an adapter that can up-scale the ports on the laptop to the original high speed ports so that I can continue to use my external drive for high-speed backups?



Distinguished Member
The USB standard specifies at least a half a dozen different plugs so it's worth trying to be specific.

Inferring from context I'm guessing you're talking about type A ports on your laptop and type B ports on the external drive:


If that is the case then what you're seeing are correct. The USB3 Type A ports appear exactly the same, while the Type B ports have been expanded upwards to accommodate their corresponding extra connectors. Although the type A ports appear the same they do have extra pins recessed towards the back to connect with the extra pins on the larger type B port, and both will work fine with older USB connectors.

If what you're seeing on the drive is a port that looks like the ports on the laptop but is wider then it's likely to be a combined USB and eSATA port or something similar, although I didn't know they'd made USB3 versions.


Thanks for this. I have researched some more and you are correct in that it was a USB/ESATA combined port that I had on the previous machine. I will try a USB to ESATA converter and see whether I can still get the high speeds to the external drive from the new machine's USB 3.0 port.


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