Can I use USB 3 drives with USB 2?

A reader has an issue using USB 3 drives with her USB 2 machines:

“I have several expensive computerized home sewing machines that use USB drives to input special stitches or embroidery designs. Mine are only USB 2. They are not able to be upgraded. Is it possible to run a program or app to take USB 3 info to USB 2? The computers in the machines seem rather primitive compared to a PC or Laptop but sure make decorative sewing so much more enjoyable. Because of the expense of even the most modest computerized machines, most of us expect to be able to use the machines for many, many years which doesn’t leave much room for technology upgrades.

My sewing machines will only read USB 2. The one machine that the manufacturer tried to update to USB 3 would not read anything from a stick that was USB 2. I had to transfer the designs I was working with to the USB 3 stick to complete the quilt I was working on. I don’t know if my other machines will be able to use USB 3 or not. I would hate to have to transfer all 800 or so individual designs back and forth between versions of USB stick so I can use the designs I already have. Most embroidery designers only take into account the format for the different brands of sewing machines not the USB type. Updating computerized craft tools doesn’t move as fast as in other fields as the equipment is expensive for home use only. “

I have what should be good news for you. USB 3 drives are backward compatible with USB 2 drives. You won’t get the speed of USB 3, but you should be able to access the information without a problem. If it’s possible you might try uninstalling and reinstalling the update.

I’m not sure what your machine manufacturer did to upgrade, but the only way to upgrade a USB 2 device to USB 3 is to put in a new physical port. A software upgrade alone won’t do it.  It’s possible that they didn’t properly upgrade the software and that’s causing the issue. But it’s also possible there might be an issue with the drive you were using. Does it work on another device like your PC?

That being said, sometimes strange things happen that can be remedied by updating drivers or uninstalling and reinstalling serial bus drivers. While I could give you instructions for handling that on a PC, I’m not familiar enough with your sewing machines to be able to talk you through it.


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