Windows 8 Upgrading Problem with Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver

Just got the media for the Windows 8 Enterprise 64 bit. I wanted to install it on my Macbook Pro 2012, which has USB 3.0 ports. My Macbook Pro had Windows 7 on it, so I picked the upgrade option during installation. There was a problem when the installer checked for compatibility. The installer prompted me to uninstall Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller. I went to the control panel and uninstalled the driver for Intel USB 3.0. I then started the installer again. To my surprise, I got the same exact message again!

Apparently, the uninstallation was not successful, and the system was left with some files or registry settings. I tried to Google for any tips. Unfortunately, there were not any tips. One trick I use often for uninstallation problems is to install the application or driver again and then uninstall it. This is what I did to solve this problem.

  1. Download the Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver from Intel. Note that the link might not work once there is an updated version available. Just Google it if the link in no longer available.
  2. Install the driver.
  3. Reboot the machine.
  4. Go to Control Panel to uninstall the driver.
  5. Reboot the machine

You should be able to upgrade your Windows 7 machine after the driver is successfully uninstalled.

[Update: 10/26/2012]
Please note that USB 3.0 driver is included in Windows 8. You won’t lose USB 3.0 functionality after you uninstall the Intel driver and upgrade to Windows 8.

[Update: 10/27/2012]
Some people reported that they lost control of mouse and keyboard after they uninstalled Intel USB 3.0 driver. You can try connecting an external mouse to your computer and see if you can continue the installation.

If these steps did not help you, here is one thing you can try. Try searching for any files on the C drive with usb3 as part of its filename. Make a backup of the file and its parent directory on a different drive or external device and delete them. Please see this thread for more info.

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  1. What will happen if you uninstall the driver? I’m afraid that if I uninstall it I will not be able to use the maximum power of my hardware, the usb 3.0 to be specific.

  2. Please, my notebook acer intel i3, have 1 usb 3.0 (intel driver) and windows 8 say: incompatible driver.

    If i install windows 8, i lost USB 3.0 ?

    Is possible Intel actualize this driver ?


  3. Just makes no sense. I lose control of my mouse when i uninstall, so i can’t continue the installation and get to the drivers in windows 8. Smart move, not.

  4. Thanks for the tip, that helped a lot.

    Something tells me that this post of yours is going to be one of the most popular posts on the Internet today…

  5. I also lost control of mouse and keyboard once I uninstalled driver on my Acer Aspire so cannot proceed with installation. What a nightmare….

  6. I did what u said twice and it didn’t work. I’m on a Dell Inspiron 15R SE. I’m uninstalled every usb that I could. Is there anything else I could do.. As you said, haven’t found anything else on the web. Thank you

      • I still can’t install win8. It says the same Driver is installed but I cannot find anymore files that you told me to delete. Well, I’ve only found 2.

      • Ok… I didn’t get it when u said “parent directory” but now I don’t know where it was that I deleted those files. U think that because I didn’t delete those parent directories that it’s causing the installation to stop?

        • It’s quite possible that you could not install Windows 8 because you did not delete or move the directories with the usb3 files. Suppose you find the file at


          The directory usb-driver is the parent directory. You need to delete that directory in order to upgrade to Windows 8.

          • One of those files are in C:\windows\system32\drivers
            Should I backup and delete the entire “drivers” directory? I’m still waiting for the CD to come.. With it I’ll have the same problem?

          • No, it’s a system directory. You might run to the same problem even you use the CD/DVD. I think you should save all your files and do a fresh installation.

  7. My problem is that I’ve created a bootable usb for the install of W8. So when I uninstall intel usb3 drivers it’s not recognised :/
    I’ll have to burn it, but I’m not able atm so is there any other choice?

  8. I have an Asus and was able to successfully uninstall the USB driver and install a USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Driver provided by Asus tech support. However, when I try to connect a USB 3.0 My Passport 1 TB hard drive, it auto opens an explorer window and keeps on opening this window every minute. If I plug the HD on the non 3.0 USB port, it works fine. Sent this to Asus tech hoping for a quick resolution. On a different topic, all my special keys on the laptop stopped working after Windows 8. I am also waiting for resolution on this.

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