Hardware & Technical Saitek X52 Pro on USB3.0 (Intel Z97 chipset)

I thought I should share some of my experiences from working to get my X52 Pro to work properly. I own a Maximus VII Gene motherboard (Intel Z97 chipset). I could not get my X52 to work. The installer would hang and crash my computer and the throttle would not light up.

I am using Windows 7 64 bit.

The short version is that the Intel USB 3.0 controller is not compatible with Saitek X52 Pro, even if you use the USB2.0 ports. There are two ways to make it work:

1. (Recommended) - Use another USB controller altogether. Most motherboards come with a third party additional USB controller. On my motherboard it is an ASMedia USB3.0 controller. I had to check the motherboard manual to see which USB ports came from which controller and once I plugged my X52 to an ASmedia USB 3.0 port everything worked fine.

2. (Emergency workaround) - In BIOS, disable xHCI (USB 3.0 functionality) on the Intel USB controller. This is necessary if you are forced to use the Intel controller. This will make all Intel ports USB2.0 and will enable you to install and make the X52 work.

Remember to check USB configuration in the BIOS.
- I have Legacy USB Enabled.
- I have xHCI on "Smart Auto", although "Enabled" would probably work just fine.
- EHCI handoff should probably be disabled (works best for me).
- On my ASMedia controller I also enabled Battery Charging functionality enabled.

I am willing to bet that this problem is not limited to the Maximus VII Gene. I would assume that all Intel USB3.0 controllers have the same issues with this joystick (and probably other devices as well).
 
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I thought I should share some of my experiences from working to get my X52 Pro to work properly. I own a Maximus VII Gene motherboard (Intel Z97 chipset). I could not get my X52 to work. The installer would hang and crash my computer and the throttle would not light up.

The short version is that the Intel USB 3.0 controller is not compatible with Saitek X52 Pro, even if you use the USB2.0 ports. There are two ways to make it work:

1. (Recommended) - Use another USB controller altogether. Most motherboards come with a third party additional USB controller. On my motherboard it is an ASMedia USB3.0 controller. I had to check the motherboard manual to see which USB ports came from which controller and once I plugged my X52 to an ASmedia USB 3.0 port everything worked fine.

2. (Emergency workaround) - In BIOS, disable xHCI (USB 3.0 functionality) on the Intel USB controller. This is necessary if you are forced to use the Intel controller. This will make all Intel ports USB2.0 and will enable you to install and make the X52 work.

Remember to check USB configuration in the BIOS.
- I have Legacy USB Enabled.
- I have xHCI on "Smart Auto", although "Enabled" would probably work just fine.
- EHCI handoff should probably be disabled (works best for me).
- On my ASMedia controller I also enabled Battery Charging functionality enabled.

I am willing to bet that this problem is not limited to the Maximus VII Gene. I would assume that all Intel USB3.0 controllers have the same issues with this joystick (and probably other devices as well).
This is a common fault with the X52. In the end I just couldn't get it to work as my controllers were all USB3 and disabling HCI was not an option I could live with.

In the end I returned my X52 and got a Thrustmaster Warthog which works flawlessly although I did prefer the feel of the throttle on the X52.
 
This is a common fault with the X52. In the end I just couldn't get it to work as my controllers were all USB3 and disabling HCI was not an option I could live with.

In the end I returned my X52 and got a Thrustmaster Warthog which works flawlessly although I did prefer the feel of the throttle on the X52.
The ASMedia controller is USB3.0 enabled and works fine. The problem only seems to be with the Intel controller.
 
This is strange as I run E : D on a MacBook Pro Retina 15 which has ONLY USB 3.0 ports, and they are Intel chipset USB 3.0 ports (and I cannot disable this in BIOS since it's a Mac). I have a basic powered USB 2.0 hub plugged into it and my X52 Pro plugged into that hub. I can run the latest Saitek driver and SST software just fine with Windows 8.1 and play the game perfectly with zero problems. I can even reboot with it plugged in, no hangs, no crashes, it just works.

I'm still completely puzzled at all the USB 3.0 posts about the X52 Pro, and I was initially not going to get an X52 Pro until I found one other user that had it working fine as well. I gave it a try, and no problems. Now, I have not tried plugging it directly into my USB 3.0 port, as I also have read that the X52 Pro is very power hungry, and so I run from a powered hub to ensure it always has enough power anyway. But I seem to doubt that the hub is really making any difference since the software sees my USB 3.0 internal hardware hub before the USB 2.0 hub it's plugged into and I would think the software would have issues then, but it does not at all in my case (and the other person I know as well).

The OP does not mention what OS is being used, is he using Windows 7 by chance? I use Windows 8.1, maybe the issue is really with Windows 7 and USB 3.0?

Just my $0.02 observations. Maybe it will help someone.
 
@sceaga , Yes I have the same findings. iMac 27" 5K running windows 8.1 with a powered USB 2.0 hub connected via the mac onboard usb 3 and the X52 works fine. I just don't understand the variability on the X52 front, some seem to have no problems where others have a tough time.
 
... <snip>
Now, I have not tried plugging it directly into my USB 3.0 port, as I also have read that the X52 Pro is very power hungry, and so I run from a powered hub to ensure it always has enough power anyway. But I seem to doubt that the hub is really making any difference since the software sees my USB 3.0 internal hardware hub before the USB 2.0 hub it's plugged into and I would think the software would have issues then, but it does not at all in my case (and the other person I know as well).
Can you try connecting directly to an Intel USB3.0 port? It wont break anything, worst case scenario is that some joystick driver components fails to load and you cant access control panel or profiler. It all goes back to normal when you change port back.
The OP does not mention what OS is being used, is he using Windows 7 by chance? I use Windows 8.1, maybe the issue is really with Windows 7 and USB 3.0? ... <snip>
I use Windows 7 yes. It could very well be a driver component that is causing the issues, most likely related to Intel since the ASMedia uses its own driver and I have no issues with it.

Poor BIOS coding and power could also be an issue, but blaming the PSU seems far fetched. The problem is too common for that. I am using a Sesonic Platinum 860W and it should be rock solid.
 
Can you try connecting directly to an Intel USB3.0 port? It wont break anything, worst case scenario is that some joystick driver components fails to load and you cant access control panel or profiler. It all goes back to normal when you change port back.
Tried plugging my X52 Pro directly into my USB 3.0 ports, and the Control Panel works just fine, recognizes all buttons. I didn't test it much further than that though, but it seemed to be fine.
 
I am struggling myself...I had mine plugged into the USB port of my mid-2012 MacBook Pro Retina (although had to be unplugged for booting) without issues, however I had separate issues with windows and I suspected malware and figured I was overdue for a cleanup anyway. I have since reinstalled Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit) three times (and currently on the fourth install) as I cannot get the X52 Pro installed correctly with software again. Each time it fails in a slightly different way as I try different things...the last attempt worked right up until the last minute when after apparently installing, the driver software locked up and required a hard shutdown of the computer.

I am starting to hate the X52 Pro and I am at a loss how Saitek can release such buggy drivers and get away with it - Google searches reveal so many people with the same issues.

The crazy thing was hat it worked like a dream last time on exactly the same computer with the exact same USB port. I am starting to suspect the the drivers depend on other dll files etc that are not installs by default, but that are maybe installed by other applications (so I already had it before when I installed the joysticks). The last (and most successful) attempt to reinstall seems to back this up as I manually added the d3drm.dll to my 32 bit drivers folder (on the advice of another forum) before installing the joystick.

I hope this time it works, I am getting as frustrated as hell right now.

-- Pete.
 
@Pete: The X52 Pro problems have got to be with Windows 7, as I have zero problems with it on Windows 8.1 on my MacBook Pro Retina using USB 3.0 or a USB 2.0 hub. Unfortunately, I don't know of a solution that works on Mac hardware with Windows 7, since the "BIOS fix" method won't work on Mac hardware. :-(
 
@Pete I have tested the X52 pro several times on a mid 2012 MBP ret under OS X and all buttons and functions are detected fine. Therefore your mac hardware WILL read the stick and throttle fine. The lights on the LCD and some of the LED's on the throttle don't seem to function but operationally it seems fine, it even reads the clutch mode change without issue. Have you tried Windows 10 ? Here is the link for the technical review iso, http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/preview-iso . Obviously you install that version at your own risk even if it can be bootcamped.
 
@Pete I have tested the X52 pro several times on a mid 2012 MBP ret under OS X and all buttons and functions are detected fine. Therefore your mac hardware WILL read the stick and throttle fine. The lights on the LCD and some of the LED's on the throttle don't seem to function but operationally it seems fine, it even reads the clutch mode change without issue. Have you tried Windows 10 ? Here is the link for the technical review iso, http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/preview-iso . Obviously you install that version at your own risk even if it can be bootcamped.
This is probably due to the X52 not getting enough power to light up.

Has anyone else here had success by just using a different USB controller? Remember I just switched from Intel to ASMedia and it all worked out.

Also, sometimes there are more than one cause. Low power, buggy drivers and poor hardware are not mutually exclusive ;)
 
This is probably due to the X52 not getting enough power to light up.

Has anyone else here had success by just using a different USB controller? Remember I just switched from Intel to ASMedia and it all worked out.

Also, sometimes there are more than one cause. Low power, buggy drivers and poor hardware are not mutually exclusive ;)
Well as I said, it worked perfectly with the exact same equipment before I reinstalled Windows, so certainly not a power or hardware issue.

I seemed to find a solution last night; but it involved rushing through the driver install as fast as possible before it hung. It didn't seem to fully complete, and later I had my first ever Windows 7 blue-screen crash...so that wasn't good either. However, the X52 Pro did seem to be working and configured at that point...but the management software didn't seem to be available (but the profiler was). I will try again once more this evening.

Later this year I plan to buy/build a dedicated PC for gaming and "windows stuff", so hopefully everything will be better then. I will also get Windows 10 for that PC once it's available.

-- Pete.
 
This is probably due to the X52 not getting enough power to light up.

Has anyone else here had success by just using a different USB controller? Remember I just switched from Intel to ASMedia and it all worked out.

Also, sometimes there are more than one cause. Low power, buggy drivers and poor hardware are not mutually exclusive ;)
Absolutely agree norcus. I think we are seeing several issues here. One the power thing, which is odd as USB 3 should have a better supply than USB 2. But I have read of issues with certain computer manufacturers implementation of the USB 3 standard (no I am not going to name them).

Secondly there seems to be driver issues and these seem to manifest themselves all over the place and if effected the solution presented by norcus is the most likely (maybe the only) solution.
 
Have you tried Windows 10 ? Here is the link for the technical review iso, http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/preview-iso . Obviously you install that version at your own risk even if it can be bootcamped.
A bit of an old thread here but seeing as it's been released now....
I would currently avoid Windows 10 and the X52 Pro (not sure about the non-pro). Any removal of the X52 Pro causes Windows 10 to become un-responsive, making strange noises from mouse movement and refuses to shutdown requiring a hard reset. It also "lost" one of the disks in my data mirror, both times I tried it!

On the subject of the initial post / USB3.0 issues. I reported my issues to Saitek, their response was that the USB driver was buggy, great I'll just tell Intel that shall I?
 
Bit of a bump for an old thread..... I recently got a new PC with a Z97 chipset and USB3.0. I got random crashes as soon as I tried to install the X52 drivers, and there seemed to be no way of disabling USB3 in the BIOS. Using a 2.0 hub didn't make any difference either.

In the end, got a cheap internal USB 2.0 card, £4.90 from Ebuyer: http://www.ebuyer.com/42657-dynamode-5-port-usb2-0-pci-card-4-external-1-internal-usb-4pci-2-0

Installed the card, loaded drivers without a hitch and X52pro working like a dream! :)
 
After I installed Windows 10, the MDF started being unstable. It would turn off sometimes and fail to display all text. I ended up getting a Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS. Never going back to Saitek :)
 
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