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Page 23 of this PDF: http://downloadmirror.intel.com/23089/eng/D54250WYB_D34010WYB_TechProdSpec06.pdf
Thanks for your response. The USB3 adapter _does_ work fine when it is correctly enumerated. However, it is not enumerated by the system on cold boot; only on warm boot, I don't know at what point in the enumeration process it fails but the fact that 2 USB devices fail in a similar way on the NUC yet work fine on other hardware seems to indicate a problem with the NUC.
The problem seems more fundamental. These threads also refer to failure of some USB 3 devices during enumeration on cold boot (this is exactly what I'm seeing with this device):
Note that it's not that the device is simply failing to work, but that it is not connected during low-level enumeration. The issues appear to have been escalated to Intel tech support.
The 'solution' to my problem (as proposed in one of the above threads) is to enable the Deep S4/S5 option in the BIOS Power settings. This seems to be a _general_ solution where a warm boot is required for correct USB enumeration. It seems to point to a problem (or at least common incompatibility) with this power saving feature. Why not add it your KB?