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Windows 7: Windows 7 H P 64 intermittently not detecting Firewire ExpressCard


03 Nov 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Windows 7 H P 64 intermittently not detecting Firewire ExpressCard

Please forgive my long post, but it seems like a lot of threads seem to start with a short post and then people have to ask questions about the details. Hopefully the length of the post won't discourage anyone from replying.


Description of Problem

Windows usually will not detect my Firewire ExpressCards when they are inserted while it's running. Sometimes it will not even detected them if they are inserted before booting. There are times when Windows will detect them if they have just recently been disconnected using the icon in the system tray and then physically removed and reinserted. It also seems like Windows will detect the cards more readily if it is restarting after it recently has been running. Letting it sit overnight and restarting seems to reduce the chances the card will be detected. These cards are advertised as being capable of hot plugging.

Hardware

Laptop

Fujitsu Lifebook AH530
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium Home Edition Media Center 6.01.7601 Service Pack 1
> Platform : Intel Calpella
> Mainboard : FUJITSU FJNBB06
> Chipset : Intel HM55
> Processor : Intel Core i3 350M @ 2266MHz
> Physical Memory : 4096MB (2 x 2048 DDR3-SDRAM )
> Video Card : Intel(R) HD Graphics
> Hard Disk : Western Digital WD5000BEVT-16A0RT0 (500GB)
> Monitor Type : N156B6-L0B - 16 inches
> Network Card : Atheros Communications AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCIe)
> Network Card : Realtek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
> Ports installed : Intel(R) 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller

Firewire Cards

The 2 Firewire ExpressCards Used / Drivers / Chipsets:

SIIG NN-EC2022-S1
VIA 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller
VIA VT6315

Rosewill RC-612
Texas Instruments 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller
TI XIO2200AZHH

Troubleshooting Steps So Far

Insured that Windows was up to date

Insured that all drivers were up to date

Tested the SIIG card on a Windows XP notebook.

I tested the SIIG card with a notebook running Windows XP at a computer shop. That notebook detected the card and showed in in Device Manager instantly every time it was inserted.

Visually inspected the ExpressCard connector

Visually inspected the ExpressCard connector - OK, but I blasted it with air anyway.

Used the Legacy driver for the SIIG card

I tried using the Legacy driver for SIIG / VIA chipset cards. This didn't help with the detection problem and the card had frequent audio dropouts (I'm using the Firewire card to connect to a multi-channel audio interface). The Win 7 drivers performed better than the Legacy drivers once they were detected.

Checked for new BIOS

Checked for new BIOS. I have the current one. Tried resetting to defaults. No help.

Called the notebook manufacturer

Called Fujitsu. The notebook is a couple of weeks out of warranty. It will cost from $250 to $500 to get them to "fix" it if it is broken.

Called SIIG - the Firewire card manufacturer

Called SIIG - the Firewire card manufacturer - they said I could get a RMA if I wanted to swap it. But it works fine under Win XP, so why get it replaced?

Tried a Unibrain driver

Tried a Unibrain driver - wouldn't work with my audio interface and didn't fix the detection problem.

Removed "ghosted" driver entries

Removed the inactive Firewire devices from Device Manager in hopes it would then detect them on insert. Used Ghostbusters utility rather than geek with Device Manager every time just to be able to see them. No help. Windows never detected them without rebooting and sometimes not even after rebooting either.

Disabled and reenabled the "parent" port device

I disabled and reenabled the parent port device of the Firewire devices. That being the Intel(R) 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller device the the cards appeared under in Device Manager when viewing Devices by Connection on those occasions when they were detected by Windows. I did this in hopes Windows would then detect the Firewire card. This was never successful.

Bought a different Firewired ExpressCard with a different chipset

The original card I bought was the SIIG NN-EC2022-S1 with the VIA chipset. I bought the Rosewill RC-612 with a TI chipset as a means of troubleshooting the problem.

Used the Legacy driver for the TI chipset card

I tried using the Legacy driver for both the TI card. This didn't help with the detection problem.

Tried using an updated, non-Fujitsu Intel driver for the chipset

Using a newer Intel driver for the chipset did not help with the detection problem. Reverted to the current Fujitsu version.

Disabled Windows USB Root Hub power management

I unchecked "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" for the USB Root Hub and Generic USB Hub that are parent devices in Device Manager when viewing Devices by connection.

Tried a JMicron Filter driver

Tried a JMicron Filter driver that I had no real evidence was related to my cards. Caused some occasional BSOD problems and was a PITA to completely remove from startup.

Installed a couple of Microsoft Hotfixes

Installed a couple of Microsoft hotfixes that seemed like they might be related to the problem (SiS USB Registry Patch, KB2599521 - IEEE 1394 Problem).

Googled myself crazy

Questions

Is there a software utility that I can use to troubleshoot this problem?

I have a desktop with a PCI Firewire card in it that works flawlessly. What's different with the laptop aside from using the ExpressCard port instead of a PCI slot?

Is there some additional, intermediary device I need to check for driver updates?

My intuition is that there is a screwy driver somewhere. I have the latest drivers. Are there any "better" third party drivers available?

My assumption is that these cards should be detected first time, every time when they're inserted or Windows boots with them inserted. That was what happened using XP. Is this an unrealistic expectation?

What else can I do? I don't want to have clients waiting on me while I repeatedly reboot hoping Windows will detect the Firewire card.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

04 Nov 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hello scoco, welcome to the forum

A lot of people seem to have problems similar to yours with both Firewire and USB I think XP works better with these devices as it is a more "tolerant" OS than Windows 7 this is because Microsoft has tightened up the standards in an attempt to stop problems with drivers and devices.

I think your problems are caused by the devices but cannot rule out drivers. I would go as far as to say that the SIIG NN-EC2022-S1 may not be compatible with 7.

The Rosewill card on the other hand should work, but I am unsure what to understand by hot swapping. I would read that the card should be permanently plugged in and the fire wire devices can then be swapped as and when without switching off the OS.


Attached Thumbnails
Windows 7 H P 64 intermittently not detecting Firewire ExpressCard-capture.png   Windows 7 H P 64 intermittently not detecting Firewire ExpressCard-capture1.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Nov 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Pooch - thanks for the quick reply. So you're saying that hot-swapping means that devices connected to the Firewire card can be plugged/unplugged, but NOT that the Firewire card itself can? I may have misunderstood that. As far as the SIIG working with Win 7, the website and packaging indicate that it does. Regardless, starting from a cold boot with the Firewire card already inserted, Windows 7 does not consistently detect the card.


Attached Thumbnails
Windows 7 H P 64 intermittently not detecting Firewire ExpressCard-siig-firewire-page-hilight.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


05 Nov 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I take it that the Rosewill card is getting detected at boot?

I read it that the fire wire devices are hot swappable but I may be wrong, and I believe that the card needs to be connected at system boot so that the BIOS can register it allowing the OS to load the correct drivers.

We have conflicting info on the Siig I am going to stand by my theory that the card is not fully Windows 7 compatible unfortunately because it works (sometimes) I think it is just being pushed as Windows 7 compatible. It may be worthwhile to attempt to install it (uninstall old drivers first) with the XP drivers in compatibility mode; Compatibility Mode

If this does not work Go through this tutorial USB Driver - General Fix for Problems[2]=Hardware%20and%20Drivers

You can read the lines at the top but ignore the bit about your mouse as you are going to do this for fire wire.

Follow the tutorial through, but make the following changes;

substitute
the word USB with the word Firewire and when it comes to uninstalling drivers uninstall ALL Firewire drivers. Not as written just the faded entries.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNINSTALL ALL FIREWIRE DRIVERS

The tutorial is quite long and it is important to do it right, take your time and go through it one line at a time until you are finished. It may help to print it out, so you are not constantly swapping open windows.

I cannot guarantee that the tutorial will work, but when done properly it will also do no harm.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

pooch - You asked about the Rosewill - it does exactly what the SIIG card does - sometimes Win 7 detects it at boot when it's already inserted and sometimes not.

As for running the XP driver in compatibility mode, I'm not sure how to do that. The VIA and TI Firewire drivers are built into Windows - 7 and XP - so there's not an executable installation file to run in compatibility mode. Also, I don't know for sure where to get the XP drivers. Just copy from Windows\System32 from an XP machine? If you know a way to force the drivers to compatibility mode, I'll try that first. If not, I'll look into the USB procedure you mentioned. You say that the drivers must be uninstalled, but since they're MS/Windows drivers they don't show up in Remove Programs.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Another interesting observation - when Windows detects the SIIG card, I can see it in the system tray disconnect tool list as a VIA OHCI 1394 device. When it detects the Rosewill, it shows up as a PCI to PCI Bridge device in that list.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by scoco View Post
pooch - You asked about the Rosewill - it does exactly what the SIIG card does - sometimes Win 7 detects it at boot when it's already inserted and sometimes not.

As for running the XP driver in compatibility mode, I'm not sure how to do that. The VIA and TI Firewire drivers are built into Windows - 7 and XP - so there's not an executable installation file to run in compatibility mode. Also, I don't know for sure where to get the XP drivers. Just copy from Windows\System32 from an XP machine? If you know a way to force the drivers to compatibility mode, I'll try that first. If not, I'll look into the USB procedure you mentioned. You say that the drivers must be uninstalled, but since they're MS/Windows drivers they don't show up in Remove Programs.

Thanks.
OK thank you for this info. I have never used a fire wire device so some of this is new to me. I think it best to go on with the tutorial and I think it is still best to follow it through as written, however if no drivers show up in Device Manager then you cannot uninstall them and should just go on with the next step.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by scoco View Post
Another interesting observation - when Windows detects the SIIG card, I can see it in the system tray disconnect tool list as a VIA OHCI 1394 device. When it detects the Rosewill, it shows up as a PCI to PCI Bridge device in that list.
Something is definitely confused then lol
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

My bad I should read things properly the tutorial will work as far as uninstalling the drivers, you will be uninstalling them from Device Manager not Remove Programs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Nov 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Should the Rosewill be wrongly detected again Go to Device Manager expand the IEE1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller tab, right click on the entry for the Rosewill click on Update driver software and then on Browse my computer for driver software, next on Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer. ensure there is a tick in the box "Show compatible hardware" and select the 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller followed by a click on next.

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This will ensure that the right driver is installed


My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I still have not resolved this problem. Also, my DAW software intermittently loses connection to the Firewire audio interface regardless of which Firewire card I use. In those instances, I do not lose the Firewire device, just the connected audio interface.

I have a couple of questions:
- Does anyone with Windows 7 64-bit and a Firewire card NOT have to reboot repeatedly to get it recognized?
- Is there a software utility that can definitively isolate where this problem is happening (BIOS, chipset, Windows, etc.)?

Thanks.

Scott
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 H P 64 intermittently not detecting Firewire ExpressCard




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