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

21 May 2012   #11

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hello scoco I stumbled upon this thread because I also have these problems with an PCI Firewire Card under Windows 7 x64 and my external firewire soundcard. I tried 2 VIA chipset cards which are recognized and a build-in driver from Windows 7 is installed. So far so good.

Unfortunately my soundcard is not recognized and it's controlpanel states 'no device found ... looking for devices'.
I found a way to get all Windows 7 related drivers reset/reinstalled by using the Intel Chipset Identification Utility which can be downloaded on the Intel website.
  • Open a command prompt. Go to the directory where you unpacked the utility. Type: 'setup.exe -overall' whithout the quotes.
  • The utility will start to replace all the motherboard drivers and suddenly my external card is recognized!
  • So far so good. But I already noticed that the connection is buggy. Restart is required after installation.
  • Unfortunately after restart my soundcard blue led starts flashing which means there are communication errors.
  • After logged on to Windows the blue led turns off which means there is no connection between my system and my soundcard.
So at the end this seems more like a driver/communication problem. The chipsets on the 2 PCI cards I tried are VIA VT6306 and VT6307. The VT6306 was tested and recommended by my soundcard manufacturer.
I also read on the Microsoft website that Microsoft rewrote the firewire driver stack in Windows 7 so this could render older cards useless if no proper drivers are made by it's manufacturer. I also tried the legacy driver in Windows 7 but no luck and the same problem. I also tried the Unibrain drivers as the original poster did but no luck either.

I haven't tried other chipset brands like Texas Instruments but I'm afraid it has something to do with the PCI slot/Bridge. The next thing I will try is to get a PCI-E card with a Texas Instrument chipset to see if this will solve the problem.

The very last option is to get a motherboard with firewire onboard. Unfortunately I just stepped up to an Z77 board with I7-3770K which didn't have a firewire connection and that's why I bought a PCI card. This is where my problems started and I haven't been able to produce any song since a week.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2012   #12

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Andreas73 - I feel your pain. I wish I could try a PCI card, but I'm working with a laptop. Since my original post I have discovered that of the two Firewire ExpressCards I have, the one with the Texas Instruments chipset is the more stable than the one with the VIA chipset. Still, I have occasional dropouts. I also have to reboot Windows - sometimes 2 or 3 times - before it initially recognizes that the card is there. That leads me to agree with your assessment that it may have something to do with the ExpressCard slot. I believe you are on the right track in getting a card with a TI chipset. On my desktop, I really have no problems with the PCI Firewire card. It's just the laptop. I feel like Microsoft and the ExpressCard manufacturers have really dropped the ball on this issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2012   #13

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hi scoco. Thanks for your reply. May I ask which PCI Card you have in your desktop? I know it's no guarantee that it will work with my mobo also but I can always try .
Also if you know the chipset on that card I would love to know which one it is.

I don't mind if manufacturers and/or Microsoft make changes to the benefit of making it better. But please do tell us which cards/chipsets do work with the new driver stack.

I saw that the Intel has a z77 motherboard with TI Firewire onboard. The only drawback is that it costs $200,-.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 May 2012   #14

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Andreas - I think the card was a Nexxtech brand with at TI chipset. Got it at a surplus place for about $7.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 H P 64 intermittently not detecting Firewire ExpressCard

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