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IEEE 1394 General Troubleshooting

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
This article lists basic steps for troubleshooting Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) 1394 devices and host controllers.
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The following steps should assist in troubleshooting most problems with IEEE 1394 devices.

The Device Is Unsupported

These devices generally appear with an exclamation point in a yellow circle in Device Manager, or do not appear at all. If the device is a host controller card, you could try a comparable Windows driver. Because the IEEE 1394 driver stack is (for the most part) unchanged between Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows 2000, it should work. Note that when you do this, you may cripple any Plug and Play or Power Management features the computer may have. This occurs when you apply a legacy driver to Windows 2000. Some devices (storage and printing, for example) require additional drivers to function. Verify that you have those drivers available before installing the device.

Only OpenHCI (OHCI) host controllers are supported natively. This applies to Windows 2000 and Windows 98 Second Edition. Sony CXD1947A (Vaio), all Adaptec controllers, and any other non-OHCI controller require additional device drivers as supplied by the manufacturer to function.

Device Appears and Then Disappears After Installation

This usually occurs because of a misinterpretation of the Power Management features of the device itself. It most commonly occurs with camcorders that have been connected to the IEEE 1394 bus. Once the device's internal power management cycles the device's power, it disappears from Device Manager because it has been "removed." The only solution, if available, is to alter the power-down settings on the device itself. There is no option to do this in Windows.

System Hangs After Connecting a Device

This is most often caused by a bus-reset storm. Each time a device is connected or removed, the entire bus is reinitialized and the devices are re-enumerated on the bus. This can occur because of bad hardware, unsupported hardware, or a "loopback" condition in which the cables have been looped back to the controller. This cannot be fixed without cycling the power. Remove the device, verify that the cables have not looped back to the host controller, and then cycle the power.

Devices That Gain Power from the Bus Get No Power

Many host controllers that supply power must be connected to an additional power source inside the system casing. In most cases, this uses the same style of power connector as that used for internal drives. Verify that the power has been connected. NEC controllers are a good example of this.

Also, a 4-pin device cannot draw power from the bus and must be plugged into a separate power source itself. Always connect a 4-pin device to the end of the device chain. If you place a 4-pin device between the host controller and a device that must use power from the bus, the resulting topology allows it no power source to draw from.

IEEE 1394 Camcorder or VC Camera Is Not Listed in Programs

Support for these devices is supplied through the Microsoft Streaming Class driver. Because of this, you do not have the option of adding it using the camera's and scanner's tool in Control Panel. In your software, choose "Microsoft DV Camera and VCR" if it is available as an option.

The Device Is Slow After Connecting

If you connect a low-speed device (such as a 200 MB/second hub, repeater, or other device) in the chain between the host controller and the high-speed device, the software must fragment the packets to accommodate the configuration. Always place low-speed devices at the end of a chain.

Cable Length

The limit for a FireWire cable is 4.5 meters.
TI Texas Instruments firewire

Article ID: 233307 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 14:46:03 - Revision: 4.0

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
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