PCMCIA Firewire Adapter Issues

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

I saw a similar thread more than a year old on this topic, with little
help for my present situation, so I though I'd try bringing up the
subject.

This is an attempt to add new capabilities to an older computer, and
that rarely works, so I might be up against a wall here, but maybe
someone has conquered what I'm fighting now.

Computer is a Dell Insprion 2650 (same as in the thread that led me to
this newsgroup).

Several months ago I had a Mackie Onyx mixer with the Firewire option
in for evaluation. Since none of my computers have a Firewire port, I
thought that the laptop would be a good candidate for updating, given
the potential for using it in a portable recording system. After trying
and returning several PCMCIA Firewire adapters, I finally got an
Adaptec AFW-1430A working with the Onyx audio.

Now, a few months later, I'm interested in adding an external disk
drive to the computer so I'll have more space (and hopefully faster
throughput than the internal 4200 RPM drive) so I've been trying
external Firewire drive cases. I've been through five of them now and
haven't found one that works properly through this Adaptec adapter.
Generally they'll be recognized when connected, but when I try to read
from the drive or write to it, the computer will hang. If I'm patient
enough, I'll eventually get a "Delayed Write Failed" message, and with
the present drive case (which, interestingly enough, has the same
Prolific PL-3507 combo USB/Firewire chip that was described in the
message that led me here) once I've attemted to access the drive, all
the files on it get erased! Not a good thing.

I took the drive in the case to a friendly used computer store where
they let me plug it in to one of their display computers, and it worked
fine. So I can't fault the drive or drive case. The problem is pointing
to the Adaptec PCMCIA adapter, but their tech support has been pretty
weak. Last thing they told me was to try the drive and adapter on
another computer - like, if I had another computer, I probably wouldn't
need the adapter.

Since the standard Windows Firewire drivers are used, there's no such
thing as "download the latest drivers." I'm running Service Pack 1.
I've been resisting installing SP2 because I don't need what it offers
and everything is stable. I can't tell for sure, but it doesn't seem
that there's a Fireewire/IEEE 1394 driver update in SP2. Is there? If
so, is there any way to get that without going the whole nine yards?

Any insight would be helpful. I suppose I could go on a quest again for
PCMCIA-Firewire adapters, this time trying to find one that works with
two devices rather than one. Or maybe this is just one of those things
that simply doesn't work.

If it's not too late, if you're replying to this, I'd appreciate an
e-mail copy as I might have difficulty finding my way back here. But
I'll try.

- Mike

Thanks
3 answers Last reply
More about pcmcia firewire adapter issues
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    Install SP2.

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    "Mike" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
    news:1123689230.347855.84200@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    >I saw a similar thread more than a year old on this topic, with little
    > help for my present situation, so I though I'd try bringing up the
    > subject.
    >
    > This is an attempt to add new capabilities to an older computer, and
    > that rarely works, so I might be up against a wall here, but maybe
    > someone has conquered what I'm fighting now.
    >
    > Computer is a Dell Insprion 2650 (same as in the thread that led me to
    > this newsgroup).
    >
    > Several months ago I had a Mackie Onyx mixer with the Firewire option
    > in for evaluation. Since none of my computers have a Firewire port, I
    > thought that the laptop would be a good candidate for updating, given
    > the potential for using it in a portable recording system. After trying
    > and returning several PCMCIA Firewire adapters, I finally got an
    > Adaptec AFW-1430A working with the Onyx audio.
    >
    > Now, a few months later, I'm interested in adding an external disk
    > drive to the computer so I'll have more space (and hopefully faster
    > throughput than the internal 4200 RPM drive) so I've been trying
    > external Firewire drive cases. I've been through five of them now and
    > haven't found one that works properly through this Adaptec adapter.
    > Generally they'll be recognized when connected, but when I try to read
    > from the drive or write to it, the computer will hang. If I'm patient
    > enough, I'll eventually get a "Delayed Write Failed" message, and with
    > the present drive case (which, interestingly enough, has the same
    > Prolific PL-3507 combo USB/Firewire chip that was described in the
    > message that led me here) once I've attemted to access the drive, all
    > the files on it get erased! Not a good thing.
    >
    > I took the drive in the case to a friendly used computer store where
    > they let me plug it in to one of their display computers, and it worked
    > fine. So I can't fault the drive or drive case. The problem is pointing
    > to the Adaptec PCMCIA adapter, but their tech support has been pretty
    > weak. Last thing they told me was to try the drive and adapter on
    > another computer - like, if I had another computer, I probably wouldn't
    > need the adapter.
    >
    > Since the standard Windows Firewire drivers are used, there's no such
    > thing as "download the latest drivers." I'm running Service Pack 1.
    > I've been resisting installing SP2 because I don't need what it offers
    > and everything is stable. I can't tell for sure, but it doesn't seem
    > that there's a Fireewire/IEEE 1394 driver update in SP2. Is there? If
    > so, is there any way to get that without going the whole nine yards?
    >
    > Any insight would be helpful. I suppose I could go on a quest again for
    > PCMCIA-Firewire adapters, this time trying to find one that works with
    > two devices rather than one. Or maybe this is just one of those things
    > that simply doesn't work.
    >
    > If it's not too late, if you're replying to this, I'd appreciate an
    > e-mail copy as I might have difficulty finding my way back here. But
    > I'll try.
    >
    > - Mike
    >
    > Thanks
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    pcbutts1 wrote:

    > Install SP2.

    I guess you didn't read my comment about SP2, or you just have a stock
    answer for anyone who says he hasn't installed it.

    I have been informed by Dell that the PCMCIA slot (hardware) in my
    computer is not intended to support a Firewire disk drive. Newer
    motherboards do, but this computer isn't worth a motherboard
    transplant. And of course a newer motherboard would almost certainly
    have a Firewire port so it wouldn't require an external adapter.

    So I'm giving up (without installing SP2). But thanks for noticing.
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

    Mike,
    SP2 does indeed update the drivers for firewire. Seems like some Oxford
    911 chipsets take to the updated drivers o.k., and some don't. The
    delayed write failure can sometimes be cured by turning off drive
    caching for the external drive, in disk management.
    To avoid these problems on this particular computer, I am running SP1
    with all updates except SP2.
    If you can find this and it helped, please post back.
    Best,
    Treeman


    --
    Treeman


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