I have a Sony Vaio and after months of troubleshooting discovered the firewire requires it's own IRQ. It works fine for ext HD or camera functions because the data stream can be interrupted, but needs to have it's own IRQ when using a 26-channel audio interface due to the bandwidth and the data stream can not be interrupted. Sony is useless in helping me resolve this issue and because it's taken me more than 30 days to discover the exact problem I can not return the laptop.
I also attemted to use an express firewire card with the TI chipset. This was forced into sharing IRQ as well with 4 other devices. I can see 2 IRQ's not being used.
Personally, I believe I have grounds for a law suit as this laptop is incapable of using Firewire at it's full potential. Sony refuses to allow me to return it.
I remember the days of yore. =) Win7-64 Pro has the option to change the IRQ grayed out. Sony advised all their laptops are done that way.
After a lot of investigation and research into the 1394 standards, a Sony technician admitted to me that their laptops are not 100% 1394 compatible. It works great for devices that use asynchornous protocols, however devices that use real time streaming, isochronous protocols, do not work correctly. The Sony technician also advised other Sony laptops are setup the same way.
In the end, Sony agreed to buy back my laptop even though I was several months from the return date. IMHO, their laptops are not 100% 1394 compatible.
I have not done enough research to find which laptops that are 100% 1394 compatible. I have a Macbook Pro I know will work and seems to be 100% 1394 compatible, but I have other issues with that notebook and will never buy another apple computer.
I've decided to purchase a rack mount PC specifically designed for high end audio recording that can handle the Isochronous real time streaming traffic over the 1394. When audio recording you can't afford to lose a single byte of information.
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