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Troubleshooting FireWire Connections (Windows 7)

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This document applies to HP and Compaq Desktop computers with Windows 7.
This document describes general troubleshooting tips for IEEE-1394 (FireWire) devices in Windows 7. Perform the steps in one of the following sections to find a solution.
NOTE: Some FireWire devices require that the FireWire device software drivers be installed before connecting the FireWire device to the computer, such as certain digital cameras. When installing a FireWire device always follow the installation documentation from the device manufacturer. In cases where the installation of a device has failed, it might be necessary to use Microsoft System restore to go back to a time prior to when the device was installed or use a forced uninstall tool from the manufacturer's Web site.

Updating the FireWire driver software

Updating the FireWire Host controller can fix issues with a FireWire connection. Use the following steps to update the driver software:
  1. Connect to the Internet if the computer is not already connected.
  2. Click Start .
  3. Type Device Manager into the Search field. Click Device Manager from the results.
  4. Click the plus sign (+) next to Other Devices if it exists. If other devices are not listed, go to number 8.
  5. If there are any references to IEEE 1394, such as Bus host controller, right-click the name and select Update Driver Software. Follow this information to download and install any available updates.
    The name Other Devices is automatically removed and then added to the IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers category.
  6. Test the FireWire device again. If the message opens, continue using these steps. If the message no longer opens, you are done.
  7. If there are no more references to FireWire in the Other Devices category, click the plus sign (+) next to IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers.
  8. Right-click a Host Controller and select Update Driver Software.
    Figure 1: IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers
    Update Driver Software...
  9. Follow the screens that open to find and install any available updates through Microsoft.
  10. Test the FireWire device again. If the problem is not fixed, continue on to the next section.

Identifying the FireWire connection issue

Choose the following step for the symptom that best matches the issue you are experiencing. Click the heading to expand the information.

FireWire devices are detected by Windows but are not working properly

Perform the following steps to troubleshoot the FireWire port when a FireWire device is not working correctly:
  1. Unplug all FireWire devices connected to the computer.
  2. Click Start and type Device Manager into the Search field.
  3. Click Device Manager from the results.
    Device Manager opens.
  4. Double-click IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers.
    Figure 2: FireWire Host Controller listing in Device Manager (your listing might be different)
     Device Manager
  5. Right-click a Host Controller, and then click Uninstall. Continue until all FireWire host controllers are removed.
    Figure 3: Uninstall selected for the Host Controller
  6. Close Device Manager and restart the computer.
  7. If the FireWire device came with software and the software is not installed, install the software now following the manufacturer provided instructions.
  8. Reconnect the FireWire device that was having problems and test it to see if it works.
    The device should now work properly. If issues persist, continue using these steps.
  9. Open Device Manager again.
  10. Double-click IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers.
  11. Select the 1394 Controller, LSI 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (in this example), and select Update Driver Software.
    Figure 4: 1394 Host Controller in Device Manager
     Device Manager windows showing the 1394 Host controller and Update Driver Software selected
  12. Select Search automatically for updated driver software. What happens?
    • Windows Update finds and installs a driver. Use the FireWire port to see if the problem continues. If problems continue, see the next step.
    • Windows 7 stops responding when installing the driver. Restart the computer and see next step.
    • Windows Update does not find a more recent driver (problems continue). See next step.
  13. The hardware on your computer might not be compatible with a version of the IEEE 1394 driver for Windows 7. Repeat these steps to Update Driver Software from Device Manager, but instead of selecting "Search Automatically...", select Browse my computer for driver software.
  14. Select Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
  15. Select 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy), and click Next.
    Figure 5: Update Driver Software: Legacy Host Controller
    Update Driver Software window with 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy) selected
  16. Windows 7 automatically installs the legacy version of the 1394 host controller and restarts the computer.
    IEEE 1394 should now be functional.

FireWire device is not detected by Windows

Troubleshoot the FireWire port when the computer does not detect a FireWire device.
Perform the following steps to troubleshoot the FireWire port when the computer does not detect a FireWire device:
  1. Check Device Manager to see if the device displays under the IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers section or the Other Devices section. To do this, follow the procedures below:
    1. If the FireWire device that is having problems came with software and it was not previously installed, install the software now following the manufacturer provided instructions.
    2. Reconnect the FireWire device that was having problems and test it to see if it works.
      The device should now work properly. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
  2. Remove high-speed FireWire cables that are over three meters long and use high-speed cables that are less than three meters long.
    Only use high-speed cables less than three meters long with high-speed FireWire devices (for example, video cameras).
  3. There might be an issue with the FireWire port. Try plugging into a different FireWire port. If the FireWire device displays in Device Manager after plugging the cable into a different port, then uninstall and reinstall the FireWire device software driver.
  4. Consult the manufacturer of the device for support if the device still fails to display.

When you click the Safely Remove Hardware icon in Windows 7, a connected FireWire storage device is not displayed

If a FireWire storage device does not appear in the Safely Remove Hardware window, unplug the device, and then restart Windows.
Use the Safely Remove Hardware task tray icon to prepare Windows 7 for the FireWire device removal.
Figure 6: Safely Remove Hardware task tray icon
Safely Remove Hardware task tray icon
Use the Safely Remove Hardware icon to prepare Windows 7 for the removal of the FireWire device by pressing the eject button next to the device name.
CAUTION:If you remove a FireWire storage device while Windows 7 is accessing it, you might lose data.
Windows 7 does not show a connected FireWire storage device in the Safely Remove Hardware window when the device is connected to an embedded FireWire hub. Non-removable devices do not appear in the Safely Remove Hardware program.
To resolve this problem, shut down the computer before you remove the FireWire storage device.

You hear no audio playback after you unplug a FireWire audio device

When a FireWire audio device is unplugged, such as headphones or a microphone, no audio playback from the speakers is heard.
This can occur because Windows 7 did not detect the removal of the FireWire audio device and is still trying to send audio to the unplugged device.
To resolve this problem, close media player and then open it, or restart the computer after each time you unplug a FireWire audio device. This forces Windows 7 to rebuild its playback graph and recognize that the removed device is unplugged.
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