The battle for firewire supremacy...

Presonus Firebox Vs. Firewire hard drive

For some reason lately, my presonus firebox interface gets all glitchy during playback and is pretty much unusable. When I unplug my firewire hard drive that holds all my files and try some wav files on the onboard hard drive everything works fine. This goes for everthing audio related (CD’s, wav files, etc). They won’t play smoothly unless the external firewire hard drive is unplugged. Just curious if this problem sounds familiar at all to anyone? A battle for supremacy between the 2 firewire units since they are both working at once? If you need more info I’ll list it, just ask. Setup:

HP XZ148 laptop (P4M-2.0ghz/512ram/WinXP-SP1/PCMCIA firewire card (three 6-pin firewire ports), Ultra 120gb firewire drive, Presonus firebox audio/midi interface

Did you recently upgrade to WinXP service pack 2? I’ve heard that it resets the firwire port to a slower speed.

Tom’s Hardware article

Microsoft (straight from the horse’s mouth)

Looks like sm’s still got SP1:

HP XZ148 laptop (P4M-2.0ghz/512ram/WinXP-SP1/PCMCIA firewire card (three 6-pin firewire ports), Ultra 120gb firewire drive, Presonus firebox audio/midi interface

sm, does this happen even when there’s only 1 track in a project, or only after you reach a certain number of tracks? I’m still pondering this issue in a very general PC-hardware-ish way, since I ain’t got no FireWire, FireWire drive, Presonus Firebox, or even a laptop. I’m thinking it’s a bandwidth/IRQ issue, since both FireWire devices are going during playback. First, getting the latest driver for the FireWire card could help (but be prepared to rollback if the old driver works better). Also, you might try using the DoubleDawg utility to tame any PCI bus hogs, if you haven’t already. If your video device is set to something like 248, bring it down to 96 or lower, and you might try increasing the value for your FireWire card/devices. If you need help with this, just ask.


Okay found out what the problem was…Presonus has this listed at the bottom of the troubleshooting page (duh to me!) I just wanted to share this for future reference because it may be relevant to some other external firewire cards:

Presonus FAQ

Q: I am using an external Firewire hard drive to record audio with the FireBox. I am getting pops/clicks/dropouts on playback. Why is this?
A: If the Firewire drive is connected to the computer parallel to the FireBox (on the same Firewire card), the FireBox may not function properly. You should chain any Firewire hard drive to the FireBox itself via the second Firewire port on the back of the unit. You should not chain the FireBox to the Firewire drive, as the drive needs to be last in the chain.