Firewire major problem with brand new system.

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Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by hardminder »

Hi folks. A few months ago, some of you guys helped me realize my first built, and it's been absolutely great. I got my system to work like a charm, installed all my VST's transferred all my licenses, libraries and samples got Cubase 10 to work perfectly.

Before going any further, here are my specs :

OS : Windows 10 Pro 64x
Mobo : Asus Prime X-570P
CPU : AMD Ryzen 7 3800-X
GPU : Nvidia GTX 1050ti Dual fan
Memory : 2x16gb RAM
Storage : 2x1tb M.2
PSU : EVGA 500BQ

I had been doing this while still working on my old system to finish some old projects and start fresh on the new machines. The only thing left to do on my new system was to connect my audio interface (Focusrite Saffire PRO 24) which is firewire. When I was done with my old system, I plugged the PCIe Firewire card
https://www.siig.com/products/it-produc ... -pcie.html
to my new one. There the fun began...

No display, the lights on my Saffire are on, so the power is travelling, the fans on the GPU are on but no display. When I disconnect the firewire card, I get a display. Everything works fine.

I read online that this specific SIIG card has compatibility issues with a lot of other devices/boards, so I went to buy another one, another brand. Found that one on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07C8Z ... UTF8&psc=1

I plugged it in, I have a display, the PC boots normally. I get notifications that the device (Saffire) is ready to use but it doesn't appear in my audio devices. I download Saffire Mix Control 3.7 as you should to setup your interface. I launch the app, it says ''no device connected''. I reboot my machine to see if it might help and there the main issue occurs. The blue screen of death : Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. It restarts 2-3 times like that and then went to the ''Automatic repair'' screen. At that point I chose to unplug the Firewire card and only restart the computer. same thing happened a couple times an then booted normally. I still went to recover windows to a previous version.

I tried doing the same procedure but that time, the blue screen of death appeared as my computer was running, right after I launched Saffire Mix Control and showed ''no device connected''. It went through the same cycles of reboot, blue screen etc. I hard shut the system and unplugged the firewire card. To cut that long story short, it messed all my Master Boot Record and I had to recover a previous version once again but with a booting drive, as I couldn't boot anymore using my boot driver.

So... what's hapening, where is the problem? Should I go and buy 10 more PCIe Firewire cards and hope one works? I just don't know what to do anymore. I made it sound light and comical but I've been pulling my freaking hair out over this for the last 3 days, it's driving me completely mad. Thank you guys for your time. I'll be waiting for your advices.
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PSU : EVGA 500BQ
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Re: Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by Aaaalvis »

All that I remember when I was installing Firewire in my Dell when I first got my Sapphire 24, was that most people found it absolutely essential that the chip in the PCIe card was made by Texas Instruments. So, I got one with that and I've never, ever had any problems with it. I'm running Windows 7 on mine though, 'cause I hate 10.

Not sure if that helps ya'.
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Re: Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by hardminder »

Aaaalvis wrote:All that I remember when I was installing Firewire in my Dell when I first got my Sapphire 24, was that most people found it absolutely essential that the chip in the PCIe card was made by Texas Instruments. So, I got one with that and I've never, ever had any problems with it. I'm running Windows 7 on mine though, 'cause I hate 10.

Not sure if that helps ya'.


Thanks for you help. In my old system (which was also a Dell) my Saffire was working just fine for several years with my SIIG Firewire card, the same one I first tried in my new system. Windows 10 might be the issue too. I would have liked to stay on 7 but I was advised otherwise for reason I don't exactly remember but they were very valid reasons. New processors won't work with 7 if I remember correctly.

Thanks for your help, I'll look into it but not sure that's what I need.
hardminder
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Posts: 51 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:22 am
OS : Windows 10 Pro 64x
Mobo : Asus Prime X-570P
CPU : AMD Ryzen 7 3800-X
GPU : Not relevant!
Memory : 2x16gb DDR4 RAM
Storage : 2x1tb M.2
PSU : EVGA 500BQ
Cubase 10 Pro

Re: Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by CS70 »

Hard to debug at a distance, but the behavior you describe points to an hardware issue.

It may also the graphic card, NVIDIA driver bugs result in very odd behavior sometimes. I assume you have the lastest drivers for that.

The graphic card is in the first PCI slot?
Also, is the mb firmware the latest?

Have you checked the BIOS? Maybe PCIe is in RAID mode instead of x86? And single root i/o virtualization off/on?

Something you could try is to temporarily remove the Nvida card and use the integrated graphics instead to see if it makes a difference with the display.

Alternatively it may be worth trying with a different firewire card...
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Re: Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by James Perrett »

Have you seen Focusrite's support page on this subject? Their advice looks very relevant.

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/ ... ire-range-
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Re: Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by merlyn »

No display suggests something going wrong on the PCIe bus, which is a motherboard problem.

To rule out possibilities make sure the motherboard has the latest firmware, and that you have the latest motherboard chipset drivers. On new motherboards updating the firmware is easy and safe.

I think it would be possible to recover the hard drive that won't boot with the appropriate utility.
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Re: Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by OneWorld »

I have generally had no issues with firewire at all, and continue to use it - that's no use to you!

As mentioned, stick with a card that uses the Texas Instruments card.

I am a bit confused, is the system working fine until you plug in the Focusrite?

I would feel inclined to get the card installed and making sure it is installed and working correctly by looking at device manager.properties

And then plug in another firewire device if you have one handy - I have a few external firewire HDDs

Whatever you do, do not plug/unplug a firewire device whilst things are powered up

Start the PC and uninstall the Focusrite SOftware (by the the Focusrite software only goes as far as version 3.7 and Focusrite have said they will not be updating it, and it does have a few bugs, Focusrite say "live with it")

Before re-installing look at the instructions to confirm whether the hardware should be plugged in before or after the software is installed

I used to use a cheap as chips card with my Liquid 56 and RME FF800 but updated it when I got UAD hardware which specified one of two firewire cards, Siig being one of them but I bought the other as it had both FF400 and FF800 connectors

If you cannot get it to work I would be inclined to get myself a cheap USB interface for now then shop around for a better alternative, there are lots of reviews on here and good interfaces are getting cheaper all the while
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Re: Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by hardminder »

CS70 wrote:It may also the graphic card, NVIDIA driver bugs result in very odd behavior sometimes. I assume you have the lastest drivers for that.


Yes I do!

CS70 wrote:The graphic card is in the first PCI slot?
Also, is the mb firmware the latest?


Yes, the GPU is in the 1st PCI and the board is up to date

CS70 wrote:Have you checked the BIOS? Maybe PCIe is in RAID mode instead of x86? And single root i/o virtualization off/on?


After reading this I went in my bios and tried to find that for an hour, never found that setting. I looked online, didn't find a thing about changing SR i/o virtualization in my bios and didn't successfully found a way to check if my PCIe is in RAID.

CS70 wrote:Something you could try is to temporarily remove the Nvida card and use the integrated graphics instead to see if it makes a difference with the display.


CS70 wrote: Alternatively it may be worth trying with a different firewire card...


The issue is not just about the display anymore as I had success getting a display with another PCIe FW card. I think the first one was simply incompatible with my motherboard. The second seems to have an incompatibility issue with windows 10 or maybe it's just my interface that is incompatible with windows 10 1909.

I don't know, someone linked to a Focusrite page stating that Saffire pro 24 is NOT compatible with windows 10 1903. I read people are using the same Saffire with windows 10 1909 with no issues. I'll reply to the other message, feel free to jump in, thanks a lot.
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OS : Windows 10 Pro 64x
Mobo : Asus Prime X-570P
CPU : AMD Ryzen 7 3800-X
GPU : Not relevant!
Memory : 2x16gb DDR4 RAM
Storage : 2x1tb M.2
PSU : EVGA 500BQ
Cubase 10 Pro

Re: Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by hardminder »

James Perrett wrote:Have you seen Focusrite's support page on this subject? Their advice looks very relevant.

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/ ... ire-range-


Thanks a lot for this it's eye opening. It does states on that page that my particular interface (Saffire Pro 24) is incompatible with windows 10 1903.

Saffire firewire range (Pro 14, Pro 24, Pro 24 DSP, Pro 26, Pro 40, LS 56)
Works with Windows 10 1903? No

Saffire FireWire interfaces are no longer under development support, therefore we
recommend that users do not upgrade Windows OS beyond Windows 10 build 1809.

I'm running Windows 10 1909. This may well be the issue but technically they say it doesn't work with 1903, they don't talk about 1909. I've seen people saying they are using it with 1909. What do you think?
hardminder
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Posts: 51 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:22 am
OS : Windows 10 Pro 64x
Mobo : Asus Prime X-570P
CPU : AMD Ryzen 7 3800-X
GPU : Not relevant!
Memory : 2x16gb DDR4 RAM
Storage : 2x1tb M.2
PSU : EVGA 500BQ
Cubase 10 Pro

Re: Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by hardminder »

merlyn wrote:No display suggests something going wrong on the PCIe bus, which is a motherboard problem.

To rule out possibilities make sure the motherboard has the latest firmware, and that you have the latest motherboard chipset drivers. On new motherboards updating the firmware is easy and safe.


First, thank you for your advice. Yes the firmware and chipset are up to date, the system is 1 month old. I'll still make sure it is.

merlyn wrote: I think it would be possible to recover the hard drive that won't boot with the appropriate utility.


Yes the hard drive was recovered easily enough with a restore point.
hardminder
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Posts: 51 Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:22 am
OS : Windows 10 Pro 64x
Mobo : Asus Prime X-570P
CPU : AMD Ryzen 7 3800-X
GPU : Not relevant!
Memory : 2x16gb DDR4 RAM
Storage : 2x1tb M.2
PSU : EVGA 500BQ
Cubase 10 Pro

Re: Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by hardminder »

OneWorld wrote:I have generally had no issues with firewire at all, and continue to use it - that's no use to you!

As mentioned, stick with a card that uses the Texas Instruments card.


Yeah I think I will have to get that option a try. I don't know if you seen the link James Perrett posted but it suggests Saffire Pro 24 are incompatible with Windows 10 1903 and to stop updating the OS after 1809. I run 1909 so that might be my problem. On the other hand people claim to use it with 1909 without any issues...but with a TI chipset... so yeah...

OneWorld wrote:I am a bit confused, is the system working fine until you plug in the Focusrite?


To make a long story ''short'', with the first SIIG I would simply not get any display while the card and/or the interface was plugged. But the interface LEDs would be on. With the second card, a pretty cheap generic one, The system seemed to work fine until I ran the Saffire Mix Control Software. I even got a ''device ready to use'' notification (speaking of my interface) but couldn't find the interface in my audio devices. After that I really can't say, the sytem would crash at random points, but a one point again when I opened the Mix Control software.

OneWorld wrote: I would feel inclined to get the card installed and making sure it is installed and working correctly by looking at device manager.properties

And then plug in another firewire device if you have one handy - I have a few external firewire HDDs


I will try to install the card and check in device manager, even if I'm a bit scared by now. I do not have other firewire device to try it with though.

OneWorld wrote: Start the PC and uninstall the Focusrite SOftware (by the the Focusrite software only goes as far as version 3.7 and Focusrite have said they will not be updating it, and it does have a few bugs, Focusrite say "live with it")

Before re-installing look at the instructions to confirm whether the hardware should be plugged in before or after the software is installed


This scares me even more, reinstalling that software, I'll try it still but man I'm not pleased with the idea,

OneWorld wrote: If you cannot get it to work I would be inclined to get myself a cheap USB interface for now then shop around for a better alternative, there are lots of reviews on here and good interfaces are getting cheaper all the while


Yes I guess i'll have to do that if I don't succeed with the other alternatives but that doesn't please me at all. My Saffire is in perfect shape and I like the Focusrite preamps. I already spent 1,3k on that new system, I could have skipped the additional 300$ to replace a fully functional interface.

Thank you for taking the time to help me and to give me those advice. It is greatly appreciated.
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Storage : 2x1tb M.2
PSU : EVGA 500BQ
Cubase 10 Pro

Re: Firewire major problem with brand new system.

Post by James Perrett »

hardminder wrote:I'm running Windows 10 1909. This may well be the issue but technically they say it doesn't work with 1903, they don't talk about 1909. I've seen people saying they are using it with 1909. What do you think?


I think your first card has an unsupported TI chip but I don't know what your second card uses. About the only option I can see is for you to buy a card with a supported TI chip and get it working under 1809 before even thinking about updating to anything newer.

I gave up on using my Saffire Pro26io on my Windows 10 laptop and now only use it on my old XP laptop. However I was using a firewire chip that was known to cause problems so I was amazed that it worked at all and I could probably have used a TI based Expresscard interface if I really wanted to make it work.
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