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Use a PCI FireWire card for selective device startup System
This is more of a hardware suggestion, but I have found an advantage/reason to install a PCI firewire card. It allows one to turn-on and off devices selectively without worrying about the other devices in the chain.

I've got a couple of external firewire hard drives which I use occassionally, but aren't worth leaving turned on. When they were chained together off the built-in firewire port, I always had to worry about whether to power up everything in that chain.

This also means a quieter office, since there are that many less noisy cooling fans! I only use firewire hard drives, so I don't have any experience with the vagaries of firewire devices running from a PCI card vs. built-in port, but this may allow you to save those precious built-in ports for problematic firewire devices.
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Use a PCI FireWire card for selective device startup
Authored by: sfuller on Aug 06, '03 11:17:47AM

Belkin also makes a 6 port firewire hub if for some reason you can't add, or don't want to add another firewire port to your PC. they run about $90 or so.



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Use a PCI FireWire card for selective device startup
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Aug 06, '03 06:19:47PM

There is another very good reason to use a FireWire PCI card: If a bad cable or port in the FW device causes power to be transmitted on the wrong pin, the FW chip is toast. If that's the FW chip on your motherboard, you're screwed.

This happened to me but, luckily, my PowerMac was still under warranty and the motherboard was replaced at no charge. I've since added a $15 FW PCI card and only use my motherboard's FW ports for connecting my camcorder (which carries no power on its cable). If a bad cable or device fries my FW PCI card, I'll simply toss it and get another one for cheap $$.



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Use a PCI FireWire card for selective device startup
Authored by: BrentT on Aug 06, '03 10:26:33PM

I got a refurbished FireWire card from Belkin for $7! It worked without needing an extra driver. However, the card kept my G4 from going into deep sleep. The monitor and drives would go off, but the fan kept going. I guess I needed a card with a driver that allowed deep sleep. But if you don't mind that issue you can't beat the price!



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