Journal, Technology

FireWire/USB PCI Card Sleep Issues

For as long as I can remember, my PowerMac G4 has not been able to sleep nor restart properly. Whenever I put the computer to sleep, nothing I did could bring the computer back. When I restarted it, the fans come on, but the display either stayed black or remained frozen in the Apple logo screen. I had always chalked it up to the computer being on its last legs, but I have finally traced the problem to my D-Link DFB-A5 FireWire/USB 2.0 PCI card adapter.

Apparently, many other people have been experiencing the same problem. In all my searches, I never came across this page. I wish I had, because that would have saved me a lot of headache everytime I was forced to shut down the computer to restart it.

There is an updated driver for DFB-A5. It seems to work if I don’t have a hard drive plugged into the card, which is pretty useless given that’s the reason why I bought it!

The Quad G5 comes with two FireWire 400 ports, but only one in the back. I have five FireWire hard drives that I use from time to time and one FW card reader that’s always plugged in. I could daisy chain four of the FW hard drives and the card reader to one FW400 port, using the FW800 port for my LaCie drive. I could use the Cinema Display and get two more ports, but none would be available in the back of the computer. Another option would be to access the drives using USB 2.0. I want my computer to sleep, so until there’s a PCI-Express card that works properly, I’ll have to choose from one of these solutions.

Or… I could get a 4-drive FW enclosure for my hard drives. Anybody have experience with something like this from FWDepot?

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3 thoughts on “FireWire/USB PCI Card Sleep Issues

  1. After doing some research on RAID options for the PMG5, I’ve decided I’ll go w/ the FW800 external if I need it. If you aren’t planning to do RAID though, wouldn’t a bunch of single drive enclosures be easier?

  2. I hadn’t thought about using a FireWire hub, thanks!

    All my FW HD’s are in external enclosures right now. I was thinking of consolidating into one box to avoid cable and power adapter clutter. A striped RAID 0 setup might be good for capturing video and working on photos. I can then use the ReadyNAS to back everything up.

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