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Windows 7 FireWire issues Audio Interfaces
Old 6th May 2012
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Windows 7 FireWire issues

Hello everyone,

This is a common topic I have found after many hours of googling. I have read dozens of topics and websites but I'm still left without a solution. I'm hoping someone here can help me out.

Let me summarise:
*I have a TC Electronic Desktop Konnekt 6 that ran perfectly on my Windows XP system for years.
*I installed the 32 bit version of Windows 7. The soundcard and FireWire worked just fine.
*Upgraded to Windows 7 64 bit after upgrading to an i-5 with a ASUS P8Z77-M motherboard and 8GB of RAM. I've also upgraded my PSU to 750 watts A-label brand (instead of the old 450W one).
*All I got was a horrible cracking noise with seconds of silence, then followed by cracking that would be even more at home in a horror film. Also my PC (which was most apparent when looking at a YouTube clip for example) was horribly laggy whenever the Desktop Konnekt was plugged into the FireWire PCI card. A YouTube clip would play for 2 or 3 seconds then lag for 2-3 seconds and so on.
*I checked the obvious things, the PCI Firewire card, the cable and upgraded the FireWire driver to Legacy. No changes.
*I can access the sound card through the driver software (TC Near) just fine. I can make changes as well.

The only big possibility I can think of is my PCI card. It's a cheapo one and I presume doesn't have a TI (Texas Instruments) chipset. However, I have my doubts as things ran just fine under the 32 bit variety.
Does anyone have any advice? As I'm a bit clueless as to what to do. I can purchase a TI PCI card, but they are extremely expensive in my country and from some topics I've read it's not a guaranteed fix.
I'm getting a bit desperate and even considering buying a USB card just to be done with it. Any suggestions on those?

Old 6th May 2012
Old 6th May 2012
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Unfortunately, yes.

In fact when I first loaded the 64 bit system I accidentally selected the 32 bit, which wouldn't even go to the first step of installing and said it was the wrong version.

Just to be sure I've just reinstalled the drivers again and the issues persist. I can however add that while it used to be a job done in seconds to load the driver software (TC Near) in Windows XP, it now takes up to 30-40 seconds before I can access the soundcard.
Old 7th May 2012
Gear nut


There appear to be lots of problems with WIndows 7 & Firewire. MIcrosoft seem to hate firewire, every time they updated XP they screwed firewire up and Windows 7 appears to be even worse.

Just spent the whole weekend trying to get firewire working properly. Windows 7 64 bit. PIC interface card with VIA chipset.
Just will not recognise Focusrite Liquid Mix. Echo Audiofire 8 connects and the DtoA side works fine, but the record side (A-D) is full of dropouts.

First thing recommended is to use the legacy drivers (which were already loaded). I searched the internet and tried lots of suggestions. None worked.
There are suggestions that PCI and firewire do not mix on Windows 7. Some have suggested using a PCIE card.

Will try removing the UAD cards and any other PCI stuff tonight.

Really annoying having a fast I7 computer that its hard to get above idling on and not being able to get audio in.

Makes you want to shake Bill Gates gently by the neck....
Old 7th May 2012
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by RonMc View Post
The only big possibility I can think of is my PCI card. It's a cheapo one and I presume doesn't have a TI (Texas Instruments) chipset.
Go into the control panels and find the System panel and go to Device Manager.

Open te widget for the IEE-1394 Device (that's firewire)
If you see anything other than Texas Instruments in there, that's your problem.

Most audio interfaces puke on anything other than Texas Instruments chips
(especially if the interface uses the Dice chipsets that REQUIRE TI firewire)

Belkin and SIIG make reasonably priced TI firewire cards.
ONLY use TI cards for video/audio devices and you'll be OK.
Old 8th May 2012
Never say overtweaking
I'm now using SIIG NN-E20012-S2 PCIe 1394a card with TI chips without any problems, even less digital performance noises than the original onboard VIA 1394.
The 1394 driver is still the windows 7 default driver (non-legacy).
My audio interface is Echo Audiofire 4 (driver 5.7.6)
running in Windows 7 SP1 64bit

and to get better sound in windows 7, no matter AD or DA, you may bee to do such things:

1. Make sure the BIOS of your motherboard is the latest version.

2. Make sure all of the drivers of your hardwares are the latest versions, especially the drivers of your motherboard chipsets, SATA controller, audio interface, universal ports (e.g. 1394, USB, thunderbolts), MIDI devices, and update the drivers of your other hardwares may also reduce the DPC latency somehow sometimes, e.g. display, ethernet, printers, etc.....

3. Try to update the microcodes of your CPU if it is possible for your hardwares, but as what I know, Intel had claimed the microcode would be updated when you upgrade the intel BIOS (just claimed in their official website). But I don't know how can that be or possible or not in the other systems.

4. use the highest performance policy for desktop machines.

5. disable the "system protection" in "advanced system properties" if possible or you don't mind.

6. use the most fastest performance anti-virus software if that machine need AV software.

7. switch the "processor scheduling" in "advanced system properties" into "background services" instead of "program".

8. tweak all the priorities of audio related tasks ("Audio" and "Pro Audio") of MMCSS to the highest, just inside the windows registry: Multimedia Class Scheduler Service
make sure "Scheduling Category" is "High", "SFIO Priority" is "High", "Priority" is 8, "GPU Priority" is 31 and "BackgroundPriority" is 8, and the "SystemResponsiveness" is 10 only.

9. tweak all the priorities of necessary IRQ to the highest, inside the windows registry too, just in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\PriorityControl
use "IRQ#Priority" = number of priority, and # means the number of IRQ, e.g. for IRQ 8 getting the highest priority: "IRQ8Priority" = 1. Boosting the priorities of IRQ0, IRQ8 and the exclusive IRQ of your sound devices or 1394/USB card or even some onboard sounds may help the sound of your windows 7.
As my test result before, I've proved that boosting priorities of IRQ0, IRQ8 and exclusive IRQ of 1394 card all to 1 gives the best sound, in the result of the benchmark of my Echo firmware. And the differences are audible immediately.

10. I've just tested that, many people always say lower DPC latency values of windows 7 can still help to improve the sound, it is incorrect now. I've tested the both 2 situations here:
a: I've tweaked so many settings and the sounds have plenty of differences, but DPC latency values are still nearly the same.
b: I've ever tried to decrease the DPC latency values by turning down all the audio-irrelevant services and programs. It's made the DPC latency always below 20?s. But the sounds are always the same as much larger DPC latency.
So, I can sure that DPC latency do nothing with the sounds and its glitches, but just have to keep the DPC latency can be always as stable as it can. It is no any problems if your DPC latency can always be kept around 50?s to 200?s.

All of the items above had all been tested by myself and it's proved help to improve the sounds and reduce or even exterminate all the clicks/pops.
You may try them if you can.
Old 14th January 2013
Gear Head

Same problem - new solution

I have been having this problem for AGES - pretty much since i switched to firewire. PC hates FW because Mac (through IEEE) makes PC pay - basically its not open format.

To counter this, PC developed USB 3.0. Unfortunately, mac also made Thunderbolt. From here on in, Mac's will ship w thunderbolt and no USB 3.0, PC's will ship w 3.0 but no firewire/thunderbolt. A friend of mine who is an electronics engineer informed me that the major difference between the two interfaces is the adapter at either end of the cable. He said it would even be possible to swap adapters and use a USB 3 cable for Thunderbolt, vice versa. I don't know how true THAT is, but their specs are almost identical.

This isnt such a big problem for desktop studios as we can use our open PCI/PCIe slots to add Firewire/Thunderbolt or USB 3.0...EXCEPT - USB 3.0 requires some of the newer motherboards to work and i highly doubt mac will put compatability for that on their new basically, if you have PC you have the upper hand: you can easily put FW/TB cards in a PC tower, but you can't easily put USB 3.0 cards in a Mac tower.

RE driver issues: I have found my stability went WAY up w TI chips, but also if you get a TI chip that has fw400/800 w A and B connectors. You can use a 400A connector from your device to an 800b connector to your card and have greater stability. Want MORE stability? Get the kind of FW 800 cards that connect via PCIe16 slots. They recieve power from the motherboard to run more stably with multiple devices and can deliver greater bandwidth.

Finally, if you can't afford one of these fancy TI thingies but you use more than 1 firewire device (ie interface + external harddrive) you would do better to have two FW cards than run them both through one because of the bandwidth sharing.

There's my two cents...good luck! I'm kinda scared right now because we are at a major turning point with digital audio production: for a while it seemed ethernet would replace both firewire and usb, but now that looks less likely. This means that the newer interfaces will either stick w. FW, or switch to USB 3.0 OR ThunderBolt. I doubt if most will offer an output in both formats. Therefore, even though AVID now allows third party hardware, you might be limited in your options by interfaces that use either TB or USB3.

Any news from the programmers on the forum?
Old 14th January 2013
Windows 7 itself is not the reason some FW interfaces aren't workinve very well. It is mostly the cheaper grade FW controllers (Jmicron, Ricoh, etc) and poorly written drivers. Sometimes, using 'legacy' driver helps.

As long as TI chip-loaded controller is used, and the driver is well written, FW audio interfaces just work great under Win 7. The question is how to get these things sorted out. FYI, I've used Gigabyte/Asus motherboard with TI chip, PCI/PCIe FW controller cards with TI chip, and they all worked well with FW interfaces like Saffire Pro 24, MAudio PF2626, and RME FF UFX.
Old 14th January 2013
Here for the gear

I have Steinberg/Yamaha MR816X firewire interface and similarly ..things worked without a glitch on winxp but on my win 7 machine there were lots of stutters and all kind of **** .... with "DPC latency checker" utility i noticed frequent spikes .. further investigation led me to my nvidia graphic driver as the culprit ... i installed latest srivers and some older ones too .. latency spikes in DPC got reduced.. but the sound was still stuttered and thus unusable fo any serious use ... then i checked and compared some settings with my win xp machine ... with the MR816x drivers installation there came a small utility "ysfwutility.exe" where i changed "IEE1394 buffer size" from default small to MEDIUM (the same setting as i have on my winxp machine) ... and voila ... now my sound is stable and without any hiccups as it should be on my win 7 machine as well ...


EDIT : and the firewire chip on my asus sabertooth motherboard is VIA not TI ... and as i explained above .. things play just fine
Old 15th January 2013
Lives for gear

lots of incorrect info here..Tim and Masaaki are correct.

win7 is NOT the problem at all i have thousands of systems with win7 64 running firewire without issue.

TI firewire is best to have but the newer via chipset will run most (not tascam )
most of these interfaces need the firewire changed to LEGACY

Old 15th January 2013
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by RonMc View Post
Hello everyone,

after upgrading to an i-5 with a ASUS P8Z77-M motherboard

laggy whenever the Desktop Konnekt was plugged into the FireWire PCI card.

The only big possibility I can think of is my PCI card. It's a cheapo one and I presume doesn't have a TI (Texas Instruments) chipset.
also the Z77 chipset motherboards do not support PCI very well (not native) if you buy something it needs to be PCIe and TI chipset

Old 15th January 2013
Lives for gear
GP_Hawk's Avatar
Originally Posted by jcschild View Post
also the Z77 chipset motherboards do not support PCI very well (not native) if you buy something it needs to be PCIe and TI chipset

Old 15th January 2013
Lives for gear
fastlanestoner's Avatar

it does sound like a chipset issue, as none of my Windows 7 machines have ever had an issue with FW and I have the TI set. I've never had an issue with the VIA set either, for what works with it.

The Legacy drivers don't do much to combat this in my experience
Old 20th August 2015
Just wanted to chime in here, as, like myself, people searching for solutions are going to stumble across this thread.
I had a new Win7 x64 machine that I built this year, server-grade, ecc ram etc. Tried two different TI chipset PCI firewire cards (adaptec and digitus), was getting terrible latency and dropouts on both.

What worked was:
A. Disabling C-states in bios
B. Setting windows power management to "High performance"
C. Disabling EIST in bios
D. Changing default TI firewire driver to legacy OHCI driver
E. Changing graphics card
F. Reverting graphics card drivers to earlier version (because nvidia)

Disabling turbo and HT had no effect in my case, and disabling C-states/eist in bios alone was not enough, high-performance setting was necessary in windows. I was originally using the onboard (aspeed) graphics, but they caused massive latency, so I switched to a cheap nvidia silent card (8600GT), still had some latency issues until I read this post and reverted the drivers to the 185.85 driver version. Now all is fine. I also had fine results on an ATI card with the most recent graphics drivers but had to return it to a friend.

Lastly, the IRQ priority registry editing described here did make a small difference - on my setup. None of the rest of the registry ideas worked. And the IRQ tweak may have no effect on your setup.

Incidentally I'm running a couple of motu devices chained together. When only one was connected latency was halved - the problem doubled was when both of them were turned on.
So thanks to the various people on various threads here who've improved my life (and soothed my stress).

BTW latencymon, while the best tool in windows for examining latency, is not great at determining causes, at least on a modern setup - for my case it showed all latency spikes under the firewire, even though they occurred when I flicked open a window and moved it around the screen, and were removed when I changed graphics drivers. Use your brain when examining results.
[email protected]

Last edited by Greenwood Audio; 29th August 2015 at 12:31 AM..
Old 30th January 2016
Gear Head
Phil Smith's Avatar
Hey guys!
Sorry for bumping the old thread, but don't want to create another topic with the same issue.
So, this week I've bought new pc machine (AsRock X99 OC formula mobo, Intel i7 5820k processor, 32 GB of RAM, Radeon SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 390 8G D5 video card, 1kW PSU, OS - Windows 7 sp1).
And I've got the old setup (Acer Aspire AX3400 pc, 3Gb of RAM, AMD Athlon II X3 445 processor) with the same OS and Focusrite Saffire pro 40 interface connected via PCIe FireWire controller with TI chipset - and it works nice & dandy.
So then I've plugged the pci-e x1 card into the new machine (into the PCI-e x16 slot, cause the mobo simply has no pci-e x1 slots, but as far as I know you can stick x1, x4, x8 cards into the x16 slot - they got same pinouts), installed Saffire drivers and Saffire Mix Control software, rebooted and when I've connected the interface all two LEDs on the front panel of the focusrite are lighted up (Locked and FW active), system recognized the one and made it the default audio playback and record device. Saffire Mix control sees the hardware too, but... NO SOUND AT ALL!
I tried to switch to LEGACY FW drivers - but it didnt solve my problem at all - nothing's changed.
Same OS, Same interface, same firewire controller - and it doesn't work on the new PC...Jeez..
Any suggestions please?

PS. I can even control my interface from Mix control. For example, if I press mute or dim buttons in the soft - they lighted up corresponding LED's on the interface, if I turn the monitor level knob on the hardware - it's being changed in the mix control. And vice-versa.
Old 1st February 2016
Gear Head
Phil Smith's Avatar
Ok, problem's solved)
Somewhere across the net I saw some guy sayin X99 motherboards don't support old TI firewire chip, just buy a firewire card with new XIO2213 chip and you'll be fine.
So yesterday I've purchased one and put into my pc - and it works!
Here's my new FW Controller - ST-Lab F-301 PCIe 1394b Card, 2x 1394b (Firewire 800)
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