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Fixing Firewire Problems in Windows 7

Copyright 2013, Studio 1 Productions, Written by David Knarr

After installing Windows 7 on both 64 bit and 32 bit systems, we ran into a problem using Adobe Premiere, we couldn’t import video into the computer via the Firewire port anymore.

At first we thought this was a compatibility problem between Windows 7 and Adobe, but we quickly ruled that out when another program also had problems using the Firewire port.

The problem was with the new Windows 7 Firewire driver (a.k.a. the 1394 Driver) and the fix was a simple one. Replace the new 1394 driver with the Legacy driver that comes with Windows 7.

Below is the step by step instructions on how to install the Legacy driver so you won‘t have any problems either:

Click Start

Then click on Control Panel

Click on Device Manager

Note: If you don’t see Device Manager listed, click on View By: Category on the top right side of the
    Control Panel Window.
    Then Click on Large Icons
    You should now have a list of items in the Control Panel and click on Device Manager.

Under the Device Manager, look down the list for IEEE 1394 Bus Host Controllers and Double Click on it.

It should display something like - 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller

   Note: If it has the word (Legacy) behind it, you are already setup and you can just exit out.

Next, double click on the 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller

A window will popup saying 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller Properties

Click on the Driver Tab

Then look down in the widow and click on Update Driver

Then select - Browse my computer for driver software

Next select - Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer

It will bring up a list of drivers.

Click on 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy)

    NOTE: It is important that you select the one with (Legacy) after it, just like shown above.

Then click Next

Once it installs the 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy),
it will say Windows has successfully updated your driver software.

Click on the Close button and exit out of all of the other windows.

Then Reboot your computer.

You will now be able to import video via the Firewire port on your computer.

If you are still having a problem importing video after you have switched the Firewire driver to Legacy, then the problem may be with the Firewire port.  This is a common problem.  The Firewire port will work with an external driver, but it won't let you import video from your video camera.  Most people report this problem with Dell computer, but it does happen with other brands, even brand new computers.  This problem is usually with the Firewire port that is built into the motherboard.

The fix is simple:
1.  Install a Firewire card into one of the open slots in the computer
2.  Using the instructions above, set the drive to Legacy.
3.  Reboot the computer.
4.  Then connect the Firewire cable from the video camera, into the new Firewire port that you just added.

This fixes the problem 99% of the time.  Firewire cards are not the expensive, they run from $10 and up, depending on any extra features the card may have.

NOTE:  We have noticed that when Microsoft has issued certain updates, it can cause Windows 7 to switch back to use the original 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller driver.  If you notice the Firewire device is transferring slowly again just repeat the above steps and reinstall the Legacy driver.

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