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Need PCI FireWire Card to replace dead onboard firewire in quicksilver G4 - want deep sleep and no file corruption

Message #1 - Posted 2004/08/06 -

I've got a Quicksilver G4 Running OS 10.3.4 that recently lost it's onboard Firewire. So it's time to add it back in with a PCI card.

I started reading about deep sleep being inhibited by add in PCI firewire cards.
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/firewire/fw_usb_card_deep_sleep.html and file corruption with USB/Firewire PCI Combo Cards
http://www.macintouch.com/pcicombo.html

I definitely want to preserve the ability of my computer to enter into deep sleep, and I don't much like the idea of data corruption resulting from certain combos of USB and Firewire devices being plugged into the card simultaneously. That sorta defeats the purpose of the combo card.

Well now I've read so many problem reports that my head is spinning. I figure some of the user feedback (which is mostly from 2003 and earlier in 2004) on macintouch and xlr8yourmac might be specific to each individual funky system, and furthermore might be outdated by OS/driver/firmware patches. Hopefully some of these problems have indeed been fixed, because after all this reading, I'm feeling like I'm trying to choose the "least broken card" whereas I'd like to select one that "just works".

So I'm definitely looking for recommendations for a trouble free PCI FireWire or FireWire / USB2.0 combo card that doesn't interfere with deep sleep, corrupt your data, or otherwise make anything blow up. If you've got a recommendation, feel free to stop reading right now and reply to the group.

Here is what I've gathered and distilled from reading I've done so far.

1) The macally FH2-UF24 USB2.0 / Firewire PCI Combo Card.
http://www.macally.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=2&products_id=51 Most of the reports on xlr8yourmac say it will let the computer go to deep sleep when nothing is attached. Macally acknowledges deep sleep problems on their support page
http://www.macally.com/techsupport/faq/faq_pci_sleep_issue.html There are reports of sleep/wake/freeze problems with certain devices attached and the file corruption issue (which I see no mention of on the macally site) is of even greater concern
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/firewire/fw_usb_card_deep_sleep.html#corruption http://www.macintouch.com/pcicombo.html Are any of these issues fixed? Old news yet?
Also, the USB 2.0 combo card doesn't even appear on the US website http://www.macally.com/products.html All I see there is the FH-UF2 1.x combo card. There are many more flavors of PCI cards on the European site. What's the deal with that?

2) Orange Micro OrangeLink+ USB 2.0/Firewire
There is one deep sleep complaint from a guy running the card in a computer with an OWC Mercury Extreme 1.4Ghz on OS 10.2.8.
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/firewire/fw_usb_card_deep_sleep.html I'd need to read/hear some positive feedback before assuming it will sleep nicely in my quicksilver.

3) Sonnet Tango 2.0 FireWire/USB 2.0
http://sonnettech.com/product/tango_2.html or the Allegro FW400 http://sonnettech.com/product/allegro400.html Either one would be fine by me if it played nice with my quicksilver running 10.3.4 and go to deep sleep, but I'm dubious that either one fits the bill considering the legit looking copy of "Sonnet eNews - March 2004" I turned up in a Google search.
http://www.tegjpn.net/USeNews.htm - Not that I know anything about this site, but I can't see why anyone would forge an eNews letter, so I assume this is legit.
Sonnet eNews - March 2004
Tech Tip - Mac OS X 10.3.x and Deep Sleep

Symptom: After I updated my system software to Mac OS X 10.3.x with a PCI adapter card installed, or after installing a PCI adapter card into a system that was already running Mac OS X 10.3.x, the computer will not go all the way to Deep Sleep.

Issue: When the Mac OS version 10.3.x cannot completely identify a card running on the PCI bus, it will only put the machine into a so called "doze mode," the machine is using less power, however the fans continue to run. This is the power management part of the Mac OS, and prevents malfunctions of the computer or peripherals that might result from sudden loss of power to the PCI bus. This is not a defect in either the Mac OS nor in the PCI card, as this behavior is prescribed by the specifications of sleep mode.

Solution: This is an issue that is not specific to Sonnet's PCI adapter cards, however it has been seen across a wide range of third party PCI cards. While Apple has not made any statement regarding future versions of OS X that will recognize a wider range of PCI cards, it is hoped that this will be addressed over time.

4) Adaptec FireConnect 4300:
http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/product/proddetail.html?sess=no&language=English+US&prodkey=AFW-4300&cat=%2fTechnology%2fFireWire-1394%2fFireWire-1394+Adapters

From Adaptec's ASK Knowledgebase, Answer ID 4059 answers the following: "After installing the FireConnect 4300 adapter in a Mac running Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar), the system will no longer come back from the Sleep. Is the FireConnect 4300 compatible with the Sleep function in Mac OS X?"

"Since the FireConnect 4300 uses standard, embedded 1394/FireWire drivers in Mac OS X, it should be compatible with Sleep.
If you encounter errors while trying to recover from Sleep, then try removing all 1394/FireWire devices from the FireConnect adapter and test Sleep once more. If the system recovers from the Sleep function in the Mac, then try to isolate the issue to a device by re-attaching them to the adapter one-by-one."

After reading the Sonnet eNews, I'm dubious that the Adaptec Card does any better in 10.3.x. Can anyone give me user feedback here?

So.... Those were just a few cards that I had read *some* positive reports about (as opposed to the 100% negative stuff I read about some keyspan cards, which sound like they are a disaster in terms of sleeping the computer into a coma.)

I'll consider any card that gives me working firewire ports again and preserves my functioning deep sleep mode. Some other cards I spotted in the massive confusion of reports I've read through:

Fire Wire Depot had the following to say at
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/firewire/fw_usb_card_deep_sleep.html With all of the conversations going on in various threads online, we have determined after doing some testing that the following FireWire Depot PCI host adapters can go into deep sleep:
1) IOI-4601 dual channel PCI
2) IOI-4602 dual channel PCI
3) U2FW-PCI01 FireWire/USB2 combo PCI

but that was in regards to OS 10.2.8. No clue what the verdict is in 10.3.x.

A 9/12/2003 post to
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/firewire/fw_usb_card_deep_sleep.html gives me some hope that this product
http://www.firewiredirect.com/firewire/products/adapters_pcicombo.shtml at FireWire Direct might stand a chance of satisfying my lofty goals of deep sleep in 10.3.x, but once again, I'm dubious after reading that Sonnet eNews report about.

People talking about combo cards that avoid the apparent data corruption problem of the Macally USB/Firewire combo, pointed to these two http://www.smartdisk.com/Products/PCICards/PCICards.asp http://www.ratocsystems.com/english/products/subpages/pcifu2.html praising them for having Molex connectors on the PCI cards that supply direct power independently of the PCI bus. I've got no clue if the corruption issue is/was actually power related, but I'd certainly be happy to grab either one of these two cards if I hear back some 10.3.x deep sleep success stories with one of them.

No clue how these IOGEAR cards stack up but they offer a straight firewire card and a combo card as well
http://iogear.com/main.php?loc=productcategory&category=firewire&category_id=43 Yet another option.

Thanks in advance everyone for any feedback you can offer, -Ethan

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