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Thread: Accessing HDD via Firewire

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Accessing HDD via Firewire

    Greetings Everyone!

    I've been trying to access a HDD via Firewire and can't seem to get it up and running.
    Here is some config info:
    - Dell Precision M4600 (has 1394 connector), running Ubuntu Studio 12.04 - 3.2.0-30-generic-pae #48-Ubuntu SMP

    - lsmod command shows:
    firewire_ohci 40172 1 firewire_ohci
    firewire_core 56906 1 firewire_core

    - ls -l /dev/sd* shows:
    ... /dev/sda
    ... /dev/sda1
    ... /dev/sda2
    ... /dev/sda5

    - ls -l /dev/dsk/by-id :
    only lists the above shown system disk and DVD reader

    - ps -ef shows:
    root ... [firewire]
    root ... [firegl]
    root ... [firegl]
    root ... [firegl]

    - dmesg shows that device fw0 has been created. But
    od -c /dev/fw0 produces no output when HDD is attached and powered up
    (yes, /dev/fw0 is readable - chmod 644 /dev/fw0)

    So... At this point I'm wondering if the dang FireWire port is even working.
    Any ideas of how I might confirm that it is indeed conf'd properly in the OS
    to handle HDD and to monitor I/O across that interface???

    Thanks much, in advance!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Re: Accessing HDD via Firewire

    Just thought I'd add some information about the target application I'm running and why
    I'm trying to establish this particulat configuration...

    My main use of Ubuntu-Studio is for multi-track recording. I will be using both
    Ardour and Audacity to post-process 24-bit WAVE files recorded on an Alesis HD24.
    I'm currently obtaining those WAVE files via FTP connection (using FileZilla) between
    the HD24 and Dell computer. But that connection is sllllooooowwwwwwww... due to
    the implementation of FTP on the HD24 and its 10Mbs interface. A much better option
    would be to use my Alesis FirePort interface... which requires the FireWire interface
    to be working (and so my previous post). An even better option would be to use a
    VIPower external disk docking chassis w/ USB2 interface... but they are virtually
    IMPOSSIBLE to find. So... there you have it.... If any readers have any better ideas,
    I am certainly open to them!!!!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Re: Accessing HDD via Firewire

    Information update:

    I just noticed the following diag messages accumulating while the external disk is
    attached with power on:

    In /var/log/syslog:

    ... kernel: firewire_ohci: inconsistent self IDs
    ... kernel: firewire_core: skipped bus generations, destroying all nodes
    ... kernel: firewire_core: rediscovered device fw0
    ... kernel: firewire_ohci: inconsistent self IDs
    ... kernel: firewire_core: topology build failed

    Occasionally I also get:

    ... kernel: firewire_core: Parent port inconsistency for node 0: parent_count=1


    ... kernel: filrewire_core: giving up on config rom for noe id ffc0

    Shut of power to disk and the above diags stop.
    Power disk back on and they start being logged again.

    Various other accounts in Google searches cite these errors but don't really
    address them for resolve in this particular situation and config.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Re: Accessing HDD via Firewire

    I would look at the case, if it is easy to open,
    you may be able to modify the case by creating a hatch,
    to simplify exchanging drives. The gearslutz article ends
    in success, and mentions the donationware to deal with
    the drive format differences, and the yahoo group
    may be helpful on the hardware portions. Firewire would
    not be needed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Re: Accessing HDD via Firewire

    SGX -

    Yes... I've been to all the sites you posted. I already have HD24tools - works great on
    my Windows machine (so does the Fireport firewire interface, by the way)... But that
    is not the nut I'm trying to crack here. I invested in the Dell Precision and Ubuntu
    Studio config in order to have a more robust and reliable multi-track plaform so I'd
    really prefer to resolve the Ubuntu/Firewire access problem it that is possible.

    Also... Just to express a personal position... It is never a good idea to uncase actively
    used HDDs as part of an every-day data-transfer operation. The possibilities of
    fumbling the handling of the disk and portential damage to a portion of its exposed
    circuit board by physical contact or static discharge are huge. The HD24's disks are
    contained within a caddy that is designed to be extracted from the HD24 chassis
    (they are "hot-swappable" w/ centronics type connectors on the caddy) and then
    re-inserted into some other mating chassis, like what VIPower has produced in the
    past. A VIPower external chassis (connecting to me Dell Precision laptop via USB2
    cable) would be an ideal alternative to my currently non-functional FirePort.
    But, like I mentioned earlier, the right VIPpower chassis (as there are various types)
    is very hard to find!

    Thank you for your suggestions!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Re: Accessing HDD via Firewire

    Did you try the linux version of the HD24Tools?

    A few options, one of which is installing the newest KX Studio
    packages. Another is trying older ubuntu versions, maybe 10.04
    with differing ffado firewire support.
    Like usb, the qjackctl Periods/Buffer should be 3

    Looking at your proprietary parts high market value, and
    the low cost of trouble-free linux compatible alternatives,
    I would undercut the many ebay HD24 units now offered,
    in a BIN sale, and then get three or four matching and
    fast hard disks, using bog standard sata pci and usb
    connections, with proven linux compatible m-audio
    Delta pci cards. The AVLinux maintainer has used a pair
    of Delta 1010 pci cards, as have a few others, for lots
    of quality i/o, and simple config, using the ice_1712
    kernel module.

    Also Trulan has solved a lot of firewire queries, searching
    google for
    trulan ubuntu firewire
    should bring up some useful threads.


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