a) Which Dell computers - desktop or laptop - were issued with firewire ports as standard please?
b) Is there any reason a firewire port on a computer might not function?
Dell has shipped many systems with Firewire ports on the computer. Firewire port was available on Inspiron, studio, Latitude and XPS systems.
If the Firewire port is not working, it might be an issue with the cable, port or the drivers.
If the device is not detected, connect the same device to another computer. This can isolate the issue.
Please reply if you have any further questions.
Firewire connectivity has failed on my Optiplex GX270 and (never recognised on my) Inspiron 531. However it is still functioning on my D-3000. So I'm down to one port on one desktop. I need a second hand Dell with firewire pre-installed as a back-up, because I have a firewire, very good (optic) dv cam and I want to be able to continue using it.
The connectivity fails because the drivers become corrupt or expire - due to system upgrades, and there are no more driver updates for firewire on the Internet as far as I am aware - they are no longer supported - so you need a pc that has an up and running firewire already on board.
Unless you may know of a work-around please?
Dell Precision 380 with firewire are cheap.
<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>
My previous post has the official Dell card C9214
This IEEE-1394a Controller Card provides IEEE-1394a functions for your system. The card enhances peripheral connections with speed, accuracy and ease. It delivers high data transfer rates and is ideal for transmitting large multimedia files. This product has been tested and validated on Dell™ systems. It is supported by Dell Technical Support when used with a Dell system.
Manufacturer Part# : C9214
Dell Part# : 341-1097
This product is compatible with the following systems:
OptiPlex 330 DT
OptiPlex 360 DT
Optiplex 380 SFF
Optiplex 740 DT
Optiplex 740 MT
OptiPlex 745 DT
OptiPlex 745 MT
Optiplex 755 Energy Smart DT
Optiplex 755 Energy Smart MT
Optiplex 755 Energy Smart SFF
Optiplex 755 Energy Smart USFF
OptiPlex 760 DT
Optiplex 780 DT
Optiplex 780 MT
OptiPlex 790 DT
OptiPlex 980 DT
OptiPlex 990 DT
Precision Workstation R5400
Precision Workstation T1500
Precision Workstation T1600
Precision Workstation T3400
Precision Workstation T3500
Precision Workstation T5400
Precision Workstation T5500
Precision Workstation T7400
Precision Workstation T7500
Vostro 230 MT
Thanks. I have a number of those PCI cards, they all fail - the operating system then asks for an OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller (driver). Up until about 18 months ago this download was available at CNET but it has been pulled. A google search may still take you to CNET but the download is gone; if you follow all the 3rd party links they will either lead you somewhere else or back to where you started. So I have a handful of firewire PCI cards which won't work anymore because no OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller (driver) can be found for them. This driver deletes or is corrupted when you do a system upgrade, as far as I know the only firewire ports still working are on computers which have never been upgraded. The OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller (driver) will not save and archive - I have done this a dozen times in the past - the PCI will not work until a fresh download is made, but there are no more downloads. The ethernet controller was exactly the same for XP, you couldn't save it you had to download a fresh driver, I don't know why and I don't know why Microsoft never authored their own drivers for things like this. If I bought that IEEE-1394a Controller Card my XP Pro Optiplex GX270 would just ask for the missing Host Controller file. If I had a gaurantee that this card would indeed work on one of those listed Dell's I would investigate obtaining one. I have an OptiPlex 760 and it is reliable.
Update: I have a Dell Inspiron 531: "This [IEEE-1394a Controller Card] product has been tested and validated on Dell™ systems. It is supported by Dell Technical Support when used with a Dell system". Are you telling me that if I fitted this card to my 531 and there was a problem, Dell would help me to rectify it please? I already have a (manufacturer unknown - Txas Instruments?) firewire card fitted to the 531 but the Inspiron doesn't see it - you plug a cam into the PCI and nothing happens, inert, from day one 😐
PCI cards with 1 keyway in the slot will not EVER work.
UNIVERSAL PCI 2.2 OR 2.3 CARDS are REQUIRED.
The dell card is Plug and Play. It uses native windows drivers.
The PCI specification defines two basic types of expansion connectors that may be found on a motherboard — one for systems with 5-Volt signalling levels, and the other for systems using 3.3-Volt signalling levels. This specifies the voltage level of the various clock and timing signals, but not necessarily the power supply voltage. A particular card may require both 5-Volt and 3.3-Volt power supplies irrespective of its signalling-level voltage.
The most common PCI cards are 5v expansion cards whose edge connectors have a notch at pin positions 50 and 51 (about 2.5 inches from the end of the connector nearest the backplate — see photograph), which allows them to be plugged into 5V slots. The 3.3V expansion cards have a notch at pin positions 12 and 13 (about half an inch from the end of the edge connector nearest the backplate). These keying notches prevent you from plugging in an incompatible expansion card and causing any damage. Most early PCI slots were 5V only, and didn't even provide power at the 3.3V position. However, 3.3V slots are now becoming more widespread, so with both notches on the slot and, correspondingly, dual 3.3V/5V operation, PCI 2.2 works with 5v cards PCI 2.3 is 3.3v ONLY. Cards,with 2 keyways offering dual-voltage operation are generally referred to as 'Universal Cards'.
All recent Dells are PCI 2.3 ONLY.