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Q: Why do I sometimes lose connection to my M-Audio FireWire interface or have audio drop outs when also using a FireWire 800 hard drive?
A: Computers that have both a FireWire 400 and a FireWire 800 port may be sharing the same FireWire bus internally. When using both, the 400 and the 800 port at the same time, you may experience problems like audio drop outs or loss of connection to the M-Audio FireWire interface. There's a variety of possible reasons for this including but not limited to bandwidth limitations, clocking issues (400/800) and bus master problems with the devices connected to both ports. For Mac computers, M-Audio recommends using the M-Audio FireWire audio interface on the computers original FireWire port while adding a separate FireWire interface card (with a Texas Instruments chipset) to the system. Connect any third party FireWire 800 devices to the added FireWire interface card. PC users should see this article explaining the importance of the FIreWire chipset.
If your computer does not have expansion slots for a separate FireWire interface card there are 2 possible alternatives:
- If your external hard drive has FW400 connectivity, you can daisy chain the hard drive to the 2nd FireWire port* (if available) on your M-Audio Device
- If your external hard drive has USB 2.0 connectivity, you can connect the hard drive to a USB 2.0 port on the computer
* Excludes Ozonic, ProjectMix I/O, and ProFire Lightbridge.