MacBookPro 17″ FW800 Driver Replacement (UniBrain)

On a MacBook Pro(17 inch, “5,2”), a FW800 connected drive worked fine from MacOS but not from BootCamp-Windows7.   From others’ advice, tried replacing the MS IEEE 1394 (FireWire, FW) driver.  Was initially skeptical, as I had not heard of that before, but others had recommended it and (according UniBrain’s own website), the drivers earned the “1394 Trade Association Compliance Logo”.  But it only made things worse for me.  Details of my experience:

  • Apparently (from web-search) there is an option to install a “legacy driver”.  Have not tried it, and won’t now, but maybe later.
  • Allegedly better option: UniBrain’s driver.
    • First install-attempt failed.
    • Wondered if AntiVirus (Parallels / Kapersky 2009) caused a problem, so temporarily disabled it.
    • Second install-attempt (no AntiVirus) worked!
      • Installer said it had finished OK.  Reboot requested and accepted.
      • Device Manager listed the “1394 Bus host controllers” as “UniBrain driver”.
    • FW800 disk read and write tests revealed worse if anything results than for the default MS driver:
      • Disk now not recognized unless connected during machine boot.
      • Write-test fails immediatly (as for MS driver) but now freezes the whole machine, requiring power-off (was aable to use system shutdown when using MS driver).

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