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I want to use the Helix Board/Firefly with my Texas Instrument TSB81BA3 FireWire card. What can I do?
Posted by Rick Shao on 16 November 2015 08:00 AM

1394b Issues Under WinXP SP2 Application Note

1394b Driver Issues after Installing Windows XP Service Pack 2

After you update your computer to Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), it may happen that 1394b ports on your computer don’t work properly anymore. At least the bus speed is reduced to 100 Mbit/s and as a consequence devices on the 1394 bus requiring more than 100 Mbit/s don’t work anymore.

The reason is that the updated SP2 driver which is compliant to OHCI 1.1 does not fully support the Texas Instruments 1394b chipset TSB82AA2/TSB81BA3 which has an extended functionality called OHCI 1.1+. This chipset can now be found on many computer motherboards and on many PCI cards too which were released in 2004 and later.

As a workaround you can reinstall the SP1 drivers. Although with these drivers the maximum 1394b bus speed of 800 Mbit/s is not supported at least the 1394a legacy mode with up to 400 Mbit/s will work again.

There is also an updated patch available on the Microsoft website under

Currently we cannot recommend to install this patch (December 15, 2005; Revision: 4.0) as it has not been tested yet and there may be new issues popping up. Also, editing the registry may be risky for users with less experience. Instead, we recommend downgrading to the SP1 drivers as they have been more thoroughly tested in the past. All required driver files are already on your computer if you have previously installed Windows XP Service Pack 1.

If you have a new computer without installed SP 1 you can download the file xpsp1a_en_x86.exe from the Microsoft website , or if this link doesn’t work anymore search for “Windows XP Service Pack 1a Network Installation”.

Run this file and remember the temporary folder where this file has been extracted to. When Windows dis-plays an error message don’t close this window but go to the temporary folder and from the subfolder new copy to another folder of your convenience and then exit the installation of SP1.

Before you start downgrading make sure all 1394 devices are disconnected from the computer, including external harddrives. Note: If you have installed more than one 1394 card then the procedure needs to be repeated on all devices under “Device Manager –> IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers”.

And here are the detailed instructions: (%windir% is the Windows program folder; typically c:\windows)

Create a new folder named “1394_fix” in the %windir%\temp\ directory.

Copy the file “1394.inf” from %windir%\inf\ to the “1394_fix” folder.

Extract “1394bus.sys” and “ohci1394.sys” from %windir%\Driver Cache\i386\ to the “1394_fix” folder.

Extract “arp1394.sys”, “enum1394.sys”, and “nic1394.sys” from c:\%windir%\Driver Cache\i386\ to the “1394_fix” folder.

Rename %windir%\Driver Cache\i386\ to

Go to Start –> Settings –> Control Panel –> System, Tab Hardware, Device Manager

Open “IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers”

Right-Click on … Texas Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller:

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