Enabling Hot Plugging of Firewire HDD in Windows XP Professional

Posted on 2004-09-09
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I have an external Hard Disk drive which can be connected either via USB or Firewire. Firewire give me a faster transfer rate but if the device is not powered up when the computer is booted, then subsequently powering up the device does not cause it to be 'seen' by Windows (whereas the same device connected via USB is instantly seen under the same circumstances). When Connected  via the IEEE 1394 it needs either the firewire cable to be removed & re-inserted OR the 1394 host controller to be disabled & then renabled via the Control Panel Device Manager Applet in order for the device to be seen by XP.
Is there a way I can make this a bit more 'civilised', my instinct tells me a solution would be a batch file (or 'Windows Shell Script' for you modern dudes) which disables & then re-enables the 1394 host controller, which I could call via a desktop shortcut when I choose to power up the device) (ie I power up the device and then click the shortcut) ... does anyone know a means of achieving this, or an alternate method of achieving the desired outcome? Any help or suggestions gratefully received.
Question by:Gaetor
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Expert Comment

ID: 12022632
This is a little odd because when ever I plug my firewire drive into my machine even if the machine is booted up already it recognizes the drive shortly after it recognized the firewire chipset.

Are you saying that you use your firewire drive and then do a proper disconnect (by using the safely remove device) and then turn it back on and it does not pick it up.  Are you safely removing the drive with the little arrow guy that pops up near the system clock?  This would be the only reason I can see this happening.  If you just unplug the device then it gets into a weird state that would need to be reset.


Author Comment

ID: 12024969
thanks for the comment tmireles, not quite as odd as you think. As I said, if I plug the firewire cable into the device it does get seen, or if I disable & re-enable the host controller it gets seen, but if I simply power up the device it is seen if attached via USB, but not if attached via firewire until either the firewire cable is removed & re-attached or the host controller is disabled/re-enabled.

I use the drive as a backup device so i don't need it powered on all the time, what I want to be able to do is just flick on the power switch and it's there ready ... which is OK under USB. However, Firewire gives me better throughput and completes the backup faster, so I want to use it. But it means either fiddling with the device removing and re-attaching the cable (which means I am limited in where I place the device as I need condstant access to pull out & push in the cable), or I have to load control panel, click through the options to device manager, select the iee 1394 controller, right click it, choose options, disable it, re-enable it, etc, etc, all in all too many clicks and wasted time. One cannot drag those items to the desktop and have shortcuts to them, hence my idea of a batch file which could be run from a shortcut, I am also curious as to whether or not such things can be done without using the GUI, as I don't know and would like to.

Author Comment

ID: 12025023
PS - thought I'd better add to my last comment to say that I know I could use one of the windows macro doo-dads to do it and that I can shortcut most of the clicks with a shortcut to %systemroot%\system32\devmgmt.msc, so what  I want to know is it it poss to disable/enable devices from the command line. It's clear to me now I asked the question in a stupid way, apologies. I will close it and ask again properly.

Accepted Solution

tmireles earned 500 total points
ID: 12028498
Maybe this is what you are looking for:;EN-US;Q311272

let me know


Author Comment

ID: 12029406
Have added details to the Close Request: In summary, I consider it fair to accept and award the points to tmireles for his 2nd comment, and as no-one else has contributed it  can't upset anyone to do so. So I've done it.
Thanks to Tmireles for the URL, and Lunchy for the Admin work.


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