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Ali chipset FW+USB card


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I wanted some firewire ports so I got this card:




which has 5 USB ports and 3 Firewire ports. It is based on an Ali M5271


I plugged in to my 10.4.8 kernel system and the USB works. However, the Firewire doesn't.


If I plug in a FW device, it hangs the system. If the device (an external FW hard drive) is plugged in at boot time, it prevents booting from completing (freezes during the grey apple/spinner).


I notice that the console system log keeps getting this every so often:


Nov 15 04:18:47 name-of-computer-2 kernel[0]: FireWire (OHCI) VendorID 10b9 ID 5253 PCI: no valid selfIDs for more than 3 minutes after bus reset.


I assume that some id is not recognized somewhere; anybody know where to look?

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Did some more research:


there is another chip onboard, the agere FW802C. However, this is a firewire transceiver chip (http://www.agere.com/networking/docs/DS05045.pdf) so the main usb controller is still the Ali M5271 chip.


However, found some bad news:

You'd think a company would want to make products that are less work for them instead of more work. Look at their M5271 combo Firewire (1394a) and USB 2.0 chip. Instead of making a simple multifunction PCI device that follows the standards for both interfaces (FW-OHCI for Firewire and EHCI for USB), they decide to invent their own Access Bus single interface. This means that special code will have to be written for operating systems like FreeBSD and Linux to work with this card.


That's not good news for hopes that standard built-in drivers will talk to the chip properly.


I looked through the extensions folder and didn't find any obvious places to do a mfr or device ID insertion.

I checked in the IO Firewire kexts mostly.

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ok, i'm talking to myself here but hopefully this will help others traveling the same path.


on the disc that comes with the card are a bunch of drivers and the Ali M5271 folder has a couple of Mac OS X drivers that are labeled as for USB. Taking a hint from my previous post, where the guy says that the chip is combined FW and USB, I thought that maybe the USB drivers also included something for FW, so I installed the USB2EHCI_v3_1_5.pkg and then the FW drive now mounts and seems to work ok.


The console doesn't have the same error anymore, but it did record this when I mounted the FW drive:

Nov 15 04:56:02 my-name-computer-2 kernel[0]: /SourceCache/AppleFWOHCI/AppleFWOHCI-283.4.0/AppleFWOHCI.cpp 3309: ERROR: FireWire (OHCI) VendorID 10b9 ID 5253 PCI: handleUnrecoverableErrorInt

Nov 15 04:56:23 my-name-computer-2 diskarbitrationd[58]: disk3s10 hfs C1008941-E681-3C4E-AD39-5A8F1BF8DA5B MobileDisk250G /Volumes/MobileDisk250G

Nov 15 04:56:23 my-name-computer-2 diskarbitrationd[58]: disk3s9 hfs 96FC6ABE-C1C6-3A71-BFCD-771E2B57B44A Boot OSX [not mounted]


not sure if this should be concerning at all since it does seem to work ok.

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