Hard Disk SpeedTools FireWire Support

With the introduction of Hard Disk SpeedTools version 3.4, Intech has unleashed the most configurable, most compatible and fastest FireWire disk drivers available on the market today. Intech's FireWire support provides a healthy list of compatible devices too, including complete support for all hard disk, magneto optical, SuperDisk, Jazz and Zip devices regardless of the FireWire bridge used. It further supports the Castlewood Orb 2.2 GB and Orb 5.7 GB removable media devices which are sold as complete solutions under the Castlewood name.

Driver Configuration is the Key to FireWire Disk Stability:

Back when FireWire disk devices were significantly slower, compatibility was less of an issue for most. Now, times have changed and FireWire devices have become impressively fast and are capable of sustaining even the most rigorous of digital video and audio work. Unfortunately, faster speeds have come with a high price for some: instability and/or data corruption. This has become a problem because faster speeds equate to less error tolerance. Luckily, for those who have been bitten by these instability problems, Intech has developed unique driver tuning options designed exclusively to resolve many FireWire related instabilities (shown below):..................

These easy to use tuning options provide the ultimate means in which to control problems relating to timing and/or data transfer errors occurring with FireWire disk devices. Macintosh models noticeably affected by FireWire instability problems when used with faster FireWire disk devices are listed below:

  • Most PowerBook models
  • Early FireWire capable iMacs
  • Blue & White G3's
  • Yosemite G4's (pre AGP graphics models)
  • New Mac models that have fast and slow disk devices connected at the same time
  • and most affected: older PCI PowerMac equipped with PCI FireWire card adapters

Why are previous Macintosh models more affected than newer Macintosh models? The answer is that all of the above configurations have older, less mature and/or slower FireWire chip sets. Problems observed which can be regularly corrected by HDST's FireWire Tuning Options include freezing, crashing and receiving errors when performing standard file copying (especially copying large numbers of files at one time) while using your FireWire drive.

Unfortunately, Intech cannot guarantee complete resolution to all FireWire problems because some problems are simply beyond a driver's ability to fix or remedy. However, we know that if any driver has the potential of making your FireWire experience better, it's the Intech Hard Disk SpeedTools FireWire driver!

Speed! It's not just in our product name -- its what we do!

Benchmarks and charts coming soon!


Other notable HDST FireWire achievements and advances:

  • Hard Disk SpeedTools' FireWire drivers are fully Norton Disk Doctor compatible.
  • Includes multiple FireWire drivers for specific device types for less compatibility problems.
  • HDST controlled FireWire drives spin down (sleep) on computer shut down.
  • FireWire drive bootability* is supported, including booting from individual partitions!
  • HDST can perform a "zero-media" function (as close to a low-level format procedure as possible).
  • FireWire RAID striping ability for increased performance, when used with Indigita manufactured FireWire bridges exclusively. Universal native FireWire RAID support is in the works... stay tuned!
  • Superior FireWire bridge compatibility.

Miscellaneous FireWire Info:

What is a FireWire Bridge?

Nearly all FireWire storage devices today incorporate a FireWire bridge inside the drive case to give them FireWire compatibility. FireWire bridges are small printed circuit boards which convert standard ATA and ATAPI (EIDE) devices to the FireWire interface. FireWire bridges are produced today by several different manufacturers. Hard Disk SpeedTools is compatible with ALL FireWire bridges available today including those manufactured by Indigita, Oxford, LSI, Initio and many other lessor known, but emerging companies. Each one of these FireWire bridges have individual traits and flaws. As a result, Intech has committed hundreds of engineering hours to patching, enhancing and otherwise refining our FireWire drivers around these manufacturers unique differences -- to deliver the highest level of speed and compatibility to you, no matter which FireWire bridge is included in your drive case.

Booting from a FireWire device:

Nearly all "onboard" FireWire equipped Macintoshes (except the Blue & White G3 and some early G4s "Yosemite versions") are capable of booting from a FireWire disk, provided that your Macintosh has ROM firmware 2.4 or later. If your Macintosh ROMs are not 2.4 or later or you are unsure which ROM firmware you have, you should download the latest Apple ROM updater utility from http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75131.

Macintosh models which have FireWire disk devices connected to PCI FireWire adapter cards are not capable of booting. This is a hardware limitation, not a FireWire driver limitation.

In addition to your Macintosh's ability to boot from FireWire, the firmware on the FireWire bridgeboard (inside the drive case) must also have bootable properties. Unfortunately, some don't and no driver can resolve this limitation. If you are unsure, contact your FireWire disk manufacturer to find out if yours does.


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