Firewire800 & Windows2003 Issues

Hi all
I’ve had loads of problems with trying to get a drobo v2 working over firewire800.

I’ve got a Windows 2003 server with a firewire800 card, installed with unibrain drivers, but the drobo just appears in the driver list with an exclamation mark (as Drobo Rev2 under SBP2 IEEE 1394 Devices).

I don’t know what to do, as when I try and use the unibrain drivers it then shows up as a disk drive that can’t be used (Firewire Disk LUN 0), again with an exclamation mark.

I’ve tried this with two card (including a SIIG PCI-32T Card) with the same results.

Can you give me some suggestions as to what I’m supposed to do to get it working?!



I don’t have the exact same setup, so this isn’t directly helpful.
I am using vista with a lacie FW800 card to Drovo V2.
No additional drivers installed yet.

windows vista supported the card. Not optimized, I think that Windows will only run it at FW400 speeds, but the Unibrain drivers will allow it to run at the 800 speeds.

what is your Windows 2003 server like? Did it recognize your FW800 without a problem?
Did you attempt to connect the Drobo before adding/installing the Unibrain drivers?

If not, then maybe try that? If you did and the problem only started after installing the Unibrain drivers, could you uninstall and re-install the drivers?

Good luck.

I would recommend contacting Unibrain for assistance with their drivers.


Just got on these forums with the exact same problem you’re having with my newly purchased Drobo on a W2k3Server x64. Using the SIIG FW800 PCI 32T card.

Please keep me posted on any future findings and I’ll do likewise

Hello, I have the same issue with Windows 2003 32 bit.
I am trying to connect my drobo v2 to my computer with a SIIG FireWire 800 ExpressCard Model# NN-EC2812-S2 for my laptop.
I get the same result with the Drobov2 showing up with the error message “Device cannot start”. I guess I will have to go back to USB until this is figured out.


Is everyone using the Unibrain driver for FW?

Did you install the driver with the drobo NOT attached to your computer?

Yeah I installed the Unibrain driver before attaching the Drobo. I’ve since abandoned and gone with USB for now since it’s for archiving purposes and reliability trumps performance at this point. But if the FW can be found to be working and reliable, I’ll revisit.

64-bit XP and Server 2003 x64 are based on the same core.
Vista 64-bit is a different core - it’s different “enough” that .NET Framework applications behave differently in Server 2003 64-bit and XP 64-bit from how they behave in Vista 64-bit

I’m not sure whether the core differences reach down to the hardware level or not, but if Unibrain has a different driver for 64-bit XP, it may work better.

It’s also definitely a good idea to “start small” - meaning don’t install stuff to fix a problem you aren’t having yet. Granted, I know DRI references the Unibrain driver, but it’s still good to have a baseline using the default Windows drivers.

I first installed the Express Card into the Laptop and then waiting for the Microsoft Driver to install. This is Windows Server 2003 32bit.

Then I rebooted my Laptop and when I got to my desktop, I plugged in my Drobo.

The system installed the drivers for the Drobo and the Drobo did not light up with the booting process.

I checked the Device manager and it said that the device was unable to start.

I unplugged the Drobo from the Firewire port, and then installed the latest Unibrain Driver for this card from the Internet Website.

It prompted me to restart the computer after the install so I told it ok.

After the computer restarted I tried to plug the Drobo back into the firewire card (The Unibrain Switching Utility said that it was still using the Microsoft Driver) and the same result of the device not able to start occured again.

I then unplugged the Drobo from the firewire card, told the Unibrain Switching Utility to switch to their drivers, and after it told me it was finished, I plugged the drobo back into the computer and I still get the device was not able to start.

I noticed on my Firewire ExpressCard that there is a port for additional 12volt power from a power adapter (this adapter was sold separately).

Is the drobo not getting enough power from the firewire port to start itself?

I thought that it would not need it since it was getting power from the separate AC adapter.

Thanks for the quick response.

Hmm… not sure about Server 2003 32-bit as I don’t have it.

The first thing I’d try is another Firewire device, whether it’s a DV or HDV camcorder, or a different Firewire drive.

BTW: Are your Service Packs up to date?