Fix MacBook Bootcamp Windows XP SP3 Firewire S100 driver problem

MacBook FireWire socket with cable

I recently wanted to use a FireWire camera (a Pointgrey Firefly MV to be precise) with a white MacBook that ran with Windows XP SP3 in Bootcamp. That actually is no problem but I got into problems when I wanted to achieve higher framerates than 15 Hz. Then I realized that the only Async/Isoch mode that the MacBook offered was S100 (which as far as I know) means a downstream of 100 MBit/s. This is four times slower than the 400 MBit/s that FireWire 400 is capable of.

This problem is not new for Windows XP. Actually, there has been a commonly known problem with Windows XP with Service Pack 2 to which you find the update here. Basically, Microsoft killed the correct FireWire drivers of Win XP SP1 in SP2. The update just reinstalls the old drivers.

If you, however, like me are using Win XP SP3 you do not need to install this update because Microsoft did this for you in SP3. Then, everything should work correctly. But it did not for me. I had the same symptoms as with the FireWire SP2 problem.

I found out that there can be a problem when you

  1. use Win XP SP2
  2. install the update mentioned above
  3. install SP3

Then you will have the same problems again. Microsoft offers a hotfix for this problem here. However, you cannot just download the hotfix, you have to request Microsoft to send you the download link via mail. Click on ‘View and request hotfix downloads’ and follow the instructions. Download, install and enjoy S400!

Published by Johannes Luderschmidt

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