Event 25 sbp2port Detected Old or Out-Of-Date Firmware External Hard Drive Firewire FireLite Portable HDD

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Ah, more Windows 7 glitches. This one is particularly irritating because it is caused by Microsoft Windows 7 trying to be smarter than the user. In general, I don’t mind when the operating system takes care of me, but when it does, I expect a way to be able to undo what it is doing, because what some engineer somewhere thinks I need, isn’t at all what I need. This is especially true when it comes to "protecting" the user or the computer system.

Today’s drama is brought to you by an older, but not ancient external hard drive called the SmartDisk Firelite external hard drive firewire version. It’s just a 20 GB portable drive, but it works just fine, can get its power from the firewire port, and holds more than the average USB keydrive; plus, it copies files faster.

As expected, Windows 7 detected the new firewire disk when I plugged it in and installed a generic driver for it. It mounted the volume, and gave it a drive letter. This is all great, and frankly shows just how good Windows 7 is as a PC operating system.

I started copying over the files that I wanted to have on the Firewire drive. Everything was going just fine. New folders and files were appearing, and everything was working great. Then, all of the sudden, the Firelite disk drive powers down in the middle of the copy. Teracopy keeps trying for a minute, but eventually fails.

A look inside of Event Viewer -> System shows an Event 25 Error Source sbp2port. The description of the error says that:

The driver has detected a device with old or out-of-date firmware.  The device will not be used.

What the–?

The device was working just fine, and I was happy with it, so don’t disable it just because you don’t like it’s firmware.

Technically, this one isn’t on Microsoft or Windows 7, because this particular portable external HDD is not using the most up to date specification, and technically, that makes it not compatible with Windows 7.

But, it was WORKING! Just leave it alone. Don’t randomly try and detect stuff to disable. If it isn’t causing any errors (it wasn’t) then just leave it alone. Don’t even examine it. You don’t need to know what it is or what it is doing if I am using it without causing system problems.

The bummer is that searching for an answer took forever. The almost always useless "Event Log Online Help" had no information. It almost never does except for the most common no brainer problems that usually get solved before anyone even looks in the Event Viewer. Microsoft’s Windows 7 Help Center was no help either, and it appears that SmartDisk has gone under / been bought out by Verbatim, who have no driver updates past Windows XP for the device, let alone a firmware upgrade.

Fortunately I eventually stumbled upon a related thread about Windows 7 Firewire problems on the IT Pro forums which noted that if you can "update" the IEEE 1397 Bus Host Controller driver from the 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller driver to the 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy) driver if you go into Device Manger and choose to manually update the driver and then select one manually on your computer as opposed to trying any of the "Automatically Search" options which just go out and try and update the default driver.

So far, this has worked like a champ. Apparently the legacy driver either doesn’t care that the firmware is out-of-date, or maybe it doesn’t even check. Either way, my firewire hard drive works just fine now without some nosy system process coming along and deciding it is too old to keep working correctly on my computer.


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