MOTU 896 problems; PLEASE HELP!!

1 reply [Last post]
Joined: 07/10/2005

Hi all,
I hope someone may be able to help me. I have had a motu 896 for some time now and it has always been fine up until recently. I was off to conduct some locational recording using my laptop. All worked fine in the studio when tested before I left. We I got to record and the laptop would not find the 896. I then went back to the studio and again nothing on the main PC. It was all fine a couple of hours before!

The 896 boots up fine but just is not recognized by any of my pc's regardless of cable of software version. I have tried pretty much everything I can think of.

Any help gratefully received!


Joined: 02/12/2009

Just recently one of my 896es exhibited the same symptoms. It wouldn't "be seen" by any of my Macs, nor by Digital Performer version 4.5 in OS X, nor by DP v2 in OS 9.

I had just rented that 896 out to another engineer, to replace his 896 because IT had shown the same symptoms!

So I got in touch with MOTU tech support. They stepped me through all the regular steps to rule out software-related issues. They also confirmed that it IS possible to fry an 896 by inserting a FireWire cable upside-down, or if a FireWire cable is wired wrong. (I suppose that a good FireWire cable can short out too.)

I've removed every variable but one: my 896 had been fried when it was out on the rental. Something about my rental client's system killed both my 896 and his. Perhaps he has a bad cable, or a bad FireWire port on his computer.

I don't know if other MOTU FireWire interfaces are susceptible/impervious to this.

Here's what I suggest you do:

First, call MOTU tech support to rule out anything else. It might be software-related. Since their turnaround time (for me, 7/2005) was about 6 weeks, don't send it to them unnecessarily.

Try them first thing in the morning because they don't have a waiting queue- you'll just get a busy signal until a line opens. (Try an automatic redial app like Jon's Phone Tool for OS X.)

(617) 576-3066 (9am-6pm EST M-F)


If a bad FireWire cable caused it, test yours to prevent it from happening again! They have 6 wires each.