Unfortunately not all decks are going to be compatible. BEsides trying different cameras and decks in the capture settings dialog box to see if yours is recognized, make sure to try a couple of other firewire cables. Believe it or not, length and quality have affected the ability to control decks. I've certainly experienced that myself in the past.
Good luck and hope this helps,
Also, see if one of these will work for you
SD capture http://windv.mourek.cz/ or http://www.scenalyzer.com/main.html
Do note that the demo version of ScenalyzerLive puts a watermark in the files it creates
- I'm told that the OLD version is freeware... check the download page for details
HD capture http://strony.aster.pl/paviko/hdvsplit.htm
I have a SONY HVR-M15U and it works great with PPRO CS5.02 for capture(export and realtime playback under MPE is another story, I may have to start another thread on that topic). Anyway, make sure that Windows sees your 1394 host controller as well as the deck, look in Device Manager.
Make sure you are using a Firewire 400 6-pin to 4-pin cable(without converters or adapters) like the one that comes with the deck. Also be sure to use a port directly on the host controller(backplane of computer) and not a front panel convenience port. If you don't see an IEEE 1394 Bus entry in Device Manager, try powering down & reseating the card in the slot.
This VTR should be PnP. With the VTR off, connect the firewire cable between the two devices. Turn on the VTR and if all your connections are good, you should see the SONY DV entry in the DevMan and get an AutoPlay notice for a Digital Video Device.
Premiere doesn't have a specific device setting for this VTR, but I use the device control settings of NTSC/SONY/DSR-11/Auto. I think with an AU model you'll probably want to use PAL, but the rest should work for you.
If you're still having trouble, try this: Go into the menu settings for the M15AU and change the output from "Auto" to HDV or DV (depending on which format you're playing back). Unless there's an active signal coming from the device, Premiere won't know what the source is and will typically throw the "Can't activate recorder. Try resetting the camera. " message in the capture panel.
Paul is exactly right about how the device will appear in Windows Device Manger when the deck is set to HDV mode. When the deck is set to DV mode, it will appear in Device Manager under "Imaging Device"