View Full Version : Dead firewire on multiple macs. Awesome.

29th October 2005, 04:04 PM
Hello all,

Just thought I'd run this by the forum in case anyone can help before I send my iBook off for some expensive repairs.

I have a 30 gig iPod photo (purchased in June) that I had been connecting to my Dual 1.8 G5 (Rev B - 4 RAM slots) and my G3 500 (dual USB) ibook - primarily via firewire.

Recently (about a week ago) the iPod began refusing to mount on either computer using firewire. Still worked fine using USB.

So I tested various combinations of devices and computers (the other computers I tested on were my old G3 iMac and two different G4 Powerbooks (both 15 inch 1.5 ghz) and discovered the following things:

-iPod works fine using USB.

-iPod was not recognised by the G5, the iBook, or a friend's powerbook(1) using the suspected dodgy fw cable.

-iPod was recognised by a G3 iMac and another friend's powerbook(2) using his good, working fw cable.

It feels like somehow the dodgy cable has (not knowing a better term) contaminated each computer it has been connected to:

•External HD and iPod using good cable mounts fine on un"contaminated" computers - the G3 iMac and powerbook(2)

• On the G5, the front port is busted / rear port recognises my external HD, but not the iPod (nor a canon XL1s video camera). Reset PRAM, Reset Open Firmwire, Reset SMU. No change in the status of either port. I concluded that the firewire ports were blown. Fortunately the G5 is still under warranty and is off at my local applestore being repaired (I hope). I only tested this with the suspected bad fw cable before I took it to them.

•ibook firewire port does not recognise the iPod (tested with two different fw cables) or my external HD. Reset PMU, Reset PRAM, Reset Open Firmware. No luck.

•my unfortunate friend's powerbook(1) stopped recognising devices through firewire after we tried to use the iPod on it with the dodgy cable. (we weren't sure it was dodgy then) Reset PMU, Reset PRAM, Reset Open Firmware. No luck.

The complicating factor - and I guess the reason why I hold some hope that the problem is fixable is that two days ago my friend used my iBook to capture about 6 hours of DV footage to his external HD. (His comment: "The powerbook was playing up. Gave the iBook a run. It loves it! $460 ibook beats $4000 powerbook! It's batch capturing right now! ")


If anyone has any comments or suggestions to offer, I'd be most grateful. The iBook no longer has a warranty, but I use it almost every day, so I hope someone has some magic solution so I don't have to spend as much as the unit is worth to get it fixed.


30th October 2005, 01:28 AM
Sounds like something has borked the firewire ports. It is possible that it has killed only the power supply to the ports, hence why powered devices still work.

If you think it is the ipod cable that is at fault, I would be calling Apple directly and demanding a solution. The cable is still under warranty if you got it with your ipod in June.

30th October 2005, 09:57 PM
Just FYI:

http://www.wiebetech.com/whitepapers/FireW...ortFailures.php (http://www.wiebetech.com/whitepapers/FireWirePortFailures.php)

Port looks relevant.

Caveat lector.

1st November 2005, 05:45 PM
Thanks guys. I appreciate you help.

I also like this quote from the wiebetech document:

"If a device doesn't mount, do not test the cable on another machine."

Kinda reminds me of the time I tried to fix a car window with a pair of pliers.