View Full Version : Can FireWire drive be saved?

03-14-2006, 07:43 PM
I have a 400GB external FireWire 800 drive by OWC. It crashed - dead. Disk utility either doesn't see it at all, or it comes up with some wierd name, but doesn't see the volume. Rick mentioned that when a FireWire drive appears to crash, it's often not the drive itself, rather it's the bus or casing that's the problem. This was mostly a backup drive, but I did have a few things on it that I don't have a copy of and would like to recover (plus I'd like to use the drive if it can be saved). Any thoughts about how to test the problem?

03-14-2006, 08:00 PM
Welcome. :)

You could remove the drive from the case, and try it on an ATA bus if you're comfortable doing that kind of thing.

I assume you've already tried the easy/cheap fixes like a different cable/port or even another Mac.

03-14-2006, 10:05 PM
Right. And don't forget that it has a warranty regardless of the brand of case or OWC. If it is dead, hunt up the maker's site.

03-15-2006, 06:11 AM
Firewire Troubleshooting (http://www.macgurus.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19995)

Unplug everything. Mac, FW cable, no power going to either for 15 minutes and see if that helps. Also try Disk Warrior afterwards.

03-15-2006, 07:39 AM
I hadn't thought of all the easy things. Since I didn't have another FireWire 800 cable, I wasn't sure what to do. But when I looked at the drive more carefully, I realized that it also had FireWire 400 connections. I shut off and unplugged everything for 15 minutes, then reconnected it using a FireWire 400 port. It can up perfectly, and I was able to copy the missing files.

I should have been able to figure this one out for myself, but sometimes I miss the obvious - thanks for pointing it out. This is also the last time I'll make the mistake of putting working files on a back up drive!!

03-16-2006, 06:36 AM
Here comes 'Johnny come lately"...

In any case, one should not rely on just FW or USB for an ext. backup...

It's good to have a combination. When one of my 2.5 ext. drives with a FW connect went South, I bought a dual enclosure, removed the HD from the old unit and... Bingo! The HD was back & humming. No lost files. Now, on that very replacement, no more FW... USB still performing fine.

It seems that some FW chips just aren't made to last.