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Thread: USB 3 on newer Macs....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
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    7,787

    Default USB 3 on newer Macs....

    Can be problematic. Why? Chipset, firmware.....OS kext, driver.....don't really know. Drives un-mounting, or not being bootable are the most common issues.

    Maybe other can answer why. But if it cannot be fixed, the why is not so important. Just need to work around it.

    Using a few different drive docks, it is problematic with newer Macs that are USB and TB only. After fighting USB weirdness, it finally occurred to me: Use a FW to TB adapter and bypass USB altogether.

    I am happy to report that my older, trusty FW docks work perfect via TB with the Apple FW to TB adapter. So far, the cheapest, easiest way to have several TB drive docks.

    Simple...if not that obvious.

    NOTES:


    • So far, I have used FW to TB adapter on powered drive docks with 100% success. I see complaints about bus powered drives, which is not too surprising.
    • Will be interesting to see if one can boot a Mac in Target Disk Mode, and mount it on another Mac: TB bus to adapter to FW bus.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,124

    Default

    I never quite gave up on USB3 for Macs and have quite a list of things that DO work. Some of them work really well. The only one I still have around that can be problematical is the eSATA and USB3 port multiplier board. I have so many users of them that like the ability to hook up to a USB3 Mac even if they have to hold their head just right to keep it running right.

    The 2 port USB3 and eSATA board has been pretty much flawless. We use one of them in 1 and 2 drive Burlys and sometimes a pair of them in the 4 bay.

    There are a number of single drive enclosures that work well. Seems like there are a number of older USB3 bridges that Apple doesn't get along with.

    All these issues gives us a feel for how PC users must of felt all these years of suffering.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
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    Default

    Yeah, at work I have tested two different drive docks, both with USB 3.

    One with USB3 + FW works fine on older Macs (either bus) for cloning HDs, etc. Newer Macs have no FW, and USB3 will clone, but it is never bootable, rendering the dock useless fore reliable/tested clones. Could even be OS 10.9 and newer on USB3.....not sure. Using the FW - TB adapter gets around this.

    One that was just bought by a buddy and is USB3 only, and it randomly un-mounts, even in the middle of cloning....or sitting idle. This was returned for a refund; completely useless. Forget cloning......can't even safely copy data from new (late 2014) iMacs.

    I have a coulpe older FW docks and boards stripped out of old enclosures that I will be testing with the FW-TB adapter. Will report back any problems or limitations.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

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