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Firewire 800 port design: BAD

5552 Views 31 Replies Latest reply: Mar 17, 2014 6:35 PM by Sharpie007 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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Christopher Davis2 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 3, 2012 12:03 PM

The problem with my question is that I know already there is no solution...

 

I have a Macbook Pro circa 2009. It came with the new Firewire 800 port shape. SInce day one it has given me problems. If you leave the laptop on your table and do not touch it, things are essentially fine. There is no motion, so the connection is stable.

 

But the second I shift the computer, or pickt it up to move it to another location, the weak fit between the cable and port causes it to dismount. The cable is a flimsy plastic, whil the previous Firewire plug had a firmer connection, much like a USB connection. If you move a laptop around with a USB device connected, it is not likely to jiggle loose.

 

I have tried multiple cables. It is simply a very poor design. I am VERY shocked that a) this fundamental problem even exists, as it is seemingly a major flaw, and b) I have not seen or heard much complaint in the general Apple community - this can't only be happening to my machine.

 

Is anybody aware of this problem? It's extremely annoying - every time I shift my machine or move it, the Firewire 800 jiggles loose and my drive dismounts. I am astounded by this... Can we have the previous Firewire plug design back?

 

My only option is to use the USB for this external drive and just avoid the Firewire altogether. Very disappointed.

Macbook Pro 2.26Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2012 2:28 PM (in response to Christopher Davis2)

    Apparently your FireWire port is damaged. Other people don't have this problem, or we would see it reported here. Take your machine in for inspection and repair.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2012 2:55 PM (in response to Christopher Davis2)

    If from day one of having a new Macbook Pro I had a problem with any part of it I would of had it looked at and fixed.

    I personally would not of waited 3, or almost 3, years to do something about it.

     

    If you have Applecare extended warranty and the notebook is still covered take it in and have it looked at.

     

    There is nothing any of the users on this forum can do for you.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2012 3:18 PM (in response to Christopher Davis2)

    Right now I have a firewire adapter connected to my MBP 2011 with a 250GB drive sitting in the adapter base.

     

    I just picked up my notebook and moved it around, then I wiggled the cable and plug connected to the notebook. I did not have any disconnects.

     

    You should of showed this to the Apple people, used one of their cables and then politely ask them to fix it 3 years ago.

     

    It can be fixed. It could of been fixed 3 years ago. What you need is a new Logic board as all the side connectors are soldered onto the logic board.

     

    Now that Logic board may cost you several hundred dollars. 3 years ago it would of cost you zero.

     

    Sorry but that is just the way you allowed it to be.

     

    Well if they have a record of your visits and the problem you have with the FW port you can bring that up and then as I said above use one of their cables and show them the problem. It really isn't about what they will do. It is about what you show them and ask them to fix it as it was like that from day one.

     

    Good luck.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2012 3:32 PM (in response to Christopher Davis2)

    You are welcome and I do hope you get it fixed under warranty.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2012 3:14 PM (in response to Christopher Davis2)

    I just bought a Firewire 800 Dock (that also has a USB2 port) for Seagate GoFlex external hard drives but it has a standard SATA connector on the top of it that you can plug any drive into.

    Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk Desktop Adapter - Firewire 800/USB 2.0 STAE105

     

    It comes with both a very nice FW 800 cable and a USB2 cable.

    You can buy them on Amazon for $45 and change.

     

    On my 2011 MBP the firewire connection is fairly snug. I don't know if it is the port or the cable.

  • domchristian Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 9, 2012 11:21 AM (in response to Christopher Davis2)

    Sorry - bit late. Just like to say that I sympathise with the OP and the FW800 port/conector design IS quite a bad one. This is something that both me and others I work with are aware of.

     

    It's not reliable and frequently dismounts. There's no point in taking a machine to apple with this problem, they do not recognise it.

     

    FW 400 and USB are both much more secure connections.

     

    I have a brand new G drive that I use for audio. It has high quality cables. I have used it on several macs, and they all seem to have this annoying problem. One slight nudge and you get the drive removal warning message. I thought it might be the older drives I was using, but as this one is doing it too it seems to be inherent in the design - it's quite obvious when you see how 'wobbly' FW 800 cable attachment is...

     

    Unfortunately it also seems to eventually lead to the port on the drive blowing, which has happened to me twice.

     

    A real shame, I now use a 400-800 converter at any point I can.

  • MacCamMan Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 8, 2012 2:09 AM (in response to Christopher Davis2)

    Christopher Davis2 you are not alone, believe you me!

    Since 2 months I've got a brand new Lacie Rugged drive and I use the brand new firewire cable that came along with it. It falls out every time, completely annoying!

    I too have a 2009 Macbook Pro, but before now never used the firewire 800 port, so clearly it's a bad design problem.

    I've found some tips suggesting to use a cabel with a metal fitting, perhaps that will do the trick?

  • Interestng Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 12:14 PM (in response to Christopher Davis2)

    I completely agree that the Firewire 800 design is fundamentally flawed and non-robust.  I've experienced exactly the same problem.  I Googled "Firewire 800 poor" to see if others have had similar experiences and found this blog.  It appears that the port design on the laptop and hard drive are identical, as is the firewire cable end connectors.  Thus, it is a challenge to determine which port leads to problem.  I was able to determine, however, that the port on my HD was at fault by using an 800 to 400 cable.  When connecting to my HD 400 port, I don't experience the hangups if I move the table or bump the computer.  No problems with USB and Firewire 400; only Firewire 800.

  • Jeff Stasko Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 7, 2012 7:28 PM (in response to Christopher Davis2)

    I am also having this problem. Bad design. I am extremely disappointed. Have been looking for a metal ring firewire, but have yet to find one. I have purchased Macs since the late 80's and this is the first time I have had problems with a port. Can someone at Apple give me a solution?

  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 7, 2012 7:41 PM (in response to Jeff Stasko)

    Jeff: This is a user-to-user forum. Apple isn't here and won't reply.

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