Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2008 4:38 PM by redgingi
Shane Hirschman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Hello. I just purchased a Rocstor 500 GB External hard drive (Oxford 922) to use as a back-up device for my Mac Pro, but unfortunately the Drive is not recognized in either of my FW 800 ports on my machine. I tried using the drive with Firewire 400 and I it worked fine.

I tried resetting the SMC, but I still have the same problem. So, I took the drive to work to try it on the Mac Pros there, and it was recognized without a hitch. HOWEVER, I am running the latest version of Leopard, and the Mac Pros at work are running Tiger. Could it be a Leopard issue?

More than likely, I am led to believe it is my Mac Pro's FW 800 ports, as everything else seems to be working okay. And the drive works fine with FW 400 and on other machines.

I have a 2006 Mac Pro 2.66 Quad with 2 GB OEM RAM and 4 GB 3rd party RAM (Techworks). OS X 10.5.1

Any suggestions until I get a chance to call Apple Support?

Mac Pro (2 x 2.66 Ghz), Mac OS X (10.5.1), 6 GB RAM, Two internal hard drives
  • Smokerz Level 6 Level 6 (9,405 points)
    try the following;

    1. Shut-down your Mac, and unplug the power cord
    2. Turn the power off on your external FireWire devices
    3. Unplug the FireWire devices from the Mac
    4. Wait for 5 min.
    5. Plug the power cord to your Mac only
    6. Restart the Mac while holding the Option-Apple-O-F, and keep holding until you get the ">" prompt, then release the keys
    7. At the ">" prompt type:
          reset-nvram and hit the Return key
          set-defaults and hit the Return key
          reset-all and hit the Return key
    the last command will restart your mac
    8. Shut down your Mac
    9. Connect all your FireWire devices to the Mac and turn them on
    10. Restart your Mac.

    All your FireWire devices should reapear, if not repeat the procedure

    How to avoid the issue :
    The only really proven way to avoid burning up a FireWire port is to connect all devices and to turn them on PRIOR turning on the Mac. Likely, one must unplug them and turn them off AFTER the Mac has been turned off. If you need to connect another device, then you're on for a shutdown of your machine... 
It's a tad annoying but it guarantees that the FW ports won't be damaged. 
Be careful when using self powered devices such as webcams, iPods, hard drives or hubs, as they can destroy the port pretty easily. Another thing is to avoid daisy-chaining hard drives.
     
    When the FW port doesn't respond anymore :
    In this case, peripherals won't be mounted upon plugging, and won't be displayed in Apple's System Profiler. The self powered devices will still be fed by the port, but won't respond either. 
It happens that the PHY just hangs after a surge or a random problem. Once hung, the port will not respond any longer, it is possible to reset the component by going through the following steps :
    1° boot the mac in Open Firmware by holding [ Apple key - Option - O - F ] after the startup chime. 
2° you'll get to a command prompt. the keyboard mapping will be QWERTY, so pay attention when you type the following : 
RESET-NVRAM (enter) 
RESET-ALL (enter) 
3° Now the mac should restart itself and the port should function properly again. 
If it still doesn't work, then it means that the PHY is damaged.

    http://www.hardmac.com/articles/16/
  • Shane Hirschman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks... I'll give this a try when I get home. However, this is my first time using the FW 800 port on my Mac, so damage to the port would seem a bit odd to me. I only frequently use one other FireWire port, it is the FW 400 port in the rear that my cinema display is always plugged into, but the FW 400 seems to be working fine.
  • Shane Hirschman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Smokerz wrote:
    try the following;

    1. Shut-down your Mac, and unplug the power cord
    2. Turn the power off on your external FireWire devices
    3. Unplug the FireWire devices from the Mac
    4. Wait for 5 min.
    5. Plug the power cord to your Mac only
    6. Restart the Mac while holding the Option-Apple-O-F, and keep holding until you get the ">" prompt, then release the keys
    7. At the ">" prompt type:
    reset-nvram and hit the Return key
    set-defaults and hit the Return key
    reset-all and hit the Return key
    the last command will restart your mac
    8. Shut down your Mac
    9. Connect all your FireWire devices to the Mac and turn them on
    10. Restart your Mac.

    All your FireWire devices should reapear, if not repeat the procedure

    How to avoid the issue :
    The only really proven way to avoid burning up a FireWire port is to connect all devices and to turn them on PRIOR turning on the Mac. Likely, one must unplug them and turn them off AFTER the Mac has been turned off. If you need to connect another device, then you're on for a shutdown of your machine... 
It's a tad annoying but it guarantees that the FW ports won't be damaged. 
Be careful when using self powered devices such as webcams, iPods, hard drives or hubs, as they can destroy the port pretty easily. Another thing is to avoid daisy-chaining hard drives.

    When the FW port doesn't respond anymore :
    In this case, peripherals won't be mounted upon plugging, and won't be displayed in Apple's System Profiler. The self powered devices will still be fed by the port, but won't respond either. 
It happens that the PHY just hangs after a surge or a random problem. Once hung, the port will not respond any longer, it is possible to reset the component by going through the following steps :
    1° boot the mac in Open Firmware by holding [ Apple key - Option - O - F ] after the startup chime. 
2° you'll get to a command prompt. the keyboard mapping will be QWERTY, so pay attention when you type the following : 
RESET-NVRAM (enter) 
RESET-ALL (enter) 
3° Now the mac should restart itself and the port should function properly again. 
If it still doesn't work, then it means that the PHY is damaged.

    http://www.hardmac.com/articles/16/


    The bottom advice on the PHY seems like an accurate diagnosis. I checked the System Profiler, when this first happened and noticed that the System Profiler had red text in the Firewire window saying something akin to no being able to retrieve information. However, this when away as soon as I unplugged the device.

    FYI: My Rocstor drive is self-powered. So I am definitely going to try that NVRAM reset, once I get home. I'll post if it works or not.
  • Shane Hirschman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Smokerz wrote:
    try the following;

    1. Shut-down your Mac, and unplug the power cord
    2. Turn the power off on your external FireWire devices
    3. Unplug the FireWire devices from the Mac
    4. Wait for 5 min.
    5. Plug the power cord to your Mac only
    6. Restart the Mac while holding the Option-Apple-O-F, and keep holding until you get the ">" prompt, then release the keys
    7. At the ">" prompt type:
          reset-nvram and hit the Return key
          set-defaults and hit the Return key
          reset-all and hit the Return key
    the last command will restart your mac
    8. Shut down your Mac
    9. Connect all your FireWire devices to the Mac and turn them on
    10. Restart your Mac.

    All your FireWire devices should reapear, if not repeat the procedure

    How to avoid the issue :
    The only really proven way to avoid burning up a FireWire port is to connect all devices and to turn them on PRIOR turning on the Mac. Likely, one must unplug them and turn them off AFTER the Mac has been turned off. If you need to connect another device, then you're on for a shutdown of your machine... 
It's a tad annoying but it guarantees that the FW ports won't be damaged. 
Be careful when using self powered devices such as webcams, iPods, hard drives or hubs, as they can destroy the port pretty easily. Another thing is to avoid daisy-chaining hard drives.
     
    When the FW port doesn't respond anymore :
    In this case, peripherals won't be mounted upon plugging, and won't be displayed in Apple's System Profiler. The self powered devices will still be fed by the port, but won't respond either. 
It happens that the PHY just hangs after a surge or a random problem. Once hung, the port will not respond any longer, it is possible to reset the component by going through the following steps :
    1° boot the mac in Open Firmware by holding [ Apple key - Option - O - F ] after the startup chime. 
2° you'll get to a command prompt. the keyboard mapping will be QWERTY, so pay attention when you type the following : 
RESET-NVRAM (enter) 
RESET-ALL (enter) 
3° Now the mac should restart itself and the port should function properly again. 
If it still doesn't work, then it means that the PHY is damaged.

    http://www.hardmac.com/articles/16/


    Bummer... I am back to square one. I reset both the PRAM and NVRAM to no avail. This is what Apple System Profiler (Hardware > FireWire) says when the drive is connected:

    FireWire Bus:

    Warning: Unable to list FireWire devices.
    Maximum Speed: Up to 800 Mb/sec

    When it is not connected:


    Maximum Speed: Up to 800 Mb/sec

    Built-in Hub:

    Manufacturer: Unknown
    Model: Unknown
    Maximum Speed: Up to 800 Mb/sec
    Connection Speed: Unknown

    Unknown Device:

    Manufacturer: Unknown
    Model: Unknown
    Maximum Speed: Up to 400 Mb/sec
    Connection Speed: Unknown
  • Smokerz Level 6 Level 6 (9,405 points)
    check on your firewire bridge kind. Some good vendors provide firmware updaters to their bridge cards. I have two Superboxes with intio firewire bridge cards inside the firewire enclosure. I did a Google search for their bridge card and found updated firmware. I flashed both my enclosures.

    Yours may be just a compatibility problem with the OS version you're running.
  • Shane Hirschman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Smokerz wrote:
    check on your firewire bridge kind. Some good vendors provide firmware updaters to their bridge cards. I have two Superboxes with intio firewire bridge cards inside the firewire enclosure. I did a Google search for their bridge card and found updated firmware. I flashed both my enclosures.

    Yours may be just a compatibility problem with the OS version you're running.


    I am a little confused about your advice. I didn't add a FireWire card to Mac Pro, I am using the FireWire 800 ports that come built-in to the Mac Pro.

    So... I am guessing you are talking about the Firmware of the external drive itself. I'll Google around and see what I can find.

    Meanwhile, I spoke to Apple, they want me to take my machine in, so they can check the ports to see if they are functioning. I am less than thrilled about this, as the Mac Pro is so heavy to lug around, so maybe I'll wait and see what happens when 10.5.2 arrives, as this problem isn't affecting my computer in any other way.
  • Shane Hirschman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Smokerz wrote:
    check on your firewire bridge kind. Some good vendors provide firmware updaters to their bridge cards. I have two Superboxes with intio firewire bridge cards inside the firewire enclosure. I did a Google search for their bridge card and found updated firmware. I flashed both my enclosures.

    Yours may be just a compatibility problem with the OS version you're running.


    Hooray, I fixed the issue for now.... hopefully forever! Read below for the long complicated story.

    I searched for Oxford 922 firmware (my Rocstor drive uses Oxford) and had a difficult time finding firmware. Oxford makes no mention of anything on their web site.

    After about an hour I came across a hard-drive enclosure reseller, who provided links to Oxford's latest firmware. I downloaded the Oxford firmware updater, which failed to run in my Java applett. So I searched again for the Oxford updater and came across a newer beta version, which ran okay, in spite of scary warnings. However, it detected my drive as Oxford 912. What the ****? I took the programs word for it, as it was developed by Oxford, and loaded in the latest 922 firmware binaries, just to be safe (I was still hesitant using a 912 binary even if the program detected it as such). However, the updater rejected the 922 binaries(both version 1.06 and 1.07) saying they were too large in size to fit in the Flash memory, so I gave a 912 firmware binary a try. And viola, the program updated it apparently, using the 912 firmware. So either Rocstor is advertising the drive incorrectly as Oxford 922, my drive never updated to it, or had the latest version. I believe it is the later, as Apple system profiler still claims the firmware was never updated.

    Anyways, I used FW 400 to perform the update, but after it finished, I hooked it up using FW 800 and my drive showed up on the desktop. Something must have been reset during the update... who knows.

    I was glad to at least have narrowed it down to a firmware problem, with the external drive itself and not my FireWire 800 ports. I still can't figure out why it worked on my coworkers Mac Pro (Tiger) and not my Mac Pro (Leopard), especially if it was a firmware problem. The point is, it is now functioning as expected and I am using Time Machine, as I type.

    Let's hope FireWire 800 performance is improved in 10.5.2, which is supposed to be arriving soon. And hopefully Java too, as I would like to run the original updater to make sure my drive does have the latest version.
  • Smokerz Level 6 Level 6 (9,405 points)
    Good job hanging in there. When it comes to optical drives, routers and firewire enclosures firmware is usually the primary suspect when things go wrong.

    Just a difficult decision to make because firmware flashing can go wrong or going back may be a problem. The way I view it is if the device is giving problems and will continue to give problems its better to try.
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,460 points)
    922 is only used in dual drive cases to provide a "build-in firmware RAID support"
    912 or 912+ is FW800, the "+" means USB2
    911 is FW400

    924 adds eSATA support along with FW400/800

    MacSales, OWC Tech Support library is where I would go first, as they do tend to have or links to, firmware updates for Oxford.
  • mdenovellis Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi,

    Can you please list the site(s) that you found the beta firmware, etc.? I have been having a heck of a time trying to get my Oxford 922 FW800 enclosure to operate correctly ever since Tiger 10.4.

    Any links and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Mike
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,460 points)
    You may want to check the vendor, or pull the drives out and get a new case
    http://www.macsales.com/firewire

    Or, move to eSATA. 922's "RAID" in firmware dual-drive case is not my favorite cup of tea.
  • Shane Hirschman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    The hatter wrote:
    922 is only used in dual drive cases to provide a "build-in firmware RAID support"
    912 or 912+ is FW800, the "+" means USB2
    911 is FW400

    924 adds eSATA support along with FW400/800

    MacSales, OWC Tech Support library is where I would go first, as they do tend to have or links to, firmware updates for Oxford.


    Thanks for the info, Hatter. That makes sense, however; I am confused, Rocstor definitely says my drive is 922 on their website (http://www.rocstor.com/Products/rocpro-800av.html). My drive also has 2 FW 800 ports, possibly suggesting the RAID support. However, maybe they quietly changed the specs during production. I would suspect Oxford's updater to be more accurate, which claims my drive is 912.
  • Shane Hirschman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    mdenovellis wrote:
    Hi,

    Can you please list the site(s) that you found the beta firmware, etc.? I have been having a heck of a time trying to get my Oxford 922 FW800 enclosure to operate correctly ever since Tiger 10.4.

    Any links and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Mike


    Hatters link should work for you.

    But just in case, I received my firmware at the following locations.

    These Java applet from here didn't work for me, but maybe for you it will. It has a wide range of versions and seems legit otherwise:

    http://www.fwdepot.com/firewiredepot/firmware/firmware.html

    Version 1.07 for 922:
    http://aricsblog.blogspot.com/2005/04/multiple-conflicting-firewire.html

    I think I found the Beta uploader here:
    http://www.caloptic.com/support.html
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,460 points)
    922 is used only where there are two drives, and can be configured to be a mirror, stripe, or two individual drives (and you can use Disk Utility).

    All FW cases have two ports, in order to daisy chain devices (never a great idea, but there).

    Why someone would use Oxford 922 for a single drive is bewildering, to say the least. I guess they could.

    I've bought a dozen FW cases, mostly FW800, a quad interface (924) for an SATA drive, all from OWC, all still work.

    Trust Oxford.
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