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  • iHope Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    jsd2 wrote:
    Does System Profiler show anything else when you connect either of your Firewire drives?


    No. only what I've already reported.

    My only other thought would be to try the SMC reset again, disconnecting all external device cables and leaving the battery out and AC adapter disconnected for 10 minutes before reconnecting and restarting.


    Okay, will try again and report back.

    iHope
  • jsd2 Level 5 Level 5 (6,200 points)
    I'm not a hardware person, but if the SMC reset doesn't work, I think the most likely culprit is the FireWire port itself. You could try software fixes to your HD - running the combo update shouldn't do any harm - but again, you still had the problem when booted from your install DVD.
    I think that if the SMC reset doesn't work, I would bring the MacBook to an Apple store and have them look at it.
  • iHope Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you, jsd2.

    The SMC reset didn't work. But can you please clarify something about that reset and the PRAM reset (which I've now done twice). Disconnecting the battery seems to be important in both cases. Yet, as I reported before, on each occasion that the battery has been removed I was surprised to find afterwards that the computer time setting didn't have to be corrected. Is there a backup battery in the computer? Will this affect the resetting?

    Last week, on another forum, I came across a document "Resetting Firewire or USB Port" (sorry, I've lost the link so here's the text in full, the bit in bold highlighted by me):

    "Apparently dead or misbehaving Firewire and USB ports can generally be
    restored to health simply by resetting the ports. The procedure for
    resetting the ports is straight forward and relatively simple. I have
    recently revised my take on this procedure as a result of a MacFixit
    troubleshooting thread that apparently involved a misbehaving port on one
    of the external devices. The revised process is:
    Power down the computer
    Power down any self-powered Firewire, USB, or eSATA devices
    attached to the computer including hubs.
    Disconnect all external Firewire, USB, and eSata devices from the
    computer.
    Disconnect the computer's external power source.
    On the chance that a port that on an external device also needs
    resetting, disconnect the power from all self-powered external
    devices.
    If the computer is a laptop remove the main battery
    *Remove the backup (PRAM) battery. NOTE: not all Macs have*
    *backup batteries but if they do it is critical that they be removed.*
    *See your user manual for instructions.*
    Retire to a neutral corner for a beverage or snack of your choice for
    at least fifteen minutes to allow sufficient time for the capacitors in
    the system to bleed off their electrical charge.
    Replace the backup battery and close up the system.
    Reconnect the external power to the computer
    If the mouse and keyboard are USB devices reconnect them at this
    time.
    CAUTION: do not reconnect the self-powered devices to the
    computer yet -- just in case a fault in the external device garbled
    the port electronics in the first place.
    Boot the computer
    Cross your fingers and rub your lucky rabbit's foot then one at a
    time reconnect each of the external Firewire and USB devices to the
    computer and power them up. Testing after connecting each device
    to be sure it and the port are working correctly.
    Finally if all the Firewire and USB devices are working you can power
    down and reconnect the eSATA device(s).
    Open System Preferences and reset the time zone and system date
    and time."
    _______________________

    The manual for my MacBook says nothing about a backup battery. Yet it seems it's likely to have one, and that for the resets to be effective it should be removed. Is this correct?

    I've asked before: what is the combo update? what's the purpose of running it?

    Thanks, iHope
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,925 points)
    I've asked before: what is the combo update? what's the purpose of running it?


    It contains all the changes in OSX from 10.4.0 to 10.4.11, so it will replace all those files with new ones, in case the problem is one of those files being munged is the problem, if the problem is in some part of the OS that hasn't changed since 10.4.0 then it won't help.

    It's not a sure cure, but has helped many people.
  • jsd2 Level 5 Level 5 (6,200 points)
    on each occasion that the battery has been removed I was surprised to find afterwards that the computer time setting didn't have to be corrected.


    Most Macs are set up to automatically obtain the time from an internet server, so that even when the mac is restarted after all power has been removed, the correct time is quickly restored. You can check your own system's method by looking at System Preferences>Date and Time> Date and Time tab. There is a checkbox there for "Set date and time automatically."

    I have not seen other claims that you need to remove the PRAM battery in order to reset FireWire or USB ports. I am not very knowledgeable about hardware, but I don't know why taking out that battery would be any different than just resetting the PRAM the way you did at the beginning. In any event, as far as I know, the PRAM battery in a MacBook is not user accessible.

    If a HD contains damaged system files which happens to be among those included in the combo update, then running the combo update would hopefully replace them without the need to completely re-install OS X. In most cases the problem you are trying to solve - such as apps which do not run - require you to be booted from your HD, and therefore you need to know that the files there are intact.

    What made me skeptical that any attempted HD repairs would work in your case is that you don't need to depend on your HD files at all in order to observe your particular problem. When you run Disk Utility from your install disk, you are bypassing whatever system files are on your internal HD - the install DVD contains its own pristine version of OS X and that is what is running. Since you still can't see any connected FireWire device even from there, I concluded that the problem is something other than damaged system files on the HD.

    BDAQua feels that the combo update is worth trying anyway, and he is much more experienced than I. I do agree that it is unlikely to hurt anything, should you want to try it.

    But at this point, as I said earlier, I would just take it to an Apple store.
  • iHope Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    jsd2,thank you for your comments.

    jsd2 wrote:
    Most Macs are set up to automatically obtain the time from an internet server, so that even when the mac is restarted after all power has been removed, the correct time is quickly restored.


    As I pointed out earlier, the MacBook was disconnected from the internet when I did the resetting AND checking afterwards the time displayed. Hence my surprise. And why I believe theere's a backup battery. Should it be removed?

    I have not seen other claims that you need to remove the PRAM battery in order to reset FireWire or USB ports. I am not very knowledgeable about hardware, but I don't know why taking out that battery would be any different than just resetting the PRAM the way you did at the beginning. In any event, as far as I know, the PRAM battery in a MacBook is not user accessible.


    As you can imagine I'm now slightly confused by the conflicting advise. Maybe someone knowledgeable about such things could clarify the position as regards the battery?

    What made me skeptical that any attempted HD repairs would work in your case is that you don't need to depend on your HD files at all in order to observe your particular problem. When you run Disk Utility from your install disk, you are bypassing whatever system files are on your internal HD - the install DVD contains its own pristine version of OS X and that is what is running. Since you still can't see any connected FireWire device even from there, I concluded that the problem is something other than damaged system files on the HD.


    Seems like a very reasonable conclusion!

    To sum up, the consensus seems to be that the problem is highly unlikely to be the security update. It is more likely to be a faulty FW. In case it's the latter, before going to an Apple store, am going to write to the drive vendors again and then report back.

    iHope
  • iHope Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Sorry, the last paragraph of my last post should've read:

    "To sum up, the consensus seems to be that the problem is highly unlikely to be the security update. It is more likely to be a faulty FW port or a firmware update issue. In case it's the latter, before going to an Apple store, am going to write to the drive vendors again and then report back."

    For some reason the 'edit' button wasn't available to make the correction.

    iHope
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,925 points)
    For some reason the 'edit' button wasn't available to make the correction.


    You only have a short time where the EDIT button is available... I've heard 5 or 10 minutes.
  • iHope Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've written to the drive vendors and will report back on their comments.

    Meanwhile can anyone shed light on a couple of my previous questions?

    jsd2 wrote:
    Most Macs are set up to automatically obtain the time from an internet server, so that even when the mac is restarted after all power has been removed, the correct time is quickly restored.


    As I pointed out earlier, the MacBook was disconnected from the internet when I did the resetting AND checking afterwards the time displayed. Hence my surprise. And why I believe there's a backup battery. Should it be removed?

    I have not seen other claims that you need to remove the PRAM battery in order to reset FireWire or USB ports. I am not very knowledgeable about hardware, but I don't know why taking out that battery would be any different than just resetting the PRAM the way you did at the beginning. In any event, as far as I know, the PRAM battery in a MacBook is not user accessible.


    As you can imagine I'm now slightly confused by the conflicting advise. Maybe someone knowledgeable about such things could clarify the position as regards the battery?


    Thanks, iHope
  • iHope Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yesteday the vendors of the FW portable drive notified me that there has never been a firmware update for this particular drive. Does this mean the problem is definitely not a firmware issue? Or actually more likely to be a firmware issue?

    iHope
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,925 points)
    Does this mean the problem is definitely not a firmware issue? Or actually more likely to be a firmware issue?


    DEpends... do you know the chipset?

    Some don't need it/one, some need it/one but it can't be done... the first series of Prolific 3507s being one, Century being another.
  • iHope Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    BDAqua wrote:
    DEpends... do you know the chipset?


    What is a chipset?

    iHope
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,925 points)
    It's what is in the external box that translates the Drives interface, (SATA or IDE), to Firewire or USB, the bridge/translator between the Drive and the Interface.

    Like this line...

    High Performance: Our high-speed Oxford 934 bridge chipset combined with the fastest SATA drive mechanisms available...


    From this page...

    http://eshop.macsales.com/Item_XLR8YourMac.cfm?ID=11626&Item=OWCMEAQ7H1TB16M
  • jsd2 Level 5 Level 5 (6,200 points)
    This thread is so long that it is hard to remember what you have already tried.

    Looking back at what you reported earlier, I don't see anything to suggest that the LaCie portable drive has anything to do with the problem with your MacBook:

    My desktop computer (G5, PPC)... *still recognises* the portable drive.


    I can confirm the MacBook seems to be firewire-blind.
    1) It doesn't recognise another external hard drive
    2) When booting up from the Tiger Installation CD, Disk Utility doesn't recognise >either the portable drive or an external hard drive.
    3) In Target Disk Mode it fails to recognise the desktop G5 PowerMac. Interestingly putting the G5 in Target Disk Mode, it can't see the MacBook! Is this significant? The G5 has no trouble recognising other firewire devices.
  • iHope Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    jsd2 wrote:
    Looking back at what you reported earlier, I don't see anything to suggest that the LaCie portable drive has anything to do with the problem with your MacBook:


    Okay. There conclusion is therefore that the latest security update isn't the cause of the problem, but that it's likely to be a firewire port hardware issue.

    Thanks to all who offered advice and suggestions.

    iHope