Converting a FW hard drive to USB

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Punkwaffle, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. Punkwaffle macrumors regular

    Punkwaffle

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    #1
    Is there a way to convert my Porsche Firewire external hard drives to USB 2.0 short of removing the disk and putting it in another enclosure? Maybe a converter cable or something?

    Thanks.
     
  2. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #2
    Sorry, but no.

    The FireWire and USB protocols are completely different. They basically network with the computer using a totally different method. So, there is more to it than just changing the connector or installing an adapter.

    To make it work, you would need an adapter that spoke with the FireWire device in it's language. Then, it would need to take that information and relay it to the computer in the USB language / protocol.

    Such a device (if one existed) would likely cost more than just buying a different enclosure with the correct adapter.

    If you do need to use it on machines which have differing connectors, look for a new enclosure that has both USB and FireWire ports. Those enclosures contain both controller types, and will enable you to use the drive with whichever type of interface you prefer or need at the moment.
     
  3. micsaund macrumors 6502

    micsaund

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #3
    Note that when you switch to USB, you may need a dual-plug for extra power (or an external AC adapter). Generally, with FW, you don't need this assuming you're using 2.5" drives.

    I'm the opposite - I've got a USB enclosure and want to get one with USB and FW so that I can use FW 99% of the time. Taking up both USB ports on my MB is lame (power + data). Thanks to the lame 2.1GB filesize limitation on FAT32, I cannot create a usable cross-platform external drive, so I'm devoting one external drive to the Mac (HFS) and I want FW on enclosure. Keep that in mind if you're planning to use FAT32 on your cross-platform drive.

    Mike
     
  4. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #4
    Actually, if you can get ext3 support working under OS X, that would be the perfect cross-platform filesystem. For Windows, there is EXT2 IFS: http://www.fs-driver.org/ which works beautifully, and under OS X there is http://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2fsx. Support under linux is native, of course. The only issue with the OS X application is a lack of support for indexed directories, but one user mentioned a workaround here: http://sourceforge.net/forum/message.php?msg_id=4077981. I hope this helps!
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
  6. ivnj macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
  7. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #8
    I think there are/were certain DV cameras that had both types of hardware in them for connecting via USB and Firewire, but only had a mini Firewire port. If that's correct, that still requires the additional hardware inside the device. Just an adapter cable will not do it. Of course, you can never, ever base technical decisions on what's available on eBay. I've seen people selling stuff on eBay (adapters, converters, splitters, etc) that were never designed to work that way, and they just count on people's stupidity.

    Long story short: NO, you cannot just attach an adapter and get a FW drive to work over USB, no matter what you see on eBay. You have to get the right enclosure.
     
  8. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #9
    Yeh you could just pop it into a different enclosure and buy the stuff needed.

    http://www.maplin.co.uk/Search.aspx?criteria=A25AT&DOY=5m4

    That even comes with its own PSU so you don't worry about having to give power to it.

    If you are crafty enough you could make your own housing for it. This is a really cheap way of making an external hard drive too!
     
  9. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #10
    Avoid those at all costs. My friend has one, and it is a piece of crap. It's extraordinarily picky about what drives it will work with, and sometimes it fails in the middle of file transfers. Get a real enclosure that actually has a dedicated I/O chip for translating from PATA/SATA to USB/Firewire.
     
  10. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #11
    Second thoughts it never came to me to use one with a dedicated I/O chip...best with that as Roger said.
     

Share This Page