Daisy-chain/combine firewire hard drives?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Pablo, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. Pablo macrumors regular

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    Jan 8, 2003
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    Texas
    #1
    I'm looking at a Lacie external firewire drive.

    Say I fill it up and need more. Rather than selling and putting the cash towards a biger one, could I keep the existing and connect the new one to the existing to combine the disk sizes and effectively have my Powerbook "see" either one drive of the combined sizes, or two drives - but only using a single firewire connection to the Powerbook?
     
  2. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    #2
    If the external FW HD has 2 FW ports in the back of it then you should be able to plug the 2nd FE HD into the first one and plug the first one into the PowerBook. I did this with my Dual USB iBook using my external FW HD, and my ext FW CD-RW drive and it worked fine. You may have to switch the plugs around to get it to work, but I did get mine to work on my iBook.
     
  3. pncc macrumors regular

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    Jul 23, 2002
    #3
    That connectivity is correct. You will NOT be able to make the two drives act as one bigger drive though. They will be two drives. You COULD reformat the first drive and then set the two up as a striped RAID. I would generally NOT recommend that because 1) you have to erase the first drive-do you have a complete backup of it? 2) A striped drive is faster than a single drive, BUT it is MUCH more vulnerable to complete data loss. Having reliable backup is MUCH more important when using RAIDs.
     
  4. Pablo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Thanks.

    It will probably be a Lacie d2, so I'll check to see how many Firewire ports it has.
     
  5. frank5050 macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2003
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    way out west
    #5
    I have (2) LaCie D2 drives (80G & 160G) and (1) Maxtor drive all connected in daisy-chain fashion to a single FW port on an iMac and it works fine. The D2's I bought 6-9 moths ago both have 2 FW ports on back.

    frank
     
  6. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #6
    Out of curiousity, can one daisy chain an iPod at the end of this set up? (or even a single ext. HD)
     
  7. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #7
    You could, but you would need to power it in another way.
     
  8. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #8
    There's no draw through the firewire through the drive? In other words, the FW power only goes to the device plugged in directly to the computer/cpu?
     
  9. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #9
    I have seen a site that went into amazing detail about Firewire, but I can't find it now. But it basically comes down to the Firewire bus not being able to supply enough power for more than device. If something needs to be bus powered or doesn't have an external power source, it has to be the first device in the chain. That doesn't work with the iPod though, as you can plug it in first and have it powered, and plug it into the power adapter and not have it connected to your Mac/PC. A solution would be a Firewire hub, like this one :D
     
  10. Opteron macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I thought most external drives had there own power source.
    yeah a daisy chain will work.
     
  11. baby duck monge macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

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    #11
    this is not true. the lacie d2 drivews require external power, and this power will charge an ipod linked to the end. i am running a 120 gig d2 right now, and my ipod is currently happily charging while plugged in to nothing other than the d2.
     
  12. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #12
    You won't have to do any switching around of the ports, Firewire is incredibly easy to use. I daisy chain my D2 80 GB with all kinds of stuff all the time. The bus power is also very good, so you should be able to power an iPod on the end of the chain. The power doesn't stop at the first device. My friend is able to power two LaCie portable drives from his Powerbook.

    Enjoy your drive!
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13
    One thing you have to keep in mind is not all firewire devices are created equal. Some companies do a better job of meeting FW specs than others. If you have a device that barely meets FW specs than it can cause problems if it is part of a chain. For example, a friend of mine has 2 FW HDDs (not sure of the brands) and he has to keep them "chained" in the same order otherwise he will get unreliable play back from the drives (he uses them for video editing).


    Lethal
     
  14. Jo-Kun macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 20, 2003
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    Antwerp-Belgium
    #14
    Powerbook -> LaCie D2 52x FireWire CD-RW -> LaCie D2 80GB FireWire HDD -> LaCie BlueScan48 FireWire Scanner

    that works fine, but as soon as my iPod connects on the last port just forget getting any response from the scanner...

    so be carefull ;-)

    greetings Jo
     
  15. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #15
    Thanks. Great real world info. Since I'd leave the drive and ipod dock plugged in all the time, I'd like to keep the other FW port free.
     
  16. ntg macrumors regular

    ntg

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    #16
    I always plug my iPod (2g 20Gb) after my two 120Gb ADS units chained from one firewire port, and have had no faults. Sometimes, I add a Umax scanner, and plug the iPod in after this, and it still works fine.

    I think a lot depends on the overall stability of your installation, and I try to clean-install new OSes these days....

    Nig.
     
  17. Pablo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    Interesting.

    If you have the iPod behind the Hard Drive, do you have to unmount each (iPod first ?), or will unmounting the hard drive take the iPod with it?
     
  18. ntg macrumors regular

    ntg

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    #18
    No - Actually, the h/d units act as pass-through, so the iPod will still work if both drive units are switched off!

    Nigel.
     
  19. crazytom macrumors 6502a

    crazytom

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    IL
    #19
    Has this functionality changed in 10.3.3? Since I installed 10.3.3, I find that I have to have everything on in the chain up to the device I want to use and my Belkin hub has become completely useless. :mad:
     

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