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cadr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 5, 2019
5
2
Is there such a thing as a firewire to usb adapter to plug a usb device to the firewire port? I know there is a usb to firewire adapter to plug in firewire devices thru a usb port, but that's not what I need.

I need to connect a usb mouse or disk to firewire port of 2011 Macbook Pro that has all its usb ports broken (I tried lots of things for years, and there was one time one of the ports resurrected just enough to do some OS install, but never worked again, and I'm not interested in investing on some expensive soldering stations.) I do have thunderbolt to usb adapter that works with a mouse or a hdd, but I have to use thunderbolt to hdmi for now so can't connect a mouse or disk there, and it doesn't boot a disk either.

Is this a lost cause?
 

robvas

macrumors 68040
Mar 29, 2009
3,240
628
USA
Why don't you try a thunderbolt dock? It would give you the possibility to use a Firewire device, as well as USB 3.0 ports, and still have a video output you can use.

Unfortunately, you can't got USB to Firewire as they are very different interfaces.
 

cadr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 5, 2019
5
2
Why don't you try a thunderbolt dock?

Thank you. That sounds like a good idea. But I cannot seem to be able to locate a docking station for original thunderbolt (most I could find were for thunderbolt 2 or 3/usb-c). I wonder if thunderbolt 2 dock can be connected to old thunderbolt and still works.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
25,784
10,640
Frankly, if I had a MacBook Pro without working USB ports, I'd be looking for a replacement.

Even something used...
 

cadr

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 5, 2019
5
2
Frankly, if I had a MacBook Pro without working USB ports, I'd be looking for a replacement.

Even something used...

Well, it's been working fine for 8 years running both OS X and Fedora Linux, and I never used USB for much anything after they failed to work several years ago.

The only time USB was required was booting a Fedora install USB stick, which I barely made it through after SMC reset (one USB port resurrected just enough to update Fedora). I now have a second internal hard drive as backup that sits where CD-ROM drive used to be, and I can upgrade Fedora and OSX by storing boot images in the hard disk, and also repair primary disk by booting from the second hard disk.

I also found that Thunderbolt and both USB ports seem to share the power, since connecting a device to one of the USB ports causes the thunderbolt port to not function anymore. It seems like only one of the ports are usable at a time.

Now I'm not even sure a docking station would work if it draws too much power from several devices connected and potentially cause issues. I also tried powered USB hub to see if external power would solve the problem, but no go.

I just wanted to try to make it work as a desktop with external monitor and keyboard/mouse. I guess I'll continue using this Mac as a pure laptop without any external devices connected. At least it has all the built-in devices working.
 

Hrbarnett

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2019
4
0
I’m totally confused as to why the word thunderbolt enters into every discussion I’ve found about a fire wire to USB.

Thunderbolt wasn’t around during Firewire times (2009 iMac). I think it was called a mini display port. And I didn’t know that they Could carry data,just video.

But apparently since the original poster is good with thunderbolt entering the discussion, I’m here to say I’m not; there is no thunderbolt on my computer just fire wire and to USB two ports
My 20” iMac has a beautiful display and works perfectly, not as good as my modern computers but I still have it and I still use it at home while my computers are at work. So don’t tell me to get rid of it because I’m not interested in that discussion. What I’m interested in and what I came to this discussion for us to find out if I could do back ups with a fire wire port on a Mac out through a Firewire to USB adapter plug. It can be FireWire port 800 or 400 I don’t care which, The question is can fire wire go into a standard into a standard back up hard drive which typically have, and all of mine do have a USB shape only port which are fast USB 3.0. There is no thunderbolt it wasn’t invented in 2009. So since there’s no thunderbolt on the machine, and since the USB ports which are perfectly fine on my computer are USB 2.0 And so slow the backups have actually crashed after many hours... I spent three days getting the back up so I could take the computer in to have the hard drive replaced with an SSD.
So that’s the reason for my question here, I want to run back ups and data transfer and access data on all my external hard drive’s. But I don’t want to use a slow USB 2.0 because it’s extremely slow compared to FireWire and usb 3.0
Is there anywhere I could find an answer to that I’ve been looking for three days
 
Last edited:

chrfr

macrumors G5
Jul 11, 2009
12,252
5,699
I’m totally confused as to why the word thunderbolt enters into every discussion I’ve found about a fire wire to USB.

Thunderbolt wasn’t around during Firewire times (2009 iMac). I think it was called a mini display port. And I didn’t know that they Could carry data,just video.
There was some overlap of computers with both Thunderbolt and FireWire- the 2011 and 2012 Macs had both.
In any case, there is no FireWire to USB or USB to FireWire adapter. You may still be able to find some external disk enclosures which support FireWire but they’ll be expensive.
Something like this will work: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/1394/USB/EliteAL/eSATA_FW800_FW400_USB
 

justashooter

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2020
332
190
I’m totally confused as to why the word thunderbolt enters into every discussion I’ve found about a fire wire to USB.

Thunderbolt wasn’t around during Firewire times (2009 iMac). I think it was called a mini display port. And I didn’t know that they Could carry data,just video.
Minidisplayport was for display devices only. When Thunderbolt was introduced in 2012 Apple used the same connector and added thunderbolt so it carried both displayport (video) and data.

As for a Firewire, with your computer I would get one of these used from ebay if you can:

I have two 2012 Macbook Pro 13's and used that very external enclosure with firewire 800 for backups, even though the 2012 has USB3 and thunderbolt. It's convenient, it is a port I use for nothing else any more (used to use it to input video from a Sony MiniDV HD video camera). Simple to open and change the sata hard drive. Should be able to get one off of ebay for less than $40. Other World Computing often has them in their garage sale too, although not right now. https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/garage_sale
 
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