External Drive Help!

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by c0rpse, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. c0rpse macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2004
    Hi everyone..I hope this isn't off topic or anything I currently have a g4 powerbook and run FCP which is great. I would like to get an external drive to add 200-300gb of storage so I will be getting an external drive enclosure to connect to either usb 2.0 or firewire.

    My question is I also capture video through firewire on the computer, and I have heard that if you have a firewire drive with a loop port you should not be connecting a video device like a digital camera to it, or it may cause problems or hurt the device. Since my powerbook has 2 usb 2.0 ports and 1 firewire port my I need to know the best way to be capturing video through firewire to my external drive. Should I get a firewire HUB? Will that get rid of the loop problem? Should I get a USB 2.0 drive and continue to use the capture device through firewire?

    I am sort of new to this so any help would be awesome!!:)

  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA

    I have a 2-year-old 120GB LaCie Firewire drive, into which is plugged my iSight.

    I have had zero problems with either. Might be different for a camcorder, maybe? But I've had no problems at all.
  3. ephramz macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2004
    Get both in one!

    You could get an external drive that has both USB 2.0 and Firewire interfaces. I think LaCie makes one like that. Iomega makes one, but I wouldn't recommend their disk since I bought an 80 GB USB 2.0 drive that had the USB controller go out after 8 months, and it sounds like many people are having this problem with Iomega drives!

    But there are plenty of other manufacturers that make the dual interface drives. Then you could use it on USB 2.0 when you have the camera hooked up and are worried about it, and Firewire otherwise.

    Just remember to reformat the drive to Mac OS (Journaled if you like) before you use it, since most of these drives come pre-formatted in a PC format that doesn't let you make symbolic links, aliases, mount them over the net, and have non-standard characters in filenames.
  4. pncc macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    The powerBook has only one FireWire port and therefore two or more devices need to share bandwidth if used simultaneously. Doing so won't DAMAGE anything per se, but you will likely drop frames during a capture process which is undesireable. Using a USB2 external drive is one option although I wonder if there is enough bandwidth to capture w/out dropping frames. The best option is to buy a FireWire PC Card as that will give you another FireWire interface and you will not drop frames.
  5. c0rpse thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2004
    Hmm..firewire has a max transfer rate of 400mbit's right..and digital video transfers at 3.9 Mbytes per second....that leaves plenty of room doesnt it?

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