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IceMan30

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2012
24
3
So here’s a rabbit hole for people to get lost in... I have an old external hard drive with FireWire 400 (IEEE 1394 6 pin) ports ONLY. I need to connect to a new MacBook with Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. How on earth do I do that? I’ve been scouring the interweb for a cable or converter box, and no luck so far.

Free Atta-Boy to anyone who can help. Thanks! :)
 

Stephen.R

Suspended
Nov 2, 2018
4,356
4,746
Thailand
The only options I know of, would be a TB3 to TB2 adapter (apple and a few others like Akitio sell these), and then a TB1 (which is compatible with 2) to FW adapter, but I think the only adapter sold was for FW800, so you'd need a further 9 to 6 pin adapter or cable

So this *should* work:


then


then

 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
7,667
4,552
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Perhaps easier and cheaper to pull the drive out of the old firewire enclosure and put it into one with USB? I have a couple milk crates of old Firewire drives and copied all the data from them a few years ago. I ended up swapping the drives from some of the firewire-only drives into cases that had USB.

But I also have the Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter and a cable like the ones in the in the links above and they work fine. I was using a Mac without USB-C ports, so I didn't need that adapter. My only observation is that the Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter gets very hot when connected, even if no drive is plugged into it. Probably a bad idea to leave connected for an extended period, and I suspect it could drain a laptop battery very quickly if it's not connected to the charger.
 
Last edited:

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,315
12,436
Like Boyd says...

Take the enclosure apart and take the drive OUT.

Then connect it using either a USB3/SATA docking station, or perhaps an enclosure like this:

You can try the adapter route if you wish, but probably too much $$$ and there's no guarantee it will work...
 

TheIntruder

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2008
1,701
1,194
$94 in adapters would also buy a brand new 4-6 GB external drive with a warranty.

If it's a matter of pulling the data off the old drive, without having access to a FW host, then a $10 drive adapter cable, or a dock, could accomplish that, and be kept around for loose drives.

Doesn't make much sense to sink any appreciable amount of money into a dead interface.
 
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