Firewire hub vs Daisy Chaining

discofuel

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Original poster
Feb 21, 2010
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I have a mid-2010 iMac and want to move all my data from my system drive to a secondary drive so my internal drive is just used for the system.

I have a firewire 400 audio interface so if I got a FW 800 HD I'd have to daisy chain or get a Firewire hub

Would using a FW hub be better that daisy chaining? Will I still experience loss of performance either way because they're going through the same FW port?

Thanks
 

OldCorpse

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Dec 7, 2005
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I can't answer your questions, but I use this FW800 hub: NitroAV 8-Port FireWire 800/1394b Professional Hub/Repeater. I have the late 2009 27" i7 2.8Ghz iMac. I've had this hub hooked up non-stop since March 2010. Currently, I have two external hard drives going through the hub.

My reasoning was as follows: in case one of the drives that's daisy-chained upstream fails, it would affect the downstream drive(s) as well. Having both drives go through the hub instead of daisy-chaining, I eliminate that particular problem.

I like having 8 ports too - plenty of room to expand :).
 
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product26

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2005
774
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I use a hub with my m-audio profire 2626 and FireWire 800 drive. Works great this way. I had some issues daisychaining them. Not to mention.. when u use a hub there is no need to turn on every device to use the last one in the chain
 
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Badger^2

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Oct 29, 2009
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Sacramento
If you put the FW400 device at the end of the chain your drive should not experience any slow downs.

Ive tested this with a FW 400 hard drive and a FW 400 optical drive at the end of my 4 FW 800 drives.

And Im assuming when you say "move all data" you mean just your "work" files, right? If you have a 500 gig drive, moving off 450 gigs wont make it any faster... but if it was 450 gigs full then moving off half that would...
 
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product26

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2005
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If you put the FW400 device at the end of the chain your drive should not experience any slow downs.

Ive tested this with a FW 400 hard drive and a FW 400 optical drive at the end of my 4 FW 800 drives.

And Im assuming when you say "move all data" you mean just your "work" files, right? If you have a 500 gig drive, moving off 450 gigs wont make it any faster... but if it was 450 gigs full then moving off half that would...
FireWire audio interfaces generally must be first in the chain.
 
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gr8tfly

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
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I would just daisy chain them. That's one of the nice things about FireWire.

As Badger^2 said, put the FW400 drive at the end of the chain and you will get full speed on the FW800 drives. Until very recently, I was running the same setup - 4 FW800 drives, a FW400, and a FW400 optical. The FW400 died, so now I have 5 1TB FW800 drives, and the optical.
 
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rkaufmann87

macrumors 68000
Dec 17, 2009
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Folsom, CA
I have 3 FW Lacie Quadra D2's daisy chained on my iMac, been that way for 3.5 years, never turn them off and they all work flawlessly.

Disk 1 Time Machine
Disk 2 Super Duper Bootable Clone
Disk 3 Where I store media including photography library, music and video.
 
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product26

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2005
774
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Once again. OP has a FireWire audio interface. With only one FireWire 800 port, a hub is the only way to go.
 
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discofuel

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Original poster
Feb 21, 2010
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Thanks guys. I've ordered the hard drive and I will see how it performs daisy chaining and get a hub if necessary.

That NitroAV hub looks good but quite expensive. Anyone know of a cheaper hub?
 
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product26

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2005
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Thanks guys. I've ordered the hard drive and I will see how it performs daisy chaining and get a hub if necessary.

That NitroAV hub looks good but quite expensive. Anyone know of a cheaper hub?
Here's what I use. It also has a USB hub built in. BONUS!

http://www.cooldrives.com/index.php/4usb20huband.html

I have it so that my interface is the only thing plugged in to the FireWire 400 port on the hub, and two FireWire 800 drives are daisychained off the remaining 800 port.
 
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cube

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May 10, 2004
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It's better to blow a port in a hub than in the computer or some other expensive gear.
 
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discofuel

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 21, 2010
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0
Here's what I use. It also has a USB hub built in. BONUS!

http://www.cooldrives.com/index.php/4usb20huband.html

I have it so that my interface is the only thing plugged in to the FireWire 400 port on the hub, and two FireWire 800 drives are daisychained off the remaining 800 port.
Thanks product26 - that looks perfect. I am running out of USB ports too so will be very useful!

Actually I have a problem with my Access Virus TI because of the USB buses on the iMac so I wonder if that would solve that too.

Did yours come with the ac adapter?
 
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discofuel

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 21, 2010
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Arrgh. Ordered the hub last night and got a email through a second ago saying they no longer stock the item!
 
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OldCorpse

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Dec 7, 2005
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Well, that's a FW400 hub anyway, so no big loss - if you want a usb/fw400 there are tons of options, f.ex. this (I don't know anything about this particular hub, just found it using google).

But what you really want are FW800 hubs. When I looked for a FW800 hub, I did a bunch of research, and really there are not that many options. If you want: FW800, powered, multiple port, well-built, there really is only one, the Nitro AV. Yes, it's $150, but it's the best... others are not much cheaper (some more expensive!), but all have fewer ports and none are as well built. There's only like 5 companies making FW800 hubs, and they all fall short of the Nitro.

I bought it because I need to hook up a lot of external drives for video editing. If you don't need as many ports, you can find cheaper ones, for around $50-$60.
 
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SOMANNA GARUDA

macrumors newbie
Jun 1, 2018
6
0
Hyderabad, India
I have 3 FW Lacie Quadra D2's daisy chained on my iMac, been that way for 3.5 years, never turn them off and they all work flawlessly.

Disk 1 Time Machine
Disk 2 Super Duper Bootable Clone
Disk 3 Where I store media including photography library, music and video.
Hi there! This is my first participation in this forum and I felt something familiar about you! I want to know whether your daisy chained 3 FW Quadra D2's are still functional! I am still pulling along with a mid-2011 iMac, but I am sure you would have certainly upgraded your Mac by now!
[doublepost=1527843769][/doublepost]
I can't answer your questions, but I use this FW800 hub: NitroAV 8-Port FireWire 800/1394b Professional Hub/Repeater. I have the late 2009 27" i7 2.8Ghz iMac. I've had this hub hooked up non-stop since March 2010. Currently, I have two external hard drives going through the hub.

My reasoning was as follows: in case one of the drives that's daisy-chained upstream fails, it would affect the downstream drive(s) as well. Having both drives go through the hub instead of daisy-chaining, I eliminate that particular problem.

I like having 8 ports too - plenty of room to expand :).
Hello OldCorpse! Having read this post of 2005, I, who am considering to daisy chain by FW my 3TB Quadra Lacie drive with a portable 2TB Lacie drive, seek to know this: if the upstream drive fails, will those down the stream also fail!
 
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filmak

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2012
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Hello OldCorpse! Having read this post of 2005, I, who am considering to daisy chain by FW my 3TB Quadra Lacie drive with a portable 2TB Lacie drive, seek to know this: if the upstream drive fails, will those down the stream also fail!
Welcome to the forum!
You will remove the failed drive and the others will work normally.
 
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SOMANNA GARUDA

macrumors newbie
Jun 1, 2018
6
0
Hyderabad, India
Welcome to the forum!
You will remove the failed drive and the others will work normally.
Thanks for the welcome and thanks for the reply!
Okay! I was fearing that the drive failure could be contagious and lead to failures to other healthy drives in the chain. If this were so, then why should Mr OldCorpse [Wish this gentleman could use some bright sounding Avatar!] play safe by using this FW800 hub: NitroAV 8-Port FireWire 800/1394b Professional Hub/Repeater?
 
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OldCorpse

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Dec 7, 2005
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Because if a HDD fails, then UNTIL you pull it out and substitute a functioning one, the other (downstream) drives will NOT WORK (i.e. they will only start working again once you replace the failed upstream one). However, with my FW800 hub, I can replace the failed HDD on whatever schedule I want, because all the other HDD will CONTINUE work even with if one HDD fails - so the other drives WORKING is not dependent on any one drive... without the hub, you are out of luck until you replace the failed drive.
 
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SOMANNA GARUDA

macrumors newbie
Jun 1, 2018
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Hyderabad, India
Because if a HDD fails, then UNTIL you pull it out and substitute a functioning one, the other (downstream) drives will NOT WORK (i.e. they will only start working again once you replace the failed upstream one). However, with my FW800 hub, I can replace the failed HDD on whatever schedule I want, because all the other HDD will CONTINUE work even with if one HDD fails - so the other drives WORKING is not dependent on any one drive... without the hub, you are out of luck until you replace the failed drive.
Okay, I understand your statement now. So, if one drive becomes a corpse, the rest of the drives should not rot and become a compost heap:)
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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OldCorpse wrote:
"Because if a HDD fails, then UNTIL you pull it out and substitute a functioning one, the other (downstream) drives will NOT WORK"

No.
Perhaps that doesn't work for Old Corpse.
But it may not be true in all cases.

My own example:
I have a 1tb firewire 800 drive connected to the firewire port on my 2012 Mac Mini.

I normally leave that drive POWERED DOWN (unplugged).

I can still connect firewire devices to the second port on the UNPOWERED drive, and the firewire signal "goes through it" as if it "weren't even there".

I can boot and run my Mini via an external firewire drive connected to the powered-off drive, and everything works just fine.

So ... it doesn't matter if the actual "drive inside" the firewire enclosure works or not (at least for me).
I can still use other "downstream" firewire devices "right through the dead device".
 
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SOMANNA GARUDA

macrumors newbie
Jun 1, 2018
6
0
Hyderabad, India
OldCorpse wrote:
"Because if a HDD fails, then UNTIL you pull it out and substitute a functioning one, the other (downstream) drives will NOT WORK"

No.
Perhaps that doesn't work for Old Corpse.
But it may not be true in all cases.

My own example:
I have a 1tb firewire 800 drive connected to the firewire port on my 2012 Mac Mini.

I normally leave that drive POWERED DOWN (unplugged).

I can still connect firewire devices to the second port on the UNPOWERED drive, and the firewire signal "goes through it" as if it "weren't even there".

I can boot and run my Mini via an external firewire drive connected to the powered-off drive, and everything works just fine.

So ... it doesn't matter if the actual "drive inside" the firewire enclosure works or not (at least for me).
I can still use other "downstream" firewire devices "right through the dead device".
Thanks for adding to this thread. I have no knowledge of using a Mac Mini and have understood what you have written but I am unable to comprehend how the external firewire drive is able to exchange data despite your keeping the drive upstream unplugged.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,986
6,469
Somanna wrote:
"I am unable to comprehend how the external firewire drive is able to exchange data despite your keeping the drive upstream unplugged."

All I can tell you is that it does.
In fact, I was just booting and running from a drive connected to my "powered off" drive this afternoon. Worked fine.

Mac firewire port ---> drive that is off ---> drive that is running on firewire.
It works.
 
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