FireWire Issue

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by msh, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. msh macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I have a weird FireWire issue I haven’t seen before.

    FireWire disks are not mounting under either Sierra, ElCap or Yosemite. Yet I am able to option boot from the FireWire disk and after it loads still can’t mount any other FireWire disks.

    Profiler shows error message that it can’t list the devices. Yosemite console shows an error message that FireWire bus may be unstable.

    I have tried SMC and PRAM reset to no avail. Is it hardware or software failure? Because it boots from FireWire it would indicate that the ports are working so not clear.

    I don’t really care about FireWire anymore but still it has its uses and it would be nice if it worked.

    It may be relevant that I recently got a replacement logic board and have done the 4,1 to 5,1 firmware upgrade. But I hadn’t heard that would cause a FireWire issue. Stumped on this one.
     
  2. bookemdano macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Are all the disks/enclosures you're trying identical? What model(s)?
     
  3. msh, Oct 18, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018

    msh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    No. A variety. LaCie, G-Tech, Newertech. These all have quad interfaces (FW800/400, usb 2.0, eSATA). All work fine on my MacBook Pro.
     
  4. bookemdano macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Are all self-powered? Do you have any non-storage firewire peripherals you can try?

    And I know you say you've tried an SMC reset, but I don't know if the interval they suggest is long enough to drain all residual power from the firewire chipset. So here is what I would do:

    Shut down the cMP and unplug ALL cables including power, firewire, USB, video, everything.

    With everything unplugged, hold down the power button on the cMP for 30 seconds. Nothing will appear to happen, of course, but that's one method to drain flea power from all the caps.

    Leave everything unplugged for another minute (or longer) for grins.

    Plug back in only the bare necessities to test this. Power, video, and your mouse and kb if USB. Boot normally from your internal drive, then once booted plug in the firewire drive. Any change in the result? Also, do you get any different behavior from the front ports vs. the back?
     
  5. msh, Oct 18, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018

    msh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    All externally powered. I don’t think I have any non storage FW peripherals. I will try that more thorough smc reset and see what happens.
     
  6. FireArse macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 29, 2004
    #6
    This one is Iiteresting

    Do the drives all work nicely with another FW-enabled Mac?
    Have you tried a disk-recovery tool - I've seen external drives be 'available' but not mount in the Finder. A disk recovery tool will review to see if there are any 'soft' issues with the external drives. Rare to happen to multiple machines. I guess that could be assigned to unexpected shutdown?
     
  7. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

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    Sep 19, 2012
    #7
    There was a thread with similar issue several months ago.
    You may be missing the .kext for FW.
    Search forum and see if anything comes up - can't post links right now.
     
  8. msh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I know the Newertech ministacks work on my mbp via FW. I’ll reconfirm the others. I can check them out with DiskWarrior.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    Ok. Hadn’t thought of that since I am having the problem on all three recent OS’ and wouldn’t think the FW kext would be missing on all three.
     
  9. JeffPerrin macrumors 6502

    JeffPerrin

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    #9
    Are you testing with the same FW cable? Or does the problem persist with all cables?
     
  10. bookemdano macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Are any of these three fresh installs with no changes made to them? If not, it might be worth it to fresh install macOS (any version you want) on a separate drive. If it doesn't work on a fresh install then it's definitely not a kext problem.
     
  11. msh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Various cables.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 18, 2018 ---
    Sierra is a fresh install from two weeks ago after getting a replacement logic board. I did migrate settings during the install rather than install over El Cap.
     
  12. bookemdano macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Well to be extra safe I would try a completely stock install (you can migrate settings over after you test for firewire functionality). That said, I would still try the complete power-down I described above first.
     
  13. msh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I will try that power down shortly and then that stock install if that doesn’t work. Thanks.
     
  14. msh, Oct 19, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018

    msh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Well, I'll be damned - the SMC reset didn't work but a clean install of Sierra did! I am now migrating data/settings/apps from the old Sierra and let's see if that breaks it again. Amazing that this happened in all three OS' - that means there is some software common to all three that has caused the problem. Wish me luck trying to find it.

    UPDATE: Migrating old settings broke firewire again. So I will do clean re-installs of Sierra and Yosemite and rebuild applications manually. Ugh. A lot of work.
     
  15. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

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    Sep 19, 2012
    #15
    Look at the .kexts between your clean install of Sierra and non-clean install. Here's the FW relevant ones. Not all of these are required for functionality. Worth a check if you're looking to troubleshoot. Think a point update messed with FW.

    Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 8.35.41 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 8.38.11 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 8.38.39 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 8.39.21 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 8.39.37 AM.png
     
  16. msh thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Problem is solved now - everything back to normal. I realized I haven't done a clean install of OS X since I got the machine 8 years ago - just kept upgrading over the existing system. I think I will do it differently now in the future.

    Thank you guys for your help.
     

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15 October 18, 2018