FW ports not working

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cacalacky, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. cacalacky, Sep 26, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011

    cacalacky macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2011
    My Mac Pro FW ports (one 400 and one 800) on the front panel suddenly stopped working. I haven't updated any software - still using OS 10.5.8. It's not the cables because I unplugged the hard drives (tested it with G-Tech and LaCie) and using the same cables, I plugged it into a PowerBook g4, and the drives appeared.

    Is there an easy fix/replacement? It looks like the two USB, FW400 and FW800 is all one part. What is it called? My ability level consists of installing memory and disk drives.
  2. cacalacky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2011
  3. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    According to this thread the Apple part number of the front logic board is 922-8888 for an early 2009 Mac Pro.

    They don't have a repair guide for the Mac Pro yet, but I think you could ask on the iFixit site regarding your specific issue (providing your exact MP model, as the various revisions differ internally to a certain degree).

    What you probably would need to do when replacing the logic board yourself, is to get out the front fan assembly in order to get access to the logic board. It's not complicated and you can take a look at the various clips on the internet regarding CPU upgrades, as those require the same steps basically (at least for MP 1,1 / 2,1). That way you could get an idea about the complexity and whether you want to try it on your own or better directly have it replaced by an Apple Genius or an authorized repair center.
  4. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2011
    well on my MBP my front USB drive is not working as well it might be the device or the drive itself from high usage.

    If it wasn't hardware or software it might have given a dump.

    But you can try these few things to make sure. clean out the port, turn off your computer, remove power, discharge, clean out the ports, either with some sort of soft fabric or with a pressured air can. It wouldn't hurt to spray the inside with pressured air, i've heard that fix some things before.

    Turning off and turning on your computer (if you have not) has fixed some minor annoyances some of my friends have had with macs as well (including ipods).

    lastly if they don't work anymore, and don't want to replace the board (yes they are expensive) you can always attach a PCi card with more ports :)

    btw. if you need ports in the front and they are not provided, you can use a pci card for more ports, then hook that up to a hub that you can than place at the front of the computer.

    Technical Support provided by: CellularFactory.com :D
  5. cacalacky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2011
  6. cacalacky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2011
    just to update - I didn't realize that NONE of my FW ports (front AND back) were working when I started this thread. Now, I'm researching that and have done many of the tips without fixing my problem. Here's what I've done to no avail:

    Reset SMC (powering off/ unplug/ etc)
    Reset PRAM (restart with cmd+opt+R+P)
    Reset NVCAM )restart with cmd+Opt+O+F
    Repair Permissions
    Repair Disks (all good)

    Hope it's not a logic board, as some have suggested
  7. bizzle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    If you don't have AppleCare, probably the easiest and cheapest fix is to add a firewire card. Assuming you have a free slot of course.
  9. cacalacky thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2011
    No apple care for this homeslice, so I appreciate the low dough suggestion.
  10. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yeah, I was going to say that the front I/O ports are actually on their own board (a separate replaceable part), but if NONE of the FireWire ports are working after the all the rounds with PRAM, SMC, etc., it's definitely the logic board (or backplane board, as they call it on the 2009/10s). :(

    A similar thing happened to my buddy's 2009, except for him, it was the USB ports. Apple determined that the backplane board was bad and replaced it. But, he was still under warranty.

    You also may consider replacing the backplane board anyway (there shouldn't anything wrong with the processor card). Since these are separate parts on the 2009/10 models, the board itself is far cheaper (around $300) than they were on 2006-08 models (which had everything except for the memory risers integrated). The only bummer part with this method is that you would practically have to take apart the whole machine to get the old board out. So depending on your level of tech skill, a FW upgrade card would probably make more sense.

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