How to connect Firewire 800 drives to IMAC Pro?

rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 29, 2010
280
45
Stamford, CT
I Purchased a Imac Pro 2 months ago and I have been looking for a way to connect my perfectly good Firewire 800 drives. I ended up keeping my cMac Pro and setting it up as a server so I can access my old drives over the Ethernet in my house. Works fine but running up and down the stairs is getting old. I have the worlds largest firewire dock. Had a DUH moment at the Apple store when I picked up my IMac Pro. I assumed the the Apple firewire to thunderbold dongle would work but NO. The sales associate took it out of my hand and showed me that the TB connection was different and NOT compatabile.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,398
5,631
You need TWO connectors, daisy-chained together:
- Apple thunderbolt2 to firewire adapater
- Apple thunderbolt3 to thunderbolt2 adapter.
The two will be pricey if bought new, might be worth trying to find them used on ebay.

Another possible way -- a thunderbolt3 dock with firewire port(s) ??
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,127
2,824
I Purchased a Imac Pro 2 months ago and I have been looking for a way to connect my perfectly good Firewire 800 drives.
Aside from the double-dongle solution - if the drives are relatively new (by Firewire standards) and use SATA interfaces internally then dismantle the firewire drives and transfer them to a USB3 drive enclosure - probably cheaper than getting the Thunderbolt and Firewire dongles. If you just want to get the data off before junking them, then a simple USB3 to SATA cable (e.g. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079SD2PVD) will do.

If they're older and use PATA/IDE interface then, frankly, they're landfill unless you've got vital data on them and don't have access to an older Mac to copy the data off.

Sucks for the environment, but its probably false economy to try and keep plain old Firewire hard drives running when you can get 2TB of shiny new, faster, USB3 storage for the cost of the dongles... Frustrating if they're in a nice case, I know.
 

rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 29, 2010
280
45
Stamford, CT
Thanks. The pair of adapters cables are $80 plus shipping and tax. Seams crazy to try to save my Lacie 2BIG raid and other HDs even though I never really pushed them hard. The EARTH cries every time we get an update. I am thinking of pulling the good drives out of all my old machines and buying a DROBO enclosure. We did this at the my office and it took several years before the old 750GB drives cycled through. Yesterday I got 2 4TB USB 3.0 Seagate drives from COSTCO for $120 one is for time machine the other is for moving data and is backup to a second drive. I am giving up on cool expensive HDs my Lacies have always ejected by themselves when they auto sleep. Very annoying issue that I was never able to fix. I don't have any issues with the Costco Seagates they just work but don't have fancy cases.
 
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rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 29, 2010
280
45
Stamford, CT
Aside from the double-dongle solution - if the drives are relatively new (by Firewire standards) and use SATA interfaces internally then dismantle the firewire drives and transfer them to a USB3 drive enclosure - probably cheaper than getting the Thunderbolt and Firewire dongles. If you just want to get the data off before junking them, then a simple USB3 to SATA cable (e.g. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079SD2PVD) will do.

If they're older and use PATA/IDE interface then, frankly, they're landfill unless you've got vital data on them and don't have access to an older Mac to copy the data off.

Sucks for the environment, but its probably false economy to try and keep plain old Firewire hard drives running when you can get 2TB of shiny new, faster, USB3 storage for the cost of the dongles... Frustrating if they're in a nice case, I know.
As I said I am using my cMac Pro as a dock/server. The my external HDs also have SATA and USB 2.0 connections which I used to Migrate to the iMac Pro. It took a very log time over USB 2 but it worked.
 

Anarchy99

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2003
895
793
CA
You need TWO connectors, daisy-chained together:
- Apple thunderbolt2 to firewire adapater
- Apple thunderbolt3 to thunderbolt2 adapter.
The two will be pricey if bought new, might be worth trying to find them used on ebay.

Another possible way -- a thunderbolt3 dock with firewire port(s) ??
this works but remember you also need a firewire 400 to firewire 800 adapter ;)
 

xgman

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2007
4,785
609
I have to say it... You spent god knows how much money on the pro and you can't afford a new external drive (or even an enclosure)? come on.... Firewire anything is going to cause you problems. But do what you like..
 
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chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,280
2,577
this works but remember you also need a firewire 400 to firewire 800 adapter ;)
Apple's firewire to Thunderbolt adapter is a firewire 800 device. No 800-400 adapter needed to connect FW 800 devices.
 

rjtiedeman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 29, 2010
280
45
Stamford, CT
I have to say it... You spent god knows how much money on the pro and you can't afford a new external drive (or even an enclosure)? come on.... Firewire anything is going to cause you problems. But do what you like..
You are correct. I spent my budjet and now I have to go without for a while. But yes I plan to clean house and recycle.
 
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