Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 Adapter Question

GeezerMan

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 13, 2014
2
0
First time poster. Probably a dumb question, so I beg forgiveness in advance. I have an early 2008 (8,1) 24” iMac with a FireWire 800 connection to a RAID 1 box which contains a duplicate backup of my C drive on the 2008 iMAC. I’m contemplating buying a 2014 27” iMAC with a fusion drive. I’ll need a Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 adapter to make backups to the RAID 1 box, but can I use the adapter to migrate setting, software, files etc from the RAID 1 box to the new iMAC? In other words, is adapter flow both ways or only one way?
 

JD2

macrumors newbie
Feb 20, 2002
26
0
Belgium
I have one of these...

...and I guess you can use it because you can read and write to a connected harddrive.
But I must admit I did not try to migrate that way.
Others will surely get you a correct answer.
 

IA64

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2013
413
0
I have this adapter and to be honest I'm not happy with it at all. I am using it to connect my Lacie Quadra 2TB drive. Sometimes the drive will not wake from sleep.

On Windows, even worse... I get random drive sleep mode during transfer. I really have to keep browsing the drive to finish the transfer
 

RickRack

macrumors newbie
Dec 31, 2013
22
0
I used the Thunderbolt/Firewire adapter cable to migrate my files from a 2009 iMac to a 2013 iMac by putting the 2009 in Target Disc Mode. It worked fine, though it might not be the fastest way. I also use the adapter cable with my Firewire drives. It is much faster from my internal drive but that is because of the 1TB SSD and not the cable. Using the cable to transfer data between Firewire drives is s-l-o-w.

I don't know of any reason a RAID setup would make a difference... but that does not mean there isn't one.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,550
1,744
192.168.1.1
I used the Thunderbolt/Firewire adapter cable to migrate my files from a 2009 iMac to a 2013 iMac by putting the 2009 in Target Disc Mode. It worked fine, though it might not be the fastest way. I also use the adapter cable with my Firewire drives. It is much faster from my internal drive but that is because of the 1TB SSD and not the cable. Using the cable to transfer data between Firewire drives is s-l-o-w.

I don't know of any reason a RAID setup would make a difference... but that does not mean there isn't one.
A good modern drive - even a single HD - can saturate the FireWire 800 bus. A RAID, for sure.

Fortunately my external FireWire RAID boxes have eSATA connectors on them. I converted them to Thunderbolt with the LaCie eSATA to Thunderbolt hub. Basically 4x as fast as the FW800 bus was (not as fast as something like the Promise Thundebolt RAID box, but still way faster than running the same drives on FW800 at 1/3 to 1/4 the price of a empty, new RAID box.
 

garycurtis

macrumors 6502
I had luck with a $30 eSata to USB 3 adaptor to connect my LaCie Quadra to a brand new iMac. OWC sells this kind of product, but you can't find it on their website.

I sent a note and got all kinds of advice. Including that a spinning HD doesn't warrant Thunderbolt connectivity. There may be varying opinions on that topic, however.
 

xraydoc

macrumors demi-god
Oct 9, 2005
7,550
1,744
192.168.1.1
I had luck with a $30 eSata to USB 3 adaptor to connect my LaCie Quadra to a brand new iMac. OWC sells this kind of product, but you can't find it on their website.

I sent a note and got all kinds of advice. Including that a spinning HD doesn't warrant Thunderbolt connectivity. There may be varying opinions on that topic, however.
USB 3 is fast enough to handle single hard drives for sure and dual HD RAIDs most likely. Hit the 3+ drive level with a quality RAID controller/case and I believe you'll be limited by USB 3's peak real-world speeds, especially if you've got other things happening on the same bus controller at the same time (printers, optical media, MIDI interface, etc.). But feel free to correct me if I'm wrong as I have little experience with USB 3 devices.

While Thunderbolt is certainly overkill for single/dual HD drive systems, you'll be left with tons of breathing room should you be transferring other data across the same bus (writing independent data to two different RAIDs, etc.).

FireWire 800 - which used to be blazingly fast - is a dog these days. I have a 4 drive, 8TB RAID 0 in a relatively cheap enclosure & controller chip (an OWC Qx2) which will push 250MB/sec via native eSATA and via LaCie eSATA to TB adapter, but maxes out a FW800 connection at about 60MB/sec peak.
 
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