Using a Firewire port on External HDD to add FW capability to my MacBook

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by pilotrtc, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. pilotrtc macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2008
    I have an October 2008 MacBook and I'm just getting into the video thing now. I am looking into getting an external hard drive so I don't kill my MB's hard drive prematurely.

    I'm looking into getting this,, and was wondering if the Firewire ports on it can be used to download video from a camera. My MB doesn't have a Firewire port so I'm hoping this would fix that.

    I think it would be able to but the fact that it's an external drive and I don't have a lot of experience with these things makes me wonder if I might be wrong. I'd hate to spend the extra dough for a capability that won't work.

    Can anyone advise?
  2. sovereign macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2009
    You cannot daisy chain FW accessories through the ports of a drive that is connected via USB to your MB.
  3. pilotrtc thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2008

    Then what use is all those input ports? Are they useful when the drive is a startup drive?
  4. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    Firewire drives can be daisy chained, one port would connect to your computer, the next to another drive, then the empty port on drive 2 to drive 3 and so on (up to 127 or 255 or something). You need the computer to be one end of the chain though, a drive won't cut it.
  5. pilotrtc thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2008
    OK. But now would I be able to daisy chain drives together via the Firewire even if the first drive is connected to my computer via USB? Will they be usable that way?
  6. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    No. Firewire to Firewire to Firewire, USB cannot be in the mix at all.
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Not possible. Even if it's possible, firewire's benefit would be removed by going through USB.

    Firewire benefits
    - Dedicated transfer chip without need to tax computer CPU (USB taxes CPU)
    - Lots of bus power, way more than usb port
  8. pilotrtc thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2008
    Thank you, everyone! Now I understand why everyone was/is upset that Firewire was eliminated from the lower end Apple laptops.

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