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Restoring a Failed Firewire 800 Port

Sean T writes on how he restored his failed Firewire 800 port:

Before taking the MP to Apple, I did an extensive Google search on "FW800 Failure" and found it to be a fairly common problem, not always satisfactorily resolved. However, some people had experience of resolving the problem.

The following procedure resolved the problem for me:
1) shutdown
2) disconnect power cable
3) hold down Power On button 5 seconds
4) Wait 5-15 mins (I had dinner!)
The above is supposed to reset the SMC

5) unplug all USB, e-SATA FW etc connections.
6) Replug the power cord
7) Power on while holding down the Cmd+Opt+P+R (supposedly this Zaps the PRM)
8) reconnect all external devices, USB, e-SATA and of course the FW-800 Delkin Card Reader

Voila! the FW-800 device registered on the Finder side panel and the System Information FireWire heading showed an active FireWire Bus.

I am not sure if step 7 (PRM reset) actually contributed, some people have found it necessary and some not.

I share the above in case you want to add to your Mac Performance Guide in some form.

PS - I hope to join you in a year or so on one of your Yosemite photo trips - (now living in NJ). It is on my list of projects as soon as I retire in early 2013.

Background info:

I am the very pleased owner of a 2010 (3.33GHz) MPG with attendant NEC displays per your recommendation.

I have recently run into an unusual problem - complete failure of ALL FW-800 connectivity. I am now running Lion, but had the same problem under Snow Leopard.

I first noticed it a few months ago when downloading from a Delkin FW-800 CF card reader - it stopped reading and I had to resort to a USB reader.

With a little more time available, I have discovered that NONE of the FW-800 ports are responding to ANY FW-800 device (e.g. Delkin CF Reader; an OWC-Pioneer BR burner or an OWC Voyager Q External HD docking station). These devices connect properly to the MP via their USB, or e-SATA ports, but not when hooked up to the FW-800 ports. I have tried two different FW-800 cables.
The System Info dialogue box gives a red error message Warning - Unable to List FireWire devices.


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