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Old December 6th, 2009, 08:19 AM   #1
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Is my FW 800 broken?

I'm hoping someone else has experienced this and can offer guidance:

The FW 800 port on the front of my Mac Pro seems to be malfunctioning. It will mount the device (in this case my portable drive I used to ingest my S&S cards) after a few minutes but I cannot work with the files on it. Trying to open a file or ingest from it produces a spinning pinwheel (program crash). The device has worked fine as recently as a week ago and it still work on my MBP laptop.

When I use the System Profiler, it cannot identify the device plugged into the port. If I take the same device and use the FW 800 port on the back of the computer, all is well.

So I'm thinking it's the individual port that is fouled up, not the entire FW bus. Does this seem logical?

Is there a way to reset the port or do you think it needs repair (or just abandon it and use the one on the back of the computer)?

Thanks
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Old December 6th, 2009, 08:52 AM   #2
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That is a common problem with the Mac Pro's since the front port gets used a lot more than the rear. Unfortunately it will require a trip to the Genius Bar @ Apple or another authorized Apple repair center to deal with the issue. It is usually one of two things; either the physical mainboard mount has become electrically unstable from constantly in/out cycles of FW cords or; the controller that manages all the FW and USB ports is starting to fry itself. It happens even on newer machines.

The only way to avoid this in the future is to use an external FW hub, that way if you over-use the ports on the hub you can just toss it rather than take precious time (and money) in fixing your entire mainboard.

If your Mac Pro is under warranty then this should be covered - unless they find that the port has been hammered too hard by too much pressure in-use.

Also, consider purchasing a Pro Care membership from your local Apple retail store. It will put you at the front of the wait cue and if parts are required for a repair you get priority overnight shipping for the required parts rather than weeks.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 09:25 AM   #3
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Thanks, Robert
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