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Old September 19th, 2004, 11:10 PM   #1
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Ext HD firewire ports fried/HD okay/how access data?

I have two Maxtor Ext firewire hard drives that suffered from the well-reported power surge problems. One drive has both firewire and usb ports, while the other has only firewire ports. After the FRY, none of my computers could see the drives. But when I accessed via USB cable, all computers could see the drive. Conclusion: data is okay, port is fried.

Questions:

How do I access the presumably pergatoried data on the HD with only firewire ports? If I am to "crack the case" and install it internally, HOW do I do that and is that the only/best solution? (Drive is a Maxtor 3000XT 160G Firewire Hard Drive) No warranty to protect.

Will powering off/on prevent any problems like this in the future, or should I consider additional protection (is there a sort of firewire condom out there on the market??) In the future, is it wiser to buy HD with both USB and firewire ports (seems like it...)

What's your opinion on the best, more reliable External HD on the market today? My system: Dual 1 Ghz G4 w 2 GB DDR SDRAM

Thanks as always

D
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Old September 20th, 2004, 06:32 AM   #2
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The proper way to attach drives and detach them is only to do
this when the power is off, definitely. In windows you should
"eject" the drive first as well to make sure all data is written to
disk etc. (otherwise you might get a message saying something
like "delayed write failed" which means you lost data (probably)).

Do this by left-clicking on the little icon in the tasktray
(lower right corner besides the clock) that looks like a green
arrow (pointing to the left) with a grey "thing" beneath it. It
will show a list of hot-swappable devices. Select the entry that
lists the drive (with the drive letters behind it) and it will work
for a few seconds and tell you either of the following:

1. small text box that says device is safe to remove. Unplug the power, and then unplug the cable

2. a popup window that says the drive cannot be close due to an application accessing it.

If you have the latter try closing all applications that might have
files open on the drive. Try again. If it doesn't work wait a while
and try again (some things take a while to close). If it still doesn't
work there is not much you can do but shutdown your computer.

This IS the safest way for your data (if it is also on a NTFS partition)
and your hardware.

If you already have the ports blown like you have and don't have
any more warranty then there are basically two options:

1) open the case (screws are usually underneath the labels and such) and place the drive in a new case (you can buy these) or hook it up inside a computer

2) send it to maxtor to get it fixed (and pay)
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Old September 20th, 2004, 10:34 AM   #3
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Yes, I have long been well aware of the need to UNMOUNT HDs etc before detaching them. However, I wasn't aware that you needed to shut down your entire computer to ATTACH one. In fact, I thought "hot swappable" was the whole promise of the OS system so I am, frankly, a bit surprised that we still need to shut down our entire system before we can plug in something like a firelite or other portable, external HD. It seems archaic...at least for Mac.

Thanks for the response...
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Old September 20th, 2004, 10:46 PM   #4
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you should be able to plug/unplug the firewire drives IF the external power to the drive itself is turned off beforehand.

if the drives are powered via the firewire cable itself, i'd be inclined to power down the computer first.

hopefully all that's fried is the firewire interface on the drive case itself... take it apart and see what kind of hard drive it has inside... ide, sata, etc.

here are some external firewire cases for the hard drive: http://www.compgeeks.com/products.asp?cat=CAS
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Old September 21st, 2004, 04:44 AM   #5
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Diane: no no, you don't need to shutdown your whole computer.
Just the drive. I said you *might* need to shutdown your computer
if Windows does not let you unmount it (this to prevent data loss).

The OS fully supports hot swapping anything that supports it
[in the hardware], like firewire drives and even internal harddrives
with the proper hardware interface (ie, NOT NORMAL pc's!!!) and
things like media card readers and whatnot.

The reason I brought it up is that it just might not always be best
to do it for the reasons you found out (blown firewire ports). This
has nothing to do with the OS or the PC but usually with the
device (since it always seems that drives and camera's [especially
firewire ones] get blown ports and almost never the PC).

Anyway, at least power down the drive or camera before attaching
or detaching and that should avoid any real trouble. In case you
can't unmount it in Windows, shutdown the whole PC.
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Old September 21st, 2004, 09:06 AM   #6
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Just a reminder for people dishing out PC advice...Diane is using a Mac! =)
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Old September 21st, 2004, 09:51 AM   #7
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Doh... thanks Jesse. I completely missed that so my instructions
are for the PC. Oh well. The general idea still remains, ofcourse.
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