More FireWire flakiness

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
January 26th, 2004 • 8:41 am

As a conclusion to my “hardware nightmares” roundup for today, I also have to mention the problems I have been having with FireWire.

I think I have narrowed them down to one of my external FireWire drives. It is a Kanguru Quicksilver Combo drive (FireWire/USB 2.0). For some reason, the drive’s volumes (I have three partitions) tend to become unavailable after a while. But instead of just disappearing with the typical FireWire warning dialog, they actually cause Panther’s Finder to freeze. Worse still, if I try to force the Finder to relaunch, it doesn’t always work, and I sometimes lose my other external FireWire drives, which are not even on the same FireWire chain!

Today, I lost all three FireWire drives completely, and was unable to get them back by unplugging them and plugging them back in. They would do their powering-up sequence, but would never mount on the desktop. I ended up having to restart my entire machine in order to get my FireWire connections back!

I don’t know what causes this. I thought first that it might be a sleep-related issue with this particular drive, but today it happened right while I was busy working at the computer. I opened an Open or Save dialog sheet and tried to access a folder with Default Folder X, and Default Folder just froze. When I tried to access the FireWire volumes “manually” in the Open/Save dialog (instead of using Default Folder), the parent application itself froze. And the Finder was frozen as well. I physically unplugged the hard drives and I managed to force the Finder to relaunch and to force-quit and relaunch Default Folder and the application, but I was unable to mount any of my FireWire drives after that.

Of course, there is absolutely no mention of firmware issues on the Kanguru web site. Their “Downloads” section is full of drivers for Windows and only has an old driver for older versions of the classic Mac OS. Nothing for Mac OS X, since support for such FireWire drives is built-in.

But with the FireWire issues that marred the launch of Panther, you have to wonder… Is this another case of hardware problems caused by Panther?

It’s all getting to be a bit much. AirPort… USB… FireWire… I realize that I should try and get rid of all my external devices and see what happens, but these devices are part of my workflow! What’s the point of having a digital hub if you can connect anything to it?


Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.