January 1st to 4th, 2019 News Archive - xlr8yourmac.com
site logo
Archive of January 1st to 4th, 2019 News     Go to Current News Page

Mac Upgrades/Mods | Storage | Video | Audio/HT | Tips/OS Updates/WiFi
= Recent Articles/Updates =
( Your Tips, Upgrade Reports, Questions to news at xlr8yourmac.com)

SMC Reset Tip (fixed older iMac FW800 port problem)
(Posting this after seeing an old friend comment on problems with his Mac Pro FW ports.)
This is an old tip that won't always help, but worth trying if a standard SMC reset by disconnecting power alone doesn't help with an old desktop Mac. The current Apple support article on How to reset the System Management Controller (SMC) has different reset instructions for desktops, notebooks and Macs with T2 chip. The instructions for older desktops like my iMac were just to shut down, disconnect power cord for 15 seconds, then plug it back in, wait 5 seconds, then power up. That didn't help my FW800 problem, so after disconnecting the power cord, I held the power button down for 5 seconds. (I've always done this when resetting TVs, AVRs, etc. to discharge caps/stored charge.)

TL:DR: The power button/discharge tip restored Firewire 800 port function on an old iMac after a power/UPS failure. Just disconnecting power (even for 1/2 hour) -did not- fix that problem in this case. (IIRC there's a self-healing/resettable fuse for the Firewire interface. But FW800 port wasn't reset after over 30 minutes with power disconnected, far longer than the 15 seconds in the SMC reset article.)
(The full story)
While working on a 2007 iMac 24in booted from FW800 (Ministack Max w/SSD boot drive), I heard a "pop" and the screen when black. At first I thought it may have been the LCD backlight/inverter failing (it's about 11 years old), so disconnected everything and moved it off the desktop for opening up later. I moved a spare (2009) PowerBook in its place and then noticed that the UPS had failed. (Pressed UPS reset button and powered it up again without any connections - very bad hum/buzz. An old, non-replaceable battery type and not repairable.)
  Plugged the iMac into a different power outlet (not the UPS) and it booted from internal HDD. Tried a FW400 portable drive - it mounted OK. (The FW400 port wasn't in use when the power failed, the FW800 port was.) Tried connecting the MiniStack Max (which checked OK connected to FW800 on a 2012 Mac mini), and also a different FW800 drive to the iMac's FW800 port - both failed to mount. (Disk Utility didn't see the drives.) I then shut down the iMac, disconnected power cable and pressed the power button down for 5 seconds. Reconnected the power cable, booted and the FW800 port worked. (It's still working weeks later.)

BTW Had someone say their 2011 iMac regularly required reconnecting a FW800 cable to get the drive to mount, but that was never a problem with this iMac or FW800 drive. (It's the boot drive, so any failures to mount would be intolerable.) I had reconnected it several times with no luck, including after the drive tested OK with the 2012 Mac mini's FW800 port, as well as connecting a different FW800 drive (as noted above), before I remembered I hadn't tried the power button discharge. (Again not saying it's a universal fix, but a standard disconnect SMC reset didn't help in this case, although it's been an old tip for Firewire port problems in the past that has helped some others.)
  As far as Firewire drive mount problems, over the last 20+ years I've heard of loose fitting cable connector/contacts (had one FW800 cable like that years ago), bridge board compatibility issues, timing/spinup problems, and even corrupted Volume info for an external drive on the boot drive.

= from my sponsor =
2018 Mac Mini RAM Upgrades!

Apple/products related News, Tips, Updates, Op-Ed, PR
Apple Support/How-To/Troubleshooting Article Updates
Page of How-To, Troubleshooting & Tips for Mac/OS X/iOS Users from Airplay to Thunderbolt.
Other Product News, Reviews, PR
Recent Updates, Tips, DIY Upgrades and Repairs:
List of Updates, DIY Upgrades, Repair Articles, Tips and more you may have missed. (Topics range from OS/software updates and troubleshooting, to hardware upgrades and repairs.)

= From my Sponsor, your click matters =
More Memory = A Faster Mac
Use our memory guide to see how much RAM your Mac can use and the cost.
Our installation videos make this a simple "DIY" job for almost any Mac.
Or Search for Upgrades for Your specific Mac Model

Previous News Archive Summary:
    December 24th to 28th, 2018 News Archive
  • VLC Media Player for Mac version 3.0.5 (improve Mojave Compatibility, More)
  • 10TB LaCie d2 Professional Review
  • Safari Technology Preview: Is It the Right Browser for You?
  • Safari Technology Preview 72 release notes
  • Optimizing Siri on HomePod in Far-Field Settings
  • Apple's $1 Billion Bet Imperils a Tech Hub's Rare Bargain Homes
  • OPPO UDP-203/205 BETA Firmware UDP20X-64-1221B (adds HDMI Input Bypass, more)
  • Freeware VM VirtualBox 6.0.0 (Major Update)
  • Intel SSD DC P4610 Series (1.6TB) Review
  • Year in Review for GPUs
  • Apple Support/Troubleshooting/How-To Article Updates:
    - How to view, change, or cancel your subscriptions
    - Buy additional app features with in-app purchases and subscriptions

For links to older news pages, see the Archives.

(Ad/Sale Items)

= UPGRADES by Model =
Upgrades for YOUR Mac!

= Refurb Mac Pros =
(Click for Current List)

= SSDs up to 4TB =
SSDs for Most Macs!

= ThunderBolt =
Drives, Docks & More

Up to 12 TB HDD
HGST, WD, Seagate, Toshiba

= 2.5" HDs & DIY Kits =
Notebook Hard Drives and DIY drive/case kit bundles

Lifetime warranty RAM Upgrades!

Internal and External Superdrives/Blu-Ray drives

Graphics cards, Displays, Adapters, Cables & more

Interfaces, Cables, Software, Speakers, Headphones & more

Apps, Utilities, OS, VM, Games and more

WiFi and Bluetooth Devices/Adapters/More

= Repair Service =
for iPhone, iPad, Macs

= iPad/iPhone/iPod =
Accessories, Cases, Docks & More

NuGuard KX Cases
*Extreme* Drop Tested!

XLR8YourMac T-Shirts
site t-shirt

= back to www.XLR8YOURMAC.com =
Copyright 1997-2019. All Rights Reserved
All brand or product names mentioned here are properties of their respective companies.
Legal: Site Privacy and terms of use.