Any Way to test a FW800 port on a Mini? - ehMac.ca
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 01:17 PM   #1
krs
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Any Way to test a FW800 port on a Mini?

My external FW800 drives no longer mount when connected to the Mini.

I connected them via USB 2.0 which was one interface option and the drives mount fine that way.
So that eliminates the drives themselves as beeing pooched.

Until this morning, I assumed that the FW800 interfcae on the externals was gone - the FW800 cable sometimes connects by itself - but then I decided, what if the Mini port is kaput.

I had a MacBook pro with a FW800 port, plugged the FW800 cable from the external in there and the drives mounted instantly.
So that really eliminates both the external as well as the FW800 cable leaving the FW800 port on the Mini as the problem.

Tried running the hardware test on the Mini, no clue if that tests the FW800 port as well, but...

The basic test passed, then tried to run the extended test and it froze at 8 minutes 34 seconds into the memory testing.

So then I thought - don't tell me I have a memory problem as well, decided to run Rember to check the memory, but Rember doesn't even see the RAM.

Trip to the Genius Bar is in order especially since the Mini is still under warranty, but is there something else I can use to either test the FW800 port, which started all this and also the RAM which I'm beginning to wonder about since the memory test froze during the extended Apple hardware test.

Hardware test I used is the one that comes up when one holds down the "D" key when booting up.
Software is 10.6.8, Mini is a 2.53 GHz unit
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 02:19 PM   #2
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Is the FireWire showing or giving any indication that there's not anything amiss in the System Profiler?

But it probably doesn't tell you if it's working or not.
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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I checked System Profiler earlier - with nothing plugged into the FW800 port, both the Mini and the MBpro show the same thing - just the bus speed up to 800 Mb/s.

If I have the external plugged in, the MBp shows the nitty fritty details of the external drive, the Mini still only shows the bus speed.

Rember btw now shows the RAM after I downloaded the latest version.
I think I'll run a RAM test over night just in case the RAM is flakey as well.
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 03:03 PM   #4
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It sounds like you need to do your "Trip to the Genius Bar is in order especially since the Mini is still under warranty" thing.
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 03:21 PM   #5
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can you try using the mini or macbook pro in target disk mode?

attach them via the fw800 cable. restart one while holding down 't'.
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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What makes you think the extended test froze? Rember looks nice, but is an intrinsically flawed program. As it runs with the full OS and UI loaded, there's memory it can't access to test; I've seen Rember report bad memory when it's not and good memory when it's not!
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Old Jul 28th, 2012, 05:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Mo View Post
What makes you think the extended test froze? Rember looks nice, but is an intrinsically flawed program. As it runs with the full OS and UI loaded, there's memory it can't access to test; I've seen Rember report bad memory when it's not and good memory when it's not!
same. its like basing a diagnosis of "good" on a disk utility verification. I've seen drives that are clicking that disk utility says are ok lol
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 02:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
It sounds like you need to do your "Trip to the Genius Bar is in order especially since the Mini is still under warranty" thing.
Called Apple tech support today, mostly to find out if I should bring anything other than the Mini itself to the Genius Bar.
Turns out I had my years wrong - I have actually had the Mini for 18 months rather than 6 months which I thought originally - how time flies....
So it's no longer under warranty and I didn't get Apple Care for the desktop.

Probably not worth paying anyone to fix that FW800 problem I decided, I'll just limp along with USB 2.0 ports which all my externals have.

Then googled for a minute - a bit of a discussion about FW800 ports failing on Minis after a year and a half...hmmm, same as mine.
One suggestion was to reset the SMC - didn't to anything for the guys on the Apple discussion site but I thought what the heck, it's a one minute exercise, can't harm anything.
Didn't really expect the SMC reset to "fix" the problem, but it did.
So I'm back in business with firewire - great!!!

I thought I'd post this if someone else has this problem in the future.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Mo View Post
What makes you think the extended test froze? Rember looks nice, but is an intrinsically flawed program. As it runs with the full OS and UI loaded, there's memory it can't access to test; I've seen Rember report bad memory when it's not and good memory when it's not!
Maybe I wasn't clear....
I ran the Apple hardware extended test, first thing it does is test the RAM.
Went OK for a while and then the test failed to continue - I waited for 20 minutes and when there was no progress after 20 minutes, I broke off the Apple hardware test.
I then started to test using Rember and early in the test it came up with a message that some memory address was "stuck" or words to that effect.

Now that I reset the SMC I could test the RAM again I suppose.
Any suggestions what else I could use to test the RAM.
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Old Aug 1st, 2012, 02:30 PM   #10
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Good fix solution.

I hadn't mentioned to use the SMC reset as you were going to go to the genius bar, but I had to do the same thing with my mid-2007 iMac a few months ago when my FW drives wouldn't connect or mount using FW 800, but would with FW 400 and/or USB 2.0. And the SMC reset worked each time. So far, it's still OK, and I hope I don't regret saying that.
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