USB / FireWire adapter

  • Thread starter Simfish
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  • #1
Simfish
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So I just bought a Lacie external hard drive. Problem is - my laptop doesn't have firewire - and my external hard drive only has a firewire port. So do good USB/firewire adapters exist? I searched on the Internet for some - but there don't seem to be many of them. Does the adapter allow a firewire software to be connected to a laptop with only USB ports?

Thanks!

For some reason, many of the adapters have ratings of 1 or 2 stars. It could be selection bias in that people are likely to submit negative reviews of products that they can't get to work - but the fact that so many products have so few stars worries me...
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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So I just bought a Lacie external hard drive. Problem is - my laptop doesn't have firewire - and my external hard drive only has a firewire port. So do good USB/firewire adapters exist? I searched on the Internet for some - but there don't seem to be many of them. Does the adapter allow a firewire software to be connected to a laptop with only USB ports?

Thanks!
There is no such thing as a USB/Firewire adapter as the interfaces are not compatible.
I suggest you exchange it for a USB2 external hard drive and preferably one that also has an eSata connection.

Alternatively, you can buy a PCMCIA or express card with a firewire interface for your laptop.
 
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  • #3
ranger
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Firewire and USB are two different [bus] communication technologies. You can't simply switch a firewire device into a usb port. As a matter of fact, I don't believe that there exist any such adapter (remember two different technologies).
Maybe you can get some sort of hub (dual firewire/usb hub).

Edit: Got beaten to it :)
 
  • #4
Simfish
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  • #6
Simfish
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But doesn't the Wikipedia article say that PCMCIA cards are a type of memory card format? (PCMCIA, secure digital, memory stick, and compact flash are all categorized as such).

hmm - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_memory_cards doesn't list PCMCIA - it only lists the others, even though the above-mentioned Wikipedia article does. (of course I can't always trust Wikipedia - but it generally seems accurate for computer-related info)

Laptop is a Gateway MT6451 notebook.

hmm - the website lists "Digital Media Manager™
4-in-1 Digital Media Manager™ (Memory Stick®,
Memory Stick Pro®, MultiMediaCard™, Secure Digital™) " under Digital Media Manager - though my box lists them as memory card readers. Further down the website mentions "Expansion Slot
PCMCIA - Type I or Type II " - though my computer box doesn't list PCMCIA...
 
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  • #7
Simfish
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Hm, I just looked at the computer diagram - it has a PC Card slot and a memory card reader. So I'd need a firewire to PC card slot interface. So a Firewire cardbus adapter should fit in the slot of PC Card Types I and II almost all the time -right?
 
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  • #8
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Hold on Simfishy, it seems your laptop already has a firewire (IEEE 1394) port!

http://www.gateway.com/retail/mt6451.php [Broken]
 
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  • #9
Simfish
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Hmm - my firewire thingie is too big to fit into that port...

EDIT: 6-pin connector - laptop only has 4-pin port.
 
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  • #10
chroot
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FireWire connectors come in 4- and 6-pin versions (the 6-pin provides power, while the 4-pin does not). Your laptop may (oddly enough) have a 4-pin connector, meaning you will need to use a 4-pin cable. What symbol or lettering is above the port?

- Warren
 
  • #11
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Hmm - my firewire thingie is too big to fit into that port...
They actually come in two formats.
All you need is a little connector to convert to the small format. For a few bucks you should be up and running. :smile:

Warren beat me to it.
 
  • #12
Simfish
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Okay I see. So I'd need a cable that is 4-pin on one side, and 6-pin on another, right?
 
  • #13
chroot
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If your hard drive has a 6-pin connector, you'll need a cable with a 6-pin connector on one end. If your laptop has a 4-pin connector, then you'll need a cable with a 4-pin connector on the other end. You can buy 6-6 cables, 4-4 cables, and 4-6 cables. As MeJennifer said, you can also buy little adapters, but you might find a cable with the correct connector to be more stable.

- Warren
 
  • #14
Simfish
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Okay - thanks for all of the help! :)

umm... what's the difference between a male and a female cable?
 
  • #15
chroot
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Male connectors go... inside female connectors. No explanation is necessary, I hope, for what this means.

Virtually all connectors on computers and peripherals are female. Thus, you almost always need a male-to-male cable. You should be able to just look at the connectors on your devices and choose the appropriate cable.

- Warren
 
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