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USB / FireWire adapter

  1. Jun 18, 2007 #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...
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 18, 2007 #2
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  4. Jun 18, 2007 #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 :)
     
  5. Jun 18, 2007 #4

    Simfish

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    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  6. Jun 18, 2007 #5
    No they are not.
    Practically all laptops either have a PCMCIA card interface or a new express interface (the new laptops).

    What's the make and model of your laptop?

    Here is a list of Firewire cardbus adapters
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  7. Jun 18, 2007 #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...
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  8. Jun 18, 2007 #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?
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  9. Jun 18, 2007 #8
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  10. Jun 18, 2007 #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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
  11. Jun 18, 2007 #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
     
  12. Jun 18, 2007 #11
    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.
     
  13. Jun 18, 2007 #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?
     
  14. Jun 18, 2007 #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
     
  15. Jun 18, 2007 #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?
     
  16. Jun 18, 2007 #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
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2007
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