Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Disappearing FireWire Ports on Sawtooth G4

Disappearing FireWire Ports on Sawtooth G4
Thread Tools
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2005
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 15, 2005, 08:16 PM
I noticed yesterday when I put my iPod into its cradle that it wasn't mounting on the desktop of my Power Mac as it usually does. Instead, it just charges (same as if you plug the FW cable into the wall adaptor).

I initially thought this was a problem with my iPod and/or cable, but I have connected the iPod to my PowerBook with the same cable and it works fine. Also, I've attached a Firewire DV camera to my PowerMac, and it doesn't seem to be recognized.

Basically, it seems as though my FW ports have disappeared! In Apple System Profiler under the "Firewire" option I only get a blank screen... "FireWire Bus:" and nothing else.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? It seems odd for JUST the Firewire to go, and nothing else on the logic board, but then again what do I know -- I've never had a logic board issue in a desktop Mac in over 10 years. (And when it happened to my old Quadra, it was a "chime of death" thing.)

I can't pin down exactly when this happened. I think it was sometime last week, it may or may not have been around the same time that I ran Software Update. I'm running 10.4.3 on a 400MHz Sawtooth G4/400 with 768MB RAM. Nothing in the hardware config is particularly exotic (and nothing's changed since it worked last.)

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to test the FireWire hardware on a more detailed level than just plugging things into the port and seeing if they show up in System Profiler? It seems like there has to be a diagnostic for this sort of thing somewhere.
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 16, 2005, 01:09 AM
When you ran Software Update, what update(s) did you install?
Gary Finley
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Canmore, AB, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 16, 2005, 12:10 PM
See other discussions here in the OS area and threads on Apple's discussion board about the problems with vanishing Firewire under 10.4.3. Many people have had Firewire go bad after doing this 'upgrade'. I have the same problem myself on a Cube, with exactly the same symptoms as you have. I've tried the fixes reported in the other threads: re-installing the 10.4.3 combo updater, using the motherboard reset switch etc, but none of them has worked for me.

My problem is that since I had working Firewire ports I've done the 10.4.3 upgrade *and* installed a PowerLogix dual-CPU upgrade, so I can't be certain that it was the OS change that killed my ports. In my case, the OS clearly can't find what it thinks is working hardware at boot time, so it doesn't load the kernel extension. From the system log:

localhost kernel[0]: Broken PHY, aborting start()

I have hopes that this is one of the things that Apple is fixing in 10.4.4. Rumor has it that this release is due pretty soon.
Gary Finley
Director of Networking
Netera Alliance Inc.
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Dec 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 16, 2005, 08:26 PM
I, and a few others I know, had the exact same problem, but with B&W G3s. The answer was to repair permissions, download ComboUpdate, restart, repair permissions, restart, but these were all B&W G3 so YMMV.
Kadin2048  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2005
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 17, 2005, 05:45 PM
Thanks everyone. I'm honestly not sure what the updates were the last time around, I know that I did the 10.4.3 update when it came out, but that didn't cause FireWire to break immediately. At least I don't think it did -- when the iPod stopped syncing it had been at least a few days after the update. I think the only other thing that I updated which might have been around the time that FW broke was a Safari security update and maybe the iPod Software Update (which, IIRC doesn't actually update anything on the iPod, it just updates the program which updates the iPod).

I'm glad to hear that it's not just me having this problem since upgrading to 10.4.3, since it would at least mean it's not a hardware failure on my logic board.

To other people who are having this problem: does anyone know whether there is an Apple bug/issue posted yet? I'm going to go and try looking over at the official forums later.
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:59 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,