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Help- No Firewire Port


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#1 jb2012

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 08:42 PM

Here is my problem- looking for any thoughts/options/help:

 

I just had to replace my old HP Pavillion computer-unfortunately the hard drive finally crashed. I purchased a new Dell XPS 8700 to replace it. 

 

I have a WD external hard drive I was using with my old machine. It has a firewire connection only. Worked fine and had no problems.

 

I also have an older model sony video camera. I would like to transfer those movies to computer storage and was starting to do so when the pavilion died. My old HP Pavillion allowed me to plug the camera in via the firewire connection and it worked fine.

 

Here is my issue- my new Dell does not have a firewire port. I guess I didn't pay any attention to the fact that firewire bit the dust to USB- my machine always had that port, so I honestly didn't realize firewire was obsoleted. I didn't even think to look for the port when I bought the new machine (my bad). 

 

I've been told that the only real viable option to use the WD hard drive with my dell is to put a PCI card in one of the empty slots and create a firewire port. I've done a bit of research online and haven't found much in the way of firewire to USB adapters, so this appears to be the only option. Best buy told me they could install it for me and it seems like it will be relatively inexpensive. But am I missing a better fix? Has anyone come across adapter that can convert firewire to USB?. If such a thing exists, I'd rather buy a cable than mess with installing a card....Any thoughts would be appreciated.



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#2 Animal

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 09:52 PM

Do they work? I can't answer that as I don't have any experience with anything firewire. Check Out Newegg, I'v always had a positive experience. All the gender changers here: http://www.newegg.com/Adapters-Gender-Changers/Category/ID-256?Tid=19435

Firewire to and from USB here: http://www.newegg.com/USB-IEEE-1394-Firewire-Adapters/SubCategory/ID-3025?Tid=19441&cm_sp=AdaptGen256-_-VisNav-_-USBIEEEFireAdapt

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#3 Platypus

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 11:00 PM

I'd still suggest using a proper Firewire card, preferably with the Texas Instruments chipset for best compatibility.

 

Firewire incorporates streaming protocols that USB does not have, so does have advantages especially for video. Your camera might not even recognize a converter.


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#4 synergy513

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 04:23 AM

my built-in firewire connection in my 2005 model desktop is called a 1394. I looked it up and all I remember is it is some kind of   fast connection for cameras and printers and wireless network hardware, kind of like an antiquated  USB maybe.


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#5 Platypus

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 05:05 AM

The IEEE 1394 specification that defined what's most commonly called Firewire 400 was released in 1995. The 1394a amendment in 2000 included the small 4 pin connector developed by Sony and trademarked as i.Link, this connector became widely used on compact devices like cameras and laptops. The 1394b specification released in 2002 brought an increase of speed with Firewire 800, providing just short of 800 Mb/s full duplex, with potential support up to 3200 Mb/s.

 

The USB 1 specification was released in Jan 1996 with 1.5 Mb/s and 12 Mb/s speeds, USB 2 specification occurred in 2000, providing up to 480 Mb/s. The USB 3.0 specification was published in 2008.

 

So their practical implementation has been similar on a time basis, but with Firewire support initially being mostly driven by Apple, then its advantages over USB mostly being seen in video and professional audio applications, it was overtaken by the more universal application of USB, as its name suggests.


Edited by Platypus, 13 August 2013 - 06:40 AM.
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#6 jb2012

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 09:14 PM

Thanks all. Fortunately, I noticed that in addition to having a firewire connection, my hard drive also has a smaller connection (looks like a smaller version of firewire, maybe six pins but they are so small I cant' tell for sure). I went into my vast bag of computer wires and dug out a cable that actually fits it with USB on the other end....so I appear to be good and can access this data without the firewire card. Of course, I still want to be able to pull the movies off of my old sony, so I will probably still get the PCI card, but it was a relief to know I could access my data before getting around to that.



#7 smax013

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 12:04 AM

Has anyone come across adapter that can convert firewire to USB?. If such a thing exists, I'd rather buy a cable than mess with installing a card....Any thoughts would be appreciated.


To my knowledge, they don't exist. And if they did exist, it would not just be a cable adapter, but rather an "active" converter box (i.e. one that likely also needs external power, although I suppose it could get power from the USB port on the computer...maybe).

You are basically looking at Firewire PCI card. They are generally rather cheap and very easy to install...just open the case and plug in the card (all with the power disconnected of course), put the cover back on and boot up...and almost definitely installing a driver (although it is possible that Windows might have a driver to automatically install depending on your Windows version).

#8 smax013

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 12:10 AM

Do they work? I can't answer that as I don't have any experience with anything firewire. Check Out Newegg, I'v always had a positive experience. All the gender changers here: http://www.newegg.com/Adapters-Gender-Changers/Category/ID-256?Tid=19435

Firewire to and from USB here: http://www.newegg.com/USB-IEEE-1394-Firewire-Adapters/SubCategory/ID-3025?Tid=19441&cm_sp=AdaptGen256-_-VisNav-_-USBIEEEFireAdapt


I think everything in the second link is either a USB to USB adapter (just converting to different USB connector types) or a Firewire to Firewire adapter.

To my knowledge, there is no such thing as a Firewire to USB adapter that is just a cable. The only way it would work is some sort of "active" converter box...not just an adapter to change port connections.

#9 Animal

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 10:23 PM

Thank you for that information. I appreciate it. Being Firewire challenged, I was going by the page identifiers provided by Newegg.

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#10 smax013

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:21 AM

Thank you for that information. I appreciate it. Being Firewire challenged, I was going by the page identifiers provided by Newegg.


That is the joy of being a Mac user...you learn about Firewire.   :thumbup2:




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