So, I've been using Firewire on my computer (PowerMac G4) for a long time. I have multiple external hard drives and a dual layer DVD burner connected via Firewire 400, and one drive using Firewire 800 (on a seperate controller board). Everything works very well.
Recently, I had need for more Firewire 400 cables, so I bought a couple on eBay. They were cheap, only $2 each, shipped. I bought two. They're five foot cables. They have a clear insulation, and the ends have "1394" and the Firewire logo molded into them.
When they came in (from Singapore...), I connected a hard drive to my computer using one of them, but it was not recognised. I wiggled the connector, etc - but nothing. I tried the other cable. Still nothing. Then I borrowed a cable off another computer, and tried that one - it worked perfectly. Switching back to the new cable, still nothing. My conclusion - two defective cables.
I emailed the seller with my problem, and got this response:
We had marked this on our listing.
Notice:Not for MOTU Traveler MK3,Apple Firewire and Sony iLink's harddisk data transfer.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
So, my main question is... how is this possible? How can a Firewire 400 cable be incompatible with hard drives, or with Macintosh computers? It's a *cable*. A six pin to six pin Firewire 400 cable. What could POSSIBLY prevent it from working at all when used with a Macintosh computer? And I'm not even using power over Firewire - all my drives have their own power supplies. Are there different standards for Firewire cableing depending on the device? I've never had this problem before, even with cheap cables - Firewire has always just worked fine for me.