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Oh, *that's* why they call it FireWire
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:56 PM
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Default Oh, *that's* why they call it FireWire

A student brought in a 13" Macbook Pro (unibody) with a "no boot" problem. The hard drive seemed fine, so I tried booting to our external diagnostic drive, using a IEEE 1384 (Firewire) 800 cable. The drive was on, and daisy-chained to another computer, but FireWire is (supposedly) hot-swappable, so...no problem, right?

Unfortunately, No So Much. The moment I hit the power button on the laptop, there was a flash and a puff of smoke from the FireWire port, and the latop shut down. I quickly pulled the FireWire cable and the Magsafe power cord. I stopped and thought it over. Did I do something stupid? Well, no, I think what I did should have been fine. So...I turned the laptop back on without the FireWire cable. It started up...fine....until milliseconds later SMOKE AND FLAMES shot out of the port!!!
I shut it down again. Looking at the FireWire port, it was charred and melted. The FireWire 800 cable also turned out to be melted.

So, sent it out to the depot for repair, they replaced the SATA cable (common failure in this model) and repaired the MoBo. I'm still not sure what happened with the FireWire port, it looked like the hot pin got shorted to ground, but I don't know why.

Google indicates that hot-swapping FireWire can be hazardous; I've never had a problem before.
P*S

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Old 03-25-2012, 10:42 PM
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Maybe the drive was "hot" (stolen). g'night folks...

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Old 03-26-2012, 12:22 AM
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Reminds me of an incident when I was working at my old tech job a long time ago.

Computer was a custom AMD K6-II system with various Windows 98 issues. One was no sound - it was missing the sound card driver. Sound card was a no-name with an Analog Devices chip. I searched for that manufacturer and the number on the chip, and found a driver. Installed it, rebooted the system...and, as it almost finished loading Windows, smoke started pouring out of the computer.

I pulled the power cord, and, after a few minutes, searched for the source of the smoke. When I pulled the sound card out, it had a perfect circle about the size of a pen head burned in the middle of the sound chip.

We ended up replacing the sound card with one of our spares of the same quality, and the system was fine otherwise. It was one of the strangest things that happened at that job - I've never had a driver burn out a card before or after that.

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Old 03-26-2012, 12:43 AM
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You didn't have the can of high-pressure smoke to refill the chips?

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Old 03-26-2012, 03:35 AM
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dalesys, where's the thumbs up button on here like there is on Facebook?

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Old 03-26-2012, 03:39 AM
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Quote:
Quoth emax4 View Post
dalesys, where's the thumbs up button on here like there is on Facebook?
I don't want think about what that Facebook thumb's been up.
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Old 03-26-2012, 03:20 PM
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Naughty thoughts not tolerated...

... until I'm at home.

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Old 03-26-2012, 04:44 PM
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So we have proof now that computers run on smoke and fire, and when they break, it leaks out!
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:29 PM
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We used to see things like when people would plug an old Mac monitor into the Joystick port on a controller card. Instead of realizing the cable was a standard VGA port, they'd just connect it and fry it.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Quoth Jay 2K Winger View Post
So we have proof now that computers run on smoke and fire, and when they break, it leaks out!
I've had proof of that for years, especially Macs...

Yep, sorry. You let out all the Magic Blue Smoke (TM). You're pretty much done now.

Of course, MBS (TM) is flammable, so please wear a fireproof jumpsuit before attempting repairs.
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