Friday, September 11, 2009

Followup: Snow Leopard Hates FireWire 400

Background: As some of you may already know, a number of users are reporting that their FireWire 400 disc burners are failing to operate properly under Snow Leopard (10.6.x), though they still work flawlessly under Leopard (10.5.x). I, myself have such a problem with the external drive on my iMac, but when I tried to get some "support" from Apple Tech Support, I was informed that Snow Leopard no longer supports FireWire 400.

Since my FireWire 400 Time Machine drive still works just fine, I found this answer to be a bit, shall we say, oversimplified. Others chimed in that the tech support person didn't have a clue what he was talking about.

Fast forward to today: Hoping that this annoying bug had been squashed in one of those unspecified "compatibility" updates, I installed the Mac OS X 10.6.1 update shortly after it came out. The short answer is: no, they didn't fix the bug, but they may have made it worse. Mostly, Snow Leopard can see the FireWire interface, but can't see anything in the drive within. Sometimes a disc appears on my Desktop, but any application that tries to access it "beachballs."

I'm going to try to get this burner operational by connecting to a USB Universal Drive Adaptor. If that works I'll see if I can find a proper enclosure that's Snow Leopard certified.

I'm posting this message to comp.sys.mac.system, Apple Feedback and my user group blog . I'm also forwarding a copy to Joe Kissell, author of Take Control of Upgrading to Snow Leopard, whom I've been keeping in the loop regarding this problem.