Connecting older FW800 G Drive to new Thunderbolt 3 iMac


#1

I have a 6-year old 1-TB, FW800 G Drive that I have used with rock solid reliability on my mid-2010 27" iMac. However that older iMac just died and now I cannot connect my G Drive, containing my Time Machine backups, to my new 21.5-in iMac due to cable/port incompatibility. Does WD offer a cable adapter, or can anyone suggest one to me, that will allow me to restore my system onto the new iMac? Once I have restored everything onto the new machine, I plan to buy a new G Drive fitted with USB C (Thunderbolt 3) ports.


#2

I have this same problem! I can not find a FW800 to USB 3 or Thunderbolt 3 cable anywhere on Amazon. I have a 3TB drive so I’d like to continue using it if possible. Previously I was daisy chaining it via FW800 to a few other external drives, but my new iMac only wants to recognize the drive it’s connected to via USB. I think the solution is to get a USB hub with more ports, but I need to know how to connect FW800 to USB 3.

Sorry to hijack. Similar problem. I think I can use the same solution.


#3

Apple tells me that I can use two of their adapters in tandem to connect my G Drive to the new iMac. According to them, I’ll need to use their Thunderbolt 3 to 2 Adapter, connecting it to the Thunderbolt 3 port on the new iMac. Then, connect their Thunderbolt 2 to FW800 adapter to the first adapter…solving my problem. I don’t have both adapters yet, so can’t prove the efficacy of this solution. But it’s inconceivable to me that Apple failed to engineer a one-step adapter solution when deciding to design Thunderbolt 3 ports on its newer iMacs…knowing full well there had to be scores of users stuck with backups on FW drives and no simple way to make system restorations onto newer machines in the event their older iMacs died.


#4

Check out this T3 Dock: OWC T3 Dock …Might be a possibility. Yes, this T3 Dock is pricey, but it has other ports that might be effective for your use. …Just a thought.

BTW, Apple didn’t fail to engineer a one-step adapter for you. …When Apple pushes technology by deleting old technology, particularly like FW800 which was not as widely used as USB 2.0, Apple always lets 3rd party manufacturers make the transitional adapters. It’s tough when one’s on the short end of that stick (I also used FW800 drives for my backups); but, one must simply accept the transition, get the gear needed to continue one’s use strategy, and get on with it.


#5

I went into an Apple store and they gave me the same solution. It’s about an $80 solution, but I’ve got it up and running.

Alternatively, the tech there told me I could go to a Fry’s and get a new housing that has a USB-C output and transfer the drive over.


#6

The thought occurred to me that my G Drive also has an eSATA port. I’m wondering if I can buy a connecting cable/adapter for that port with the other end terminating in Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3? They sell them on the Web, but I’m not sure this would let me keep using my FW-equipped G Drive as my Time Machine backup device…and most importantly, to do a system restore from it to load my new iMac. Anybody know?


#7

I can confirm that the Apple two-adapter, tandem solution successfully connected my circa 2007 1-TB G-Drive (fitted with 2 x FW800, 1 x eSATA, 1 x LAN and 1 x USB 2.0 ports) to my new mid-2017 iMac 27-inch via one of its Thunderbolt 3 jacks, and the iMac recognized the external drive with no glitches. But to play it safe, I also bought a LaCie 2-TB portable Porsche Design drive that offers a direct Thunderbolt 3 connection to the iMac.


#8

I have the same issue. Have an older Mac with only USB and Firewire ports. I have three backups on WD drive and G-Drives. Called Apple Support yesterday; they said unequivocally there is no adaptor between Firewire 800 and any port on the new iMacs which have four USB 3 ports and two Thunderbolt 3 (USB - C) ports. One of my G-Drive products is the Mini which has a USB 3 port. I had thought I could use that port to transfer the data to the new Mac. However the USB 3 port on the Mini looks different from the USB 3 port on the rear of the new iMacs. I don’t know how there can be two different types of USB 3 ports though.


#9

There is a two-stage fix offered by Apple which saved me in restoring my new iMac 27 5K from my old FW800, 1TB G-Drive. This fix worked for me, as I could not figure out any other options except trying to mount my old iMac mid-2010 internal HDD on a tech’s test rig and extract critical files that way.

They sell two separate adapters which can be coupled to one another (in tandem) that connects the FW 800 port on your G Drive to the new imac’s USB3/Thunderbolt port. There is no single adapter solution out there insofar as I am aware.

Look at the photos I’ve attached. One shows my old G-Drive with its FW800 output jack populated with my old adapter cable that came with the drive. The second photo shows the other end of that FW800 cable, and the two new Apple adapters lined up next to it. The first adapter is a FW800 to FW400 adapter; the second is a FW400 to USB3/Thunderbolt adapter. It worked for me, hope you can do likewise

BJ


#10

There is a two-stage fix offered by Apple which saved me in restoring my new iMac 27 5K from my old FW800, 1TB G-Drive. This fix worked for me, as I could not figure out any other options except trying to mount my old iMac mid-2010 internal HDD on a tech’s test rig and extract critical files that way.

They sell two separate adapters which can be coupled to one another (in tandem) that connects the FW 800 port on your G Drive to the new imac’s USB3/Thunderbolt port. There is no single adapter solution out there insofar as I am aware.

Look at the photos I’ve attached. One shows my old G-Drive with its FW800 output jack populated with my old adapter cable that came with the drive. The second photo shows the other end of that FW800 cable, and the two new Apple adapters lined up next to it. The first adapter is a FW800 to FW400 adapter; the second is a FW400 to USB3/Thunderbolt adapter. It worked for me, hope you can do likewise

BJ


#11

Thanks for the response. The 2nd pic had only one apple adaptor. I will look for those two adaptors on the Apple store site.

As an aside, it’s curious that there would have to be an 800 to 400 Firewire in the chain - if they had a 400FW to USB3 why couldn’t they have made just a 800FW to USB3.

Also wrt your June 19th post I also wonder if there is an eSATA to USB 3 connector.

I believe we have the same type G-Drive as mine also has an eSATA port. I don’t care if I can continue to use the old G-Drive as a backup - I would just like to transfer the data to new iMac. I plan to look online as well.


#12

Here the second pic again…it shows two different white apple adapters…they look similar, but the body of one is larger than the other and their male jacksare different. good luck.