Odd problem with Firewire and Mac Mini


Yesterday I experienced an odd problem with the firewire hard drives on my Mac Mini.

I have a 1.42 GHz Mac Mini with 1 GB of RAM. I have two external firewire enclosures daisy chained to it, one with an 80 GB hdd, the other with a 250 GB hdd. I have Tiger installed on the 80 GB hdd and that is what I normally boot from. The set-up is: Mac -> 80 GB -> 250 GB.

Yesterday I hooked up my iPod to the open port on the enclosure with the 250 GB drive in it. When I did that, the Mac froze. I waited about 15 minutes to make sure it wasn't just in deep thought, and then I removed the iPod. I waited a while longer, again to see if it would unfreeze, and then I powered it off, and powered it back on.

When it rebooted, it came up to the blank gray screen, and stayed there. Nothing happened. So I unplugged my drives, and booted off the internal drive, which is running 10.3.8. It booted fine.

Now, when I connect my drives, the lights on the enclosures start flickering as if they are being accessed, but they do not mount. In the system profiler, under firewire, the names of the enclosures show up, and appear to be working fine, but no disks can be found under them. Disk utility can't find them either.

I tried zapping the PRAM, but that didn't do anything... unless I did it incorrectly (I held down Apple-Option-P-R and let it reboot twice with those held down).

Any thoughts? I thought my firewire port may have been fried, but the enclosures show up. This is really frustrating.

Any ideas as to other forums where I may find answers? I know this isn't a typical problem, and perhaps I described it in too much detail.
I had similar problem with my G5. The final fix was first resetting the NVRAM with nothing attached. Here are the steps:

1. Restart your Mac holding down the Command, Option, O and F keys. Wait a few seconds and then you will enter Open Firmware mode.
2. Type: reset-nvram
3. Press the Return Key (this will return you to the prompt, you nvram settings are now factory default)
4. Then type: reset-all
5. Press Return Key (this will reset your logic board an PRAMM settings)

If you Mac instantly restarts, it means the process was successful.

Then after that I dug into my pocket and splurged on a Firewire hub (bought at my local bland computer store). I did this to save my internal firewire ports, just in case. Good Luck.