How to Test FireWire Ports for a Computer

Updated March 23, 2017

A FireWire cable works better than a USB cable for high-volume data transfers such as video from a video camera. FireWire cables can transfer loads of information at quick speeds and are compatible with PC and Mac computers. If you feel like one of your FireWire ports is damaged, your computer's "Device Manager" can help you pinpoint the problem.

Restart the computer to refresh the drivers and ports. Once the computer boots up and is on the desktop menu, plug the IEEE 1394 FireWire male end into the computer and the other end into the device.

Click on the "Start" button in the bottom left corner and scroll up and select the "Control Panel" option.

Choose the "Systems and Maintenance" icon and then the "Device Manager" option. You will see a section labelled "Other Devices."

Test the FireWire port by expanding the "Other Devices" list and locating the IEEE 1394 Bus port controllers. Right-click on the controller and choose the "Properties" option.

Read the message under the "Device status" section. If the FireWire port that is currently in use says, "This device is working properly," then the port is fine.

Repeat the steps above to test the working condition of the other FireWire ports.


Before replacing the FireWire ports, test the ports again with another FireWire cable to rule out a faulty wire causing the port problems.

Things You'll Need

  • FireWire cable
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About the Author

Paul Lin has been writing professionally since 2010. He has written scripts for the National Science Foundation and short films that have won awards at film festivals. Lin holds a Bachelor of Arts in scriptwriting from the University of North Texas.