Charging via firewire on a PC laptop | iLounge Article


Charging via firewire on a PC laptop

Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

Q: I have a 3G iPod that still works great! I love it, but noticed something odd a couple weeks ago. When I hooked it up to my girlfriend’s Gateway laptop, it recognized the device and allowed me to access it, but it wasn’t charging the battery. I noticed the same thing on my mom’s Gateway laptop, too. When I connect the iPod to my PC desktop, however, it charges just fine. Is there some “power save” feature enabled on the laptops that is preventing the battery to charge? What’s going on?

- Adam

A: You’ve discovered the major unfortunate drawback to using Firewire-charging iPods with PC laptops. Standard, full-size Firewire plugs have 6-pins. Most PC laptops, however, use a small, 4-pin Firewire port, which by design does not have the capability (namely the missing two pin connections) to provide power. Even the few PC portables with 6-pin Firewire ports rarely power them. Even more disappointing is that many PC laptops unequipped with built-in Firewire do not provide sufficient power to the PCMCIA slot to allow add-on 6-pin Firewire ports to charge the iPod. It’s a shame, really.

Our suggestion? If you had a 4G or iPod mini, we’d suggest you switch to USB 2.0. Since the 3G iPod can’t charge via USB, however, that won’t work for you. Instead, use a “power injector” device like SiK’s FireJuice product or Apple’s old “USB2.0+Firewire cable” to keep your iPod powered for long, battery-taxing data transfer sessions. If you don’t anticipate such heavy connection sessions, simply keep your iPod charged using the standard AC adaptor included with your 3G iPod.

Jerrod H. is an iLounge Contributing Editor, with frequent contributions to our iPod 101 and 201 tutorials, plus occasional hardware and software product reviews.

The most asked question at

How do I copy content from my iPod/iPhone onto my computer?

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, Apple TV and iPhone Video Formats

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Mac)

Converting DVDs, web video, TV shows and more:

The Complete Guide to iPod, iPhone and Apple TV Video Conversion (Win)

Best Speakers?

Best Headphones?

Best Case?

Best In-Car Solution?

Best Battery Extender?

Find more answers in the latest publications in our Library. Free downloads developed by the editors of iLounge!

Ask iLounge Archives:

1-24-14: Viewing only downloaded iTunes Match tracks

1-22-14: Splitting purchased content between two iPads

12-13-13: Non-Bluetooth Lightning dock speakers

12-11-13: Shared Apple ID and switching away from iPhone

12-6-13: Syncing multiple iCloud data with a family Mac

Read more recent Ask iLounge articles...

View the complete Ask iLounge archives...

« First Looks Special: DLO mini fm FM Radio & Headphone Amplifier

Removing unused fields from iTunes & iPod »

Related Stories


If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy