Plextor drives in Formac Firewire Enclosure on an Apple Mac


I have a Formac Firewire enclosure which used to have a CD-RW drive in it.
I tried a Plextor 504A writer in the enclosure using it on an Apple Mac and everything worked fine, the drive would be recognised when I press the power button on the enclosure and no problems burning.

I then tried both a Plextor 708A and 712A writers in the enclosure.

When powering up the enclosure both drives are not recognised until I unplug the firewire cable and then plug it in again.

Both drives won’t burn CD-R media, the drive spins up and then I just get a green led and the drive spins down and does nothing.

Both drives can burn DVDs okay but has trouble ejecting from the Mac.

Fitting the drives internally on a PC and I have no problems with them but using them in the enclosure on a PC and again they wont burn CD-R.

I am guessing it is the enclosure that is causing the problems although it did work fine with the 504A model. The enclosure has a LSI Logic chipset.

Can anyone help in sorting this out? Is it the drives or the enclosure at fault? If it is the enclosure can the firmware be updated or can anyone recommend a good budget enclosure available in the UK?


My best guess would be that the enclosure because I’ve seen many reports of people experiencing problems when using a Plextor drive in an unofficial enclosure. I would certainly NOT advise you to upgrade the firmware of your drive(s) when they’re installed in an unofficial enclosure. If you want to upgrade the firmware to check if that fixes the problem, install the drive(s) in a desktop computer and then upgrade the firmware. I doubt though that a newer firmware will fix your problems. This thread has some good info on external enclosures. Maybe you can find some useful info in there? Good luck!

Thanks for the link to the thread on external enclosures and Plextor drives. Definitely looks like Plextor drives don’t like to be put in enclosures. I guess I will be putting my drives up for sale on eBay.

Do other brands like Pioneer, NEC and Sony work fine in enclosures?


Hard to say, I don’t have any experience with other drives in unofficial enclosures.

I had some problems myself when I used a PX-716A in an old Plextor enclosure that came with a PX-W4012TU drive. The drive would struggle to reach maximum speeds. But, when I got a real PX-716UF all my problems were gone. It might be a good idea to exchange the drive for a real external Plextor? Or perhaps, switch the enclosure? Good luck!