Os 10 stopped recognizing my sony hi8 cam

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I had no problem transfering video via firewire from my Sony Digital8 camcorder until we moved 9 1/2 months ago.  I have tried all kinds of reload software etc... I have run the Apple hardware self test and all is working fine.  IM afraid to use the install cd's because it will probably just erase everything I have on my hard drive right... plus all of the programs that were downloaded, any suggestions..
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At the Apple Icon at top left>About this Mac, then click on More Info, then click on Hardware>Firewire, does the camera show there when plugged in & on?
If you want to try a reinstall, then it appears to be time for a relatively painless Archive & Install, which gives you a new/old OS, but can preserve all your files, pics, music, settings, etc., as long as you have plenty of free disk space and no Disk corruption, and is relatively quick & painless...
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107120
Just be sure to select Preserve Users & Settings.