Re: 1394 firewire doesnt recognise external harddrive
I'd suggest trying the HDD in another computer/laptop, as a method of diagnostics. Try another cable, too, if you haven't already.
Failing them two, I'd say either a fault of the HDD itself (not good) or something awry in the OS (fixable).
If you're familiar with computer innards and HDDs, then you could try removing the HDD from the enclosure and use it within a computer, which also would be a method of diagnostics, but something tells me this is a method you're not gonna wanna remotely think about.
Unfortunately, I have no more ideas, ATM.
Oh, something came to mind... check your 1394 thing is enabled within the BIOS of your laptop; it probably is, but it's worth a shot.
One more idea comes to mind... it could be something simple, such as you haven't installed drivers for 1394, which is probably easy enough to do. Check the Device Manager (if it's Windows) and check that the driver for it (the 1394 connection, not your HDD) is OK.