I have a compaq cq61 312sa and understand that I need an iLink cable from my 4-pin Sony camcorder connected to a fire-wire port in the laptop in order to be able to download the video tapes from the camcorder to my hard drive.
How would I know if I had a fire wire port, please?
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According to the specs listed for your system, it does not have a firewire port (IEEE 1394):
I know of no way to add firewire to your laptop. And, I have a similar Sony camcorder that does not have removable media (as yours appears to do as well). An option would be to use a program/adapter like these to use your A/V cable to connect to your laptop: