Manual unmount Firewire hard drives before shutdown

I'm having shutdown problems again possibly due to my new firewire hard drive, the firewire driver supplied by OS X, or some combination thereof.
The issue is if I don't manually unmount my Firewire hard drive, the MacBook Pro does not ever properly shutdown and just spends its time doing the "spinning sun ray". If I manually unmount the firewire hard drives (by dragging to trash, for example) then there is no shutdown problem. Why should this be a problem at all? I don't understand. Why can't the shutdown command also unmount Firewire hard drives consistently?
My set up:
MacBook Pro <--> LaCie 120Gb firewire <--> Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus 500GB
I also saw this article: tml
Any times on how to solve this problem so that I can go to the shutdown command without first having to manually unmount the Firewire hard drives? Thanks!

Frank Canzolino wrote:
Thanks for reporting back, the idea was just a theory that I had never tried before. I do know that Macs will have difficulty shutting down if the state of a network is changed during to shutdown, say pulling the ethernet cable. Firewire has been implemented as a network port (actually a while ago).
Yeah, I've known Firewire was implemented as a network port a long time ago. The strange thing is that I'm not using the Firewire port as a network device AND it has also been deactivated. It was deleting the port that seemed to have helped it.

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