View Full Version : Addition A CD-RW Drive

05-18-2001, 03:44 PM
I'm "inheriting" a StarMax 3000/180 from my father and realize that there are special challenges with this machine. It comes with a 10x CD-ROM drive. Has anyone tried to add an internal CD-RW drive to a similar computer? Do you think it would be helpful to replace the existing CD-ROM drive with a faster model? Any suggestions regarding brands/models/installation?

05-18-2001, 11:24 PM
Looks like you have two open 5.25" bays below the existing CD-ROM drive if you have a MT. You could keep the existing 10x and add a CD-RW IDE-ATAPI in one of those open 5.25" bays. Would fit right in. We go for Plextor here http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/showrampage.cgi?idepagesofheck.html and scroll down the page. Some good reading there. If you have a DT, I think the new will have to replace the old because it looks like only one 5.25" bay.

I know next to nothing about the Motorola's, so someone will be along to correct me. k

05-19-2001, 12:05 AM
No no, Kaye, it sounds to me like you got it right.

The only real trick to installing drives in a StarMax (I think) is sliding back the motherboard tray far enough to allow you to put the retaining screws into the drive's right side (as in, right side when looking at the front of the machine). Then you slide the tray back, close it up and you're done.

I have access to a StarMax 4000, should be the same case. Let me know if you need any specific questions answered, I'll see if this machine will divulge any secrets to me. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

05-20-2001, 01:58 AM
StarMax are cool. Simple ATX design.


05-29-2001, 02:34 PM
Thanks for the responses! I really appreciate it. Yes, I have a mini-tower and have two open 5.25" bays available below the CD-ROM drive. Are you sure that an internal IDE CD-RW drive would work with this system? Or should I go with a SCSI drive?

Also, I've read that there are special consideration when upgrading memory on this machine - that it won't take a standard 168-DIMM chip.

Thanks again!

05-30-2001, 03:53 AM
if I'm not mistaken, you can read about that machine on our EDO DRAM page.

i would use Apple System Profiler to scan the buses and display what's on which IDE bus. I suspect the Moto may not support IDE slaves, but it should certainly support an IDE CDRW as a master. While SCSI might be easiest, sticking with IDE means you can get a 16x PlexWriter--the best burner of all time, IMO.

06-03-2001, 03:52 PM
Yes, people have installed CD-RW drives in the StarMax compters; some have had trouble with this and some have not. You can find discussions about this topic at http://mail.maclaunch.com/lists (scroll down the page and find the StarMax list link). This mail list is maintained by lowendmac.net and you can find information about it at http://lowendmac.net/lists/starmax.html.

Your 3000/180 originally came equipt with an 8x ATAPI CD-ROM, therefore somewhere down the line, it was replaced by a 10x drive. You might want to find out if this "new" drive is a SCSI or IDE as this will have an impact on your choices for upgrading your StarMax. For example, if it is a SCSI drive then most likely you have an open IDE connection (there are only two and they can only be masters .... slaves are not supported) and most importantly, you definately have the Motorola SCSI ribbon upgrade kit installed (not all StarMax computers had this). If on the other hand, the CD-ROM is an IDE drive, then you will have to either replace this drive with a CD-RW IDE drive or else add a CD-RW SCSI drive (if the ribbon upgrade kit is installed).

Another factor that you will need to consider is the limitations of your existing IDE and SCSI connections. A stock StarMax has an internal SCSI rate of 5 MB/second and requires a 50 pin connection (the older SCSI 1 or 2?) and the IDE connection is the older standard ATA-3. You will need to replace these connections if you need to exceed these limits.

I am a bit confused about the reference to sliding the motherboard out of the way when installing a drive. I have installed drives into top two bays of my StarMax (just under the existing CD-ROM drive) and haven't had to do this. I can, though, see that this would perhaps pertain when installing a drive into the smaller bay just under the floppy drive.

Yes, there are very special considerations when buying memory for StarMax. First off, you only have 3 slots for memory and because you can only access five banks of RAM, you are limited to a total of 160MG. The first slot can have a single-bank 16MG or 32MG DIMM and the other two slots can have dual-bank 64MG DIMMs. This memory must also be EDO, 3.3 volt,168 pin, 60 nanoseconds of faster, and must have a 2K refresh rate.

I hope that my ramblings help.