View Full Version : Help with an old Powerbook

System X
05-24-2001, 04:51 PM
Hi! I have an old powerbook 180 that has a hard drive that was giving me problems, I tried a couple of liteweight utilities (disk first aid told me it couldn't fix the problems it found, tech tool (free version) didn't detect anything wrong) so I decided to initialize the drive (booting from a floppy) and start fresh, but the initialization failed.

My question concerns external scsi drives, I'm not sure if there are any issues, but are there any particular ones recommended for an old powerbook, that will boot it up? I'm thinking I can try to run a more robust utility on the powerbook hard disk. I need to buy one, and I don't want to get one that won't work. To (perhaps) complicate things, this same drive needs to work with my G3 Pismo (using a scsi to usb or firewire adaptor), again, I'm not sure if there are issues with this.

I've no experience with scsi devices, and all the adaptors I need seem to complicate things, so any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

05-25-2001, 05:54 AM

Couple of ideas...

Try just replacing the hard drive entirely - MCE has some that might work for you:

The external SCSI solution is a bit more expensive. From the 'Gurus seagate hard drive page, you can get a Seagate Narrow Barracuda

Get a ST318417N, and then bolt it into a Burly enclosure ( probably a 2 bay, narrow one) from here:

The MAP3021 looks like it would be the right one.

Then you would need a cable that goes from the powerbook to the narrow SCSI (one of those funky square ones) and an appropriate terminator for the enclosure and you should be good to go...

Looks like unless you can get a Powerbook -> SCSI direct cable, you might be forced to go the PowerBook to 25 pin adapter (GD1101), and then an appropriate cable:

You will need some sort of an adapter for your Pismo - I haven't tried out any of the current crop so I would defer to others on that account. There may be some reports out there on the net about such adapters.

HTH - I've used external SCSI's including SCSI digital cameras on my laptops and they've all worked fine..


05-25-2001, 05:01 PM
I bought an Adaptec 1480 PCMCIA SCSI card for my Pismo to use my legacy SCSI devices. It's proved to be more dependable for burning CDR than my old macs were, likely because it's SCSI-2 iirc.

This was almost a year ago; There were no FireWire-SCSI addapters available. I might have chosen one of those in order to keep the PCMCIA slot free for my radio modem or PCI expansion chassis.

(I distained USB-SCSI adapters, because I heard USB thru-put is limited to roughly 4x CD writers.)


my free 7500 is nickel-and-diming me to death.

05-25-2001, 11:47 PM
If you are into geeking and would like to attempt to fix the hdd on the PB you might try to:
a) hook up an external scsi hdd to the powerbook. To do this you will need a special cable - an HDI-29. This cable plugs into the little square port on the back of the PB and from there to the external Cd-rom or hdd. You could use the external drive to boot from and format or repair the internal drive (if it is rep.). You can pick up old 40-80 mb hdds for very little at most used mac shacks. External Scsi Cd-roms are also reasonably priced (you don't need a super fast unit).
b) hook your PB up to an alternate Mac. This option will require you to put your PB into SCSI Disk mode. This trick is done by simply assigning an SCSI id to your book (one that is not already assigned on the other comp) and using an HDI-30 cable (w a DB-25 connection to hook it to the second comp's external SCSI port). Doing this should allow you to boot from the second computer and the PB's hdd will appear on the second comp's desktop as an external hdd...reformat and repair if possible using TTP, DW, or NSW...Of course you need a 2nd comp with an external SCSI port (DB-25).

If you predict that you might have a use for both the HDI-29 and HDI-30 in the future you can get a device that will do both modes- and HDI SCSI/DOCK ADAPTOR. This little gizmo does not come with cables. It has the PB "square" plug on one side and a DB-25 connection on the other side. Cables are needed to connect it to either a 2nd computer or external hdd/cd-rom.

Anyway, if you feel like geeking and attempting to repair the PB180's hdd you might try the above. It should allow you to attempt to revive the hdd with a more serious disk utility then those that fit on a floppy.

[This message has been edited by spaz2 (edited 26 May 2001).]