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Thread: Installing 3tb hard drive in Power Mac G4

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Confused Installing 3tb hard drive in Power Mac G4

    Hi,

    I must first state that I have a basic knowledge about what I attempting to do. I purchased a Power Mac G4 Quicksilver with OS 10.4.1 running after reading how they can be used as a media server (I have Apple TV + an ipad which I wanted to stream/transfer data to).

    I've upgraded the ram to 2x512mb + 258mb.

    I purchased a adaptec apd-29160n pci powerdomain scsi card as I heard that the mac wouldn't be able to manage a hard drive larger than 250GB.

    I've also purchased a Seagate 3tb Barracuda hard drive. However I'm unsure how to connect it. I went and purchased a SATA IDE converter however the adaptec card is 60 pin male and the converter is 50 pin female.

    I'm scratching my head as to what to do next. A trawl of google made my head hurt more than it did before.

    The Seagate website doesn't help either - however I'm aware that the mac could only use about 2.2tb of the hard drive, I'm not worried about that though.

    Can somebody help? And in plain English please?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    SCSI is totally different than SATA. You need a PCI SATA Host Card to hook your hard drive to. I don't know if it will recognize that large of a hard drive, but someone here will chime in about that.

    You will want the host card to be bootable, i.e. you can start up from the SATA drive, it's much faster running than ATA which is what the G4 typically boots from.

    Upgrade your OS to 10.4.11, you will be glad you did.

  3. #3
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    As yeungfeng stated: SCSI is unlikely to be the bus of choice. There are no SCSI->SATA drive adapters, and SCSI, having been 'end of life' 7 years ago is really expensive to attempt to get working.

    Far better to either install a bootable SATA card or just use an ATA drive for your boot drive and install a SATA card for your media drive(s).

    ATA drives are perfectly fine for the boot drive and backup. But a pair of SATA drives is what you want for your media drive and its backup.

    I tend to recommend the Sonnet cards for adding SATA to a PCI Mac. The less expensive Lycom card won't work right except in a PCI-X G5. I do have the 4 port Sonnet card in stock. It is not bootable though. For bootable you would want Sonnet's 2 port card.

    Sorry to say it, but the Adaptec card needs to go in the trash can.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  4. #4
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    Agreed. Easiest will be to boot to ATA, and storage on SATA with the right card.

    And, if something should happen to the machine, your data is on a SATA drive, which can get dropped into another Mac pretty easily, or even an external USB or FireWire case, so you can use it with just about any Mac, or other box as well.

    At some point down the road you might find a good deal on a G5...which can hold 2 SATA HDs. No adapters, no muss, no fuss.

    Oh, and update your OS all the way to 10.4.11. Unless you have a specific reason not too.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  5. #5
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    May 2013
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    Thanks for the help.

    I bought the Adaptec apd-29160n pci powerdomain SCSI card thinking that what was I needed - I'll look out for a SATA card instead!

    Back to the drawing board then...

  6. #6
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    May 2013
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    Is the Adaptec card good for nothing - should I sell it on?

  7. #7
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    Sell it if you can, or collect a few more for a mobile or wind chime. Also good for leveling wobbly tables.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  8. #8
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    Mar 2001
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    Just to put my 2c in, a media server with any powermac is a bad idea. laregely due to the power consumption of such an effort. I had a G5 a few years ago with 8TB for a media array, it cost me more in power in one year than my hackintosh cost to build and run for 3. now ofcourse a mac mini + an external casing would be a more appropriate solution in this case.

  9. #9
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    Good point.

    I use a Mac Mini with a FW storage drive. In this situation, he could start out with the G4, and the single SATA storage drive for media, and be ready to put it in a case at any point to get a low power solution.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

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