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Old Jun 26, 2007, 12:01 PM   #1
geoffy
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G4 Tower Hard Drive Upgrade Question

I have a G4 tower. I believe it is what is know as the Digial Audio model. I want to upgrade/add a large slave hard drive. Is it possible to add a large hard drive, say 500 GB? Are there limitations on the size of the drive because the system is old? I am running OS 10.4.9.
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 12:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by geoffy View Post
I have a G4 tower. I believe it is what is know as the Digial Audio model. I want to upgrade/add a large slave hard drive. Is it possible to add a large hard drive, say 500 GB? Are there limitations on the size of the drive because the system is old? I am running OS 10.4.9.
Yes, you need a SATA PCI controller card for drives larger than 120GB.

Rich.
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 01:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by fatsoforgotso View Post
Yes, you need a SATA PCI controller card for drives larger than 120GB.

Rich.
Thanks a lot for the tip. These don't seem too expensive at all.
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 03:10 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot for the tip. These don't seem too expensive at all.
They're about the same price as PATA controllers, and will also give your older mac a considerable speed boost when connected to some fast 7200 rpm/16mb cache SATA drives
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 03:27 PM   #5
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I just switched out the hardrive in a 450 mhz tower (ADP Graphics, I think) because it used to lock up incessantly (while performing any variety of tasks). A "Genius" at the Apple Store diagnosed it and said the hard drive was the culprit. We put in a new 150GB IDE drive and everything was just ducky... for about a day. It's now resumed it frequent freezing. So my question is... a.) was the "Genius" full of crap or b.) does that fact that this drive is larger than 120GB have something to do with it?
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 04:29 PM   #6
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They're about the same price as PATA controllers, and will also give your older mac a considerable speed boost when connected to some fast 7200 rpm/16mb cache SATA drives
I'm definitely going to install a huge drive in my G4. 500 GB drives are affordable.
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 04:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatsoforgotso View Post
Yes, you need a SATA PCI controller card for drives larger than 120GB.
Not true!

I have been using a IDE/ATA 320GB for a year or so and just upgraded to a 500GB IDE/ATA drive.

Works fine in my Quicksilver.

BTW, nothing wrong with getting a SATA PCI controller card. But it is not needed if you want to use a PATA drive larger than 120GB.
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 04:44 PM   #8
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Not true!

I have been using a IDE/ATA 320GB for a year or so and just upgraded to a 500GB IDE/ATA drive.

Works fine in my Quicksilver.

BTW, nothing wrong with getting a SATA PCI controller card. But it is not needed if you want to use a PATA drive larger than 120GB.
i had to get a pci card for mine. from what i understand some older models don't accept big drives, but some do.
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 08:19 PM   #9
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i had to get a pci card for mine. from what i understand some older models don't accept big drives, but some do.
Is there a particular PCI card that you can recommend? Will the usual PC OEM versions work?
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Old Jun 27, 2007, 10:30 AM   #10
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I have a Quicksilver 2002 933, I just dropped a large IDE drive in it without a problem... ( in fact I stuck one in the Zip drive slot too... just removed the back flap and slaved it to the optical drive. Total of 3 Hdds now.) So, if you have a later one you should be fine.

And, should you be considering an upgrade, My G4 is still way more stable than my MAC PRO! It may be slower, but way more stable. If you think about going Pro, hold off until you get a real OS update.

~Mike
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Old Jun 29, 2007, 11:32 PM   #11
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I have a Quicksilver 2002 933, I just dropped a large IDE drive in it without a problem... ( in fact I stuck one in the Zip drive slot too... just removed the back flap and slaved it to the optical drive. Total of 3 Hdds now.) So, if you have a later one you should be fine.

And, should you be considering an upgrade, My G4 is still way more stable than my MAC PRO! It may be slower, but way more stable. If you think about going Pro, hold off until you get a real OS update.

~Mike
I think the Quicksilvers can handle larger hard drives, but my digital audio (733) isn't equipped without a new controller. This weekend I'm making the upgrade.
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Old Jun 30, 2007, 03:30 AM   #12
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The Graphite PowerMac G4 computers, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio etc. require a SATA PCI controller card, trust me.

Rich.
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Old Jun 30, 2007, 06:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatsoforgotso View Post
The Graphite PowerMac G4 computers, Gigabit Ethernet, Digital Audio etc. require a SATA PCI controller card, trust me.

Rich.
Actually they can use EITHER SATA or PATA pci cards, but since SATA cards are almost the same price as PATA cards, just go for the extra speeeeed & be happy

And yes they must be mac-specific ones......
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Old Jul 3, 2007, 08:42 PM   #14
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Large drive support

The first tower G4 that has "large drive support" (meaning larger than 128 gigabytes when plugged directly into the logic board's ATA bus) is the Quicksilver 2002. If you want a larger drive in a Mac model earlier than this, you can use either a PATA or SATA PCI slot controller card, with a corresponding drive plugged into it. The advantage of SATA is that the drives have become cheaper than PATA, especially the larger you get. SATA is only somewhat faster than a good fast PATA drive, at least with this configuration, unless you install a 10,000 RPM SATA, which is a speed not available for PATA drives. The largest 10,000 RPM SATA drives are 150 gig, but you could make one of these drives your startup drive, and connect a larger, 7200 RPM SATA drive to the controller card for more storage.
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