Hard Drive upgrade on Dual 1GHz G4: Drive size limitation?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Mr_Ed, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. Mr_Ed macrumors 6502

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    Mar 10, 2004
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    North and east of Mickeyland
    #1
    I'm thinking of adding a second HD to my Mac for spare storage since they are so cheap now, but I am worried about any potential drive size limitation. I searched the forums and found several threads that touched on the subject but I did not really find a definitive answer. Searching Apple Support site yielded even less specific information.

    I have a Dual 1GHz G4 (FireWire 400, USB 1, Gigabit Ethernet) running OS 10.3.7.

    1. Is there a size limit on the drive I can install? I have seen references to a 137GB limit.
    2. If there is such a limit, would a larger drive (say, 160 or 250 MB) work if partitioned such that all partitions < limit?


    I was thinking along the lines of maybe a Seagate 160GB Ultra ATA drive, or something similar.

    Thanks in advance for any info.
     
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #2
    There is a size limit of 128 GB according to this Apple Support document. It applies to you because this Apple History page tells me that your G4 is a QuickSilver, which is older than the Mirrored Drive Doors minimum for using large drives specified in the Apple Support document linked to earlier.

    This means you can't get around the limit by partitioning - the computer physically only recognizes the first 128GB of the drive and won't let you access the extra space (because it can't address capacity beyond 128GB) no matter what you try.
     
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #3
    However, you can get round it by installing a PCI ATA card like the Sonnet Tempo.

    We've purchased one at work (not yet installed) on the recommendation of others here.

    Instead, you could also consider a PCI SATA card so you could use a SATA hard-drive, one that you could one day add into your new G5 :)
     
  4. Mr_Ed thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 10, 2004
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    North and east of Mickeyland
    #4
    Thank you very much for the info.

    I'll just stick with a 120GB or smaller drive. Not looking to sink any real money into this system since I do hope to move up to that G5 sometime . . .
     
  5. Mertzen macrumors 6502

    Mertzen

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    #5
    You have a dual 1Ghz Quicksilver .. Apple says they don't support large drives .. but they actually do .. I have a 160GB drive running in mine just fine .. more reports are over at xlr8yourmac.com .. but that one seems to be down ..
     
  6. WM. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #6
    Contrary to what wrldwzrd89 and Mertzen said, your description could apply to either a Mirrored Drive Doors or a Quicksilver 2002 Power Mac G4. Which model is yours? (Note the handy photos on the linked pages.) The MDD officially supports >137 GB drives, while the QS 2002 doesn't.

    Now, according to Mertzen it's a moot point anyway, because the QS 2002 actually will fully support >137 GB drives. So, if that is indeed true, I would go for it. Get as big a drive as you want.

    HTH
    WM
     
  7. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    LaLaLand, CA
    #7
    Not to mention the fact that you could just use a program called Speedtools to enable large drive support if a 160GB drive doesn't work. Though I'm pretty sure the 160GB will. Even if you wanted a ~200GB drive, partitioning it would work fine either way.
     
  8. Mr_Ed thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 10, 2004
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    #8
    Mine is definitely the "Quicksilver 2002" model.

    The 'SpeedTools' suggestion looks interesting. Their high capacity driver costs $24.95 on-line. A local retailer has in stock a Seagate Barracuda 160GB drive for $129.99, minus $50 in rebates. Even buying the SpeedTools driver, I would say it's a bargain :D

    Of course, the same store has a Western Digital 120GB drive for $99.99 and I would not have to bother with drivers, rebate forms, or any other kind of hassles. That may be the way to go for me since I haven't really even filled up the 80GB drive that came in my system and it will be 3 years old this spring . . .
     
  9. Mertzen macrumors 6502

    Mertzen

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