Hard Drive Woes

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Phelark, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Phelark macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Location:
    Twisting Nether.
    #1
    Hey everyone. About a month ago, I was able to pick up a 300 GB Serial ATA hard drive for dirt cheap for my PowerMac G5. Of course, I bring it home to discover that, surprise, the Mac only supports Ultra ATA. I buy an adapter, only to discover it won't fit properly into the case, and now actually need the hard drive space for an upcoming video project. In short, I'm kinda in trouble.

    So, I could use a hand examining my other options. Do I get a Firewire 800 enclosure and run it through that? Do I come up with another collection of adapters and rework it that way? Your advice is greatly appreciated.

    PowerMac G5 Dual 1.8.
    Model PowerMac7,3

    Seagate Serial ATA drive, 300 GB

    -Phelark
     
  2. Apple Corps macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Phelark - I am confused - your Powermac G5 supports SATA drives, period. Ultra ATA drives (?) are NOT supported in your Powermac G5.

    Where are you getting your information? Tell us more about why you think the Seagate drive in question will not work. Are you sure it is a SATA drive?

    I may be missing something here but...........
     
  3. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #3
    Maybe you have it backwards? Maybe you bought a parallel ATA drive, when you needed an SATA one. If the drive you bought is actually SATA, it will work fine with your system (you might need to buy a cable, of course).

    If it is actually a PATA drive (with the big 40-pin ribbon connector), you can get an external enclosure (Firewire 400 will be fine; hard drives spend 95% of the time transfering at <20MB/sec anyway), but make sure that it's rated for the hotter and more power-hungry high capacity drives.
     
  4. Apple Corps macrumors 68020

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    #4
    matticus008 - no cables would be necessary if it is a SATA drive - the cables are built into the Powermac G5 tower. All that is required is to screw the four mounting guides into the drive - slide it into the Powermac - plug the data and power cables in - swivel the retaining bar down - replace the side panels and power up.
     
  5. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #5
    PowerMacs have extra data cables hiding somewhere inside them? I'm honestly asking; it's been a long time since I opened up a G5.
     
  6. Phelark thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Feb 27, 2003
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    Twisting Nether.
    #6
    Okay, my mistake, then. I have a PATA drive, 40 pin. I've been getting bum information on my hard drives, then. :-\ My apologies for the error.

    So, external enclosure to make the 40 pin work?
     
  7. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #7
    Yep, that'll do it. You can find good ones from several different manufacturers. I've personally had good success with Macally and OWC Mercury enclosures and poor experiences with Lacie, but plenty of people will swear by Lacie products, so whatever floats your boat.
     
  8. Apple Corps macrumors 68020

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    #8
    matticus008

    the G5 Powermacs have two internal hd bays and the necessary SATA cables are already there. Stock units ship with one drive - when adding a second drive you only need to slip the additional drive into the guides and plug the cables in. There was a modification to the later Powermacs that made it a bit easier to install: seperate power cables remain but the data cable now has both connectors on it - from the top bay, you simply pull out a bit on the cable and there you are :)


     
  9. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #9
    Ahhh, I see. That's a nice, if completely unnecessary, touch for Apple to include. Thanks!
     
  10. Apple Corps macrumors 68020

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    #10
    Phelark - just some food for thought. It may be a better choice for you to sell the drive and just purchase a proper SATA drive and be done with it. An external drive will require you to purchase an enclosure and possibly a Firewire cable and does take up space.

    Firewire 400/800 has limited bandwidth - not in the same league as SATA I or SATA II. Firewire may meet your needs but SATA is THE standard at the moment. The point of this post is simply that you may want to step back and consider to what extent you allow the "wrong drive purchase" to steer you into further investment in an outdated approach. A question of compounding the problem. From past experience, when a mistake is made you are sometimes better off just cutting your losses and getting back to where you wanted to be in the first place. A new SATA drive might not be that much more expensive, slips right into your Powermac without any clutter, and gives you the bandwidth for the future.

    Just an option to think about.
     
  11. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #11
    While I agree with your post and the sentiments of saving space, reducing cable clutter, and swapping out for a SATA drive for simplicity's sake, the Firewire bandwidth issue is not really a deciding factor.

    A PATA drive itself is not in the same league as a SATA II drive, to be sure. However, Firewire 400 provides more bandwidth than a PATA drive will generally use. FW800 and SATA both provide more capability than the hard drive is capable of meeting. Even SATA (I or II) hard drives rarely need the speed of the SATA connection (there are other benefits to SATA beside higher bandwidth). Any given hard drive will be able to achieve top speeds only for data located in <5% of its storage capacity, and only in specific circumstances. The vast majority of disk transactions take places at far lower speeds.
     
  12. Apple Corps macrumors 68020

    Joined:
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    #12
    matticus008 - that is why I said Firewire might meet the needs. We are not sure of how intensive the video project is, budget considerations, hobby vs need, etc. I agree with your comments - PATA is just so yesterday but may well do the job. More and more I am buying higher end drives and swapping them out with whatever comes OEM on a new computer.

    We've given Phelark the overview!!
     

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