PowerMac G4 Quicksilver Hard Drive Placement Question

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ewoh24, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2003
    This model has space for 4 internal drives right? I see two that have slots directly under the optical drives but dont see where to put the others except for a large open space toward the back of the case. Theres two IDE cables there but I dont see where to attach the drives. Can someone help me figure this out please?

  2. macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2011
    All of the drives sit in bays along the bottom of the case. The bay closest to the back is where the ATA drives go. It is a double bay and can hold two drives on top of each other so one is slaved off of the other.

    The other two bays each hold one, but you would need a SATA or IDE card or you would have to use SCSI drives in these because IIRC there are only two IDE cables: one for the HDDs and one going up to the optical drive. You could slave one off of the optical drive by putting it in the bay where the zip drive sits.

    To get all four along the bottom, add a SATA card. Here's a video:


    Did you get a machine without the drives? If so you may be missing the necessary caddy. Watch the video I mentioned to see what I am talking about if this is the case.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2003
    Sorry, I made a mistake, it's a MDD, not a quicksilver so the drives are not laid along the bottom. There's the two under the optical drives and after looking at another video on YouTube it appears the two drives are stacked on end in the empty space behind the optical drives. How do they stay there? There's no brackets or anything to hold them in. I'd like to add two 4 320 GB PATA drives unless it's easy to go SATA (which I have no idea how to do).

    Thanks for your help.
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2003
    Sorry, I mad another mistake. I want to add FOUR 320GB (all I could find) IDE drives unless I can convert to SATA. How difficult is it to do this? Can I post pics of the inside of this thing so you have a clearer idea of what I'm talking about?

    Im using it as a backup for my file/DNS server (which is a 1.6 GHz G5) that has a RAID 1 with 2TB capacity. I'd like to match the capacity as closely as I can so my syncs dont run out of space. Do they make 2 TB IDE drives? And suggestions on how to get this setup working would be greatly appreciated.

  5. archtopshop, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2011
    Check out the following slide show on ifixit.com.


    It shows step-by-step how to replace four hard drives in an MDD. Pay close attention to the photos along the sidebar. There one can see the removable hard drive brackets needed to secure the drives into the case. From your remarks, it sounds like maybe you are missing those brackets. If so, they can be purchased on eBay for about $10US each

    I have several MDDs, and can say replacing the hard drives is a very easy job. Good luck with your project!
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2003
  7. macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2011
  8. macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2011
    It wouldn't be that hard to go SATA for at least some of your drives. OWC sells SATA controller cards for these macs and a lot of people use them. I don't think they are terribly expensive either and per gb, SATA is a lot cheaper
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2003
    Thanks for all your help everyone. Im doing some research on a SATA convertor card and am getting confused. Could someone point a link to what I need to do this? I really only need two SATA drives, I don't min having the two ATA drives that are already installed.

    Thanks. You've all been a great help.
  10. macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2006
    Vancouver Island
    This is a good source for SATA cards and a lot of other goodies.
    Bear in mind that most SATA cards will not be bootable, there may be one out there but I've yet to find it.
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2003
    Thanks again. But I just had a though. Arent two of those drives for scsi? Would that work with a SATA controller? And how do I know what are the scsi connectors? SOrry, Im new to these older machines. Im a whiz with SATA onward but these ATA scsi stuff is new to me. Thanks.
  12. macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2011
    There are two SATA PCI cards which are known to be bootable in your MDD.

    The first is here:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet Technologies/TSATA/

    The other one is the FirmTek SeriTek/1S2 2-Port PCI SATA. One can usually find new ones on ebay for about $70US. There are some companies selling it for much more, but if you're patient, you can get it for the lower price.

    For what it's worth, I would recommend getting the card from OWC. I have dealt with them for years, and they have always been easy to deal with. Good technical support, too.


    The two hard drives under the power supply attach to the connector marked ATA-100 right next to the heatsink.

    The two drives under the optical drive bays attach to the connector marked ATA-66.

    And the two optical drive bay drives attach to the connector marked ATA-33.

    There are no scsi connectors on the MDD logic board. You need to install a SCSI PCI card to use SCSI drives in the G4's.
  13. ewoh24, Dec 10, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012

    thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2003
  14. macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2011
    The PCI card doesn't provide power to the hard drives. You'll definitely need to get a power adapter for each drive. But first, call OWC and ask them what cables are included in the box with the PCI card.

    Sorry, I don't have any experience with the SATA to IDE adapter you are asking about. Maybe someone else here has used the one in question. Two of those would be nearly the cost of the Sonnet card, though. If it were me, I'd go with the Sonnet card because it's bootable. Don't know if those adapters are bootable, or not.

    Let us know what you decide to go with.
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2003
    Thanks again for all your help everyone. My project is complete and up and running smoothly!

    I went with the Sonnet TSATA SATA PCI Adapter: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000DZFJI/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i02

    Two 2TB WD20EFRX drives in RAID 1 on the MDD smoothly sync'ing with a Dual 2 Ghz G5 with the same two drives (I bought the Dual G5 for $130 to replace the single 1.6 G5. It was wheezing...). Carbon Copy Cloner happily sync'ing along every hour, Time Machine backups for all my family's laptops to the G5 over Airport. It's like Frankenstein's lab in my basement. So much fun! Now if I can just get the wind tunnel sound from the G4 out of my head...

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