Resolved Cannot Initialise and Format SSD

TheShortTimer

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Mar 27, 2017
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The 10GB HDD in my iBook G3 had very quickly reached its limits, even for basic stuff so I decided to take the plunge with SSDs and I bought a 128GB unit from China that I'd read others had enjoyed success with for similar upgrade scenarios. I decided to set up the SDD in advance with a dual-boot of OS9 and Tiger by placing the SSD inside a USB to mSATA enclosure and this is where the problems began. Disk Utility hung with no indication of any activity or progress during several attempts on the G3 and two other Macs running El Capitan. Similar efforts failed on my Windows PC too.

As a process of elimination, to rule out the possibility of an incompatibility or fault with the USB enclosure, I tested the SSD internally with my G4 Mini - because dismantling that for a quick test is much easier than with the iBook!

This is the adapter that I used for the internal test:



I then connected the Mini to my iBook via Firewire to confirm whether the problem is with the SSD itself. You can see for yourselves the extent of the progress (or rather the lack of) after an hour:



Have I overlooked something or am I correct in concluding that the SSD is a dud and needs to be returned to the seller?
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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Which brand of mSATA did you get?

I had horrible issues with my first mSATA and the converter case you show above when formatting. The second time around I went with a different adapter case and instead of trying to format I used CCC to clone back my drive from a disk image. I did the same thing with my third mSATA SSD and that went fine too.

Both times I did a block level clone.
 
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RhianB

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CCC works great and is easy. You could go one step further in TDM and clone your ibook to your G4 mini but it is weird that you're having issues across multiple systems and operating systems. Do you have another msata to test the 2.5" pata enclosure?

Best of luck to you either way.
 
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TheShortTimer

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Which brand of mSATA did you get?
This one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Vaseky-mSATA-Drive-Solid-30x50mm/dp/B07BCYP2FS

I had horrible issues with my first mSATA and the converter case you show above when formatting. The second time around I went with a different adapter case and instead of trying to format I used CCC to clone back my drive from a disk image. I did the same thing with my third mSATA SSD and that went fine too.

Both times I did a block level clone.
That's interesting, I purchased that PATA adapter case because I saw a review where an iBook user reported that it had worked for them. I've used CCC to clone all of the partitions that I wanted to back up and then restore respectively but I don't have that block level clone option because the drive can't even initialise properly.

On that note...

Did you go in and partition it HFS+ first?
As you can see I'm unable to partition it. The process stalls. Its progress remained at this stage for around 10 minutes and eventually I gave up.



My Snow Leopard running 2006 MBP ran into the same problem. The drive will not initialise correctly, attempts to partition or format halt indefinitely.

CCC works great and is easy. You could go one step further in TDM and clone your ibook to your G4 mini but it is weird that you're having issues across multiple systems and operating systems. Do you have another msata to test the 2.5" pata enclosure?

Best of luck to you either way.
I strongly suspect that the drive is faulty because it hasn't worked within the USB enclosure nor the PATA one but I should have another mSATA available to me later today so I can test both enclosures and ascertain this. :)
 

eyoungren

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That's interesting, I purchased that PATA adapter case because I saw a review where an iBook user reported that it had worked for them. I've used CCC to clone all of the partitions that I wanted to back up and then restore respectively but I don't have that block level clone option because the drive can't even initialise properly.
The thing about block level clones is that you don't need to format the drive before hand. That's a low level clone that has all the partitioning information contained therein so it 'formats' as it goes to the exact same formatting that the original disk was.

But…are you saying that CCC won't give you that option at all?
 
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TheShortTimer

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The thing about block level clones is that you don't need to format the drive before hand. That's a low level clone that has all the partitioning information contained therein so it 'formats' as it goes to the exact same formatting that the original disk was.

But…are you saying that CCC won't give you that option at all?
I found it! :D



However, the SSD (connected via Firewire TDM) does not appear within the destination list:

 

Hughmac

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Feb 4, 2012
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It's the enclosure that is at fault. I have one of these white ones and a known working 128GB SSD is recognised as a 299GB, and will not format.
What you need is a black enclosure which has no jumper pins at the end of the IDE connector.
By the way I have tried jumpering the white enclosure with no success.

Cheers :)

Hugh
 

Amethyst1

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Oct 28, 2015
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It's the enclosure that is at fault. I have one of these white ones and a known working 128GB SSD is recognised as a 299GB, and will not format.
What you need is a black enclosure which has no jumper pins at the end of the IDE connector.
By the way I have tried jumpering the white enclosure with no success.
The OP is having issues with a USB-to-mSATA enclosure as well, which would point to the SSD being at fault.
 
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Hughmac

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The OP is having issues with a USB-to-mSATA enclosure as well, which would point to the SSD being at fault.
You're probably right, but those particular enclosures have given me no end of trouble in PowerBook G4s.
Also I'm sorry but I think I have misled people as they all seem to have jumper pins (I've just had a look at one of my working black ones).

Cheers :)

Hugh
 

bobesch

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Oct 21, 2015
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Unfortunately not available in the UK, where the OP (and myself) are based.
Cheers :)
Hugh
You may go for this one from overseas instead: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DeLOCK-62495-Converter-IDE-44-Pin-mSATA-2-5-Frame-7mm/202774873176?epid=1122907052&hash=item2f36530458:g:17EAAOSwi81ddhum (mods, not my auction nor affiliation to that shop)
I have 5 of them Delock-converters running without any problems for 3-4y now - and all with a dual-boot configuration (either os9/OSX or Tiger/Leopard) and a third partition left for data (as and SSD-upgrade for a Clamshell #188, an TiBook, the 12&15"G4PowerBook and a 12" iBook G4).
Prior to installation I've attached the mSATA-IDE-combo with an IDE-USB-adapter to the further host-PowerPC-machine for formatting and partitioning and finally cloning the host's drives to the mSATA using CCC .
Function can also be tested prior to installation by booting the PPC-Mac from that USB-attached mSATA-IDE-combo.
 
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Hughmac

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You may go for this one from overseas instead: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DeLOCK-62495-Converter-IDE-44-Pin-mSATA-2-5-Frame-7mm/202774873176?epid=1122907052&hash=item2f36530458:g:17EAAOSwi81ddhum (mods, not my auction nor affiliation to that shop)
I have 5 of them Delock-converters running without any problems for 2-3y now - and all with a dual-boot configuration (either os9/OSX or Tiger/Leopard) and a third partition left for data (as and SSD-upgrade for a Clamshell #188, an TiBook, the 12&15"G4PowerBook and a 12" iBook G4).
Prior to installation I've attached the mSATA-IDE-combo with an IDE-USB-adapter to the further host-PowerPC-machine for formatting and partitioning and finally cloning the host's drives to the mSATA using CCC .
Function can also be tested prior to installation by booting the PPC-Mac from that USB-attached mSATA-IDE-combo.
Thanks, these look more substantial than the ones I have, and very similar to the Addonics adapter mentioned above.

Cheers :)

Hugh
 
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TheShortTimer

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The OP is having issues with a USB-to-mSATA enclosure as well, which would point to the SSD being at fault.
Correct! As I suspected from the beginning, the SSD is indeed at fault.

Yesterday evening, this SSD arrived: https://www.amazon.co.uk/TCSUNBOW-SunBow-mSATA-Solid-State/dp/B01N4J7XVK

I formatted it on my G3 using the USB to mSATA enclosure and success! :D



Next, I installed the new SSD into the PATA enclosure inside the Mini and it was recognised in Disk Utility and Finder when I powered it on and used CCC via Firewire TDM on the G3.



Once the cloning process was completed, I rebooted the Mini and everything had gone without a hitch. :)



We know that the PATA adapter definitely works with the Mac Mini G4 and anyone seeking to replace their Mini's IDE drive can purchase this in the knowledge that it's compatible. Hopefully it will also work with my G3 as I have another adapter here and I've ordered the same Sunbow SSD again. I'll share the details of the outcome. Dismantling the iBook G3 will be quite an involved task!

Some questions - now that I've got some extra room, is it worth installing Leopard alongside Tiger as a dual boot? Apparently there has been success with getting OS 9 to run, does anyone have any experience with this?
 

Amethyst1

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Some questions - now that I've got some extra room, is it worth installing Leopard alongside Tiger as a dual boot? Apparently there has been success with getting OS 9 to run, does anyone have any experience with this?
I'd say go for a Tiger and Leopard dual-boot. Leopard gives you access to more [recent versions of] applications, while Tiger has the Classic environment (which becomes a moot point if you also have OS 9 running natively) and is a little bit faster than Leo in my experience. There's an OS 9 distribution that can be installed on a Mac mini and I found it to be delightfully fast. On my Mini's 80GB drive, I have OS 9, Tiger and Leopard. I also used to have Jaguar and Panther on it but Jaguar suffers from no graphics acceleration (or Quartz Extreme), which caused me to move the installation to a fully supported machine; and Panther was only used for Mac-on-Mac, a Panther-exclusive port of Mac-on-Linux which allows virtualising Puma. That, too, has been moved to a faster machine so I don't need Panther on my Mini anymore.

EDIT: Just for the LOLs, I tried booting Puma natively on my Mini too. Result: a nice kernel panic. ;)
 
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