Convert PATA internal HD to firewire external

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by weeag, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. weeag macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2005
    I'm finally converting to a Mac (let the world rejoice!) I'm getting the PowerMac 2.0 and I want to harvest as many parts of my PC as possible... I've got a 160 GB PATA internal HD that I would like to add to the new mac and I know I can't add it internally so was wondering about making it into an external HD. I've done some searching but am not finding the info I'm looking for.

    First, do they sell these and what would be a good one to get? Also, it will be used for storing photos and music, will the PATA interface be a hinderance to viewing thumbs of the images and working with them in Photoshop or for listening to music (at the same time). Or would it just be best as a backup and not work with files from it.

    Any further thoughts (especially those who have done this) would be great.... and here's the specs for the HD

  2. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    Any External IDE 3.5" enclosure will work. There are a ton of them on newegg, or you can buy them at compusa. It's as simple as a few screws and plugging in the power and PATA cable. Also, the speed of the PATA will be fine, I can watch full size DVD files off of my FW hard drive. Just make sure to get firewire, it is literally twice as fast as USB2
  3. weeag thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2005
    Any thoughts on 400 vs 800? I hear 800 is faster but you can only take advantage of the speed if you have multiple drives hooked up. Otherwise the 400 and 800 will perform the same with one drive.
  4. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    FW 400 vs. FW 800 vs. USB2.0

    I've been looking at this a bit. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but most drives can't keep up with FW800 speeds, that beeing said future drives might handle the read/write speed of FW800 (thus "future-proofing" your enclosure, but not your drive!). Also, FW800 is backwards compatible to FW400 so it seems silly not to get a FW800 enclosure. I would recommend a FW800 & USB2.0 external enclosure (called a combo drive). This is generally a good idea to allow for wider compatibility (perhaps using your drive on a PC someday...very few PCs have Apple standard...), but also provides a way to get at your data should one interface burn up, something that, unfortunately, I have had experience with.
  5. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    Also, FW800 seems to be on the way to becoming history. It's gone from the macbook pros. If you get a FW800 drive, make sure there are alternate ways to connect it.
  6. dvmac macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2006
    RE: Internal HD in External Enclosure..

    I wonder if anyone can help - my situation is a little different to the previous post but runs along similar lines..

    I had a LaCie external drive (FW400, 120GB) this was partititioned into 3, attached to an AGP DP450 G4 running X.3. One partition corrupted then the others, I tried to reinitialise after numerous recovery attempts but the disk was dead.

    Subsequently I purchased an internal drive mechanism which was the same manufacturer/spec but in 250GB flavour. I have read that my machine wouldn't see a 'big' drive internally so i put it into the external LaCie enclosure and re-connected it to machine.

    Disk Utility attempted to format this per my instructions but hung after one third of the progress bar. Every time I have tried since I get an input/output error or it hangs in the same place! Could the Firewire board be damaged? Is there something I'm missing? Does anyone know of a link/document where I might find comprehensive instructtions for fitting it internally(jumper settings, etc)?

    Incidentally, I have also hooked it up to an XServe and tried formatting it on there and it does the same thing.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated as this is driving me nuts and I have LOTS of work to catch up on..
  7. weeag thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2005
    This was actually my next question... So a 800 drive would not be backward compatible with a 400 plug?
  8. iPhil macrumors 68040



    Firewire 800 hard drive plug wont work with firewire 400 port .. :eek: :eek:

    it needs fw400 to fw400 to run @ 400 MBps .. 800 to 800 port to run @ 800 Mbps

    if you got firewire 400 port on the Power Mac then look for a 1394a aka firewire 400 external case and USB 2.0 port if its going be formatted in Fat 32 filesystem

    Fat 32 is read/write system compatible for Windows/Mac OS

    If only Mac OS hard drive only then HFS+ will make the hard drive bootable :eek:
  9. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    tbh, firewire on any sort of enclosure is more expensive than just the regular usb2.0 type, plus firewire enclosures for SATA drives are close to impossible to find (i spent one week looking, and the best i found was some shady one...wasn't even sure if it supported SATA)

    in all honesty, though, I love my firewire drives very much :) Just, it doesn't work with that many computers.

    Getting a Firewire + USB2.0 enclosure is a good buy, but what's more important is the quality of the case. Don't skimp on an enclosure, good ones are worth the buy :)

Share This Page