Converting a Power Mac G4 into a Giant external Hard Drive

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by egsaxy, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. egsaxy macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2004
    I am replacing my mac mini with the new model next week (waiting for my credit card statement first). My old mini is being given to my dad. He is using a now ancient Power Mac G4. I'd like to turn the case into a massive external hard drive for my ever growing iTunes library. I'd like to rip out as much unnecessary business as possible and load about 8 internal drives inside, with room to grow as hard drive prices drop and capacities rise. I want it to function as one drive.

  2. desenso macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2005
    I assume this is a question, and not some sort of announcement.

    In any event, I'll be the typical unhelpful naysayer and voice my concern for your plans. I think it's a bad idea. You'd be MUCH better off (financially, too) just buying a case that is suited for this purpose on Trying to mod the G4 is going to be a waste of time. You'd be better off trying to sell it and using the money to fund your hacked system.

    Plus, the Mac OS isn't all that great as a data server. Why not build a Solaris machine and use ZFS to pool the drives into a large storage array?
  3. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I did this, basically for fun and something to do.

    Problems though: (applies to most G4's, especially if ancient)

    The controller on some g4's will only see up to 128gb of data per drive, unless you buy some software unlock or put in a new pci hard drive controller (my plan).

    Also the USB is 1.1. I finally found a card that would work for usb 2.0 (4th card), however there is a sleep/wake problem (its documented).

    Seems to be a little loud and it can't run leopard depending on the model (it can be hacked to run).

    I didn't let that stop me because I thought it would be nice to have a file server and possible webserver, but the most important was that it was something to do.

    Around here a powermac g4 450 dual processor with an 80 gig HD, 1 Gb ram and cd/dvd burner was only 50 bucks from a local recycler (picked them all up). So far so good.
  4. CoopFLY macrumors newbie


    Dec 23, 2007
    So are you saying that you have to make the G4 into a server?

    You can not just turn them all into a giant external with just hard drives

    How can you even fit that many hard drives in the case?:confused:

    Coop :apple:
  5. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    I have a better idea... send me the Mac and use a dedicated tower to install them. That would be rather difficult, and more expense than it's worth as noted =]

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