Data recovery from dead G4 MDD.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by dpaanlka, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    Hello All,
    Long ago my father's Power Mac G4 MDD died. It featured two IDE hard drives that were paired by Disk Utility in a "concatenated disk set". We've all long since moved onto modern Macs however he now realizes there are photos on there he wants to retrieve.

    He went out without my knowledge and got a quote from a data recovery place for $80. I'd like to avoid this if possible, but the whole concatenated disk set thing sounds like it could be a problem. Frankly I doubt the recovery guy even understands what he's in for here and may demand a higher fee from my father.

    I have old IDE external drives that I can connect via FireWire to my Mac mini, but only one at a time. Is there any way to get the data off my drive(s) like this? I wager one won't work without the other. Should I just go find another G4 on Craigslist or something for $15?

    Any advice appreciated. I'm stumped on this one!
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Yeah, I might just eat the price on that if those pictures are really that important.

    "concatenated disk set" means RAID. The software available for this era of Macs I don't think really deals with RAID sets, just normal drives. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

    The data recovery people will have the tools and the experience to recover this.
  3. benwild_33 macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2016
    If it were me I'd be looking for a replacement power supply, it would be the least hassle to implement and would likely cost less than $80. You could probably sell the G4 on after you have the data back to get some of the money you spent back.
  4. MagicBoy macrumors 68040


    May 28, 2006
    Manchester, UK
    If it's an MDD then the PSU likely died. I'd be tempted to buy a used (working) G4 and transfer the discs over, or strip it for parts to fix the original machine.

    I wonder if software RAID drives mount correctly via Target Disk Mode?
  5. AphoticD macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2017
    I'm wondering if it might be possible to use an IDE ribbon with a master / slave connection in that FireWire case to operate both drives together. You can pull a ribbon out of the G4. You would also need a molex Y-Splitter for power.

    You never know, the Mac mini might just recognize it.
  6. d-oost macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2016
    So you have several of those external IDE FW enclosures, right? Couldn't you theoretically connect both hard drives over FW with two separate enclosures? I think Mac OS X might still recognize the software RAID setup even if the drives are wired up differently, but I'm not sure about that. At worst, it will whine, just make sure you don't hit Initialize if it does, and it shouldn't do any harm. Or does your Mac Mini only have one FireWire port?
  7. philgxxd macrumors regular


    Feb 11, 2017
    Malaga, Spain
    I did that way back on my G3 iMac with a GraniteDigital firewire/ide board so it should work.

    Also I remember reading some time ago about raid recovering and I think imaging of the disks and do the recovering on that copys is common technique? Take a look in that. I think there are tools that can rebuild raids based on images.
  8. dpaanlka thread starter macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    Thanks for all the replies so far guys. I am under the impression that "concatenated disk set" is just another name for JBOD. Is this not correct? If so, then there should be no striping happening and theoretically a data recovery tool should be able to read complete files off each disk by itself, no?

    EDIT: I haven't tried any of this stuff out yet, I guess I'm sort of planning my attack strategy. Will be receiving the broken G4 sometime later today.
  9. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004

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8 September 14, 2017