G4 Cube as remote disc drive?

jshulman10

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 26, 2010
43
1
Could I install snow leopard on a G4 cube and use it as a remote disc for my macbook? Would love to make it a functional collectable!
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
6,718
3,271
Kentucky
Not a chance of getting Snow Leopard on a Cube without completely gutting it and "hackintoshing" it.

You can squeeze Leopard onto one and it doesn't even run that badly provided that you've maxed the RAM(1.5) and are running a decent(7200rpm) HDD.

You should be able to share the HDD and then mount it on your Macbook. It's not even that difficult to make it connect and mount automatically on startup.

This has some limitations in and of itself:

1. You can only put in one HDD, and without 3rd party drivers are limited to 128gb. I'm pretty sure that even with 3rd party drivers(admittedly I've never used one) the first partition on the drive will need to be under 128gb as the drivers don't load until the OS loads

2. Even with the above "hacks" you are limited in hard drive sizes just by technological limitations. IDE drives did get as big as 750gb, but they are tough to find and 500gbs aren't much better(expect to pay plenty if you do find one). 250gb is-realistically-the largest affordable IDE drive. IDE drives haven't been made since about 2012(I think I have a 500g WD Blue made in Feb. 2012) so any that you find are either going to be NOS, refurbished, or old stock. Contrast this with SATA drives, which are available in crazy capacities for not a lot of money. Doing a quick check of Newegg, you can get a 500gb 2.5" drive(for your Macbook) for $50 and a 2TB drive for a little over $100. Move up to desktop drives, and that same $100 will buy you 3TB, or a 1TB enterprise class drive if you're so inclined.

3. The connectivity is limited. Ethernet is 10/100 and not Gigabit(which I would want for a file server). USB is 1.1, so you can pretty much rule it out for moving large amounts of data. Firewire is a good choice for externals, and of course frees you from some of the limitations of internal drives, but you're limited under best case scenarios to 50mb/s(400 megabit/sec). If you put an SSD on the internal IDE bus(which I've experimented with, but backed off from) you're bottlenecked by the ATA66 bus, and in my experience all IDE-SATA adapters have some "overhead" loss.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
If you are looking to use your Cube for remote disc functionality to share CDs and DVDs you must be running OS X Tiger 10.4.11 or later and have this software update installed. If you want to simply share the hard drive and attached storage devices then either Tiger or Leopard will easily do the job!
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,273
40
Not a chance of getting Snow Leopard on a Cube without completely gutting it and "hackintoshing" it.

You can squeeze Leopard onto one and it doesn't even run that badly provided that you've maxed the RAM(1.5) and are running a decent(7200rpm) HDD.

You should be able to share the HDD and then mount it on your Macbook. It's not even that difficult to make it connect and mount automatically on startup.

This has some limitations in and of itself:

1. You can only put in one HDD, and without 3rd party drivers are limited to 128gb. I'm pretty sure that even with 3rd party drivers(admittedly I've never used one) the first partition on the drive will need to be under 128gb as the drivers don't load until the OS loads

2. Even with the above "hacks" you are limited in hard drive sizes just by technological limitations. IDE drives did get as big as 750gb, but they are tough to find and 500gbs aren't much better(expect to pay plenty if you do find one). 250gb is-realistically-the largest affordable IDE drive. IDE drives haven't been made since about 2012(I think I have a 500g WD Blue made in Feb. 2012) so any that you find are either going to be NOS, refurbished, or old stock. Contrast this with SATA drives, which are available in crazy capacities for not a lot of money. Doing a quick check of Newegg, you can get a 500gb 2.5" drive(for your Macbook) for $50 and a 2TB drive for a little over $100. Move up to desktop drives, and that same $100 will buy you 3TB, or a 1TB enterprise class drive if you're so inclined.

3. The connectivity is limited. Ethernet is 10/100 and not Gigabit(which I would want for a file server). USB is 1.1, so you can pretty much rule it out for moving large amounts of data. Firewire is a good choice for externals, and of course frees you from some of the limitations of internal drives, but you're limited under best case scenarios to 50mb/s(400 megabit/sec). If you put an SSD on the internal IDE bus(which I've experimented with, but backed off from) you're bottlenecked by the ATA66 bus, and in my experience all IDE-SATA adapters have some "overhead" loss.
I think OP was talking about a remote optical drive...

But speaking of hard drives, you can get a (new) 2TB SATA desktop drive for $50 from ebay. Used to be a bit more, like $70, when I got one, but the price has gone down.
Because there are only 3 manufacturers of hard drives in the whole world now, there is no risk of getting a "counterfeit" or "fake" or "POS" (piece-of-sh...) from ebay (only with internal SATA drives, not with external drives) You can get white label drives for very good prices. White label drives are just rebranded drives usually with white labels, which are from a surplus of a company.

Also, I just realized something. I wrote "POS" which stands for... you know... but as soon as I wrote that, Windows Embedded POSReady2009 came to mind. So... get it? Haha, now I know what the POS really means. Windows Embedded Piece-of-Sh...2009. LOL!!
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
6,718
3,271
Kentucky
But speaking of hard drives, you can get a (new) 2TB SATA desktop drive for $50 from ebay. Used to be a bit more, like $70, when I got one, but the price has gone down.
Good luck getting a 3.5" SATA drive+adapter in a Cube. Even a 2.5" drive+adapter is ifffy. When I put an SSD in one of mine, I ended up using an mSATA drive in an IDE enclosure and a 44-pin to 40 pin adapter.

You still have the size issue, too, and need a driver to access all the space on a drive that big.

I think OP was talking about a remote optical drive...
Even then, you're somewhat limited. As said above, there are limitations on what you can do with them. Some Cubes have a DVD-ROM drive and some have a CD-RW(only one of mine has a DVD, although I think it was actually the standard option). Someone makes an aftermarket Superdrive, but it's pricey($100) to put one in a Cube with a DVD-ROM drive. It's actually a bit cheaper if you have a CD-RW.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,273
40
Good luck getting a 3.5" SATA drive+adapter in a Cube. Even a 2.5" drive+adapter is ifffy. When I put an SSD in one of mine, I ended up using an mSATA drive in an IDE enclosure and a 44-pin to 40 pin adapter.

You still have the size issue, too, and need a driver to access all the space on a drive that big.
I wasn't talking about Cubes, I was talking about SATA drives.