Have any Power Mac G4 owners added internal drives?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by wesg, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. wesg macrumors regular

    wesg

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #1
    My dad has a 1999/2000 era Power Mac G4 that is just about at the age of retirement and I'm interested in turning it into a media server so that I can use it with Front Row. That of course, means I want to add some new hard drives, but I have a few questions about that.

    Mactracker says the AGP Power Mac G4 uses an ATA connection, and cannot use drives greater than 128 GB. Can anyone confirm this? How did you go about adding drives? What would be great would be if I could add a SATA connection and use those drives. Is this possible?
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #2
    You are limited in drive capacity using the onboard IDE controller. Your better off getting a PCI SATA controller and using much large drives via that.
     
  3. G5power macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    #3
    As Eidorian said you do have the limited drive capacity. That limit is common for Windows PC from that era as well.

    If you are really wanting large hard drives, then you will need a drive controller. Those will cost a little coin but then you can install several high capacity modern SATA drives.
     
  4. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #4
    I have upgraded the hard disk in my cube 5 times. I also have the 128GiB limitation, but I have been using for quite a while the Intech Hi-Cap driver which allows you to go bigger, as long as you don't have a partition straddling that border. I now have a 750GB disk (the biggest available in ATA).

    The simplest partitioning scheme with this tool is '127.99GiB + the rest'.
    Actually, you could not follow this guideline, but it wouldn't be safe if the driver doesn't load or when upgrading from an OSX DVD.

    I also think that the system should reside below 128GiB for boot.
     
  5. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #5
    You need an ATA drive; they are starting to become a bit rare, but you can still get for example a 500 GB Hitachi drive. The problem is that older G4s have a 128 GB limitation, newer ones don't. The change happened around 1999/2000 so your dad might have either one. We'd need to know exactly what model it is. I've got a 733 MHz Quicksilver; that is the last model restricted to 128GB. Everything after that can handle more.

    Anyway, you can easily add two internal 160GB drives; or you could add a huge external firewire drive. Or get a PCI USB 2.0 card (you can get one that says "Mac compatible" or get one that doesn't say "Mac compatible"; works just as well for one third of the price) and a cheap, big USB drive.
     
  6. wesg thread starter macrumors regular

    wesg

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #6
    Do those SATA controllers have connections on the inside?
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #7
    Uh, yeah.

    Some of them have external (eSATA) ones as well.
     
  8. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    You can get a 2 channel internal SATA PCI card for around $40-50 at newegg. Just make sure you get the PCI one and not one of the PCI-X or PCI-Express ones. I tested mine in my G4 and it works fine (you'll need to get power adapters as well, but they're like $1).
     

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