How to access Western Digital HDD from G5?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Toby B, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Toby B macrumors newbie

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    Jul 29, 2014
    #1
    Dear fellow Mac fans :apple:

    I have owned various Macs over the years, a Performa 5260 (1997), then a G4 Desktop (dual mirror doors, Sep 2002), and then a G5 DDR2.

    Alas, my old Macs are now no more, but I do have many of the inner parts of my old G5.

    In fact, I have 2 Western Digital hard drives that are from my old G5.
    One of them (the main one with the OSX on it) has some important data on it.

    I find that I cannot access the data on these drives. They won't work in any Caddy or Cable adapter. I understand that Western Digital drives are virtually impossible to access. I have tried to access the data by attaching them to SATA data and power cables, inside a hybrid computer (hackintosh) with a new gigabyte motherboard... all to no avail.

    I am now thinking of buying an old G5 desktop, just to access my old Western Digital hard drives...

    Q1: I need to know if the only way to access the data from the WD HDD is to put them inside a working G5 desktop. Is this so?

    Q2: Also, if my WD HD was used inside a 2nd generation G5 (DDR2 RAM, instead of the earlier DDR), should I only purchase a DDR2 G5, or will an older DDR G5 still work? (...my HD was used in a DDR2 G5 desktop)

    Thank you for reading :)
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #2
    Q1. No. I have two WD drives I access using external USB SATA enclosures all the time. I have two more that have used those cases from time to time as well.

    But if you're trying to access the data from anything other than a Mac, i.e., the drives aren't connected in some way to a Mac then that may be the issue. PowerPC drives are formatted differently and PCs can't natively read them. I know you said you have a Hackintosh, but that would use a different formatting that's for Intel.

    Q2. You could drop your drives in to any SATA supporting PowerPC Mac and go. But again, it doesn't need to be a Mac. You can use an enclosure. Your problem is the computer on the other end, not with the drives being unreadable.
     
  3. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #3
    You should be able to acces those drives simply by connecting them, either via USB or internal SATA, to a Mac OS X computer.
     
  4. Toby B thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 29, 2014
    #4
    Tried caddies, to no avail


    Thanks for replying guys :)

    I have tried to install my WD hard drives inside a Caddy in the past. This is what happened:
    The internal connectors were SATA so the WD drives fit inside ok, as they are also SATA.

    The cables connecting the Caddy to the computer are USB. I would connect and power up the Caddy and it just didn't work.

    Interestingly enough, I have been able to use other SATA hard drives inside the same Caddies and they worked fine. When I looked online for an explanation, other folks all warned about how Western Digital drives had trouble being read inside Caddies.

    I have now found Caddies that warn that they work for all SATA HDDs except for Western Digital.

    I currently use my 'black' Caddy, a CiT SATA caddy with a new Seagate Barracuda SATA drive inside with no problems. This same Caddy just didn't work with my WD at all. See attachment

    Q: If you have a Caddy that works with Western D. please can you tell me which model it is?

    Thank you.

    PS: After posting this, I will try my WD HDD in a caddy one more time and post back here with a progress report.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #5
    I have two of these. AMS VENUS DS-2316B2BK, circa 2006, USB 2.0. Never had an issue with WD hard drives.
    [​IMG]
    I also have two of these. Adaptec 2188800, also circa 2006. They are IDE, but I have run several IDE Western Digital hard drives through these cases.
    [​IMG]
    No idea what's out there for anything newer. Maybe that's the issue?
     
  6. Toby B thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 29, 2014
    #6
    Western Digital "SATA" HDD, not working inside caddy

    Thanks eyoungren,

    I have just tried my WD inside my caddy just to double-check.
    It still doesn't work.

    In fact, I notice that it doesn't seem to power up / start whirring.
    The caddy has power but the drive doesn't seem to respond to anything. :(

    Perhaps the caddies you posted will work.. but if your WD SATA drives connect to the inside part of the caddy via SATA power and SATA data ports (as mine do), I don't see how they are any different to mine... :confused:
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #8
    Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Not being able to access the drive is something entirely different from it not spinning up when power is applied.
     
  9. Toby B thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 29, 2014
    #9
    Both Western Digital SATA hard drives don't spin / start up

    Hi guys,
    I have just tried my second Western Digital hard drive, in the same Caddy.
    This one doesn't seem to work either.

    The second hard drive was 'hard drive 2' in my G5 when it was working. I know it is empty, unlike the 'hard drive 1' (which is also WD) which has a load of emails on it that I really want to be able to import back into Mac Mail on my new machine.

    Neither of them start spinning when I power the caddy. The caddy is also connected to my Mac via USB.

    I am starting to wonder if the only way to get these WD drives working, is to connect them to a G5 logic board.
    ... However, eyongren - you mentioned that your WD drives work inside the caddies you already mentioned.

    Can I ask you a few more questions please...

    Q1: Where your WD drives used inside a G5?

    Q2: Are there different types of WD drives in which some of them are more fickle than others?

    I recall when my G5 died, I saw a CPU failure warning... I was able to start up the G5 one more time before it died, and the file content on the WD drives seemed fine.
    ... because of this, I am assuming (and hoping) that the drives are ok...
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    I've got four SATA drives that have been in those cases. All WD.

    Two are 500GB drives. At one point, yes, they were in a G5, but not originally. Then they saw duty for several months inside my PowerMac G4 Quicksilver (via a SATA PCI card). They are now back in the cases.

    The other two drives are 1TB drives. They have been in those cases when I needed to transfer information to get my QS running (again). Both of those drives are now inside my QS.

    The other two IDE cases I have used have seen a long string of WD and other manufacturer drives over the years since 2006.

    It sounds like yours may have failed.
     
  11. Toby B thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 29, 2014
    #11
    Thanks for replying once again :)
    My drives are the original drives in the G5... at least I think so - as I bought the G5 second hand.

    If both my drives have failed, they failed at exactly the same time - Both the main drive 1 (with the OS) and the secondary drive. How likely is this...

    Q: Also, if your caddies work with G5 Mac formatted WD drives, how is your WD drive connected to the circuit-board inside the caddy?
    ... In my case, both the SATA data and SATA power connectors are used.
    The only alternative I can see is the molex (chunky 4 pin socket) that delivers power, and was used on the older IDE PATA drives.
    ... However, if I recall correctly, my G5 used SATA only plugs for power and data. :confused:

    I think I need to find some way to test them to see if they're both dead (other than simply putting them in caddies and wondering what's going on)...
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #12
    The SATA enclosures I have use a single one piece connector that provides power and data. The drive backs in to the connector. The enclosure has no provision for a MOLEX connector.

    Both of the 500GB drives have dual power connectors, MOLEX and SATA power. When in my G4 I had them hooked up to SATA power and when in the G5 they were hooked up to SATA power. I could use their MOLEX connector, but I never have.

    The 1TB WD drives have a SATA power connector only, no MOLEX connectors. The fit in to the enclosure the same way.

    Of the four drives they are either SATA I or SATA II. I do not own any SATA III drives.

    I'm sorry, I don't know what's going on and at this point I don't know what to tell you. If you'd like, I can show you a picture of the inside of my cases with the drives attached and powered on. Give me a few hours though as I'm at work and the drives/cases are at home.
     
  13. Toby B thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 29, 2014
    #13
    That would be interesting to see, thank you. :)
    Though please don't go to any trouble.

    I have a feeling that the connectors will be the same as the one's I've got.

    I am going to take my drive to a free 'Apple support' drop-in centre today. I will let you know what they say.
     
  14. Toby B thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2014
    #14
    Update:
    The Apple tech guy said that it seems like the armature is stuck, so it isn't moving across the circular spinning disk.

    He said that if this is the problem, then sending the drive to a company who can open it up and extract the data is probably the only real option to recover the data. If I tried to free the armature myself it could be very risky - the pros do it in a very clean environment, etc.

    Despite listening to an expert - it's weird - I still have this nagging feeling that if I put it in a G5 it'll come to life again... even though I now know this defies the logic of the tech. feedback.
    ... Oh well, thank you for your help anyway :)
     

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