PowerBook G4 Hi-Res 2nd HD Blank Screen

netsrot39

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2018
115
72
Austria
Dear community,
last month I purchased the best PowerBook G4 model ever made, the late 2005 15" PowerBook G4. I got it for around 100€ and ordered an IDE Caddy (CHIPAL), a new battery and a Zheino 256 GB mSATA SSD as well as the IDE controller for it on AliExpress in order to make it even more powerful. I screwed it open today and replaced the optical drive with the caddy and got rid of the faulty hard drive by replacing it with the new SSD. Unfortunately I can't get it to boot with both storage devices (SSD and IDE Caddy with a normal HD) as it will only show a blank screen upon startup. I've swapped out the optical drive many times in Macs without any problems but this PowerBook apparently doesn't like it's optical drive removed. When I remove either one of the two drives and leave the remaining one plugged into the logic board it boots normally but I don't really get it because in theory it should work with two drives as well (I performed the identical operation earlier on my other 15" PowerBook and it worked ...)

When both (IDE Caddy and SSD) are plugged into the logic board the PowerBook not only will not boot but it won't furthermore go into target disk mode or show anything upon holding the option key.

Please see the attached picture of my current situation.

Any ideas? I'd highly appreciate it.
 

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Amethyst1

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2015
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Could be a master/slave configuration issue, i.e. both drives set to master (or slave) when you need to have one (preferably the boot drive, i.e. SSD) set to master and the other (preferably the secondary drive, i.e. the HDD) to slave. Have a look at the documentation that came with your mSATA-to-IDE adapter and optical drive caddy, respectively, on how to configure this.

There's also the "cable select" setting which sets up the drives according to which connector on the IDE cable they're using, but both devices need to be set to cable select for this to work.
 

AphoticD

macrumors 68000
Feb 17, 2017
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Good response @Amethyst1. I would suggest the same, except to avoid the Cable Select option and manually set master/slave. In my experience with putting SSDs in the PowerBook G4s, CS mode hasn't been reliable.
 

Traace

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2018
138
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Germany
Hi, mine A1138 DLSD/HR mainboard had the same issue, even with a stock apple ibook 2005 IDE cd drive it would just hang. Seems they are very picky.

You can check if it hang due a bad cdrom call.
Try boot into open firmware cmd+alt+o+f
Now try start target-mode
type:
Code:
dev /firewire-disk-mode
then:
Code:
target-mode
Does it hang at cdrom? Or goes into target-disk now?
 

netsrot39

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Original poster
Feb 7, 2018
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Austria
Thanks guys for your replies. There is unfortunately no option to set the IDE drive (the adapter) to master or slave because there are no additional pins to set this. The IDE Caddy contains a SATA HD and on the SATA drive there is neither such option. How does the setting to master or slave work this then, is there maybe an option in Open Firmware? I will try Traaces tip and report back.

Thanks for any further suggestions you might have!

Best regards
 
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netsrot39

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2018
115
72
Austria
Hello again,
yesterday I found some time to try out the commands that Traace suggested. Unfortunately they did not fix my problem so unless somebody can shed some light on this problem I think I'll just reattach the original drive and be done with it since the PowerBook puts up an enormous fight when taking out it's disc drive ^^

#1: PowerBook shows an error message, I thought this was the end of it but after a couple of seconds it does go into Target Disk Mode
#2: Target Disk Mode kinda works (the plugged in drive is recognized on the other end of the firewire cable but the Mac informs me that it is supposedly uninitialised), however the drive is formatted and contains data so I'm getting very weird results here ... ALSO the SSD where the operating system is stored (connected via the IDE to mSata Adapter) isn't shown at all on the other end of the firewire cable, in other words, when the 2nd disk caddy is attached the Mac does not see the SSD
#3: Unplugging the optical drive leaves me with a perfect working PowerBook, I don't really get it ... 2nd hard disk works on my Early 2005 PowerBook without any problems – could it be the caddy?

Thanks for any hints and suggestions you might have.
 

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Traace

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2018
138
123
Germany
The commands I suggest wasn't to fix it. Just to see where it hangs :)

Seems like this A1138 always try to call/open the cd disk drive, same like mine does! . Thats uncommon because as you said, the identical operation (two HDDs) worked on other Powerbooks just fine.

Now we need to get known about what makes it "special" ^^ Maybe different stock nvram settings, Would it be so simple? Lets compare.

Can you boot both, that now working A1138 and your older Powerbook(with two HDDs) into OpenFirmware and run ?
Code:
printenv
That would be awesome


Please post the results :)
 
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netsrot39

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 7, 2018
115
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Austria
Okay so it has been some time but I decided in March to just go without the additional hard drive and just leave the optical drive inside the machine (which is BTW working just fine). This has however not been the only time that a Mac wouldn't boot when inserting a hard drive caddy. Sadly, I ran into the same problem with my iMac Early 2009. I eventually gave up on the idea of swapping the optical drive for an extra hard disk for this machine too and left the optical drive in it because I needed a working computer^^. I'm pretty sure that the caddies I've installed are functional because the one that I wanted to use in the PowerBook G4 works just fine in my iMac 06. It is really strange that the 2 Macs mentioned refused them but they work just fine in others. I guess I'll never learn the reason for this issue but if anybody knows what is causing this please share your secret :D
 
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benwild_33

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2016
165
101
I'm 99.5% certain it's a master/slave issue as said above. If your adaptor doesn't have the four extra jumper pins I'd suggest trying another, I've had luck with the cheap eBay ones with white covers setting them to cable select. I've also found the more expensive Lindy model to be very reliable. These were all with Samsung PM851 SSD's.
 

sawpits

macrumors regular
Feb 28, 2014
136
59
I'm 99.5% certain it's a master/slave issue as said above. If your adaptor doesn't have the four extra jumper pins I'd suggest trying another, I've had luck with the cheap eBay ones with white covers setting them to cable select. I've also found the more expensive Lindy model to be very reliable. These were all with Samsung PM851 SSD's.

This is the adapter I purchased and my SSD is working fine.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/mSATA-to-2-5-PATA-IDE-SSD-Enclosure-Adapter-Case-9-5mm-Solid-State-Drive/151519954907?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649


No relation of any kind with the seller.


Just installed the SSD, connected the cable to it as it was on the HDD, and that was it.
 

Raging Dufus

macrumors 6502
Aug 2, 2018
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Kansas USA
This is the adapter I purchased and my SSD is working fine.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/mSATA-to-2-5-PATA-IDE-SSD-Enclosure-Adapter-Case-9-5mm-Solid-State-Drive/151519954907?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649


No relation of any kind with the seller.


Just installed the SSD, connected the cable to it as it was on the HDD, and that was it.

I have two of those (same thing, but from a different eBay seller). They've been installed in PowerBooks for almost two years now and work flawlessly.