PPC Bootable External Firewire

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ziggy29, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. ziggy29 macrumors regular

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    Oct 29, 2014
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    Texas
    #1
    For my latest project I need one of these. It doesn't have to be a massive capacity -- 20 GB would be enough but more is fine if it doesn't come at a high cost.

    Anyone have recommendations on external Firewire drives that are known to be bootable by PPC Macs, particularly under Tiger and Leopard? (Bonus points if it boots under OS 9 but that's not a requirement.) I know some drives can be flaky about being bootable by a PPC Mac and I'd like to avoid a purchasing mistake.
     
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #2
    I think it's really more of an Open Firmware requirement than an OS-specific requirement.

    I have a Buslink external FW400 drive(I actually treat it as an enclosure now, as the original drive died a long time ago) and it is NOT bootable.

    I have a pair of Macally USB 3.0/eSATA/FW800 enclosures that ARE bootable. These look like a miniature G5 or Mac Pro tower and can take a SATA drive. Of course, if your computer has FW400, you would need a FW800-FW400 cable(readily available from the Apple store but not cheap, or cheap online if you don't mind waiting).

    Macally still sells these enclosures, but they are a bit pricey. I think they're $100 new. I bought mine used off the marketplace and paid half that for the pair.
     
  3. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #3
    Apple prefers Oxford FW chips. One particular chip was buggy for some reason. Other than that, any FW drive should be bootable.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
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    #4
    I usually just buy a cheap external case and drop in a bare desktop HD.

    I've got an Adaptec aluminum case that's done the job for nine years now. The case cost about $50 and the HD I stuck in was one of the ones I had lying around.

    Depending on how much you're willing to pay cases can be cheap.

    Recently I bought a Thermaltake Blac-X Dual which is actually just a drive dock. The bare drives are loaded power end first vertically into the dock and it takes two of them at a time - 2.5 and 3.5 inch drives. That one's SATA though. Hot-swappable, USB 2.0 and eSATA.

    Why waste your money on an expensive brand name external when you can just buy a case or a dock and a bare drive and be done with it?
     
  5. RedCroissant Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    #5
    I agree. I got a Newer Technology HDD dock from OWC that has FW400/800(x2)/USB 3.0/eSATA ports for $69 and every drive is bootable with it from what I have found. It's also great for cloning.
     
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
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    Kentucky
    #6
    BTW, it's also worth mentioning that despite the prevailing internet wisdom, most PPC Macs can be booted off USB. Apple actually advertised the Sawtooth as being able to boot off USB. I've never encountered an AGP-based G4 with USB 1.1 that was NOT easily bootable via boot manager(holding the option key during start up). The caveat there is that it can take a LONG time. I've booted TiBooks this way a few times, and it usually takes me 10 minutes+ to get to a useable desktop. The computer is not very responsive once booted, either, as USB 1.1 is a real bottleneck.

    As far as I know, all PPC Macs with USB 2.0 are bootable off USB, but Apple removed the nice ability to boot via boot manager for a lot of them. You instead have to boot into Open Firmware:)apple: + option + O + F on startup) and boot from there. There are various how-to guides on the net with instructions, but member Weckart here let me in on an easy way-the computer will generally boot off USB if you type boot ud:,\\:tbxi into the Open Firmware prompt. I've not found a case where this did not work.

    This might be a less expensive option for you than using a Firewire drive/enclosure.
     
  7. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #7
    One of the cheapest that works is the Seagate GoFlex FW800 adapter. I picked one up for less than $20 on eBay. That will fit on any SATA drive and will also provide power for a 2.5" drive. You can pick up a 9pin to 6pin adapter for a couple of dollars if you want to use with an older FW Mac. Good for troubleshooting or if you don't particularly need a permanently attached solution.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Seagate-GoFlex-FW-800-External-Hard-Drive-Adapter-/271851447983
     

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  8. poiihy, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015

    poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #8
  9. ziggy29 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 29, 2014
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    Texas
    #9
    Yeah, I've known that, but the thought of booting off USB 1.1 is, well, forget it (other than the satisfaction of defeating the "they said it can't be done" factor).
     
  10. ziggy29 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
    I just picked up a Firewire 400/USB 2.0 enclosure for a 2.5" IDE drive for 10 bucks, and it boots up with both my Pismo and G4DA. With that I was able to experiment some with my Pismo and transfer its old hard drive contents, both 9.2.2 and 10.4.11, to my new "SSD" (a 60 GB mSATA SSD inside a 2.5" IDE adaptor). And now I can use the old Pismo mechanical drive as external storage for moving stuff around on the Firewire port as well -- and create a partitioned external drive to boot both Tiger and Leopard as well as keep a disk image of my Pismo's current 9.2.2/10.4.11 installation (I can use the CD/DVD module to install Tiger but it won't read OS 9 disks any more. Weird.)

    A stock Pismo is more than up to the task to run OS 9, and with maxed out RAM, a G4/550 card and an SSD this sucker breaks the speed limit in OS 9. Classic mode is wicked fast, too. I'm happy.
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Phoenix • 85037
    #11
    Good to hear!

    An inexpensive enclosure is the way to go.
     

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