Restoring Power Macintosh G3 (Blue and White): need hard drive recommendation

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by IMSAI, May 12, 2010.

  1. IMSAI macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2010
    I just bought an old G3 at a thrift store and figure it would be fun to try to restore it to working order. Unfortunately it's missing the hard drive. Upon researching the issue, it looks like the old "smurfs" used one of the following:

    —6GB Ultra ATA hard disk
    —12GB Ultra ATA hard disk
    —9GB Ultra2 LVD SCSI hard disk with Ultra2 LVD SCSI PCI card

    I need your help in recommending a suitable hard drive replacement. It looks like the "big drives" - those with over 128GB of storage space - need 48-bit addressing. Macs built before 2002 don't have built-in support for it. I assume I'm only going to see 128GB. So presumably, I'm looking for a drive with at least 128GB... but really any recommendation is welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Basically any IDE drive <128GB will work (7200 rpm ofc, don't bother with 5400 rpm ones). To run 128GB+ HDD you can use third party drivers such as Overdrive or Hi-cap driver.
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    To add: The SCSI was an optional PCI card, which weren't all that common--unless there's an obvious SCSI card in one of the slots, it's IDE only.

    And as said, any IDE drive <128GB should work fine. Drives greater than 128GB will actually work, too, you just won't get to access all the space (most have a jumper that can be set to limit it, but even if you don't I believe it'll just show up as 137GB... but I haven't tried myself).

    It's totally not worth it to buy one (new around $70), but on the off chance you run across a cheap PCI IDE or SATA card that's Mac compatible, you could install one or the other to enable either larger IDE drives or big SATA drives.

    Another fun alternative: Get a $10 IDE to CF adapter and a cheap 8GB CF card and boot it from a (relatively slow) SSD--8GB is plenty for the OS and a few apps. I've done that with Windows, and I see no reason it wouldn't work on a Mac as well.
  4. IMSAI thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2010
    Thanks a million...

    Thanks for all your help guys. My apologies for not updating the status of this post earlier... (got a little busy with other projects).

    So I stripped a drive and RAM from an old Dell Optiplex GX150 I had lying around. I'm now running OS X 10.4 on a 15 GB Western Digital Caviar 153AA with only 256MB RAM. It feels a bit slow, though. Any suggestions for a RAM upgrade?


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