USB 3.0 on 10.5.8 PPC

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by epcomworld, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. epcomworld, Oct 24, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011

    epcomworld macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2011
    - Person who helps solve this problems – will be mailed a USB 3.0 PCI Sonnet Card –

    Card in Question: Sonnet Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe

    Problem: I have a Lacie USB 3.0 External Hard Drive. I have a Power Macintosh G5 2.5 Ghz Quad Core Computer with several extra PCI Express slots. I purchased a USB 3.0 card slot hoping that it would be able to run on 10.5.8. Now I know the site says that it only supports 10.6 and later, but I chose this PCIe card for a special reason. After downloading the drivers from Lacie, CalDigit, etc. – the achieve extract of the content package was a .kext file that was universal not Intel – this gave me hope that with some adjustment the PowerPC platform would be able to operate this PCIe card.

    Steps I took to make it work:

    1. I attempted to run the installer that came with the application / driver, however, when it started the post install script it failed with a message to contact the software manufacturer for support. The contents of the post install script are as follows:
    a. echo "source package path: $1"
    b. echo "package destination: $2"
    c. echo "mount point of dest: $3"
    d. echo "installer framework: $4"
    f. /usr/sbin/chown -R root:wheel "$2"/SXHCD.kext
    h. /usr/bin/touch /System/Library/Extensions
    j. exit 0
    2. I then tried to place the .kext file into the system extensions folder, however, when I rebooted the computer system the a messaged popped up saying that the “SVHCD.kext” file was installed improperly and to re-install the application or contact the software provider.

    I’m not sure what else to do and since the USB .kext files such as iousbfamily, etc. (the other dependencies the driver depends on list 6 other USB dependencies, I didn’t want to touch them all – as I did not know what I was touching.)

    Is there something I can alter in the post install script to make the driver install? Let me know any thoughts. As I said above – the person who helps me solve this will get one of these cards as a prize. Hope we can bring USB 3.0 to Leopard and the much under loved and appreciate Power Macintosh G5 systems. My G5 computer runs great and still has many years of use left.
  2. MacHamster68, Oct 25, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    the biggest problem you got there is USB 3.0 is basically windows only , that card works even in a MacPro under 10.6 only with huge limitations , even a netbook running Windows with USB 3.0 can take full advatabe of USB 3.0 , backwards compatibly and support for all peripherals that can be connected ,
    so its no so much your PowerMac thats causing the problem or OSX 10.5 , its the general lag of available drivers for PPC and and OSX support in general ,you cant just use intel Mac drivers and put them in a PPC Mac, ok it would be nice if we could because then we could easy run all those intel only apps too
  3. aednichols macrumors member


    Jun 9, 2010
    Chances are good that using USB 2.0 will give you adequate speeds, unless you're doing something exceptionally demanding. If this is the case, then plug it into a USB 2.0 port and stop worrying!
  4. CptAwesome macrumors member

    May 10, 2010
    Your probably best off with a USB2 card to be quite honest. I have one in my G4 and it works well. I highly doubt you'd see a massive benefit of a USB3 card (if it would work) on a system of that age

    Just my 2 cents anyway
  5. max¥¥ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2008
    Over there....
    try installing the kext using this procedure

    Copy kext to extentions folder, then run these commands:

    cd /System/Library/Extensions
    chmod -R 755 KextName.kext
    chown -R 0:0 KextName.kext
    rm /System/Library/Extensions.mkext (your comp should recreate this on next boot, therefore "installing" the kext properly)

    I recommend you backup all important files before you try this, as messing with kexts can make your system unbootable
  6. VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    why would he buy a USB2.0 card? he has a Quad G5, already has usb 2.0..

    what about Esata? not sure about support for PPC, but they go up to 6gb/s, ive got 2 in my MP..
  7. Nameci macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2010
    The Philippines...
    I have eSATA on my PowerMac and it is rated at 3Gbps max, I cannot find an eSATA card for PMG5 that goes above 3Gbps.
  8. epcomworld thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2011
    As for USB 3.0 - I have tried a variety of things to get it to work - without much success. I believe the .kext files for main dependicies such as IOPCIFAMILY and IOUSBxxx, need to be adjusted to recognize the card. I believe that the card will work - it just needs some help getting to the 10.5 driver form in order to so. The universal driver packaging allows PPC machines to read it. Now with the necessary system adjustments to address the card when necessary the system will work with USB 3.0.

    Also the PowerMac G5 Quad machine blazes through everything included 1080p files you throw at it with room to move around still. This is a great mac and handles everything easily. I am sure there is many years of life left with the system - its to bad development is halting for such a great machine.
  9. epcomworld thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2011
    As far as the eSata goes - Sonnet makes a 6gb compatible card for Power Macintosh G5.

    The card name is Sonnet Tempo PCIe 2.0 - whether the nomenclature stands for requires a PCIe 2.0 slot or just a regular PCIe slot I am not sure. It might just stand for the 2.0 (2nd card generation) after the introduction of their first 3gb eSata PCIe card.

    According to the manuals there does not seem to be a restriction to obtain the faster speed on a Power Macintosh G5. It just seems that a user much have an open PCIe slot and the specified version of Mac OS X. So this card may be the solution to getting 6gb on a Power Macintosh G5 computer. The difficulty in testing this is it would all have to be done with external hard drives (maybe ssds - to see the speed). There is no doubt in my mind that the processor and bus technology on the G5 Quad especially could handle the throughput easily for the 6gb speeds. But transferring from the internal hard drive to the external 6gb Sata card - one will be limited by the 1.5gb SATA onboard. However, a RAID set-up on the card will probably perform much faster.

    Below is the start-up manual and as you can see there should not be a restriction with the Sonnet Card on the Power Macintosh G5 Computer with PCIe.


  10. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    I'm afraid it requires PCIe 2.0. SATA 6Gb = 600 MB/s, PCIe 1.0 250 MB/s per lane. Card is 1x lane compatible, so it won't work at full speed, if it would work at all. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  11. epcomworld thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2011
    I'm sure that it will work in the Power Mac G5 - probably at SATA 3 speeds. I would e-mail Sonnet if you are truly interested. They advertise on their website and manual about 6GB speeds from this card and the Power Macintosh G5 being compatible. See what they - it seems like it needs to be clarified. If it does support the full 6 somehow - that would be very cool.
  12. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    Are you sure it has PowerPC code that supports 10.5? It's possible to build source code against the 10.6 SDK for the PowerPC platform, but if you use anything that requires anything that's new to 10.6, it won't work on any shipping PowerPC, since they don't actually run 10.6. It's a simple checkbox that they may have forgotten to turn off. Just because it has PowerPC code doesn't mean it'll work on 10.5.
  13. epcomworld thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2011
    The card driver does seem to have the PowerPC code within the driver. Your point above is correct - the 10.5 system is missing the necessary .kext files to address the card and support the USB 3.0 software. However, I am currently working with several programmers during our spare time to correct this. If we can put the necessary support within the PowerPC iousbxx, iopcifamily.kexts - USB 3.0 may actually be able to come to the PowerPC Platform. Keep your fingers crossed.
  14. W123 macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2011
    USB3 will never work with PPC, the two hardware platforms are not compatible.
  15. SHartz40 macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2015
    Did you ever find a solution to this problem?

    I'm using a PCMCIA to 34 mm Expresscard USB 3.0 adapter with my Apple Mac Powerbook G4 1.25 GHZ with 2 gm ram Aluminum running Leopard.

    The 34mm card supplies power to a USB fan, but my Monster Digital USB 3.0 SSD is not recognized . So Expresscard IS supplying power via my slot.

    What do I need to do to get the small Monster SSD to be recognized on my system?? Driver???

    The Monster SSD IS recognized and usable through my standard onboard USB 2.0 slots and a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card and functions fine, but I want USB 3.0 speed (or at least over USB 2.0 speed.....) Should be possible.

    I tried installing the Snow Leopard GenericusbXHCL.kext* mentioned by some, but did not help ):*

    Has anyone done a driver for PPC and Leopard??* BTW, there seem to be multiple work-arounds for Snow Leopard and beyond.* (TonyMacs, etc) 


    Any suggestions. It seems YOU have troied the hardest to get this uissue accomplished and your efforts ARE appreciated...
  16. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    No, as far as I have found, nobody has successfully gotten a USB 3.0 chipset to work on PowerPC OS X. You will have to stick with USB 2.0 speeds.
  17. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    You might be able to get USB 3 working in Ubuntu Linux, if you are willing to install and use it.


    Well there's a few reasons to install a USB 2 card when you already have USB 2 ports.

    1. You'd install it if you need more ports. USB hubs aren't the greatest solution, because you squeeze all the data through one port. Having a USB 2 card would allow full speed access for every device.
    2. USB 2 cards are cheap, and not much more then a USB hub, but so much better.


    Oh.. this thread is from 2011... :eek: :p
  18. VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
  19. FireWire2, May 13, 2015
    Last edited: May 13, 2015

    FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    USB 3.1 host maybe the answer

    If your MAC system support 10.9.x or at least support xHCI protocol then

    this USB3.1 card can solve your problem

    It uses native xHCI drivers, no drivers or additional software to install. It works in my MAC Pro 2008. Although i can not get it over 450MB/s

    I think because my 2008 MAC's PCI E is 2.5Gb per lane
  20. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    This thread is about PowerPC based computers. They neither support 10.9.x nor xHCI.
  21. FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    Opps! you're right

Share This Page