Will more drive carriers fit in PowerMac G4? (4-6 internal drives?)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MagnusVonMagnum, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2007
    I've currently got two Sata drives installed in my PowerMac G4 Digital Audio that's been upgraded to 1.8Ghz/1.5GB/Sonnet Sata using the two drive carrier bracket unit that it came with to hold them in position 3. It LOOKS like you could add two more internal drives to position 1 and 2 inside and offhand it looks like at least one if not two flat drive plate brackets may be screwed down to the bottom (I'd have to try to remove them to make sure it's not just a screw in position 2 since it appears to be lower than position one).

    The question is if I purchased a 2nd (and/or 3rd) drive carrier bracket off something like eBay, would it fit properly into either position 1 and/or 2 allowing me to have 4-6 internal drives??? That assumes I would use a 4-port Sonnet Sata card plus possibly the existing 2 port one to let me have 4-6 internal Sata hard drives. But can I fit them and secure them inside the case???

    Basically, I'm using the PowerMac as a server and editing station for my whole house audio/video system plus some web surfing and shopping duties, etc. I'm running out of storage with my two 500GB drives and I'm thinking of either adding two 1TB drives or replacing the 500GB drives with two 2TB drives if I cannot fit two more additional drives (although adding two more would require either a 2nd Sata card or replacing the existing one with the Sonnet 4-port model; either way it's more money so two 2TB drives might still be the better option?)
  2. Dave H macrumors 6502

    Dave H

    Mar 2, 2008
    The middle and front drive bays should already have flat hard drive trays in them, each held down by one screw.
    The front hard drive tray sits on a bracket that allows ribbon cables to pass underneath (you do not need to remove this bracket to remove the hard drive tray).
    Adding two more hard drives in these bays should work if the drive cables clear the case door.
    Replacing the middle and front trays with additional "stack" brackets (like the one in the back of the case) may or may not work, depending on whether they, or the drive cables, have enough clearance with the case door.
  3. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    I have that dual hdd carrier that you can have, why pay for it on ebay ;).

    I don't think the far left side can not hold the dual hdd carrier because of the internal speaker shield. It should however fit the middle and right slot though.

    So going from the left to the right, you should have the single hdd plate followed by 2 dual carriers so that should be 5 hard drives. Also depending on what model you have(I don't think you have the MDD) You have a slot under the optical drive that housed the zip drive, you can install a hdd there too.
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    I think it may work.

    Why don't you remove the other single drive trays an try moving your dual drive tray into the other two position with cable attached and see if the door closes in each position? It will only take a few minutes and you will have a definitive answer.

    On a side note some bigger concerns would be if your case fan could clear out all of that extra heat and if the PSU could handle the power draw.

    Don't use Western Digital drives as they run much hotter than Seagate and Hitachi from my experience.

    You can also stuff a drive into the 3.5" bay under the DVD drive. I have there in an old DA I have sitting about. Then you can have 7 2TB hard drives.:D
  5. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2007
    Yeah, the power supply issue (and just adding that many power cable dividers) is what concerns me most. The 4-port Sata card Sonnet offers is also extremely pricey ($165 is the lowest I've found), although I do have room for a 2nd 2-port card.

    I'm using WD "Green" 500GB drives at the moment and they run cool to the touch and still get up to 72MB/sec sustained large file transfer rates with a Sata 1.5 card (I'm doubting any drive out there could max out 1.5 Gbit/sec, let alone that 3.0 Gbit/sec Sata II is supposed to max out at so I don't think that's a concern (the 4-port card is Sata II, but then there's the PCI bus speed limit there too). I think the new WD 2TB drives are supposed to get around 92MB/sec, even though they're 5200RPM because the data is so compact. That's more than fast enough for what is mostly a media/data server.

    I can't really use the spot under the DVD drive because I've already got a FW400/USB hub installed there (4 USB 2.0 ports and a FW400 port for easy front access; there's also a microphone,headphone and S/PDIF port, but they're currently not connected since I don't have any output jacks...well I could get a splitter and connect the headphone jack I suppose).

    Really, given the power supply concerns, I'd probably be best off just getting the 2TB drives. The problem is those that have them in stock right now want full retail since they're in low supply. Either that or get on a waiting list. Even then the cheapest I've seen them is $265 each. I can get an external FW800/400/USB2.0 2TB (via Raid0) drive for $220 or a WD My Book version that also adds E-Sata (just in case for the future) for $240. I'd imagine 6 months from now those 2TB drives will be $200 or so, but I'm running out of space now (already storing movies being ripped on another computer for now). Really, two 1TB drives would do fine at the moment (total library looks like it will be around 600-700GB when finished, but that wouldn't leave much room for future expansion.

    If I added two external 1GB drives, that would leave me the two internals for a total of 1.5GB. I could get the much more reasonably priced Seagate 1.5TB drives for about $140 each and that would probably last me a couple of years (unless I start ripping Blu-Ray or something), but I've read they are very unreliable drives. Thus far, I've never had a hard drive go bad on me (even my 15 year old Amiga has two working Quantum SCSI hard drives in it with no bad blocks) and I've used mostly Maxtor and Western Digital drives. I've continually read bad things about Seagate over the years, even back in the Amiga days (hence the Quantum drives). I'm currently running 8 hard drives (not counting the two Quantum drives) and have 3 more in storage (removed due to small size) and while one was VERY noisy (the original drive from the PowerMac), all work fine.

    OTOH, I've probably just been very lucky. I have had to restore from backup a few times already on the PowerMac (once due to that bad Leopard 10.5.6 update which screwed it up royally; the restore + combo fixed it) so I'm definitely not going without backup drives again. I don't trust mirrored Raid 1 as I've read about numerous people losing their data regardless so I generally use Carbon Copy Cloner and create bootable full backups (I use Maxtor's restore software for my PC and a Mac program to backup my Boot Camp partition on the MBP).

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