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G4 cube won‘t boot off SATA SSD

Cktwo

Member
Hi guys,

I need your help. My newly acquired G4 cube won‘t boot off a SATA SSD that I preconfigured with Sorbet Leopard. It doesn‘t see the drive at all when pressing ALT upon boot.

What I have checked:
- the SATA->IDE adapter works perfectly well on an old PC. The drive can be seen.
- the SSD has an APM partition table and a small 40 GB partition that is HFS extended formatted.
- I copied the Sorbet Leopard DMG as instructed. It can be perfectly read and accessed by my other Macs.
- the installation is blessed. I also tried to „rebless“ it using the BLESS command (which seems to have been successful).
- it boots fine off its original hard drive into 10.4
- it‘s got the latest 4.1.9 firmware

Is there anything I missed out on? Does the G4 cube need additional things set up?

Thanks!
CK
 

ried

Well-known member
Can you use a Mac OS X install DVD in order to start it up, launch Disk Utility and see if Mac OS can see the drive? I suspect it may not, which would either be an issue with the SATA>IDE adapter or the way the disk was partitioned.
 

Cktwo

Member
I am afraid I don‘t have a Tiger install DVD but will have a look. Would booting off a Firewire 400 drive be an option? Should I try to copy the Sorbet Leopard DMG to the Firewire drive?
 

beachycove

Well-known member
I seem to recall (from replacing a DVD in mine years ago) that the Cube is uncommonly fussy about the Master/Slave configuration of its drives. You might want to check that all is well there.
 

Cktwo

Member
Thanks for that hint. I will check. I have jumpered the HDD to be Master (ohne the SATA) adapter, assuming that this should be correct.
 

beachycove

Well-known member
I am pretty sure I had to set my HDD as slave, because the replacement DVD-RW was master and couldn’t be changed — or something like that. It was a long time ago, but anyway, it was a pain and the pain is etched on my memory because the darned thing had to be disassembled again to be put right!

I also put a dual 500 G4 from a Digital Audio in the Cube at the same time. This made for a very pleasing machine, once I got the jumpers right, but in the end, the march of time brought me first a G5 tower and then other goodies, the result being that the Cube has lived on a shelf ever since.
 

Cktwo

Member
Got it going! The Cube happily boots Sorbet Leopard from an IDE hard drive. So it definitely is the SATA->IDE adapter that causing the trouble. Will stick with the HDD for now.

The hacked Geforce 6200 „Wang“ also works perfectly well!

Since I am new to the Cube: It doesn‘t have Bluetooth, right? Any recommendations how to add bluetooth?

And the integrated Airport card isn‘t capable of WPA2, right? Can it be exchanged for a newer one?

Thanks!
CK

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ried

Well-known member
If you'd like to add Bluetooth, a compatible USB Bluetooth dongle is the easiest route. Same for the WiFi card, since the built-in Airport card slot is a custom PCMCIA slot with unique pinouts.
 

shadedream

Well-known member
I've had really weird issues with IDE to SATA adapters in G3/G4 systems... in the end I never could get any to fully work properly in my beige G3s and I did finally get one to work (at least last I was messing with it) in my Cube. They're a bit odd and finicky.
 

Cktwo

Member
Okay, this is getting kind of frightening now. The Cube turns itself on and off erradically. 😱

What could be the reason for that? Defective sensor switch? Almost dead PVR board? Or almost dead PSU?
 

ScutBoy

Well-known member
As stated above, pretty sure Cube needs the optical as Master and the HD as Slave, but sounds like you are past that already....
 

pax

Well-known member
Okay, this is getting kind of frightening now. The Cube turns itself on and off erradically. 😱
What could be the reason for that? Defective sensor switch? Almost dead PVR board? Or almost dead PSU?

Maybe this?

 

ried

Well-known member
Okay, this is getting kind of frightening now. The Cube turns itself on and off erradically. 😱

What could be the reason for that? Defective sensor switch? Almost dead PVR board? Or almost dead PSU?

The proximity switch is incredibly sensitive. You can be several feet away and still trigger it with movement. I'm not super familiar with how people have addressed it (adding a layer of Scotch tape, etc) but in many cases it's intermittent. You might just reposition the cube so there's definitely no motion in front of that switch, aside from your hand turning it on intentionally.

If you laid the Cube on its side and the proximity switch is facing you, for example, it can be triggered by your movements at surprisingly great distances.
 

Cktwo

Member
The „Scotch tape fix“ fixed the problem reliably for me. Have used the computer for several days now, it has never again powered itself on or off since the fix. Knock on wood!

Can‘t get any SSD to work, though. Tried several IDE->SATA adapters without success. I am now using another IDE hard drive which works perfectly well. Both the new hard drive and the SATA adapters have been jumpered identically to the original hard drive (master) As I wrote: the new hard drive boots fine, the SSD is not recognized.

Can anyone recommend a SATA adapter that is „known to work“ and can still be purchased? I conclude that the G4 cube simply is very picky with those adapters…

Thanks guys!
 

LCARS

Well-known member
Mine is using a OWC SSD with the SATA/IDE adatper they bundle for "legacy" machines. I doubt its their own design but it worked from the start. If I recall correctly, the adapter does have jumpers and I suspect it came configured to mimic the original HD.

Action Retro on YouTube used a mSATA in an IDE enclosure with success.
 

herd

Well-known member
I've used a variety of SSDs in the Cube without issues, including the SATA and mSATA adapters. Are you sure it's not the master/slave settings? What happens if you disconnect the other drive? How are you powering the drive? Most of the mSATA drives run on 3.3v. Pictures of how you've got it hooked up might help.
 

SiliconValleyPirate

Well-known member
I will add my voice to the crowd on SATA to IDE adapters, I too had the same issues with my Cube.

*Avoid* cheap unbranded ones. They are often bad quality (I got one that 6 of the ATA pins weren’t soldered correctly on!) and use knock-off controllers that are only tested in a few x86 PCs.

I always look for JMicron branded adapters (search on that phrase and look at the pictures for the name on the PCB). I’ve had very good results with all the ones I’ve got so far, my Cube and my MDD G4 are both using one successfully. They aren’t usually much more expensive, usually 12-15 vs 3-5 for a knock-off. Worth it for the reduced hassle.

Hopefully with the right adapter you can get your Cube onto an SSD, it really makes a chunk of difference.

EDIT: I have also had significant success using both M.2 SATA to 44-pin IDE and mSATA to 44-pin IDE adapters in G4s (My PowerBook 12” is using mSATA, my Mini G4 and DA G4 are both using M.2 SATA via these adapters.
 
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Green78II

Well-known member
I can second the OWC SSD/IDE adaper combo will work. I am also running Sorbet Leopard on it (although its not really the most usable OS for a mostly stock Cube, it sure is fun to see a more modern Mac OS interface) I did have a few issues, I had to reimage the drive a few times before it worked.
 
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