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Powerbook 1400 Won't Detect Hardrive

macuserman

Well-known member
Alright so I picked up this 1400cs on ebay for super cheap, like 40 bucks and it was in very rough shape, when I got it I could shake it and there were screws rattling around inside, lots of broken plastic etc. I took it all apart fished out all the loose screws and patched it back up. It turned out pretty good actually the only problem is it didn't detect the drive just a flashing folder. So I tried swapping in several of my drives but none of them were detected while booting of an install CD. I even used a usb adapter to plug one into my G4 tower just to make sure it wasn't a bad drive and it shows up no problem. Any idea why the hardrive wont' show up in this thing, I can put floppy disks in, or compact flash card, cd of course everything shows up and the machine seems to work great except I can't get a drive to show up. Should I just get a big compact flash card and install the OS to the PCMCIA slot on a compact flash card? I only have a small 32MB one I was using to test things with. Or any tips on what might be the problem with the drive showing up? I already checked the ribbon and seems well connected although I suppose it could be damaged.

Wide open to any ideas, this is a cheap machine just to have some fun with but not being able to install an OS on it sort of kills the whole thing lol.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
I bought a 40GB HDD to upgrade my 1400c and it wasn't recognized. To my understanding, the IDE controller on the 1400 is very primative, and it will only recognize older drives, along with some very basic SD and CF to IDE adapters. If you're trying to use newer drives from the 2000s, that may be you're problem. I've got a 10GB Toshiba drive in there now. (An Apple OEM drive, presumably from an iBook Clamshell or a Pismo). I know @LaPorta says that this adapter works in they're 1400, so you could try that if you can't get any HDDs recognized. It could very well be the cable, controller or really anything, especially considering how beat up you said it was.
 

macuserman

Well-known member
I bought a 40GB HDD to upgrade my 1400c and it wasn't recognized. To my understanding, the IDE controller on the 1400 is very primative, and it will only recognize older drives, along with some very basic SD and CF to IDE adapters. If you're trying to use newer drives from the 2000s, that may be you're problem. I've got a 10GB Toshiba drive in there now. (An Apple OEM drive, presumably from an iBook Clamshell or a Pismo). I know @LaPorta says that this adapter works in they're 1400, so you could try that if you can't get any HDDs recognized. It could very well be the cable, controller or really anything, especially considering how beat up you said it was.
Yeah that’s what I’m worried about it could be a number of things, I’d just love to have a drive to try that should for sure work so I can rule out that as the cause of my issue. I did just order a 32GB compact flash off Amazon I’m going to try that as well.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
I can get my 1400c booted off of a CF card with a cheap adapter to the PC Card slot that I bought off of eBay. 32GB may be too large though, I've only used 1GB cards with mine. I have a 4GB card it will have nothing to do with, and a 16GB card that I haven't tested with it. I mainly use it for file transfer, and as a rescue boot drive though, not a main storage device. It would run a lot faster off of the IDE bus. The drive model in my 1400c is the Toshiba MK1016GAP.
 

macuserman

Well-known member
I can get my 1400c booted off of a CF card with a cheap adapter to the PC Card slot that I bought off of eBay. 32GB may be too large though, I've only used 1GB cards with mine. I have a 4GB card it will have nothing to do with, and a 16GB card that I haven't tested with it. I mainly use it for file transfer, and as a rescue boot drive though, not a main storage device. It would run a lot faster off of the IDE bus. The drive model in my 1400c is the Toshiba MK1016GAP.
Well shoot I just so happen to have one of those exact drives and I just tried it and no dice it's not detected at all. I guess I have some other problem. Major bummer about the compact flash any particular model I can search for that is likely to work?
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
In the meantime, you could get a PC Card CF adapter. I use that too, and you can use it as a startup drive in your PC card slot.
 

macuserman

Well-known member
In the meantime, you could get a PC Card CF adapter. I use that too, and you can use it as a startup drive in your PC card slotI have one but it’s only
I have one but it’s only 32mb and it does show up I ordered a 32GB card for it but now I’m worried it won’t work either it will be here tomorrow thanks to Amazon. If it doesn’t work any recommendations for a card they should work? The adapter works fine with my 32mb card just not sure what card to get if this 32GB one doesn’t work
 

MindThreat

Well-known member
I managed to get an 8GB CF card with adapter to work in my 1400 but it sounds like you’re having other hardware issues if it’s not detecting the smaller drives. Did you also try a complete reset of the machine?
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
Well that's a bummer! The CF cards I use are Lexar Professional 1GB cards from an old Nikon camera. They work great. The 4GB card that doesn't work well in the adapter is a Transcend model.
All hope may not be lost for you're 32GB card! I just checked and my 16GB card (also a Lexar) works fine in my adapter with the 1400c. It appears to be this model. It's worth noting that I haven't tried booting off of it yet, but it at least mounts and I can copy files to it.
Here's a link to what appears to be the same model as my 1GB cards. They're not available new anymore (on Amazon at least) but here's what they look like for reference.
 

macuserman

Well-known member
I managed to get an 8GB CF card with adapter to work in my 1400 but it sounds like you’re having other hardware issues if it’s not detecting the smaller drives. Did you also try a complete reset of the machine?
I'm not sure what you mean but a complete reset of the machine? It doesn't have a battery so I assume it resets everytime I kill the mains power.

Well that's a bummer! The CF cards I use are Lexar Professional 1GB cards from an old Nikon camera. They work great. The 4GB card that doesn't work well in the adapter is a Transcend model.
All hope may not be lost for you're 32GB card! I just checked and my 16GB card (also a Lexar) works fine in my adapter with the 1400c. It appears to be this model. It's worth noting that I haven't tried booting off of it yet, but it at least mounts and I can copy files to it.
Here's a link to what appears to be the same model as my 1GB cards. They're not available new anymore (on Amazon at least) but here's what they look like for reference.
Awesome that's super helpful, I already ordered the card so i might as well try it when it comes in. I'll report back and let you know either way. In the meantime I found a very very janky work around that is working although very very slowly. I was able to take a usb to 2.5" ide adapter I have and install OS 9.1 to a MK1016GAP drive I had using one of my B&W G3's. Then once that install finished I put it into a external IDE scsi enclosure that I have for powerbooks and miraculously I was able to boot off of that. I had to go through the hoops of using my G3 because I don't have a internal CD drive for this 1400 only an external scsi one which I can't use at the same time as the external SCSI HD which led to my predicament. Speaking of which if anybody has an internal 1400 CD for sale hit me up. Anyhow, the machine at least has a way to boot an OS now, I'll try the compact flash later today when it comes. Really need to figure out what's wrong with the internal IDE, though I'm wondering if the cable is damaged somehow, I'm tempted to order a generic 2.5" ide cable and see if it's just the cable. This appears to be a full sized connector on both ends unlike some of the other apple laptops.
 

macuserman

Well-known member
Good news although still incredible slow the compact flash card I ordered does allow you to boot from it and makes the machine just a little more portable ish anyways.
Snapped a picture of the card packaging just so anyone else who wants to know can get one if they like. 32GB works in a pinch slow as molasses although maybe that’s the computer too lol.
DAAC9166-27AF-45AB-AAB1-B9E38DC96078.jpeg
 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
This machine's IDE controller (and whole platform) is shared with the Performa 630 and 6200, and those machines (and this one, and the PB 5300, PB/Duo 2300, and the PowerMac 6300/5300, and probably the PowerBook 190) suffer from some decisions Apple made to explicitly not support IDE media with the removable bit set.

More info is here:

https://68kmla.org/bb/index.php?threads/help-ide-to-compact-flash-not-working.38648/

I say "decisions" and not "bug" because the machines do see the media (one person even got a third party tool to give them the choice to partition/format/mount the device), they just refuse to do anything with it.

Anyway, the best available solutions are to use an IDE to SD adapter or an IDE to m.2 adapter, or to use a ~2000-2004 or so spinning hard disk that hasn't died yet. (Well, or use PCMCIA, which, isn't the worst idea if you don't really have anything better to put in those slots.)

w/re "newer" hard disks -- I run a 30-gig disk in my 1400 and so newer/bigger/capacity isn't strictly speaking the problem (although you probably will run into pre-LBA48 restrictions and only be able to use ~137 gigs of any newer media.)

The 6360 and all other newer PCI-based Macs with IDE have fixed this problem and CF adapters should work perfectly in those machines.
 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
slow as molasses although maybe that’s the computer too lol.

It's probably a mix. That's a very fast card. Much faster than even a high end mac from 1996 could realistically ever wish to move data around at. But, pcmcia is very slow, and, so are these machines. The 1400 is a "fixed" mobile 6200 in that it has the increased L1 cache from the 6300, but it is still a 6200 and clock-for-clock 1400s are much slower than comparable machine. I have a 1400c/166 which gets outbenched by a 7600/120.

They're still neat though and having a portable vintage Mac is well worth the compromise.

(I'm also generally in team "no bad macs" so 6200s are also fine computers, it's just they do have that whole slow 68k emulation thing, but at PPC code they're about the same speed as a 6100, generally.)
 

macuserman

Well-known member
Anyway, the best available solutions are to use an IDE to SD adapter or an IDE to m.2 adapter, or to use a ~2000-2004 or so spinning hard disk that hasn't died yet. (Well, or use PCMCIA, which, isn't the worst idea if you don't really have anything better to put in those slots.)
I'd love to go that route if I could, but for some reason the internal IDE just seems to be broken, I need to debug it but I haven't had time to really dig into it yet. But that's what started this whole compact flash deal, I was able to find an exact matching model number drive that someone else said worked but no dice in my machine although it did work in an external scsi enclosure I have so, there has to be something broken with the internal IDE setup sadly. :(

It's probably a mix. That's a very fast card. Much faster than even a high end mac from 1996 could realistically ever wish to move data around at. But, pcmcia is very slow, and, so are these machines. The 1400 is a "fixed" mobile 6200 in that it has the increased L1 cache from the 6300, but it is still a 6200 and clock-for-clock 1400s are much slower than comparable machine. I have a 1400c/166 which gets outbenched by a 7600/120.

They're still neat though and having a portable vintage Mac is well worth the compromise.

(I'm also generally in team "no bad macs" so 6200s are also fine computers, it's just they do have that whole slow 68k emulation thing, but at PPC code they're about the same speed as a 6100, generally.)
Yeah I picked this up on a whim because it was so cheap and so far I don't really regret it, it's been some fun already and it's not so nice that I really have to worry about it, I've very very little invested so I'm not heartbroken about it's failings just yet. :)
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
The 1400 really is a fine machine. I used it for a lot of fun things even prior to putting the G3 in it. Each machine has its niche.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
I'm glad you got it booting off of something at least. Here's to hoping you can get the IDE interface on it working with a new cable! 1400s are fun. Great for typing and fast enough to make them a decent Mac OS 8 machine. (assuming you have a model with L2 cache, I don't sadly.)
The only big issue with these is the dreading cracking hinge plastic. They're may be some way to avoid it, but I just keep mine open all the time in storage so I don't have to stress the hinge when I take it out for use.
 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Gotcha, I mis-read the first post.

I would also try a fresh/known working IDE cable if you can find one. If nothing shows up when plugged in it's either the cable, which is probably replaceable, or the controller itself, which is unfortunately not replaceable, short of buying another system or a replacement motherboard.
 

macuserman

Well-known member
Does the drive you plug in spin up at least?
Yeah it spins up so it seems that it is getting power, but I never hear the chch chch or however you would type it lol the drive reading sound. Ya'll know what I mean. Someone else make a better attempted at typing the sound a drive makes when it's been read love to see it. :LOL:
 

macuserman

Well-known member
Gotcha, I mis-read the first post.

I would also try a fresh/known working IDE cable if you can find one. If nothing shows up when plugged in it's either the cable, which is probably replaceable, or the controller itself, which is unfortunately not replaceable, short of buying another system or a replacement motherboard.
Yeah I'd love to find a cable to try ebay has zero results only entire parts machines. I did see some generic cables like for an amiga not sure if they will work though. Something like this: Hardrive Extension Cable I know the connector wouldn't fit in the case but I could pop it apart to at least try it but I'm not sure if the connectors are in the right orientation. It's cheap enough so I might try it but I'd love to find a real cable.
 
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