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IDE to SD adapter in a Pismo?

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Has anyone tried one the 44 pin IDE to SD Card adapters in a Pismo G3?

 

I was thinking about picking one up, as it might be a cheap replacement for a failing hard disk

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I have been doing this for literally decades...

 

The fastest CF you can use is 400X (200mb/sec), as that it the limit of the IDE/ATA (166mb/sec) bus is. You can use faster CFs but there will be no improvement in the speed. With certain larger CFs, there are no 400X CFs, only 500X or faster. But that is not an issue. Just keep in mind that the IDE Bus is a bottleneck that CF must slow down for. BTW - a 200X CF is about the same speed as a fast hard drive, so a 266X CF will be a bit faster in booting, writing and loading apps.

 

Macs can only use the Single CF to IDE Adapter. PCs can use the Dual CF to IDE adapters for 2 CF Cards on the same adapter and you can leave one slot empty for future upgrades. For some using a Dual CF to IDE on a Mac will not work. It just gives you a grey screen after the RAM test - no Happy Mac, no Sad Mac. I do not know why it does this and I gave up trying to figure it out a long time ago. So for Macs - Single CF to IDE Adapters ONLY!

 

360Alaska posted up correct device - no electronics on it. I have seen Syabus (?sp) Adapters with electronics on them and they work on some Macs and not on others. So to save headaches, these simple no-electronics ones are the best option. Plus they are a lot cheaper. I gotten them from Chinese sellers for $1.50 a piece, but ordering through China means going through customs and that can be a long wait sometimes. For me the longest delivery wait with Chinese sellers was 3 weeks and the shortest was 6 days.

 

For an Old Mac (OS 7 - OS 9) anything you can put is from 512MB to 32GB are great! for a G3/G4 where you want OSX - you will need 64GB as a good starting point though you can run it on 16GB. But you will need to go into the system prefs and shut off logging of various OSX events. OS7 to OS9 does not write logs like Unix does, so this does not matter. But you need to get Disk Cache to a minimum and turn off virtual memory in the memory control panel.

 

Good Luck!

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When flash memory cards are marketed using an 'X' rating, it's based on a single speed CD-ROM at 150KB/sec. Thus, a 400x rating is nominally 60MB/sec. Typically, this is only calculated by the maximum theoretical read speed of the card- write speeds can be significantly slower. One "400x" card may write at 50MB/sec, while another inferior "400x" card may only write at 7MB/sec. The Pismo's ATA bus is 66MB/sec, so choosing a card that writes that fast is advantageous.

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I used an IDE to mSATA adapter and a little 120GB mSATA SSD I had laying around in my wallstreet, works great!

Edited by flecom

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Everyone in here has pretty much given you the whole spiel. But, the primary reason the SD adapters are slow dang slow is because of the Bus Controllers used in the adapters are almost always capped at ~20MB/s bandwidth (Not sure if it's a Firmware issue, or the Chip/implementation itself is so slow). Seeing as how the higher end "Pro" SD  cards can reach ~100MB/s, they should not be the limiting factor. 

 

My opinion is going to be shifted towards the mSATA adapter as SSD prices have basically fallen out of the sky over the last year (128GB for around ~$35). Whichever is a better Price/Performance is what you should go with. Whether that's CF or mSATA is up to you.

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The limitation is the SD interface. SD isn't ATA compatible like CF is, so logic is required between the ATA interface and SD card. The controllers generally implement an SD 1.0 (12.5MB/sec) or SD 2.0 (25MB/sec) interface. Even though it has been superceded by SD 3 and 4, SD 2.0 is still the most common implementation.

 

Here's some interesting info from the SD card organization:

https://www.sdcard.org/developers/overview/bus_speed/

 

Basically if it doesn't say UHS, it can't be any faster than 25MB/sec, no matter what else the label claims.

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I've heard (but not personally confirmed) that with early-gen New Worlds (and Old Worlds I'd assume) you have to stay below 127GB for the Mac to want to boot. I'd assume this also applies to anything on the other side of an adaptor.

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That's correct. All Old Worlds with IDE (I think?) and New Worlds up to and including the original Quicksilver are affected by this limitation (there was a revised Quicksilver released in 2002 that fully supports 48-bit LBA on its internal controller, thus eliminating the limit).

 

Also, for Old World Macs, you have to keep the startup disk (be it a whole disk or a partition within a disk) below 8 GB if you want to install something other than OS 9.x.x, in particular Mac OS X.

 

c

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I investigated a lot of possible solutions and tried a few. By far, IMO, I think the mSATA with IDE adapter is the superior solution. I'm also partial to the adapters with the Marvell chipset. These days you can get a 120 GB mSATA drive and IDE adapter for something like US$60, give or take.

Edited by ziggy29

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And there is also a limitation when an old Mac is used as a SCSI hard disk (for copying files) - to avoid data loss.

3 GB (?) I think.

 

The first partition should be under 8GB if you ever intend to use SCSI Disk Mode.  As long as you don't touch any other partitions on the drive while in that mode, you should be fine, though I make no guarantees obvs.

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I've heard (but not personally confirmed) that with early-gen New Worlds (and Old Worlds I'd assume) you have to stay below 127GB for the Mac to want to boot. I'd assume this also applies to anything on the other side of an adaptor.

 

Is that a physical limitation? Or could that be gotten around by just partitioning a larger drive into 127GB Slices?

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That's a physical limitation. The ATA/IDE controller is limited to 28-bit integers/addressing. This means only the first ≤128GiB are accessible. 128GiB was far, far beyond what was available on a single drive in 1994 when 28-bit LBA came to be part of ATA. 48-bit LBA was standardised with ATA-6 in 2003, though there are some examples of it in 2002 hardware. It can address up to 128PiB.

 

Note: this is not a specific Mac issue, but a limitation of the LBA used in virtually all of the ATA controllers of the era.

Edited by rsolberg

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Very interesting, thank you for posting that. 

 

Suppose you're right, out of the mountains of hard disks I've got, all of them from ~1998 (Earliest one's that work still) are much smaller than I remember.

I guess I've forgotten the fine details over the while as my Western Digital Caviar 34000 is labeled in 4000.7MB, not 4GB.

 

My goodness how time fly's.

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Do we have a list of exactly which Macs have controllers that are not prone to the LBA48 limitation?

 

It's worth noting that that limitation only applies to IDE disks, so if you put a SCSI controller in whatever desktop Mac, you can still use 136 gig disks therein. 

 

As another thought: CF/SD card media aren't built to the same standards that "solid state disks" are -- so if you're looking for something on which to run OS X, it would be better to go in the direction of the m.2/msata adapter, or a regular SSD built with a PATA interface. It will cost more, but it will last a lot more.

 

Another possibility in some desktop or mostly-stationary Macs will be to use, say, an external disk with a Firewire/SATA bridge board. These should boot old Macs and be faster than USB 1.1, and you can put modern SSDs in. I've considered doing this with my TiBook, although it's almost not worth it, since I only really want to boot OS 9, and that system will boot OS 9 via USB. (Actually, it could be interesting to try both and see what the real usability difference is.)

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Officially, it's the G4 MDD, Power Mac G5, and XServe plus "any (other) model introduced after June 2002", but there seem to be some models released earlier that support the larger drives. The QS 2002 was introduced in January 2002, and many, if not all examples support LBA-48.

 

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT2544#bootrom

 

http://lowendmac.com/2005/how-big-hard-drive-imac-emac-power-mac-powerbook-ibook/

 

Edit: Cory- I've made a similar experiment using a 7200rpm 3.5" SATA drive in a USB/FW enclosure booting Mac OS 9.2.2. I found that booted from USB 1.1, the cursor would freeze regularly for about a second. It didn't happen with FireWire, and bootup, disk I/O were tangibly faster.

Edited by rsolberg

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In my Pismo I'm currently using a 32GB Transcend SSD (with a dual boot of OS 9.2.2 and Tiger), haven't had any issues but 9.2.2 does indeed boot pretty fast on it :)

 

May consider a small SSD (in the 2GB to 8GB range) if the 3.2GB drive in my 1400cs dies, although I read here that some older PowerBooks don't like the Swissbit ones (readily available on eBay/etc.)

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I recently swapped the againg 40GB 5400 rpm drive (IBM?) with a Toshiba mSATA drive and a JC20330 based adapter. I tried the CF mod for a while, but, it failed ... I started getting errors in Tiger when running photoshop and eventuallly it would not boot.

 

CF cards don't have the longevity that I thought they would. At least the Transend unit (x266 32GB) didn't

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