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Solid State Drive (SSD) in SE/30

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Hi all.

 

Just wanted to share my experiences on SSD's (Solid State Drives) and my SE/30.

 

My SE/30's stock Apple drive was getting *very* noisy indeed, and a replacement 9gig IBM didn't improve things at all.

 

A while ago on eBay, I came across a vendor flogging 2.5", 8gig IDE SSD's, from whom I bought two drives, I thought I'd use on my Thinkpad 701c (Butterfly model).

 

However, the IBM didn't recognize the drives, and I bin'ed them for a while.

 

Then I thought of my SE/30, and I dug the drives out again, went to eBay and bought an ACARD SCSI <> IDE converter board (not labled ACARD, but it's the same card from an OEM vendor). Also, I had an IDE40 <> IDE44 adaptor already.

 

So, I went to install an SSD in the SE/30, with the IDE40 <> IDE 44 attached to the drive, and the ACARD scsi <> IDE adaptor connected to the scsi ribbon and IDE converter.

 

Booted the SE/30 from a boot floppy, and the drive was ... - *not* recognized by Apple HD Setup Tools...

Knowing full well that all this conversion of standards on two adaptor boards inevitably introduces a plethora of potential errors, coupled with the previous "success" from the IBM,

I thought the project was stillborn. However, the next day I remembered the "hacked" HD Tool from Apple I had, and booted the machine again. This time, the SE/30 *did*

recognize the drive, and started the initialization process. Hours later, it failed. Some nonsensical error pertaining to the co-processor was presented to me.

 

Undaunted, I tried again - and again. Same result *every* single time!!!

 

Poking about the 9 gig IBM drive, I byu now had installed in an Apple 20SC enclosure, I found a Syquest SCSI tool, which also recognized the drive. And what's more, it had a "format"-button...

 

So - I tried an "easy setup" of my SSD, and waited yet again.

 

And lo and behold, this time the format finished without a hick-up. I now have the SSD formated in a two (2) gig partition, holding System 7.5.3 and apps. The rest is still unformated.

 

So, long story short - I now have an SE/30 with SSD - quiet as a "Fat Mac", with all the wisper-quiet storage one could ever dream of in a 68K Macintosh.

 

The system is configured thus:

 

SE/30

Stock ROM (have IIfx and IIsi ROM, but not installed)

68meg RAM (4x1 and 4x16)

System, 7.5.3 on

8gig IDE SSD with dual conversion (SSD is an industrial grade Smart Modular Technologies, I got of eBay at 40us$...)

Asante MacCon IIsi/se30 ethernet

Micron Xceed with grayscale

Apple 20SC external HD

 

And it's just a bundle of joy to work with! Also, please observe that I'm talking true SSD with an SSD controller built in the drive, and *not* an IDE <> Compact Flash solution.

 

Cheers from Denmark,

 

/Anders

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Ahh yes, speed, I forgot.

 

Well - yes and no. It's faster then the stock Apple 40 meg, but no more than the IBM 9gig. I suppose the SCSI bus is hindered by age, and by a dog-slow system bus. Also, the I/O conversion from SCSI <> IDE does nothing to improve things either.

 

I'm in the market for a socket CPU upgrade from Daystar / Sonnet, but I'm not holding out for any speed-improvement in the I/O-department.

 

So, it's not making your system faster, it's not making your system more reliable (on the contrary, I guess, due to the massive I/O conversion) - but it *does* make it quiet, and I just love when friends realise my 20year+ old computer runs of an SSD they can't afford in their new MacBooks Pro's (of course the price of an Intel X25-E and my 40us$ drive does not compare, but I'm not telling!)

 

 

*note*

 

Although I've previous bragged about being able to format with Syquest SCSI something-or-rather, I just remembered that what I actually used, was Lido 7.5.6... A pox upon me for being a liar, folks!

 

*end note*

Edited by Guest

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I now have an SE/30 with SSD - quiet as a "Fat Mac",

Well, not as quiet as a Fat Mac unless you have also taken out the fan. Which on an SE/30 might not be the best idea, with or without a spinning hard drive.

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The best SSD for the SE/30 is a drive that is made in the stock form factor (3.5") and already has a 50-pin SCSI connector. Indeed, one probably couldn't do much better than this:

 

http://www.tri-m.com/products/sandisk/ffd35unscsi.html

 

That web page says they will even supply a SCSI-1 interface upon request. Since it's an EOL drive (and hence, they probably have a lot of dead stock on their hands), I cannot imagine that the price should be too high now days. But one would have to Request a Quote to find out.

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http://www.tri-m.com/products/sandisk/ffd35unscsi.html

 

That web page says they will even supply a SCSI-1 interface upon request. Since it's an EOL drive (and hence, they probably have a lot of dead stock on their hands), I cannot imagine that the price should be too high now days. But one would have to Request a Quote to find out.

Quote requested. :) I'll let you know what I find out.

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SCSI-2 to SCSI-1 conversion boards are cheap and easy to find. If they do a price break on small quantities (say 10) maybe we should RaQ for a group purchase :)

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If that M-SYSTEMS drive I mention is available in a reasonable quantity (i.e., more than 10) and for a reasonable price (i.e., less than say $200 for a 4GB size), then you would probably have most SE/30 owners on the planet after this SSD drive. Again, it's the perfect size and it has a 50-pin connector, and it comes in a SCSI-1 or SCSI-2 edition. That means it is just a drop-in replacement for your existing spinning platter drive, no adapters required.

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If it's a SCSI-1 standard, I can see more than just the SE/30 owners going after it. I'd like to try it on both my SE/30 and on my Power Mac 7500. Imagine installing a 30-some gigabyte one in that Mac. W00t!

 

73s de Phreakout. :rambo:

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I'm not sure if it is only "SCSI-1" that will work in the SE/30. I had this IBM DGHS drive internal to my SE/30 in the past and it worked perfectly. (I only moved it to an HD20 enclosure to reduce heat inside my SE/30.) But as you can see in my photo, this is an "Ultra" SCSI drive, originally used in servers. And if this SCSI wiki is to be taken at face value, then Ultra Narrow SCSI = "SCSI-3 SPI". So I guess that would mean that so long as a "Narrow" SCSI drive has a 50-pin connector, is terminated correctly, and comes in a 3.5" low profile form factor, it will work internal to an SE/30 even if it is SCSI-1 or SCSI-2 or SCSI-3.

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Could you post that Syquest tool? I have an SE/30 I'd like to get running with a newer drive.

 

Regarding an ideal, easily obtainable SCSI drive, I recommend getting an Acard ARS-2000SUP SATA to 50 pin SCSI adapter which takes 2.5" SATA drives. You can use a laptop hard drive or a 2.5" SSD drive, and the adapter is still made.

 

Also, there is no speed degradation from the IDE to SCSI adapters. I've been able to get in excess of 80 MB/sec from a single drive with Acard adapters. They can make IDE drives FASTER than when they're connected to an IDE bus because you have a dedicated IDE bus between a specialized controller and the drive, and on the other side a SCSI bus with command queueing, disconnect/reconnect, and, in most instances (NOT the SE/30) DMA.

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While you are correct in stating that 2.5" laptop hard drives (spinning platter type) can be used, this thread is focused on SSDs. Moreover, 2.5" drives of the spinning platter type are hardly more inspiring than the 3.5" variety. They can be easy found anywhere for cheap prices, but so what? SSDs are what the doctor ordered for lowering power consumption and heat and noise.

 

And as to "adapters" I covered that my previous posts here. Why get an adapter if you can get a 3.5" form factor SSD drive that is already SCSI-1, SCSI-2 or SCSI-3 (narrow) and is drop-in compatible with the stock hard drive? The price would be the only real consideration here. But SSD prices today are the lowest they have ever been. It just depends on how stingy these companies are in clearly out their "dead stock" of older model SSDs (older models, yet perfect for our vintage Macs, with speeds that more than saturate the original SCSI busses).

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While you are correct in stating that 2.5" laptop hard drives (spinning platter type) can be used, this thread is focused on SSDs. Moreover, 2.5" drives of the spinning platter type are hardly more inspiring than the 3.5" variety. They can be easy found anywhere for cheap prices, but so what? SSDs are what the doctor ordered for lowering power consumption and heat and noise.

2.5" drives are also good regarding power usage, heat and noise when compared with 3.5" or particularly SCSI drives, but I mentioned that you can easily put in a 2.5" SSD drive if that's your thing. It's MUCH easier to find an SSD drive in the 2.5" form factor with a SATA interface than anything else (just check Newegg or the likes).

 

And as to "adapters" I covered that my previous posts here. Why get an adapter if you can get a 3.5" form factor SSD drive that is already SCSI-1, SCSI-2 or SCSI-3 (narrow) and is drop-in compatible with the stock hard drive? The price would be the only real consideration here. But SSD prices today are the lowest they have ever been. It just depends on how stingy these companies are in clearly out their "dead stock" of older model SSDs (older models, yet perfect for our vintage Macs, with speeds that more than saturate the original SCSI busses).

Well, for one, if the drives are not upgradeable (flash does wear out after a while, after all), and especially if they're not made anymore, the Acard is a good alternative. I bought the Acards because I do a lot of upgrades for new laptops and therefore have lots of 160 gig and 250 gig 2.5" SATA hard drives.

 

q605_acard.jpg

acard_sata.jpg

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With my limited knowledge of SCSI standards, coupled with my first-hand knowledge of what have worked for me in the past, I can attest to the fact that as long as the drive is a 50pin drive, it's SE/30 compatible. In fact, you can take a new, ultra wide 80 pin driven and with the appropriate adapter, install it in you own SE/30.

 

However, I *have* found problems with large drives and System 7.1 and below. Seems like System 7.1 doesn't like large drives (partitions to be exact) in the gigabyte-range.

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Keep the drive partitioned in 2GB chunks and you will be compatible even with System 6. My IBM DGHS is 4.5GB. I divided it up so System 6.0.8 could see all the files on all partitions. It works perfectly.

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The best SSD for the SE/30 is a drive that is made in the stock form factor (3.5") and already has a 50-pin SCSI connector. Indeed, one probably couldn't do much better than this:

 

http://www.tri-m.com/products/sandisk/ffd35unscsi.html

 

That web page says they will even supply a SCSI-1 interface upon request. Since it's an EOL drive (and hence, they probably have a lot of dead stock on their hands), I cannot imagine that the price should be too high now days. But one would have to Request a Quote to find out.

 

Got a email back saying that the company no longer sells the product.

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Thanks for replying back about that. I figured as much. But no doubt someone out there has stock of them. I cannot imagine that NASA and the US Military would have snapped them all up.

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Once you have a CF card formatted by the SE/30, can you still read the card in MacOS X via a card reader to transfer files?

 

Could the formatting have been done via an emulator in the first place?

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You need to format the drive in a computer running system 7.x or equivalent.

 

But, popping it in a card-reader on the OS X machine afterwards, gives read- and write access to the HFS-partition.

 

Don't know about the emulator, though.

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You need to format the drive in a computer running system 7.x or equivalent.

 

Based on my test with a USB drive, you can format it with a disk utility. Since I have Snow Leopard (no HFS format/write support), I had to use TransMac via WinXP, which is really maddening. If someone knows of a similar Mac based tool, please chime in. I was then able to open the drive in Basilisk and transfer files to the drive. Once I get my CF card, I will try the same thing.

 

This thread helped get me going: http://68kmla.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11290.

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Hi

 

Do you think that this will work?

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/IDE-to-SCSI-Converter-Board-for-CD-DVD-Drives-R-IDSC_W0QQitemZ330387956791QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item4ceca82437#ht_886wt_1140

 

It's the cheapest scsi adapter that I have found. Coupled with this:

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/4GB-Disk-On-Module-40Pins-Industrial-MLC-IDE-Flash_W0QQitemZ220395738789QQcmdZViewItemQQptZPCC_Drives_Storage_Internal?hash=item33509c16a5#ht_2750wt_1010

 

We could have 4 GB of SSD, with a spending of 27.99 + 19.99 $us.

 

(Sorry about my english, I'm not native speaker).

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