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AlpineRaven

PowerBook G3 500 "Pismo" with m.2 blade SSD

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G'day all, 

I wanted to share my experience with this adapter. I wanted at least 512gb and searched for used blade SSD around that size and I found one for USD$56 it was Crucial 525gb NVMe card -> that was the cheapest available that I could find. I took a risk for NVMe m.2 card to become bootable, thinking it may not work but it did!!

 

Before you yarn out!! "why so big!" because I have 200gb of Legacy pre-OSX software, and approx 180gb of old early OSX software littered all over the place (on external HDDs etc) and I want to combine all into one and setup Pismo as "Middle Mac server" for file sharing/FTP etc due OSX and Mac OS 9 etc and MDD has backup.

 

I had issues to format it in Pismo via external (I was able to Partition into 4x 128gb, it but anything to format more than 256gb it acts funny/not 100% formatted and Mac OS 9 was able to see the partition but OSX couldn't as it'll only see 2x 128gb), so I used PowerBook G4 1.67ghz running Leopard to Format/Partition it via HDD Dock because PBG4 can accept to format larger than "128gb limit support" which Pismo is limited to 128gb -> formatted it in 3 partitions, one for Mac OS 9 (60gb), Mac OS X (40gb) and Storage (400gb) and yes Pismo can load 400gb internally as long I don't format it in Pismo as it will end up maximum of 128gb.

 

I bought this 44pin - m.2 adapter off ebay - put m.2 SSD in PBG4 format it, remove it and put in Pismo, installed OSX without any issues, then restart - then switch over to Mac OS 9 and install it, then restore all files back on it. I've done benchmarks, pressure copy test etc (the SSD does get warm but not hot)

 

Very happy with the results.

 

Cheers

AP

 

NB - I personally don't think this adapter will work in older PowerBooks before G3 Pismo, I know that mSATA - 44 card didn't work in PDQ and Lombard, so for older PowerBooks I would recommend 44 pin - SD card no questions asked. (why it didn't work in Lombard? - it freezes and crashes quite frequently)

 

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That looks like the same sled I bought in this thread:
 

 

Did yours not come with the plastic shield that goes over the top, or did you just leave it off to get an idea of how warm it gets?

I'm curious if these will behave better in older devices if you keep the installed drive smaller than 128GB.

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15 minutes ago, Gorgonops said:

That looks like the same sled I bought in this thread:
 

 

Did yours not come with the plastic shield that goes over the top, or did you just leave it off to get an idea of how warm it gets?

I'm curious if these will behave better in older devices if you keep the installed drive smaller than 128GB.

Yeah I left the plastic cover off to see how warm it gets before I cover it up

 

I don't have any smaller than this 512gb, my MacPro has 256gb in it but I’m not taking it out.

I’m very sure it’ll perform same as mSATA unit in others. But it comes down to the controllers in older macs are being picky. That’s why I haven’t bothered older PowerBook than Pismo.

Cheers 

AP

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30 minutes ago, AlpineRaven said:

Pismo, I know that mSATA - 44 card didn't work in PDQ and Lombard

Note that those machines use the Grackle/Heathrow-or-Paddington chipset combination which mean they only support the 16.6mhz subset of ATA4. There are claims in circulation that the Lombard can have problems with real Ultra ATA/66 or higher hard disks, so it's possible it's not explicitly the fault of the bridge... but if it doesn't work it doesn't work.

There have been similar complaints about desktop IDE/SATA bridges failing on the PowerMac 6400-era computers despite working on even older machines like the 6200, my suspicion is that these bridges usually have no problem falling all the way back to ATA2 PIO modes (since support for that mode of communication is necessary at power-on) but have issues with some of the in-between UDMA modes, particularly the ones slower than Ultra ATA/33. I wish I had the motivation to extract the bugger from my Powerbook and try it in my B&W.... (Which has Ultra ATA/33 on the "add-on" controller but the same Paddington chipset as the Lombard on the bus the CD-ROM drive is normally hanging off of. It is technically possible to hang a boot drive off that, I've tried it.) If it worked on one bus and not the other, well, that'd be a data point.

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2 minutes ago, Gorgonops said:

Note that those machines use the Grackle/Heathrow-or-Paddington chipset combination which mean they only support the 16.6mhz subset of ATA4. There are claims in circulation that the Lombard can have problems with real Ultra ATA/66 or higher hard disks, so it's possible it's not explicitly the fault of the bridge... but if it doesn't work it doesn't work.

There have been similar complaints about desktop IDE/SATA bridges failing on the PowerMac 6400-era computers despite working on even older machines like the 6200, my suspicion is that these bridges usually have no problem falling all the way back to ATA2 PIO modes (since support for that mode of communication is necessary at power-on) but have issues with some of the in-between UDMA modes, particularly the ones slower than Ultra ATA/33. I wish I had the motivation to extract the bugger from my Powerbook and try it in my B&W.... (Which has Ultra ATA/33 on the "add-on" controller but the same Paddington chipset as the Lombard on the bus the CD-ROM drive is normally hanging off of. It is technically possible to hang a boot drive off that, I've tried it.) If it worked on one bus and not the other, well, that'd be a data point.

Thats an interesting read - I’ve been trying to ask that question over 6 months ago and you just answered! Interesting!!! Thank you

Cheers

AP

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What's weird, is that any higher revision ATA drive should be capable of falling back to earlier revisions, all the way to pre-ATA PIO mode (which I have actually used with modern IDE drives in very desperate circumstances), fallback is required in all ATA revisions. Are the Apple chipsets just not speaking the right set of information for the drives to fall back to the right ATA level?

Edited by Paralel

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"Should Be" and actually does it right could well mean different things. Short of someone sitting down with analyzer software (or hardware) I imagine it'd be a difficult task to sort out whether the problem is that the SATA bridge manufacturers are lazy about testing whether some of the more obscure/rarely used obsolete modes actually are implemented properly, or if Apple's drivers are particularly buggy/picky and wig out when they see responses from drives that are technically allowed (or at least in a gray area of the spec when talking about fallback) but they didn't account for.

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