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TimHD

IDE 2 Compact Flash formatting/initialization issues

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Hi

 

I've been having some issues with trying to replace the old IDE HDD on my 630CD with a Compact Flash drive. I acquired the following hardware:

 

- IDE 2 CF adapter:  http://www.sybausa.com/productInfo.php?iid=384(supports UDMA)

- 4GB SanDisk Ultra Compact Flash card (works fine in DSLR camera and via USB to iMac).

- 4 pin Molex (HDD->FDD) cable (to supply power to the adapter board).

 

On the software side, I have used Apple's (IDE) Drive Setup software from my 7.5.3 install CD (and other versions). This will recognise the "IDE" or "ATA" bus and the attached compact flash card is 4GB in size, and let me set the drive's partitions (went for 1 and then 2 at less that 2GB size each, if that could be an issue). However, whenever I try to initialize the drive (with or without a low level format first), it gets through the process (quite long when formatting 4GB!!), but at the end it says it's failed to initialise and thus won't mount the new drive(s).

 

I have tried formatting the CF flash card on my iMac G3 via a USB-CF adapter (OS 10.4.1 Tiger, formatted HFS not HFS+). This worked fine and I was able to transfer files to the CF drive and back (so the hardware looks good) but when I attached this to my 630CD's IDE interface , it was not recognised. (NB: the IDE drive works fine, so it's not a cabling issue in the 630CD side).

 

Any ideas?

 

NB: I have read the various links here and elsewhere on related issues, (i.e. this is not a dual CF adapter, etc), though most of the other threads seem to be focussed on SCSI-CF adapters (is there a problem with IDE-CF I am not aware of?).

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You are the third person on this forum to say that they have a problem with the Sybusa CF2IDE adapter on this forum. I'm beginning to think that these things are duds in the Mac world but great on the PC side of things.

 

The 630CD does not support UDMA, so that is not going to work for added speed; at best you will have 33MB/sec. Which is fine for THAT Machine. you just need the right adapter, one that will fit on the end of the IDE Cable.... a cheap Chinese CF-to-IDE adapter like this one, they range from $2 to $5...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dual-CF-Compact-Flash-to-40-Pin-Male-IDE-HDD-Converter-Card-Adapter-Laptop-YP-/171909890828?hash=item2806a0c30c:g:~7MAAOSwa39Utghw

 

For UDMA Support, read:

http://support.fccps.cz/download/adv/frr/cf.html

 

But, like I said before, the 630 does not support it so what extra speed UDMA the CF has will not be used by the Mac.

 

The SanDisk CF works well in these machines. I have used them in older Macs without issue. You should be able to format them using the Apple partition software to divide up the CF as needed and then in the File or Special Menu - Format Disk! That is how I have done it for years. Formatting the disk in OSX will only format it in HSF+, not HSF. this is only good if you are going to install OS 8.1 or OS 9. But you should be able to boot up the 630CD with the Install CD and run Apple HD Set Up from there, then partition and  format the CF from there and install the OS afterwards.

 

Formatting the CF should only take seconds. A minute a the most. Try making your partitions as 1.75GB/1.75GB/500MB, and then format them. But first get the cheap CF-to-IDE Adapter. Again, this is the third time I have heard that these Sybua CF2IDE adapters not working on a Mac. One of these cases starts here to Page 3:  https://68kmla.org/forums/index.php?/topic/23406-booting-from-a-compact-flash-drive/?p=243941

Edited by Elfen

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Thanks Elfin,

 

I am wondering whether the issue with these SybaUSA adapters could be their design. I noticed that the cheaper Chinese/US versions seem to not have any additional pins/circuitry on the PCBs, and in that regard, are just 'straight' CF adapters (i.e. pin for pin connection between the IDE cable and the CF card slot). The SybaUSA version I have seems to look a lot like their 'dual' IDE to CF adapter (i.e. leveraging same PCB design but without the second IDE (44pin) or slave CF connector). It seems they use the one PCB design and just tack on the additional IDE connection where those 40 pin holes are on the PCB. Given the issues with dual CF cards not working, this could be the problem. See comparison images below

 

 

PS - I couldn't help notice that the link you had above was to a 'dual' CF adapter (though the image in the link was not a dual version!). I found this similar (not-dual) CF adapter in the US - http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pcs-PC-Desktop-Compact-Flash-CF-to-IDE-Adapter-40-Pin-Adapter-Male-Card-/361240624319. Might go with that one if partitioning smaller than 1.75GB doesn't work.

 

 

One last thing - you mentioned formatting the CF card on my iMac would result in a HFS+ structure. I was aware of this issue but the formatting software gave me the option of "Mac OS Standard" (which I thought was HFS) whereas the other options were HFS+. Or are all OS X Tiger options only HFS+ versions?

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Yes, that is a mistake if it is a Dual CF. But I see the images they posted, and its a single though the header is there to add a second CF. It is like that for nearly all Single CF Adapters I seen; rarely, have I seen a Single CF where the flip-side is blank. And the price of $2 puts it in the Single CF adapter range (Duals CF adapters start at about $4 or double the price though there are some $3 ones...)

 

I do not know if it is a seller's mistake or not but here's a new link for a Single CF to IDE. It's a bit higher priced though.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CF-Compact-Flash-to-3-5-40-Pin-Male-IDE-HDD-Converter-Card-Adapter-Bootable-MA-/131486370340?hash=item1e9d32ca24:g:PsIAAOSwEeFVLIE-

 

Like you said, these cheap Chinese adapters pulls the wires from the IDE cable and converts it to CF. Your link is just as good but a tad pricey though he is a USA seller.

 

Also, I forgot to mention it - the Master/Slave jumper on the CF adapter should be left on Master. And if there is a 5V/3.3V jumper, make sure it's on 5V. And if you need UDMA in the adapter, that link in my first post shows where to put it; it's just 2 wires to solder.

 

OSX (up to 10.5) defaults to HFS+ because most G3/G4s run OS 9.2 which is on HFS+. One thing I do is use a CF to PCMCIA adapter and use something like a 1400 on System 7 to partition and format it in HFS. I have a couple CFs set up in PCMCIA in case my older PowerBooks (with PCMCIA) hard drives fail, and boot off the PCMCIA. In a worst case (like in my 2300c) I can remove the CF from the PCMCIA Adapter and put it in the IDE cable with the IDE adapter and let it boot.

Edited by Elfen

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I've had a few further attempts at this (while I await a new simpler CF adapter which will hopefully work). Found one in China for a few dollars that won't take too long to get to Australia.

 

Meantime, I'll leave some notes below for further reference/use for future users who come up against similar issue (though, I have still not solved this yet):

 

A few things I noticed when I tried this again with some of your earlier suggestions was that on my iMac G3 10.4 it initially defaulted to erase as HFS+ ('mac os journaled') for the CF card attached via a USB adapter, and would not let me select Mac OS standard until I reformatted the card in a FAT/DOS format. I then tried doing a 3 way partition and left about 500MB for the final partition. Interestingly, the first 2 partitions formatted fine as Mac OS Standard (now coming up as an option in Disk Utility) but there was an issue with the last partition. I now set the last partition as 'free space' and repartitioned and reformatted with 2 x 1.66GB petitions and 500MB or so as free space.

 

Now, interestingly, despite these settings, the CF card turned out to have 2 x 1024MB partitions and about 2GB of free space (per Disk Utility!). Not sure why Mac OS Standard (HFS?) let me select 1.75GB and then only produced 1024MB partitions??

 

So despite the 2 x 1024MB partitions coming up (which I was able to transfer files to and run Verify Checks on the partitions in Disk Utility to confirm all good, Mac OS Standard partitions) I still could not get my Quadra 630CD to recognise it. (Indeed, Drive Setup didn't recognise any existing partitions this time! - whereas earlier, it saw the 2 x 2GB Partitions I created earlier (1 called 'Macintosh CF HD' and the other called 'Mac CF Backup'). Go figure!

 

While the adapter is still looking the prime suspect, it was interesting that the CF Card failed to format the last few MBs and reverted to 1024MB partitions despite what was asked of it by Disk Utility. I don't have any different CF cards to test at this stage but will consider this if the new IDE to CF adapter doesn't work.

 

Noted re: 5V and Master settings. Confirmed (and tried setting it to slave, but no go as expected). 

 

Meantime, will focus on a few other classic mac projects.

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Try a different formatting software.  

 

In experiments back in 2012 with as many formatters as I could find, I had the best luck formatting CF, SD, and PCMCIA cards with FWB Hard Disk Toolkit version 2.02.  I downloaded it from the Daystar website days before the website disappeared, but later found the website on web.archive.org.  

 

Unfortunately, my work on 68k Macs has been on hold since 2012.  If I can find my notes from back then, I’ll update this post with an actual website.

 

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An alternative route: depending on your needs/wants, you can use a SCSI2SD off the internal CD-ROM SCSI bus. I had no need for the CD-ROM, so I just used the jack, but in theory you could get a two-connector SCSI ribbon cable and run them both off it.

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