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Dualie G5 SSD problems and general maintenance questions

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Hello, I have a dual G5 1.8ghz. I was thinking of restoring and using it for light Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator work. This was identical to the computers I used in university and my first job in the print industry.


Nostalgia aside, I'm having issues with three things.


1. My Powermac doesn't not like and will not see any Kingston A400 SSD I attach to it.

2. The optical drive can read but is really picky about opening its tray. I think it's catching or gunked up.

3. Preventative maintenance: I've seen Dualie G4 MDDs (at least 2) burn out there CPUs because of dried thermal paste. Is it worth replacing the paste or just let it slide? 

4. I know the G5 iMacs had cap issues, do I need to worry about this because it's a pro-level?


Things I've tried.

1. The Powermac boots perfectly off any SATA spinning drive I tried and I tried both cables. Right now I have two other SSDs that might work, I don't know if I want to pull them from the other machines but one is an older 64gb SSD I don't think it's Sata 3 so it might be more compatible? I also have an Intel 120gb drive, maybe they stick to spec better than others or have better backwards compatibility. Right Now the Powermac is using a Seagate 2.5" SSHD (6gb SSD and 1tb spinning platter) and it works.

2. I forgot about the drive being sticky and I put my Leopard disk in there and it will not eject with a paper clip, in the OS or at startup holding down the mouse. Can I manually cycle the drive and loosen things up without destroying it?

3. One day it spun up loudly while not under heavy load. This computer is about 15 years, how good the heat paste be anymore?

4. I've done nothing, if I redo the paste I make take a look at the caps then.


Edited by mac-man6
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The SSD you mentioned is SATA 600 (which should work fine 1 step lower at 300). G5s are SATA 150 so the SSD will probably not work well if at all.

Some trays are opened using a rubber belt and those can age and become stretched needing replacement.

Never seen a G4 MMD burn out a CPU, plenty of PS die but not a CPU. Thermal paste should be put on sparingly only to fill in the voids between the CPU and heatsink, not as a layer between them.

G5 Imacs all have issues with caps on the motherboards (and lots of them BTW) and with caps in their power supplies. iMacs were not pro level back then (towers were) and that has nothing to do with the capacitor plague of the time period that affected everybody. So far all my G5 towers have not needed capacitors replaced, but all my G5 imacs have.


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Is the actual optical drive having trouble opening, or is it just having trouble opening the metal outer door? Mine originally had something similar, but if I slide down the metal door manually it can open fine. It seems to have worked itself out by now, although it will still often want to close immediately after opening, so I kind of have to catch it.


I wonder how much of a performance boost you would see from using an SSD in one of these machines. I originally considered doing that, but then saw that you could get 500GB SATA drives from Amazon for around $20 new or $10 refurbished, so I just decided to get a couple of those and call it a day.

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It's odd that they have such bad backwards compatibility especially when they sell them as great for speeding up old machines. When I find the other drives, I'll give them a shot and let you guys know which ones work and which don't.


Thanks Unknown_K, answered pretty much all my questions. 


Mighty Jabba, I have a spinning hard drive hybrid drive in there now but I'd like to max the machine out performance while using existing parts. Getting rid of the old hard drive cut down on the noise but I'd like a solid state drive. The ram is maxed, I'm not touching the GPU and the hard drive is the next big upgrade I could do. As for the optical drive, at first I thought it was the metal cover but that's fine, it's the tray. 





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One possibility: Try a higher end SSD from a different brand. I've yet to actually try any in my G5.


Regarding SSD backward compatibility, most of the PCs people bother putting SSDs in have 3 gigabit SATA (SATA II), but I'd be highly interested in whether anyone's bothered to put an SSD in something like an OptiPlex GX270 or GX280, which have the original SATA spec. (Another good one might be ThinkPad Z60.)


Every SSD I've ever used has successfully scaled back from 6 to 3 gigabit SATA for use in machines from the Core2 era, but I don't have much that's older and has SATA.


I hear a lot more about G5s having problems with newer/faster SSDs and I don't know if it's the SSD's "fault" or the G5's "fault" - and I don't hear anything about very old PCs, but that's at least as likely to be because I'm just not in old PC communities as it is to be because old PCs didn't have problems like this.


3 hours ago, Mighty Jabba said:

I wonder how much of a performance boost you would see from using an SSD in one of these machines.

I have a couple of 10.6 machines with their original spinning hard disks from 2006, usually fairly midrange. One's a Mac Pro 1,1 and one's a Mac Mini 2,1.


It's Pretty Good by the standards of modern computers with conventional/spinning hard disks installed on them. Mac OS X 10.13+ (and really this has been the case for several years) are really really bad on spinning disks, and Windows 10 is better but still not good on one.


Mac OS X 10.6 boots really fast and searches quickly and just generally works really well on relatively ho-hum disks from 2006.


Would there be a performance boost? Yes.


Is that performance boost important? Depends on what you're doing. Applications and OSes didn't expect always-instant high-IOPS storage the way modern environments do.

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So I took a crack at the SSDs.

Both SSDs had been cloned with SuperDuper to a drive formatted on the G5 with the Apple Partition Map, definitely not GUID or MBR. 


The Intel 520 series 120gb - Would boot but had a kernel panic several times when starting up. I never booted successfully.

The SanDisk Ultra Plus 64gb - Booted first time and works great!


So in other words, 1/3 of the SSDs would work and 2/3 were not fully compatible. I'm going to tackle the optical drive next, maybe I'll just swap it out for a different one. Not brave enough to take on the thermal paste yet, I did find this interesting post about somebody doing something similar and their results.


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The optical drive issue isn't related to the tray at all it seems. It seems the piece of an optical drive that goes up and through the hole in the disc was depositing some gooey substance on the discs. If there's no disc the tray opens and closes without issue, with a disc it goes back to its old behaviour of not ejecting. I'm going to try swapping it out later. 


Somebody else seems to have this issue too. 


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