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Use an Ultra ATA drive on G5 System
When I moved from a G4 to a G5, I was disappointed to find that my super-quiet 160 gig Ultra ATA drive would not work in the G5, which officially supports only SATA drives. With just a little tinkering I got the ATA drive to work.

Although the hard drive bay is served only by a SATA bus, there is an ATA bus going to the optical drive. I installed the hard drive in the one available hard drive bay. I removed the optical drive so I could get to its cables and jumpers. To provide power for the hard drive, I installed a Y splitter on the optical drive's Molex power cable.

The short IDE cable that runs from the motherboard to the optical drive was replaced with a 36 inch ribbon cable. The long length was necessary to reach from the optical drive to the hard drive. Because I couldn't get a custom IDE cable made locally, I had to use an off-the-shelf cable. These cables assume that there is a long distance from the motherboard to the first drive and a short distance between the drives. This is the opposite of the G5 situation, so I had to install the cable backwards; that is, the end that normally goes to the motherboard was plugged into the hard drive. This means that the cable select configuration option won't work, so I set the jumpers on the optical drive and hard drive to Master and Slave.

The 36-inch length allowed me to fold the ribbon cable and tape it to flat surfaces so it will not block any airflow. I've had no problems with this installation. I'm curious what others think about this setup.

[robg adds: Proceed at your own risk ... my G5's only getting standard components, at least until its warranty is up. After that, though, I may re-visit this hint for some more cheap storage space...]
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Use an Ultra ATA drive on G5
Authored by: swooshdave on Mar 29, '04 11:01:54AM

You could have gotten a Serial-to-Ultra adapter for about $20.

As long as you don't have any problems with the reversed cable you should be ok.

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mising fast and slow devices
Authored by: carsonau on Mar 29, '04 12:19:28PM

Sounds like a bad idea... I was always told when putting ATA devices together, you should never put slow devices (like optical drives) with fast ones (HD), because the channel will have to slow down for the optical drives, isn't that true anymore?

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Use an Ultra ATA drive on G5
Authored by: AIVAS on Mar 29, '04 05:15:41PM

Officially, Apple does not support the SATA/PATA adapters.

As such, Apple reserves the right to refuse warranty service for any event which may have been attributed to the use of a SATA/PATA adapter.

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Use an Ultra ATA drive on G5
Authored by: CyborgSam on Mar 29, '04 11:23:55AM

Usually the optical drive bus is ATA33, which is slower than ATA66 or ATA100. I don't know what the G5 has, but if it isn't ATA100 I wouldn't add a hard drive to that bus.

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Authored by: wallybear on Mar 29, '04 11:35:42AM

Ultra-ATA cable is not reversible!

The connector meant to be plugged on the motherboard controller (the blue one) is the only one that connects ground to the 40 extra threads of that cable (ULTRA ATA cables have 40 pin connectors with an 80 threads flat cable). Reversing the connection order you lose this extra shielding.
Moreover on some hard drives this cause the drive to downgrade to ATA standards (and speeds).

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Authored by: Frederico on Mar 29, '04 08:05:59PM

Not only should you not reverse an Ultra ATA cable, but hard drives should not be hosted on cables longer than 18-24 inches (at least according to the original ATA-66 spec; may have changed with ATA-100/133, but I think the G5 ATA bus is ATA-66, anyway). Longer cables are fine for optical drives.

Data loss/corruption is likely to occur with voltage drops using the longer cables on HDD, so user beware...

That said, and without opening up a G5, however, if memory serves from stripping opticals out in favor of RAID sets, you should be able to build a custom cable that loops to the optical drive (which should then be set as Slave) and over to the HDD (which will then be Master), and maintain ~20 inches overall.

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Caution... FOLLOW-UP
Authored by: Frederico on Mar 29, '04 08:36:59PM
Just a follow-up, it is a limit of 18 inches for HDD: REF: Hard Drive Installation Details

We experimented with longer cables back when the B&W G3 and early G4s came out, trying to stuff HDDs in above the optical bay, and we had definite data loss issues using longer cables routed around the case to emulate the Apple cables. We always had to build custom cables to stay within 18" spec. To that end, seems like there's just enough room to snake an (unmounted) 3.5" HDD on top of the optical drive in the G5; just use a standard 80/40 ATA HDD cable, and respect the Master/Slave positions as outlined in the referenced article above.

To the original poster, you should be *extremely* cautious about trusting this drive to critical data until you shorten the cable to 18". If it hosts your boot OS or VM swap, I'd be looking for KPs.

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Use an Ultra ATA drive on G5
Authored by: Alejandra on Mar 29, '04 11:49:12AM

Also the SATA to PATA adapter makes the PATA drive faster.


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Slightly OT but...
Authored by: DizzyPenguin on Mar 29, '04 01:30:33PM
Regarding the optical drive connector, am I right in thinking that it is not SATA, and that I would be able to connect my Pioneer A106 DVD-RW in the G5? I haven't purchased my G5 yet, and I'd like todowngrade the SuperDrive to just a regular ComboDrive when purchasing from Apple, because my Pioneer is nearly new and I don't want it to go to waste.


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per the original posting
Authored by: mikerose on Mar 29, '04 05:33:26PM

he was able to use a plain ol' ATA drive by hooking it to the optical ATA chain; ergo, it's regular ATA.

Besides, I just went and looked. It's ATA. Can't testify as to speed, but Apple Spec or System Profiler might.

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Use an Ultra ATA drive on G5
Authored by: slacker on Mar 29, '04 09:23:44PM

Go to ebay and buy a firewire or usb2.0 drive kit. It'll set you back about $30 and not void the warranty.

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Use an Ultra ATA drive on G5
Authored by: robat on Mar 30, '04 08:21:32AM

Hm, i would only think on installing a PATA Disk if i want to use a disk i already have. SATA Disks are only a bit more expensive than PATA and you dont void your warranty using them.

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