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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz System
Normally, under OS 9 and OS X, a G4/400 cannot handle hard drives that exceed 128GB in size. People tell us that's because of the IDE/ATA hardware. So tell me why ... booting from an OS X 10.1.5 partition, my Samsung 160GB hard drive can be formatted up to 149 GB (1K = 1024 Bytes), and partitioned as I liked. And it can then be used under OS X 10.3.3 with full capacity.

Only drawback: OS X 10.3 cannot be installed on the last partition, otherwise 20GB will be lost. But even under OS X 10.3.3, this last partition can be used for storage etc. So if you have a large hard drive, an older Mac, and the 10.1.5 version of OS X, try formatting the drive there; you may be surprised by the results.

[robg adds: I can't confirm this one as I don't have access to an older Mac with which to test. However, if true, I know a few people who would be quite happy. If someone else tests this, please post your comments.]
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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz | 12 comments | Create New Account
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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: mithras on Apr 22, '04 11:48:52AM

Have you tried filling the drive all the way up, and then recovering data from it? I wouldn't trust a drive "successfully" formatted under 10.1.5 until fully tested.

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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: silverkeeper on Apr 22, '04 12:16:49PM

The 128GB limit applies to internal drives on this (and other Macs. The built-in IDE/ATA interface handles a max size of 128GB.

For external drives, there is no limit like this.

External FireWire drives running OS X, formatted as Mac OS Extended can easily support 160GB; heck, can support even support 500GB and 1TB volumes. See Apple technotes for full info.

There are other limits, though if other drive formats are used:
- OS 9 is flaky with FAT32 formatted volumes larger than 32GB; so larger disks should be partitioned into several 32GB or less partitions if FAT32 is important to you
- OS X 10.1.x and 10.2.x can only mount FAT32 partitions less than 128GB

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SilverKeeper



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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: Phorne on Apr 23, '04 04:14:15PM

The internal BUS on a G4/400 does not support drives larger than 128 GB. I experienced this issue with Jaguar Server yesterday.

See this Apple Tech note:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=86178

Your solutions:
PCI ATA Card $99 (I recommend Sonnett Tempo)
Firewire Enclosure $30 and up (I recommend Granite Digital FW400 $99)



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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: ginoledesma on Apr 22, '04 12:43:19PM
Not necessarily. Some Oxford 911-based Firewire drive enclosures still have the 128GB-limit. The FireWire chipset has to explicitly support the ATA-6 protocol. The earlier OX911-based enclosures only support ATA-5 (which supported drives as large as 137GB). Later OX911-based enclosures shipped with ATA-6 support, but you'll have to dig around to find out if the enclosure you're getting indeed supports this. Those made by Wiebetech and OWC nowadays support ATA-6.

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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: Shawn Parr on Apr 22, '04 01:04:45PM

Be very carefull this. A friend of mine did something similar about a year ago and found that the drive worked fine until he put more than 128Gig of data on it.

At that point the machine froze, and refused to boot. He had to find an external enclosure that supported larger drives to get his data back (an entire broadcast video project).



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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: Flynnstone on Apr 22, '04 01:16:33PM

I don't know if this helps, but ...
I use a Mac & PC, I recently bought a G5 (love it). I come from Windoze and Linux lands.
I recent converted an old PC (PI 266) to Linux. I put two 160 gig drives in a raid configuration. A PII 266 has no concept of a 160 gig drive. Or BIOS doesn't understand big drives. The BIOS I believe has a 8 gig boot limit. Linux does understand big drives.
So how it works is Linux boots out a small 100 Meg boot partition. Once Linux is running it can access the entire drive. Linux doesn't use the BIOS.

Now something similar could happen in OS X, but I think it is wise to pay attention to the warnings by the other people.



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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: MacHarry on Apr 22, '04 02:48:58PM

according to Sonnettech.com, the limit is indeed per Drive, not per partition, & that an ATA-133 PCI card (which they as well as others make) will make it all better



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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: cleof on Apr 22, '04 04:54:03PM

According to Apple Support document 86178 "The high capacity drive must be formatted using Mac OS X 10.2 or later for the full capacity of the drive to be available and the BootROM of Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) computers and Xserve computers can accommodate these larger drives."



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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: silverkeeper on Apr 22, '04 07:13:18PM

When you are building your own drives, yes, you do need to be careful about limits of the FireWire bridge; of course.

However, when you are purchasing a drive that is supported by a vendor, it would be foolish to offer such a product if it would flake out past the 128GB barrier.

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SilverKeeper



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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: Fofer on Apr 22, '04 09:47:04PM

If it's dependent on hardware, then how does the Intech ATA Hi-Cap Support Driver play into this?

http://www.speedtools.com/ATA6.html

"The Intech ATA Hi-Cap Support Driver software was created to allow the use of extended capacity ATA drives (drives greater than 128 Gigabytes in size) on older (Pre-Mirrored Door) G4 and G3 Macintoshes running MacOS X versions 10.2 and later. Includes intelligent installation/removal utility.Available stand-alone or as part of SpeedTools Utilities package.

Requirements:
Mac OS X 10.2 or later, ATA Drive greater than 128 Gigabytes in size, PowerPC G3 or G4 (which do not currently support extended capacity drives)."



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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: foolio on Apr 23, '04 12:57:26PM

From what I understand of the product, the only "Native" partition (installable,bootable) is the first 128gb of the disk. the remaining partitions > 128gb point are mounted after boot prior to login and handeled by the ktext extension by the OS/CPU not directly by the hardware.



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Format a 160GB drive for use with a G4/400MHz
Authored by: Xeo on Apr 25, '04 10:56:43PM

Sounds shaky to me. No thanks. I'd rather spend $80 on a PCI card.



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