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  1. #1


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    Hard drive not recognized correctly?
    I recently purchased a new 500 gig hard drive for the powermac (specs on right). I formatted it and went to put everything from the old drive on there and the Finder window says it only has 128 gigs available. I went to Disk Utility, and it said the same thing. What's the deal?
    Zach H.
    PowerMac G4 AGP graphics, Mac OSX 10.4.11, 512 MB RAM, 10GB HD, 802.11g network card, 400 MHz PowerPC processor, 500GB Western Digital External HD hooked up on FW400

  2. #2

    Rottie's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by macguy57366 View Post
    I recently purchased a new 500 gig hard drive for the powermac (specs on right). I formatted it and went to put everything from the old drive on there and the Finder window says it only has 128 gigs available. I went to Disk Utility, and it said the same thing. What's the deal?
    Hi there,

    As I understand it (I could be wrong, though.. Been out of touch with Macs for a while, but I digress...) large drives over 128Gb were only supported natively in later G4s, such as the Quicksliver 2002 and later models.

    Desktop Macs earlier than the 2002 Quicksilver PowerMac G4 were limited to IDE drives of 128 GiB in size or less. This is a limitation of the IDE controller on the Mac logic board. You cannot get around it by partitioning the drive. To use larger hard drives, there is third party software that can patch the problem, or you can install an IDE or SATA drive controller in a PCI slot and connect the drive to this card, or you can install a larger drive in a Firewire enclosure to use it with these machines. The chipset in the enclosure must be able to support the drive, which is not generally an issue except with very early (and thus, slow and unstable) chipsets. Assuming the chipset supports the drive, the FireWire bus itself will support any size drive
    copied/pasted from wikipedia

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Imac 27", 3.3GHz, 512 flash storage, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra.
    That is absolutely correct what Rottie has told you 128GB is all they will see in the present format. You van add a PCI Controller Card to get around this. Also consider breaking the drive into 4x125GB partitions. Controller card cost is more than thew G4 is worth alas:-

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ACARD/AEC6885M/

    Shame you never asked before you jumped as 2 x 125GB HDD installed internally would have been better and cheaper.

  4. #4

    Rottie's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    Also consider breaking the drive into 4x125GB partitions.
    Hi Harry,
    Unfortunately, natively you cannot partition the drive into multiple slices to get around the 128Gb limit. Unless of course, you were talking about using the PCI card you mentioned?

    From my original (wikipedia) quote (bold emphasis is mine)
    Desktop Macs earlier than the 2002 Quicksilver PowerMac G4 were limited to IDE drives of 128 GiB in size or less. This is a limitation of the IDE controller on the Mac logic board. You cannot get around it by partitioning the drive. To use larger hard drives, there is third party software that can patch the problem, or you can install an IDE or SATA drive controller in a PCI slot and connect the drive to this card, or you can install a larger drive in a Firewire enclosure to use it with these machines.

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