Older G4s can't read BIG ATA drives properly?

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Do you know if older graphite G4s have problems reading internal ATA drives bigger than xxx GB?

I have a 250 GB ATA/133 drive in a G4 dual 450 ("Sawtooth"?) and neither Disk Utility or System Profiler can "understand" how big the drive is (it displays an incorrect size). The drive is set as a slave drive. It is not the System drive - its used for storage only. I'm using the OEM onboard ATA/IDE Apple controller. The drive is a brand-new Maxtor DiamondMax 10 ATA133 drive. Disk Utility crashes when I try to verify the disk. The other drive (the system drive) is an Apple OEM 10 GB original drive. It runs/boots fine. I looked for Firmware updates. No luck. The Mac is running 10.3.7 client with 640 MB RAM.

I'm wondering if just buying a PCI ATA controller will fix this. Or maybe a FireWire external case.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    dobbydobby Posts: 794member
    I think only QS G4s and newer had UltraATA 100 or 133.

    You can buy an ATA133 pci card to plug your drive into.

    So your older G4 won't support big disks.

  • Reply 2 of 3
    Here are some links to articles that might be of some use:



    It appears as though Powermacs prior to the MDD models are limited to 128GB unless you employ a work around like installing a new PCI controller card, as you suggested. Some of the people in the article from the second link above appeared to have luck going that route. You might also have some luck going the Firewire route.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    The simple explanation is that ATA133 was the first of the standards that mandated large volume support. It was an optional thing in ATA100 and since Apple was early on the bandwagon it was not an option at that time. Any ATA133 controller(internal or external) will have large volume support, ATA100 is hit and miss.
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