14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 10, 2010 3:58 PM by japamac
Eric_Phillips1 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
I was an idiot and bought an SATA hard drive for my G4. Is it possible to get a PCI card that can run the boot drive?

G4, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)

    It isn't a problem with a bootable controller like those from Firmtek.
    This one allows use of two internal drives:

    This one supports two internal, two external:
  • Eric_Phillips1 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    I was hoping for something a little cheaper. What about something like this SATS to IDE converter?

  • Douggo Level 4 Level 4 (2,740 points)
    What about something like this SATS to IDE converter?

    That would be a "ya' pays your money and takes your chances" gamble. I'm not sure that the ATA controller in the G4 is going to know what to make of this converter.. The dedicated PCI SATA card Japamac suggested would be a better option, and give you better performance from the drive in the bargain.

  • Glen Doggett Level 4 Level 4 (1,835 points)
    cheapest option I can think of is this bare-drive external adapater cable.
    but not sure if you can boot from it, might need an external FW enclosure for booting, another budget-minded option:

    If you add the internal PCI SATA card, you will also need IDE-ATA molex to SATA power adapters:

    Message was edited by: Glen Doggett
    you get what you pay for: these only slightly cheaper external USB/FW options will be roughly half the speed performance of the internal SATA PCI card.
  • timidpimp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Do the Firmtek cards fully support Leopard? I have read bad things about the 5.3.1 firmware but can't find any info on the 5.3.2 firmware.

    I am currently using a SIIG but it isn't Leopard compatible. I am buying a new SATA controller in the next few days so I can run leopard. I have it down to either the Firmtek 1S2 or the Sonnet offering since both list Leopard compatibility. From the research I have done though the 5.3.1 firmware for the Firmtek has sleep issues and other bugs.

    Your advice would really be appreciated. The Firmtek is a tad cheaper and more popular but I want full compatibility with deep sleep under leopard. I have not found any bad info at all on the Sonnet though.
  • timidpimp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Actually I just read on the Sonnet site that their SATA cards are made by Firmtek and even use the exact same firmware.

    Since the Firmtek is $15~ cheaper I will go with it. Here in Canada the Sonnet sells for 90 and the Firmtek for 75.
  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    Actually I just read on the Sonnet site that their SATA cards are made by Firmtek and even use the exact same firmware.

    That's correct.
    Careful, though, because even though they are built by Firmtek for Sonnet, not all Sonnet cards support boot.
  • timidpimp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm going with the 2 channel Firmtek for sure.

    Can you share your experiences with your firmtek and leopard? I notice that you're running 10.5.6 and not 10.5.8.
  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)

    I haven't had any issues with any version of OS X 10.4 or 10.5.
    The Firmtek card has been terrific. Highly recommended.

    You are right, I have stopped at 10.5.6, mostly because I haven't seen any need to update.
    I wouldn't anticipate any problems, but after the 10.4.9 mess, I don't just "auto-update" anymore.

    I now use 10.4.8 as my preferred Tiger volume, with 10.4.11 for only a few necessary items.
    Too many people have problems blindly updating, especially in systems loaded with third party hardware and software.

    If there is a feature or a bug fix that I need, I backup and update.
    In this case, 10.5.6 is very stable, and that's all that I need.
  • timidpimp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the info. Are you using the 5.3.1 or 5.3.2 firmware for the firmtek?
  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)

    I use v5.1.3.
    Haven't ever had any issues with sleep, mounting or otherwise in Tiger or Leopard.
    Following Firmtek's advice and NOT updating unless there are issues is the best advice.

    For G4 users, v5.1.3 is the recommended version.

    Fortunately, Firmtek also provides for reverting the firmware version should an update yield undesirable results.
  • Thomas Bryant Level 6 Level 6 (13,865 points)
    Hi! The 2-port Sonnet card is bootable (only Sonnet sata card that is). I soemtimes pict them up used on ebay for 20-40 bucks. I've got a couple sitting around. Tom
  • timidpimp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have the Firmtek card now installed and running Leopard very well.

    Quick question.. in system profiler it says the card has the 5.3.0 firmware. Can I simply apply 5.1.3 over it? Also it looks like I need to do the firmware upgrade from an IDE drive? Thats what the 5.1.3 installer notes say at least.

    Thanks in advance, japamac!
  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)

    Quick answer:
    If it's working, don't worry about it.

    From Firmtek:
    "When to Upgrade Firmware
    The following firmware updates are mainly for Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" users. However, this firmware is also compatible with Mac OS X 10.4. If your existing FirmTek driver is working well with your current version of Mac OS we highly recommend not upgrading..." This falls under the heading, "If it's not broken don't fix it". While FirmTek tries to make every new driver release better than the last, there is always a chance that a new firmware upgrade may actually cause an issue with some configurations. The new 5.3.1 firmware version posted below corrects a Leopard wake on sleep issue."

    Same goes for a downgrade.

    Message was edited by: japamac