6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 1, 2007 1:27 PM by William S.
William S. Level 2 (265 points)
The external enclosure is a NGear 2.5 eSATA USB 2.0 enclosure with an 80 GB, 5400 rpm drive (original drive that came with my Macbook Pro).

I am unable to get Mac OS X 10.4.8 to recognize it, but it works perfectly under Windows. The drive came with software and drivers but they are nothing but folders and I have no idea what I need to install. I don't want to start installing drivers at random and risk killing my system.

Hoping maybe someone here can point me in the right direction to what I need to install. USB2EHCI 3.1.5?

The enclosure does work, but just not in Mac OS X.


PS: the manufacturer is of not help. no website, no nothing. I would have never bought it if I knew there was no help out there

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  • William S. Level 2 (265 points)
    Maybe someone who has an external enclosure can tell me what drivers they installed to get it working?
  • R C-R Level 6 (17,375 points)
    FWIW, I found the following info through a Google cached page:

    Contact Information

    nGear Technologies Inc.
    Suite 210 - 5066 Kingsway
    Burnaby, BC, V5H 2E7
    Tel: 604-561-0799
    Fax: 604-648-9288

    Email: info@ngear.ca

    There is also (theoretically) a web site at http://www.ngear.ca/ but I can't get it to respond.

    My guess here is that the problem is not with the lack of a USB 2 a driver, since OS X should have no problem supporting a USB 2.0 connected hard drive, but with the bridge chipset in the enclosure. Bridge chips convert IDE or SATA internal drives to USB, Firewire, or eSATA external ports. Not all of these chipsets are compatible with all OS's, since some are tested only with Windows to keep development costs down. Typically, chips from Oxford (for Firewire) & Cypress (for USB) are the most compatible & trouble free for use with Macs, but others may work as is or with a firmware upgrade if available.

    I suggest trying to contact the company using the above info to see if they either offer a firmware upgrade or can tell you where to get it. If nothing else, you could ask for the manufacturer & model number of the chipset & look for firmware on its web site.
  • William S. Level 2 (265 points)
    Thanks a lot RCR. Yes I did some digging and found the company info. They are actually located a short drive away from me. I will shoot off an email.

    The support+driver mini CD included with the drive is worthless. They threw on there some folders with some drivers. The instruction book that came with the drive is even worse (translated from something to English with what looks like Bablefish. Words like "u" for "you" and sentences that make no sense whatsoever are the norm).

    I didn't want to just start installing drivers randomly. Good way to brick my system.

    I hope the company can get me some help as I am pretty upset over paying for the enclosure. If nothing else, I would want my money back. At this point I just wish it was a simple IDE and work by mere plug and play...

    Thanks again for your help. I'll post back when I get more info... hopefully with a big fact SOLVED to go along with it
  • William S. Level 2 (265 points)
    Looks like Windows sees it as" Initio MK8032GSX. The MK... is the actual hard drive... the Initio I suppose is the chipset.

    But that still doesnt get me very far. Looking at the physical board chipset reveals nothing...
  • R C-R Level 6 (17,375 points)
    The support+driver mini CD included with the drive is worthless.

    FWIW, the drivers that come with USB or Firewire enclosures are usually for Windows '98, since it was not distributed with drivers for these interfaces. Decent documentation should explain this, or at least it should be made obvious from the CD's contents. That it isn't doesn't speak well for nGear.

    For comparison, check out the CD that ships with American Media Systems "Venus" enclosures. The web site is a little weird, being almost 100% Flash driven, but you can download the CD as a zip file through the Support > Downloads > Venus DS Series >CD ISO image drivers buttons. It expands into an ISO disk image that mounts with the name "我的光碟" but the contents are in English & free of the syntax errors typical of "budget" Far East productions. The CD even has a Mac OS folder with some items to support older Cypress chips with older Mac OS versions, but it would otherwise just be something to point nGear to as an example of support done right.

    BTW, I own one of the Venus DS-3 Firewire/USB cases & can attest that it is plug & play with my G5 iMac. It supports booting via Firewire with PPC Macs but since they don't support USB booting & I don't have an Intel Mac, I don't know if it would boot your MacBook via USB connection. It isn't the cheapest case around but I think it is a good value, & one of the few with a truly quiet built-in fan. It is meant for 3.5" drives & I have no experience with the DS-2 model for notebook-sized drives, but the company seems a better bet than nGear, at the very least!
  • William S. Level 2 (265 points)
    Yes you are right. The CD is mostly archaic 98 drivers from 2002-03. Worthless. It appears the chipset is the INIC-1610 from Initio (a company that appears to have not done anything since 2003 itself).

    They have no support info for that specific chipset but claim the later models (1632) are fully supported by Apple in OS X.

    I shot Initio an email to see if they could help but it looks doubtful. Frankly, I am going to sell the drive and the enclosure. It will work for Windows users and if they use OS X, they can wrestle with it.

    I found a cheap LaCie Porsche 3.5 external and since it will never leave my desk, it makes no difference if its a mobile drive or not. The entire SATA 2.5 enclosure scene has been a headache from the start... I hate "giving up" but this has occupied too much of my time.

    Thanks for the help regardless.