640 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 15, 2007 5:51 PM by motc
Like Tom, I doubt that the USB speed is the issue. But if I were you, I'd take the drive out of the USB enclosure and put it into a FireWire enclosure, thereby multiplying the drive's data transfer speed 30-40 times (and making the drive bootable, if there's an OS on it). Connecting a modern hard drive to a USB 1.1 port makes it intolerably slow, and there's no reason to put up with such torpor when you have a FireWire port available.
Your drive is USB 2.0 compatible, however, it operates at USB 1.1 speed because of your Mac's 1.1 speed. This table shows USB: Transfer Speed Compared to Other Technologies
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=24531 A Firewire drive will operate faster than USB 1.1.
Thank you all for your thoughts and advice.
I did format the drive for Mac OS extended, with the Mac OS 9 drivers box checked.
The hard drive box appears to be sealed - no way to remove the drive and put it in a different enclosure. Guess I should have thought of that before.
So is it the case, that a typical external hard drive can transfer data at a variety of different speeds; and it's the enclosure's interface (USB, Firewire, etc.) that determines what that speed will be?
Hi, motc -
...that a typical external hard drive can transfer data at a variety of different speeds...
Only if it is designed to do so. For example, a Firewire 400 drive can not transfer data at FW800 speeds; and a USB 1.1 drive can not transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds.
Some external drives have multiple interfaces - USB and Firewire, and perhaps more than one for each.
...and it's the enclosure's interface (USB, Firewire, etc.) that determines what that speed will be?
Not exactly. The capability of the Mac and the OS running the Mac also determine the data throughput speed.
For example, the built-in USB on your iBook G3 900MHz model is USB 1.1. Attaching a USB 2.0 drive will not change that - the best such a drive can do is USB 1.1 speeds, limited by the Mac itself. Fortunately most USB 2.0 devices are backward compatible with USB 1.1 - they will operate on a USB 1.1 connection, but only at USB 1.1 speeds.
Similarly your iBook's built-in firewire is FW400 - it can not operate that bus at FW800 speed.
For those models capable of using PCI cards (an iBook is not), a faster bus (USB, Firewire, or both) can be added that way - but whether such a drive will then be bootable depends on the Mac and the card.
There are also other limiters - the OS. For example, even if a USB 2.0 bus is added to a G4 using a PCI card, when the machine is booted to OS 9 it can not use USB 2.0 speeds, only USB 1.1 speeds - OS 9 does not have the necessary software components to drive USB 2.0.