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Mac Mini G4 internal sata drive is possible....

 
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derrick02920
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:27 am    Post subject: Mac Mini G4 internal sata drive is possible.... Reply with quote

Apologies if this is posted elsewhere, but I could not find any information regarding this - internal 2.5 sata in Mac Mini G4.

I needed at least 320GB drive for a MAC Mini G4 I inherited. There was no way I was going to spend 70 on a 2.5 IDE 320GB drive when a SATA equivalent was 28. I did not want an external drive (and that would not have given the same level of performance anyhow).

Anyways, I took a plunge and am typing this on my Mac Mini G4 installed with an Samsung Spinpoint 320GB SATA drive. It is installed via a "SATA Female to 44Pin 2.5 IDE Male HDD Adapter Converter" i purchased from Ebay for 3 delivered.

I now wished i took pictures along the way for anyone who might be interested but can give links to the sata adapter i purchased.

Installation Issues:

1. the sata adapter needs to be smaller in height across its width, and the SATA interface on the adapter needs to be lower. The width is fine and there is plenty of room for the SATA drive to fit long ways with adapter in the mini. The added adapter height prevents the HDD section being lowered back into the main board and the interface cannot be made. So not beaten yet, I had to shave what i could from the adapter to reduce it height where it was meeting and fouling on the mainboard -it now touches a raised unit on the motherboard located next to the CPU. This raised unit is mounted on metal posts, has a black bag on it and has 2 big screw heads securing it (easily seen if you google a picture for the mac mini g4 mainboard). I removed one of these screws to allow the HDD section to lower further into the motherboard sufficient to be able to screw the securing screws from the HD section back to the mainboard unit. The interface from the HDD unit is then 'forced' enough into the main board.

Yes, this is not pretty and causes some stresses somewhere I am sure but until I find a better suited SATA bridge this is how it will remain.

2. care must be taken to push the cables out of the way to allow the sata ide adapter to be pushed into the Mac Mini. This is an obvious are where this could break the Mini but care with force Smile paid off for me.

3. you will not be able to screw the sata HD secure once it is in the Mini. I seemed pretty lodged to me but i would not shake the Mini much. It could be secured more with something suitable. Again, i point out i live in hope for a more suitable adapter.

4. when the internals are secured, i found i could not completely put the top case back onto the Mini. It is completely down at the front but is raised a cm or so toward the back. Yes, this means the case if pushed on now pushes on the sata bridge and the raised component on the mainboard. This is the worst bit to the bodge in my opinion. Must remember to not get frustrated by anything and slam my fist down on it Smile

This does not affect dvd useage or anything else. The light is still visible on the front.

5. make sure the jumper on the sata bridge for master select is removed. This makes it master select.

Positives:

1. My Mini is not showing any issues with heat or glitches. It has been on almost continuously for 2 weeks since the upgrade. Fan comes on occasionally if watching video etc. Totally reliable.

2. It has made a big difference to performance from the original 4200 drive. Boot time is now 20 something seconds and application opening is great.

3. There would be no problem installing a bigger drive than 320GB

4. Apart from the fiddly nature of this bodge, it took about an hour to complete.

I now use the Mini as my main go to machine for downloaded TV watching, internet and email. I had not planned to use it that way but it is more usable than I thought it would be and it looks great on 1920 x 1080 22 inch Samsung. It also performs the original main intended purpose - for serving the home. Time Machine for both an Imac and Macbook and media sharing / streaming to other computers and a PS3.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting.

I think it was at Low End Mac where they had an article about putting a compact flash card drive into an old iBook.

I thought it was a pretty cool iDea until I looked up how much CF cards go for. Somewhere between $3 and $6 per GB!

So putting a SATA drive in might be a much better option for those of us that plan on keep using the G4 minis after the drives die.

SC
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[Desktop] Intel mini - 2.16Ghz 2GB 60GB HDD - Newer miniStack v2 500GB - 10.5.8

[Media System] Intel i5 mini - 2.33Ghz 8GB 500GB HDD - 4 x Hitachi 2TB HDD in a qBOX-SF - 10.7.5 (Thanks Phil!)

Make sure it has pins!
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MJL
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just ordered an adapter from eBait (or is it oBoy?) which has the PC board in the same plane as the drive. I've also ordered a SATA SSD drive (older model Kingston which has garbage collection so no TRIM support is required).

This -should- fit nicely but the trick will be to get the SDD and adapter into the IDE socket. What needs to happen is to temporarily remove the IDE board while the SSD + SATA=> IDE adapter is mounted.

It may take a little while before the adapter arrives from Hong Kong but measuring the space etc while I had the MAc Mini G4 open for replacing the battery tells me that it should go in (fine?). Will need to drill some new mounting holes but for a SSD three will be enough.

On another note: if you ever want to restore the SSD to factory performance then you'll have to do an "Erase" with hdparm. It took some searching but there is a special live cd tailored for system administrators and the developper has just reinstated support for the MAC OS X PPC again. www.finnix.org (and read up the wiki). I' ve posted this also on the macrumors place but there was no interest there so seeing that this is everything mac mini and there seems to be more interest in modding it I thought I give some feedback. It is a bit earlier, wanted to wait until done but seeing the date that you have posted this I thought I better chime in. Cheers for now.
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billb
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:01 am    Post subject: SATA/IDE Board for PPC Mac Reply with quote

How bout a link for the SATA/IDE
board that your using.
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MJL
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:43 am    Post subject: Re: SATA/IDE Board for PPC Mac Reply with quote

billb wrote:
How bout a link for the SATA/IDE
board that your using.


Try this: http://cgi.ebay.com/2-5-SATA-SSD-HDD-driver-IDE-44Pin-Converter-Adapter-/170630989456?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27ba664690

The seller is ci_tynight209

Still waiting - always takes a couple of weeks from Hong Kong to New Zealand unless paying premium prices for shipping.
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MJL
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:59 am    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

A new fan and the controller came in today. After comparing an IDE and a SATA HDD and how connected to this controller it has become obvious that this controller is not going to fit in its present state. The way the sockets are mounted means that the drive will not be sitting at the same height, grrrr....

There are two solutions to this: One is to remove the SATA female socket and place it at the other side of the board (not an easy thing to do with surface mounted components but it is something I have done in the past) or 2) take the Kingston SSD out of its case and mount it without the case. Not having the Kingston here (it might take another week) puts some doubt on if this is viable (and if I want to do this, you'll void warranty). If I take it out of the case then I can also consider another adapter which is having a lot bigger PC board but because the 30 Gb Kingston is so small out of the case it will still fit in easily. http://cgi.ebay.com/7-15-Serial-ATA-SATA-IDE-2-5-Male-Horizontal-Adapter-/140567453533?pt=AU_Components&hash=item20ba791f5d . Unfortunately this one suffers from the same issue except the connectors are mounted in a mirrored way from the first one (look at the SATA connector where the 7 pins are and look at where the x-tal sits and where the regulators sit one the IDE side), this means that swapping the sata connector would put it on the correct side (if you are up to the soldering of the small stuff and know how to work antistatic). For the moment I am going to sit tight and wait until the Kingston arrives before doing anything.

There are some reports that the early version of the 30G Kingston had stutter when doing high number of small writes and the disk was over 50% full. Apparently these problems have been resolved with the 2nd generation when Toshiba started to manufacture the controller.

Will make for a nice boot drive with a NewerTech ministack mass storage device for all the music and pictures (or some other network storage).

2 July: Update. Replaced the fan today and took a good look at the space around (below and above) the HDD. The small adapter may still fit but won't know with certainty until I am going to put it into place (no sense in pulling things apart when parts are not here). Studied the PC board and it looks the SATA socket can be angled a bit after loosening the glue holding it at the ends to the PC board. Then next the pins at the IDE end can be bend and the PC board will fit slanted between the IDE socket and the SATA connector. I will first try to mount it without modifying anything (trying to keep everything as original as possible and thus minimising the risk of anything malfunctioning). In hindsight the Intel X25M may have been a better choice since they are only 5 mm thick once the spacer on top has been removed. Never mind I do not want to spent premium dollars on an old machine and the cheapest possible SSD that is suitable (having GC) needs to go in instead (especially with the IDE limitations).

Have ordered a spare SATA => IDE adapter since I can see this coming in handy. (or in case I want to fiddle with it).
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derrick02920
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update -my mini with sata still going strong.

MJL - i am interested, the sata adapter you found looks like it should work better than the one i used originally. The one i used was like this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-5-Hard-Drive-SATA-IDE-44-Pin-Converter-Adapter-/280641512268?pt=UK_Computing_Laptop_Accessories_LaptopCables_Connectors&hash=item415789a34c#ht_1859wt_907

The result for me was the actual board of the adapter was too tall when plugged in and touched a riser post on the mini main board. Can you confirm if your adapter can be plugged in without touching the mac mainboard at all?

thanks

Derrick
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MJL
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

derrick02920 wrote:
Update -my mini with sata still going strong.

MJL - i am interested, the sata adapter you found looks like it should work better than the one i used originally. The one i used was like this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-5-Hard-Drive-SATA-IDE-44-Pin-Converter-Adapter-/280641512268?pt=UK_Computing_Laptop_Accessories_LaptopCables_Connectors&hash=item415789a34c#ht_1859wt_907

The result for me was the actual board of the adapter was too tall when plugged in and touched a riser post on the mini main board. Can you confirm if your adapter can be plugged in without touching the mac mainboard at all?

thanks

Derrick


Derrick - I am a perfectionist and I did bend the IDE pins slightly and on the other side did some work with the SATA connector: at the end of the SATA connector are two big blobs of solder that I heated up loosening the glue holding the SATA connector (a thin knofe may do the trick, I do not know). I then angled the SATA connector slightly. The end result was that the whole board sits under a slant so that the HDD did not need to move much out of line. The alternative would have been taking the Kingston 30 Gb SSD out of its enclosure but with failure rates I was not ready to do so. (rather risk an interface costing a few dollars than a far more expensive SSD). Works fine.
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methanoid
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PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MJL wrote:
derrick02920 wrote:
Update -my mini with sata still going strong.

MJL - i am interested, the sata adapter you found looks like it should work better than the one i used originally. The one i used was like this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-5-Hard-Drive-SATA-IDE-44-Pin-Converter-Adapter-/280641512268?pt=UK_Computing_Laptop_Accessories_LaptopCables_Connectors&hash=item415789a34c#ht_1859wt_907

The result for me was the actual board of the adapter was too tall when plugged in and touched a riser post on the mini main board. Can you confirm if your adapter can be plugged in without touching the mac mainboard at all?

thanks

Derrick


Derrick - I am a perfectionist and I did bend the IDE pins slightly and on the other side did some work with the SATA connector: at the end of the SATA connector are two big blobs of solder that I heated up loosening the glue holding the SATA connector (a thin knofe may do the trick, I do not know). I then angled the SATA connector slightly. The end result was that the whole board sits under a slant so that the HDD did not need to move much out of line. The alternative would have been taking the Kingston 30 Gb SSD out of its enclosure but with failure rates I was not ready to do so. (rather risk an interface costing a few dollars than a far more expensive SSD). Works fine.


Guys, on the off chance someone is reading this.. could you post links to the two designs of SATA/IDE adapters you used.. I have one and its not great but I wanna be sure which to buy for best compatibility.
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