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SSD issue [solved] -- just FYI [message #373318] Wed, 05 September 2018 17:10
Mac User #330250 is currently offline  Mac User #330250
Messages: 83
Registered: August 2012
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Hello G-Group!

I just wanted to report an issue I just experienced with my Power Mac
G5, original model from 2003. I removed two genuine Apple 160 GB hard
disk drives (one was actually from a Late-2005), and replaced it with a
single 2.5 inch SATA SSD, 1 TB, SanDisk Ultra 3D.

Since I had wanted to be able to disconnect/connect the original HDDs
easily, I had used extension cables for the SATA connections, to get
them out of the case through the unused top PCI slot back side slit
(blank cover removed). The cable looks like this: with the complicated name
"22-pin (7+15) Sata Male to Female Data and Power Combo Extension Cable
- Slimline Sata Extension Cable M/f - 20inch"...

This way I just had to place the HDD on top of the tower, connect via
the SATA extension cable without even opening the G5, and was ready to
work. There was only once caveat: the HDDs were not cooled by the
internal fan, only by surrounding air outside the case. They got quite
warm, but not hot, so I guess it was okay... Worth mentioning that I had
placed them on top of two narrow straps of foam material, so they didn't
touch the alloy of the case and air was able to move under the HDDs as well.

Long story short, at first I connected the SSD also on top of the case
using the SATA extension cable. Everything worked: I cloned the
installations (Mac OS X version 10.2.8 (G5), 10.3.9, 10.4.11 and 10.5.8)
one by one (using Disk Utility btw) over to the SSD and it was all
looking good. I booted the original Leopard to clone Tiger, and used
Tiger to clone all the others. Then I put the SSD on a 3.5 inch adapter
and used the original screws to install it inside the G5. (Just in case
someone wants to know -- this is the 3.5 inch frame for the 2.5 inch
HDD/SSD that I used:

AND HERE the G5 made a fool out of me. Suddenly it wouldn't recognize
the SSD. It just wouldn't boot from it, showed the missing folder icon,
didn't show any bootable volume when holding the option key after the
chime. AGAINST ALL LOGIC, booting from one of the original Apple 160 GB
drives (still using the SATA extension on top of the case) showed the
volumes on the SSD though! Seems like just Open Firmware didn't find it,
but how is such a behaviour even possible?!?

After a couple of moving operations, getting the SSD out of the case
again and inside again and so on, with reproducable results, I was ready
to get crazy!Who ever had to fiddle with the SATA drives in a G5 knows
the feeling... ;-)
WHY would the SSD work with the extension on top of the case, but not
when installed without the SATA extension?

So, my solution was like this: I now use the SATA extension cable inside
as well - I simply put the unnecessary cable below the SSD where there
is still empty space, but the signals run all they way through it...  I
can only guess that the native connector has some issue with the SATA
SSD that influences the detection process from within Open Firmware.
Using the extension cable seems to mitigate this issue, the SSD is
properly recognized and all versions of Mac OS X boot fine now!

This is crazy, but I wanted to share this crazy experience. Maybe it is
of help to someone else.

BTW, I love to use 10.2.8 (G5) on this original G5! It is like a time
travel, yet Jaguar is still quite usable. A lot of original Mac
applications, like Adobe CS2 or Microsoft Office:mac 2004, run on
Jaguar. It all feels totally retro and I love it! Also, since I became a
Mac user when Panther 10.3.8 was current, using 10.2 Jaguar is a new
experience for me, personally.

Mac User #330250

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