Teaching an older Macintosh how to use large, modern hard drives.

When I received the hard drive I put it in my FireVue, an external firewire enclosure I bought many moons ago from a company called Granite Digital.

…The punch-line to this story is that all computers and hard drive hardware having a controller based on a communication protocol known as ATA-5 can only address up to 128Gb of data (or 137Gb, depending on if you say toh-may-toh or toh-mah-toh).

…A newer drive protocol called ATA-6 has been out for a few years and current hardware based on this version can address as much as 2 terabytes of information! … Because this is a newer protocol there is a lot of computer hardware out there which has this 128Gb issue, including my beloved FireVue which I purchased around 2001.

…Looking at Apple’s web page on PowerMac specifications, I can see that Harold, my ‘newest’ computer, was first introduced in September 1999 and was phased out 1 year later; this was well before the June 2002 cutoff.

…After I purchased the software, a quick installation and a reboot I could instantly see the larger drive on my computer and Disk Utility didn’t have any more issues formating or partitioning the drive.

…After I installed it, my computer could see all 250Gb, but Disk Utility still couldn’t format or partition the hard drive.

…As it turns out, the older enclosures based on ATA-5 can see hard drives larger than 128Gb using their firmware update.

…So, I’m going to move my smaller drives to the two swappable trays that I have for my firewire enclosure, put my two large drives inside of my PowerMac and rely on the ATA-6 software to do it’s thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *