Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures

Posted by: STSmith

Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 12:30 AM

My much loved mirror door drive powerpc G4 died last night (power supply kaput) and I pulled the three IDE drives it contained this morning and put them in new external IDE to USB enclosures. With two of them (Western Digital caviar 160GB and Western Digital caviar 250GB) I get the "The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer" message on my intel MBP booted in OS10.6 or 10.8, my intel Mac mini running 10.6 and an old G4 mini running 10.4. They show up in Disk Utility but the verify and repair options are greyed out.
The third drive is an IBM Deskstar 80GB that shipped with the G4 and was the boot drive (OS 10.5). It spins up but does not evoke a "not readable" message or show up at all in Disk Utility.
All three drives were working fine last night before the MDD G4 died.
Any help getting these drives working as external drives would be much appreciated.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 03:37 AM

I'm assuming you had no back ups?
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 05:13 AM

Check the jumpers. They should all be set to master.
Posted by: neil

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 08:15 AM

and remember, you cannot boot off the drives until they are reformatted for Intel machines.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 08:35 AM

Who was that masked man. smirk
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 08:57 AM

What the frick! Talk about a hit-n- run.... cool
Posted by: STSmith

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 09:48 AM

Originally Posted By: NucleusG4
I'm assuming you had no back ups?


Everything except maybe what I was working on the last few hours is backed up. No disaster there.

I was just hoping to pop the drives into external enclosures, plug them into one of my other machines and be off and running.
Posted by: STSmith

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 09:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Jim_
Check the jumpers. They should all be set to master.


The Deskstar came out of the G4 with jumpers set to cable select. The WDs have no jumpers at all.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 09:50 AM

Well that certainly is a relief. BTW.. welcome to our little corner of the Mac world.
Posted by: STSmith

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 09:53 AM

Originally Posted By: neil
and remember, you cannot boot off the drives until they are reformatted for Intel machines.


Don't need to boot off the drives. Just want to continue using them. It would be nice to to so without formatting and wiping data
Posted by: John Rougeux

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 09:56 AM

Have a friend with a non-Intel machine?
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 10:18 AM

Originally Posted By: STSmith
Originally Posted By: Jim_
Check the jumpers. They should all be set to master.


The Deskstar came out of the G4 with jumpers set to cable select. The WDs have no jumpers at all.

WD - http://support.wdc.com/product/install.asp?groupid=502&print=y

IBM - http://eshop.macsales.com/Tech/manuals/idehdsettings/IBM72.pdf

The drive enclosures must also be able to handle "big" drives, over 128G. The one drive you have is an 80G, but since it is Cable Select that is probably the problem.

Yes, welcome to the forums. smile
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 10:33 AM

Originally Posted By: STSmith
The Deskstar came out of the G4 with jumpers set to cable select. The WDs have no jumpers at all.
Okay, I see where the WD are Master with no jumpers. What cases did you get? Can they do "big" drives?
Posted by: STSmith

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 11:43 AM

I got both the WDs working. Made sure both were in Master (one already was, one did have a jumper which I removed to set to Master). Then ran these commands in Terminal

diskutil list

to get the disk ID

sudo gpt recover /dev/disk(#)

where (#) was the disk ID

Both drives then mounted.

The old IBM is a different matter. I set jumpers to both "Master 16 heads" and "Master 15 heads" (don't ask me what this means) but none of my machines can even see it. BTW one of the machines is a non-intel G4 mini. Judging by the occasional click I hear, this old drive didn't like being removed and is kaput. I don't know what else to try—any suggestions are welcome. Naturally it is the one containing the last bit of unbacked-up work I did.

Got a new (used, new to me) MacPro box headed here Friday and the weekend to try to get things back up in something resembling how things ran on the G4. There is some legacy software that I am little concerned about, but will load Snow Leopard and with luck it should run under Rosetta.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 12:10 PM

Ahh.. the dreaded click of death.

I have a weird, potential fix for you. When you have exhausted ALL other means... try this. Put the drive in a Ziplock, remove all air from bag... and put it in the freezer. Let it get fairly cold.
(The ziplock keeps it from condensing when you take it out.)Then have your computer room as cold as you can get it and pop the drive in the enclosure.This will sometimes "fix" it long enough to get the data off of it.


Some say it doesn't work on newer drives... but I have seen sooo many comments to the contrary.

Here's a video to the contrary.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3iBSqVe1Jg

Perhaps you could try placing the drive right next to an air conditioner vent or such.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/23/13 07:06 PM

Did you try putting the IBM into one of the cases that work with the WDs? You didn't bend a pin or anything?
Posted by: STSmith

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/24/13 12:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Jim_
Did you try putting the IBM into one of the cases that work with the WDs? You didn't bend a pin or anything?


Tried that. Pins look good. I am going to try the freezer trick as soon as a couple of 1 TB drives arrive. I don't have enough free space on any single dive right now to copy the entire 80GB unit if I can get it working.
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: Old IDE drives not working in external enclosures - 10/29/13 01:39 PM

I'm not near my Mac, so I can't look at DU. If I'm not mistaken, wasn't there a format change from PPC to Intel for a bootable drive?