USB Flash Drive Startup on a Quicksilver G4

Posted by: w2ed

USB Flash Drive Startup on a Quicksilver G4 - 02/24/10 07:04 PM

I suppose this should be self-explanatory, but here's some more details: I have a Quicksilver G4 with the following: 2 USB 2.0 Cards (Each has an internal USB port as well as 4 external - one also as 2 external and 1 internal firewire port as well), an Alchemy TV Card, Radeon 9800 card for graphics, 867 Mhz G4 processor, 1.5 gigs of Ram, 2 500 Gig and 1 160 gig Hard drives, and a Sony DVD burner. I've been trying t install a working OS and utilize one of the internal USB ports as a boot disk (4 gig USB Flahs Drive, soon to be replaced with a 16 - wouldn't have ordered it had I known of these troubles) to no avail. Is there a way to make a USB Flash disk bootable on this machine?
Posted by: Jim_

Re: USB Flash Drive Startup on a Quicksilver G4 - 02/24/10 10:08 PM

Quote:
I've been trying t install a working OS and utilize one of the internal USB ports as a boot disk (4 gig USB Flahs Drive, soon to be replaced with a 16 - wouldn't have ordered it had I known of these troubles) to no avail.
I'm not sure if you mean you couldn't install, or it won't boot after you get it installed.

If it won't install use SuperDuper or CarbonCopyCloner to copy an installation to the USB drive.

After you get an OS on the USB drive, hold down the Option key at start up with the USB drive plugged in to choose it as a startup disk. Probably a very slow startup disk but it should work.

I believe the Mac resets the built in USB bus after power on, I don't know if it does the same for USB cards, but using the Option key bypasses that, it's has already happened by that time.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: USB Flash Drive Startup on a Quicksilver G4 - 03/02/10 08:00 PM

I never had luck with add-in USB cards. Best bet is to use the built-in USB. I know there is a way to make Open Firmware detect the add-in USB card but you need to know the device address.

You could always buy a USB to Firewire converter or even a Firewire jump drive.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: USB Flash Drive Startup on a Quicksilver G4 - 03/02/10 09:06 PM

The built in USB is USB 1.1 on the QS. I don't think booting from that would be a very pleasant experience though.
Posted by: w2ed

Re: USB Flash Drive Startup on a Quicksilver G4 - 03/03/10 04:11 AM

This is one of those ideas that just isn't going to work the way I want it to.

The biggest problem stems from Open Firmware and the OSses themselves - neither OS 9, OS X10.4 or 10.5 see this drive as a bootable OS. Even Ubuntu has issues trying to install onto it, either through the add-on card or through the built-in USB 1.1.

I'm not sure if firmware drivers would need to be developed for both the add-on cards AND the flash drive or not, but from the little bit of information I have gathered, it sounds like I'd beputting a lot of time into something with little payout.

On the bright side, due to the number of times I've taken aprt and put back together my machine, I've noticed, underneath the fan running directly to the CPU, what appears to be an unused USB port - essentialy, the holes match up with the pins for the two existing USB ports further down the board. OF course, there's still the issue of the OSses seeing this as a bootable device or the fact that it'd be on a 1.1 connection.

As for firewire, there's a couple of big problems: There's not enough space currently to place a firewire device inside my machine (the USB Flash drive sits on the dedicated USB 2.0 card, which is half-height), no internal Firewire (like there was with earlier G4 Models), and most importantly, no used firewire flash drives available on eBay right now. (I know they exist - I read articles about them - but obviously there was no takeoff like there was with USB,) I could go with a compact flash reader, but I want to keep everything internalized.

The best option at this point, if I were to continue pursuing this, would be to go the SSD route - there are PATA-based SSDs on the market not far from the SATA-based models. The price of doing this, however, is out of the question - at $200 for a 64 gig drive, I could have bought two one-terabyte HD's. By the time the prices are reasonable, chances are they won't be making them for PATA anymore.

Thanks anyways.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: USB Flash Drive Startup on a Quicksilver G4 - 03/05/10 04:52 AM

Toss in a RAID card and buy a couple of 40pin ATA/IDE to Compact flash adapter cards and two 4GB compact flash cards. You'll have a cheap 8GB SSD system.
Posted by: w2ed

Re: USB Flash Drive Startup on a Quicksilver G4 - 03/07/10 10:30 AM

Nice idea, but with a move to another place coming in the next couple of months and this being in the "What I could afford right now" range, it falls into the same category as the SSD idea. BEsides, with me planning on building a couple of machines, including a hackintosh, in the few months after things are settled, putting more money into what will essentially become a server seems unreasonable. It'd be better to put the Flash Drive to better use, either as a boot machine on one of those, or as temporary storage on this machine.