more tinkering: blackmac ppc 5500

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: May 29 2004
Posts: 20

anyone know if i can dump a standard generic cd-rw/dvd rom in my optical drive bay? found some cheap at Intrex computing and was not sure how picky the mac would be.

got this ppc from an apple engineer in the late 90's and it has a non-production motherboard. not sure if this will help/hurt. when i was in touch with him (as dvd roms 1st were coming out) he suggested it might support one, but never specified what qualifications the drive would need to play nice with the mac. Ideas anyone?

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Jon's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
While the HDD in the 5x00 is

While the HDD in the 5x00 is IDE, the CD-ROM is SCSI. If you find a SCSI burner, it's probably good to go under Toast. Getting an IDE burner in there means using a SCSI HDD, some internal modifications, and hoping that the Mac can read ATAPI drives on it's cheap, single device IDE bus. Really, even if you did all that work, it probably wouldn't burn all that fast because of the slow IDE. The easiest and saftest approach is to put in an SCSI burner to replace the internal, which means making sure that the plugs on the back of the new burner match up to the locations on the old CD-ROM so that it can use the special little adapter that Apple put on the CD-ROM so it can slide in and out w/o unplugging cabling.

Even easier would be to just use an external SCSI case and a nice Plextor SCSI burner...

Dont' be fooled if the mother board video chip says "DVD" on it, that has not much to do with DVD play back really, and a DVD drive is just another drive. Playing the videos on a DVD disk at full speed is a whole different story than using a plain data DVD.


I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls

Joined: May 29 2004
Posts: 20

...that's the exact kind of info i was looking for.

i lost my apple tech manuals cd (best ebay purchase ever) and didn't realize the opticals were still scsi way back then. i have a nice external scsi burner - iwas just looking for the elegance of a slick internal set-up and the accompanying millenium falcon-like instability and bad behavior that i thrive on.

this mac is pretty much maxed out, so i thought this may be the last, best hope for more fun on the 5500. anyway, i may write my apple-friend and see if he had a particular dvd drive in mind oh-so-long-ago. maybe i'ts used and cheap on ebay by now...