Max HD for a laptop running Classic

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
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Max HD for a laptop running Classic

Playing devil's advocate for my related questions on laptops that support IrDA...

I was checking out laptops of the G3 variant. Specifically the WallStreet II (PDQ), the Lombard, and the Pismo. I found a few vendors selling them and they offer options to upgrade the internal HD all the way up to 1TB. Now I now conventional wisdom is that under OS 9.x, you are limited to 128GB for IDE drives and OS 8.x I think was as small as 4GB, please correct me.

I know that under some conditions, you may be able to break that emit, like with a PCI card whose firmware supports high capacity drives by design (i.e. the Sonnet Tempo Trio with firmware 4.5). But I am asking specifically about for laptops.

How, if possible, can I have a 500GB internal EIDE HD in a WallStreet and see anything more than 128GB? Last time I tried I could only physically see the first 128GB of such a drive. Trying multiple partitions did not get around this.

Been reading up on this and trying to jog my old brain but I cannot see/remember anything different.

sombody learn me good...

TIA

doug-doug the mighty's picture
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Re: Max HD for a laptop running Classic

I am going to assume that if I installed a basic version of OS X onto a WallStreet II and then installed 9.2 I could see the full 500GB HD and access all the data therein. But is it possible to not have the OS X install?

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Re: Max HD for a laptop running Classic

doug-doug the mighty wrote:
How, if possible, can I have a 500GB internal EIDE HD in a WallStreet and see anything more than 128GB? Last time I tried I could only physically see the first 128GB of such a drive. Trying multiple partitions did not get around this.

IIRC the limitation is in hardware, specifically the IDE controller, and not software.

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Re: Max HD for a laptop running Classic

Intech made a product Hard Disk SpeedTools, that included a driver capable of working around the hardware limitation of older IDE ports to support drives larger than 128GB. (A driver to allow access to the extended space under OS X is sold seperately.) Again, to be clear this is a hardware/firmare limitation of the affected machines, not a "Classic" OS-specific issue, although apparently OS 9 does apparently suffer from some obscure limitation that renders it unable to reliably boot from a partition larger than a bit under 200GB, despite HFS+ in theory supporting volumes up to 2TB in size. Here's a list of the machines that are affected by the limit; TL;DR, it includes *all* Macs that ever shipped with IrDA, including the first couple generations of Titanium G4.

There are certain individual machines that have their own quirks. As I recall the Wallstreet has a firmware glitch that makes it unable to boot OS X partitions larger than 8GB, a limitation shared with the original tray-loading iMacs. This one *probably* won't bother you with OS 9, although I've heard rumors it's *possible* for problems to arise if certain parts of the OS proper end up residing beyond the 8GB line on a large boot partition.

Honestly, I'm not sure why you'd need more than 128GB of space in a machine that old.

doug-doug the mighty's picture
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Re: Max HD for a laptop running Classic

This all kind of related to my VPN thread as I was wondering if it would be easier to have a large drive with my media library or set up a VPN to access my library remotely. I was trying to keep my load light as travel.

Since I will be pretty much stationary once I get where I am going (although I will be away from my 'home base' for up to two years) I figure I can just take my Time Capsule (3TB) and have everything on that.

Still wanted the serial port or the IrDA port for the Newton so a PowerBook is where I think I need to be at.

doug-doug the mighty's picture
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Re: Max HD for a laptop running Classic

While I am at it, anyone got any feedback on usedmac.com? I am not familiar with them or their service.

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