Shirt Pocket Discussions

Shirt Pocket Discussions (
-   General (
-   -   Weird problem (

badlydrawnboy 07-16-2006 12:28 PM

Weird problem

I just did an erase and install of OS X on my boot drive. I erased my other internal drive (400 GB), which I intend to use as my base system. The boot drive is a 74GB fast drive that I'll use as the sandbox.

I tried to install OS X on the 400 GB drive, but everytime it would restart after installing Disc 1 it would boot to the 74 GB boot drive, and the installation would get messed up. So then I just decided to wipe both drives, install OS X on the boot drive, and then use SuperDuper to move that install over to the 400GB drive.

So, I was able to install OS X on the 74 GB boot drive and then update to 10.4.7. Everything was going smoothly. Then, I used SuperDuper to "backup-all files" using the "erase, then install" script to move the OS X installation over to the 400 GB drive. However, upon restarting, it boots to the boot drive and the 400 GB drive had disappeared from the desktop and Disk Utility. Restared from OS X CD, and the drive appeared, ran repair and it had no problems. Then reset-nvram and reset-all, and the drive reappeared. However, when I select it as start-up disk and restart, it again defaults to the boot drive and the 400 GB disappeared again.

So, I erased the 400 GB drive using disk utility, and then tried cloning it again using SuperDuper. It seemed to go fine, but upon selecting the 400 GB drive as startup drive and restarting the exact same process described above happened. I'm completely stumped here, and Apple has no idea.

Can you help?


dnanian 07-16-2006 12:37 PM

What kind and brand of drive is the 400GB unit, Chris?

badlydrawnboy 07-16-2006 12:46 PM

Western Digital. Same as the boot drive.

dnanian 07-16-2006 12:49 PM

Is it a SATA drive?

badlydrawnboy 07-16-2006 02:42 PM

Yes, it is. Is that significant?

badlydrawnboy 07-16-2006 02:51 PM

Also, do you know any tricks for installing OS X on a system with two internal hard drives? The 400 GB drive, which I'd like to be my base system, is in the 2nd slot. When I tried installing OS X onto that drive directly, after install Disc 1 was finished it restarts automatically and boots up to the drive in slot 1 (which when I did it the first time, still had my old sandbox on it). When I tried to restart and boot to the drive I had just installed OS X on, it just booted to the sandbox again (probably because the OS X install wasn't finished yet on the other drive). I'm guessing I'm going to have to do another re-install, so this is why I'm wondering. Thanks again for your prompt responses - much appreciated!

dnanian 07-16-2006 02:59 PM

Yes, it's very significant. The 400GB WD SATA drives are well known for having problems with the G5's controller:


Western Digital has now stated that the WD4000KD drive (and some others) don't work in Power Mac G5's:

"The Apple G5 tower does not support certain standard Serial ATA interface protocols used by the WD4000YR, WD4000KD, WD1500AHFD, and WD1500ADFD hard drives resulting in an interface lock-up. This causes the computer system to hang. The only work-around we have identified at this time is installing a SATA Host Bus Adapter (controller card), effectively circumventing the on-board interface."

The URL to this article is:

There is a long thread with user comments about this specific issue at and it is suggested there that the problem might not affect dual core machines, but it definitely seems to be present in single-core machines.
As far as installing an OS onto either drive -- it should just work, Chris. I haven't had any problems... but this could be another issue with the WD.

badlydrawnboy 07-16-2006 03:04 PM

Thanks for the heads up, Dave. The boot drive is also a WD SATA (Raptor), and that's never had any problems. What's more, I've been using the two drives together for three or four months without much problem. Oh well, I guess it caught up to me. I do have a dual-core G5, but the way things are looking it doesn't appear that makes a difference.

So would a Seagate drive be a better bet? Unfortunately I'm sure it's too late for me to return this one, but perhaps I can sell it.



dnanian 07-16-2006 03:17 PM

I think the problem is specific to certain drives, as you can see in the article linked to in the post. So, if your Raptor isn't one of those, it'll likely works.

Problems with the drive seem to happen during aggressive transfers, which might be why you haven't had issues before.

Personally, I'd go with either Seagate "Nearline" or Maxtor MaxLine III drives. Both are server rated with long MTTFs and better guarantees...

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.