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Replace 5200CD internal IDE with SCSI drive

BACKGROUND:

My friend has a Performa 5200CD with an hard drive problem. (As a quick refresher, the 5200 is an "all in 1" design and includes both SCSI and IDE drive support.) The internal IDE drive is acting strange: very slow, frequent errors. I tried reformatting using the formatting program which ships with the Mac, and it says it did its job without any error messages, but still problems persist. Testing using a 3rd party formatter shows lots of errors -- can't even seek much of the time --  but I don't trust it because it is an older version so it may not have proper IDE support.

The SCSI buss is OK (currently starting up from an external Syquest drive) so I can be pretty sure the problem is either in the IDE drive itself or the IDE controller. I don’t know much about the internals of the 5200, but I guess the controller is on the mother board. The only way I know of to diagnose this problem is install a new IDE drive & see if the problem goes away. If it does not, a new mother board is probably required. So, my proposed "solution" is to forget the IDE & get a new internal SCSI drive.

QUESTIONS:

1) Obviously the internal drive bay is cabled for IDE, not SCSI. With the 5200CD is there any way to remove the internal IDE drive & replace it with a SCSI drive? Would I need to get rid of the existing CD drive cable & replace it with a "2 drop" cable? Since the 5200 is very compact, is there even SCSI ribbon cable, or does the CD drive just plug into a connector directly on the mother board?

2) Is there any way to get the formatter which ships with the 5200CD to work with a SCSI drive? When I ran it on the IDE drive, I did not see any way to select a different drive.

Of course, if you have any thoughts about the true source of the problem, that would be appreciated also.
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parkerea
Asked:
parkerea
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1 Solution
 
TheHubCommented:
The 5200 is currently under an extended warrenty program. Everything you describe is old news to Apple. They will fix it for free. Repairs may include an exchange of the mother board, adding RAM, swapping the HD, swapping the entire unit, etc.

http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n19973
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parkereaAuthor Commented:
Thanks, but apparently that is not the problem. I had already run the "5xxx-6xxx Tester" and this Mac ran clean, so it appears this problem is not covered by the extended warranty program. Regardless, I may try to pursue that avenue.
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TheHubCommented:
The tester is flawed. Apple knows it. One of my customers is a large school district. They have many 5200's (affectionatly refered to as...The Machines From Hell). Apple has done what I said they would do with that customer on those machines. What I said before is true, so I will repeat it.

The 5200 is currently under an extended warrenty program. Everything you describe is old news to Apple. They will fix it for free. Repairs may include an exchange of the mother board, adding RAM, swapping the HD, swapping the entire unit, etc.

http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n19973
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Brains080398Commented:
Whilst I do agree with TheHub about the 5200 being a pain of a machine to work on, they are more often than not fairly robust. Anyway, your questions require answers.

1) Re re-cabling the drive bays.
You are right, the 5200's innards are very cramped, and unfortunately changing things around inside is more than a nightmare. Apple, in its wisdom, adopted a standardised endge-connector approach to motherboard design way back in the days of the LC520 (the 5200's 68030 based ancestor). This edge connector handled everything: SCSI, ATAPI (you know it as IDE), video out, floppy and power in/out. This way, upgrading a Mac was as simple as sliding in a new, more powerful motherboard.

In most of the all-in-one designs, this edge connector had a set of IDC ribbon cables peranently affixed, with cables leading off to the relevant area of the case to be ended with the appropriate connector. The ATA cable ends in a normal IDE style connector, but the one for SCSI goes to another wierd mutation: the CD Connection Assembly. This assembly is an unique connector, holding audio out, SCSI and power in one plastic lump that is affixed to the rear of the CD bay by metal tabs. If you slide the CD mechanism out, you'll see three odd adaptors plugged into the power, SCSI 50-way IDC connector and the audio connector that mate with this Connection Assembly.

There's nothing stopping you from diving right inside and doing a big re-wire job, but it is a *big* job - you effectively have to build a new cabling loom from the motherboard edge connector on out. I've done it to an LC-630 that now lives in a PC-style minitower, so it is possible (just bleedin' awkward!)

In essence: if you are prepared to butcher the existing cabling, you can do a two-drop connection for the internal SCSI and run the new cabling out to the hard drive bay, but it is not an easy task.

A word about IDE on Macs: the ATAPI interface and controller built into all IDE-equipped Macs is actually quite intelligent. If you wish to add a new IDE hard drive, simply install it in place of the old one, connect it, power up the Mac, and when you are presented with the "This disk is unreadable by this Macintosh" alert, click "Initialise" and stand back; in a few seconds, the new drive is formatted and ready to go. If you suspect the drive of failing, try swapping in a different mechanism (branding is irrelevant, but ensure it is less than 4 GB in unformatted capacity) and see how it behaves.

2) Re configuring "Drive Setup" to work with "any" SCSI HD ...
Again, this is possible up to a point (it requires a deft hand with ResEdit to bypass some Apple checking code) and reports from the 'net show that this hack does indeed work. And no, I don't know what the hack is :-).

Drive Setup uses a look-up list and a device ROM check to see whether a device it sees can be initialised by it, and the hack effectively bypasses both of these checks. Drive Setup, however, isn't terribly smart, which makes the manufacturers of "third party" hard drive formatters happy. Programs such as FormatterFive, Hard Disk Toolkit and Charismac can format and prepare almost anything that talks SCSI (and ATA in some instances) so one of them might be worth considering. Also, a lot of resellers of hard drives include a "Personal Edition" of one of the afore-mentioned formatters with each drive they sell.


Brains
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parkereaAuthor Commented:
To Brains:
Your "Comment" was the answer I was looking for, but if I accept the current answer all the points would actually go to "TheHub," because your comment was on his answer. Unfortunately, I can not split the points between both of your, but your response was better. I am reopening the question, specifically for Brains to answer, so I can accept his answer and give the points to him. All Brains needs to do is respond with any answer; I will then accept it and he will get the points.

Thanks to both of you for your help.
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Brains080398Commented:
(just so the database doesn't get confused, entire answer(s) pasted in)

1) Re re-cabling the drive bays.
You are right, the 5200's innards are very cramped, and unfortunately changing things around inside is more than a nightmare. Apple, in its wisdom, adopted a standardised edge-connector approach to motherboard design way back in the days of the LC520 (the 5200's 68030 based ancestor). This edge connector handled everything: SCSI, ATAPI (you know it as IDE), video out, floppy and power in/out. This way, upgrading a Mac was as simple as sliding in a new, more powerful motherboard.

In most of the all-in-one designs, this edge connector had a set of IDC ribbon cables permanently affixed, with cables leading off to the relevant area of the case to be ended with the appropriate connector. The ATA cable ends in a normal IDE style connector, but the one for SCSI goes to another wierd mutation: the CD Connection Assembly. This assembly is an unique connector, holding audio out, SCSI and power in one plastic lump that is affixed to the rear of the CD bay by metal tabs. If you slide the CD mechanism out, you'll see three odd adaptors plugged into the power, SCSI 50-way IDC connector and the audio connector that mate with this Connection Assembly.

There's nothing stopping you from diving right inside and doing a big re-wire job, but it is a *big* job - you effectively have to build a new cabling loom from the motherboard edge connector on out. I've done it to an LC-630 that now lives in a PC-style minitower, so it is possible (just bleedin' awkward!)

In essence: if you are prepared to butcher the existing cabling, you can do a two-drop connection for the internal SCSI and run the new cabling out to the hard drive bay, but it is not an easy task.

A word about IDE on Macs: the ATAPI interface and controller built into all IDE-equipped Macs is actually quite intelligent. If you wish to add a new IDE hard drive, simply install it in place of the old one, connect it, power up the Mac, and when you are presented with the "This disk is unreadable by this Macintosh" alert, click "Initialise" and stand back; in a few seconds, the new drive is formatted and ready to go. If you suspect the drive of failing, try swapping in a different mechanism (branding is irrelevant, but ensure it is less than 4 GB in unformatted capacity) and see how it behaves.

2) Re configuring "Drive Setup" to work with "any" SCSI HD ...
Again, this is possible up to a point (it requires a deft hand with ResEdit to bypass some Apple checking code) and reports from the 'net show that this hack does indeed work. And no, I don't know what the hack is :-).

Drive Setup uses a look-up list and a device ROM check to see whether a device it sees can be initialised by it, and the hack effectively bypasses both of these checks. Drive Setup, however, isn't terribly smart, which makes the manufacturers of "third party" hard drive formatters happy. Programs such as FormatterFive, Hard Disk Toolkit and Charismac can format and prepare almost anything that talks SCSI (and ATA in some instances) so one of them might be worth considering. Also, a lot of resellers of hard drives include a "Personal Edition" of one of the afore-mentioned formatters with each drive they sell.


Brains

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parkereaAuthor Commented:
Thanks again.
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