The PowerMac G5 internal hard disk SATA question

Dennis Clarke dclarke at
Thu Nov 15 21:07:36 UTC 2018

On 11/15/18 11:43 AM, Justin Hibbits wrote:
> On Thu, 15 Nov 2018 11:18:43 -0500
> Dennis Clarke <dclarke at> wrote:
>> Someone (offlist) asked if my shiney new Seagate hard disk was
>> compatible with SATA-I and I wouldn't know. I have had various types
>> of hard disks in this thing and also some SSD types. Nothing is very
>> fast and all of them worked.
>> Not sure if anyone else has tried to attach a new Samsung EVO SSD
>> onto an old PowerMac G5 but I would be interested to hear the
>> results. In the mean while I will figure out how to fully backup the
>> contents of my old Apple branded Hitachi Deskstar HDS725050KLA360
>> 500GB disk which has a very stable Debian sid PPC64 image on it. I
>> figure dd will do the trick.
>> If there is a way to install FreeBSD from a USB stick onto a PowerMac
>> G5 well I'd love to hear from someone about the OpenFirmware magic
>> needed. Thus far using a PC keyboard and a Vulkan nerve pinch
>> CTRL+O+F does not get me to the openfirmware prompt. It has been a
>> while since I tried and it may need a six fingered vulkan hand to do
>> CTRL+SHIFT+O+F to work.
>> Then boot ud:,\\:tbxi ???
>> Dennis
> Hi Dennis,
> My experience with the Samsung EVO drives on PowerMac G5 is they only
> seem to work on the second (bottom) SATA interface.  I have yet to
> figure out why, but both my 840EVO and 850EVO behaved that way.  It
> works more or less fine there.  Sometimes my G5 would forget about it
> at boot, and I'd have to power cycle in order for it to recognize the
> drive again.  It never once worked in the 'primary' slot.

OKay this is helpful !  Thank you. I thought I was losing my mind ( what
there is to lose ) in that I was getting weird behavior from my disks or
ssds in these old boats.  Could just be bizarre Apple hardware.

I think what I shall do is boot ye old original Apple label Hitach disk 
and then do a backup to an external USB attached brick. That way I have
all my Debian sid ppc64 work saved away. Maybe I will fire up another G5
brick but those damn things really put a drain on the UPS for what they
do. Perhaps QEMU will be okay for my Debian sid ppc64 work. Regardless I
have greater interest in FreeBSD UNIX and I realyl would like to have at
least two or three risc machines running.  Namely RISC-V and PPC64 and a
SPARC unit for local flavour. I have a ton of SPARC laying about. Also a
metric ton of PA-Risc HP Superdome gear in my life. However that is a
whole other story and only Helge Deller could make those work.

So anyways ... I will try with the original Apple part disk in the
correct slot and then there are no excuses.


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