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Ask Max: Hard drives work fine by themselves, not together

Asked on 11/15/2006:

I installed a second hard drive in my G4 Sawtooth (9.2.2 in one, 10.3.7 in theother). When I boot up, I get a flashing "?" and a "Smiley Mac face". They bothboot up individually just fine. I've switched the order (one on top, then theother), but that doesn't help.I thought it might be a problem with two Start-up disks, so I booted withNorton Symantics, hoping to assign one as the Start-up Disk, but neither diskshowed up as existing.What is up?


ATA hard drives, sometimes called PATA, have to be designated Master or Slave. This designation is achieved by moving a jumper from one set of pins to another. The jumper pins are most often located on the hard drive between the drive's power plug and the PATA interface cable. You will have to check the markings on the drive to find out which set of pins need to have the jumper connected to them. Many PATA drive cables will have three connection points called drops. One drop connects to the PATA controller which in this case is part of the logic board. On the other end of the cable is the drop for the master hard drive.. The middle drop is for the slave hard drive. In most G4 towers the bottom hard drive is set as the master drive and the drive on top is set to slave. The only exception to this is with the Mirrored Drive Door G4 Towers that do not use the traditional master/slave jumper setting. Instead, those G4s need all the drives' jumpers set to cable select. In that instance, the drives' positions on the cable determine their master/slave designation. This only works on this one model.So re-pin those drives and see if that gets things working.

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