128Gb+ Large HDD (LBA48) support on the G4 Cube with Leopard, for free.
It’s possible to access the entire space of any large hard disk without drivers, that means without the need for the $25 Speed Tools ATA Hi-Capacity Support Driver. This also means that Leopard will work, too.
With the magic of the Open Firmware, as with the Open Firmware fake CPU speed hack, it’s possible to hack the Open Firmware to enable large disk support, otherwise known as LBA48.
I have only tested this with Leopard and Tiger, so I can’t vouch for earlier OS-X builds. however, note that this DOES NOT WORK FOR OS9. For OS9, you will still need the speedtools driver available here:
This time, however, we need to write this to the non-volatile RAM so that the changes aren’t lost on reboot.
- Reboot or Power up your Cube
- Hold down Command + Option + O + F simultaneously as soon as the reboot starts.
You should now be at the Open Firmware prompt. Note that this is NOT the BASH prompt, so don’t try anything here.
- Type in the following, exactly. Please note that the Underscore “_” is used to indicate a space.
nvedit dev_hd dev_.. "_"_"_lba-48"_property device-end
- Press Ctrl+C to exit from nvedit.
nvstore setenv_use-nvramrc?_true reset-all
That’s it. Now boot up and go to “About My Mac” to confirm the disk size.
If your disk was already formatted, it will have its original 128Gb partition and a region of inaccessible space at the end. It’s probably easiest to reformat the disk with a new partition scheme, unless you have some terminal disk utility or related tricks up your sleeve.
- This hack will last until you reset the NV RAM (P RAM).
- Similarly, if you hose your open firmware settings, use this fact to your advantage, perform a PRAM reset and start again.
If you do repartition the disk, it’s probably wise not to cross the 128Gb boundary with a partition, in case you ever have to reset the NV RAM, in which case you’ll only be able to access the first 128Gb of the the hard-disk. By splitting the disk at 128Gb, you’ll ensure that only whole partitions are visible and any partition after the 128Gb will be entirely invisible.
In my case, I made a front partition of 128Gb, and the remaining 30 something Gigs into an extra partition for temprorary files.
Thanks to the Cube Kaizou (Cube Mods) page on Studio Milehigh (!!!) homepage. Apparently his own Cube died at the end of April last year but he has left his legacy of Cube update experience online.