20th Anniversary Mac SSD (converter + cf card reader)

Finally, a success! Got a SSD of sorts (a CF 30x 4GB card plus IDE adaptor) to work flawlessly in a 20th anniversary mac.

Original systems specs:

– 250 MHz 603ev Processor
– + 400 MHz G3 upgrade
– 128 MB RAM
– 2 GB 2.5″ double-height HD

Hardware needed:

– 4GB or smaller CF card. (Reports worked with 4GB + drives, but they need to be formatted into ~4gb partitions)

– cf to IDE converter card shaped into a 2.5 hard drive internal slot.

Goal –

Going to take the hard drive and attempt to copy the data to a CF card and make it bootable.


The first step attempted, which didn’t work, involved an 8GB CF card, and using disk utility in Mac OS X (10.6.8).

Disk Utility only likes to format a disk as far back as Mac OS Extended. This 20th Anniversary Mac (TAM) machine appears to really respond well to Mac OS Standard. This formatting can be obtained the following ways.

1. Easiest: find a Mac OS 9 or 8.5.1 retail install disc. i.e. one that will work for any system and doesn’t have iBook, iMac or specific models on it. Install the CF card and IDE converter into the TAM.

1B. Boot the TAM with an install disk, and open Disk Setup, format the internal drive.

1C. Errors that can creep up: when installing the CF card, the default install is to put the card into the slot farthest away from the IDE connector. Also make sure the missing pin and the cable match up correctly. Often times the missing pin is included but not soldered in. Check to see if the pin slides in or pulls out when you install the cable.


2. Now we look at getting the data from the old drive to the drive we just formatted. Hardware needed: Another Mac running OS 9 with USB, 2.5″ IDE to USB cable, cf card reader.

Method One:

2A. Preferably you have access to a Mac running Mac OS 9 with USB. If you do, you can get mostly any cf card reader and a USB to 2.5″ IDE converter for the old drive.

2B. Plug the drives into the other mac and simply select all files and copy to the CF card. After the copy, open the drive and open up the system folder to “activate it.”

Alternative method for copying files:

3. Hardware needed: TAM, USB PCI 7″ card that is Mac OS 9 compatible, USB to IDE 2.5″ cable.

3A. Install the USB card into the TAM, …to be continued



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