PowerBook 5300 FAQ

AlkSoft / Contents / Hardware / Removable Storage/Expansion Bay Devices

2.5) SCSI Devices

2.5.1) Can I use internal SCSI devices with this computer?

No. The 5300 (unlike it's 2300 sibling) doesn't have an internal SCSI interface.

2.5.2) Can I use external hard drives with this computer?

Yes. In fact, in many cases an external hard drive is faster than the internal IDE hard drive on the 5300. However, the external drive must be a SCSI hard drive (or an IDE drive adapted for SCSI use). The 5300 cannot do USB or FireWire, so you are limited to SCSI only. External SCSI drives are pretty easy to hook up, but some extra hardware is needed. Please see 2.5.6) for details.

2.5.3) Can I use external CD-ROM drives with this computer?

Yes, most of the time. Firstly, the drive must be a SCSI drive. Of course, all CD-ROM drives require drivers. Apple's drivers (included with most OS installs) work with any Apple branded SCSI CD-ROM drive. They can also be hacked with ResEdit to support most existing SCSI CD-ROM drives. There are also several 3rd party drivers that will support many CD-ROM drives, but some of them may not work with the 5300's version of the SCSI Manager (software built into the ROM that cannot be upgraded).

Nearly all CD-ROM drives are bootable. In a pinch, you can hook up nearly any SCSI CD-ROM drive to the computer and boot from a Mac OS CD.

2.5.4) Can I use a CD-R/RW with this computer?

Maybe. It all depends on the software you want to use. Newer CD mastering tools require SCSI Manager 4.3 or better. The PowerBook 5300 cannot meet this requirement. That doesn't mean you can't burn CDs on it, however. Remy Davison put together a very detailed overview on burning CDs on the 5300 (and 190, 5x0, and 1400) that far exceeds whatever information I could give you in this FAQ, so go take a look at the "Burning CDs on the PowerBook 500, 190, 5300 and 1400" page if you want more information.

2.5.5) Can I use external Zip/other removable storage drives with this computer?

Sure, as long as they are SCSI drives and don't require SCSI Manager 4.3. Those old Syquest, Orb, Zip, etc drives should work fine.

2.5.6) What do I need to hook up SCSI devices to this computer?

You'll need at least an HDI-30 SCSI adapter. Most SCSI devices have either a DB-25 or C-50 (Centronics 50) connector, so you'll need a HDI-30 to DB-25 or C-50 adapter or cable. Apple made a nice SCSI cable with an HDI-30 connector on one end and a C-50 connector on the other. There is also a nice "L" shaped 3rd party adapter that allows switching between SCSI Disk Mode functionality and regular SCSI connections. If your device is self-terminated, then you won't need a terminator. Otherwise, you will also need either a pass-through SCSI terminator or a chain-end type terminator. You can also choose from the passive or active variety of terminator.

2.5.7) Do I need to use a terminator with this computer?

Yes. Like all of Apple's other IDE-based PowerBooks, the 5300 does not provide SCSI termination. You will need to use one to ensure proper operation of SCSI devices with the 5300. Some devices such as CD-Rs are self-terminating and do not require the use of an external terminator. Most hard drives and scanners, however, do require an external terminator to operate correctly.

2.5.8) What's with the strange SCSI connector on this computer?

The connector is an HDI-30 connector. It is a high density interface with 30 pins (hence HDI-30). It was chosen over the more traditional DB-25 as it is far more dense and takes up far less volume in the volume-starved PowerBook.

2.5.9) Can I use scanners/printers/other SCSI devices with this computer?

Yes, provided that you can find the software to make them work. Most SCSI scanners support TWAIN so you can use them without any special software besides PhotoShop or GraphicConvert. SCSI printers are pretty rare and definitely require appropriate drivers. As for any other devices, you are own your own.

2.5.10) What is SCSI Disk Mode?

SCSI Disk Mode (SDM) is the more common (and traditional) name for what should technically be called "Hard Disk Target Mode." HDTM is a function that is built into the PowerBook 5300 ROM that allows your PowerBook 5300 to appear as though it were just any other external SCSI hard disk to another Macintosh.

2.5.11) What's the difference between the SCSI Disk Mode cable and the regular SCSI cable?

The Apple-made SCSI Disk Mode cable ("SCSI Disk Adapter") is a special cable that will only allow you to enter into SCSI Disk Mode. The cable has 30 pins on the HDI-30 end and is dark grey, which makes it different from the regular "SCSI System Cable." The SCSI System Cable is also an Apple-made cable, but it only has 29 pins on the HDI-30 side (1 "missing" pin) and is light grey in color.

2.5.12) How do I use this computer in SCSI Disk Mode?

First, make sure your hard drive is smaller than 4GB. Larger disks will suffer from data corruption if used in SCSI Disk Mode in the 5300.

  1. Start up your 5300 normally.
  2. When the 5300 is fully booted, go to the PowerBook control panel and choose a SCSI ID # that is not already being used on the computer to which you will connect the 5300.
  3. Shut down the 5300.
  4. Shut down the computer to which you are going to connect the 5300.
  5. Connect SCSI Disk Adapter cable or special "L" shapped SCSI adapter (with the switch set to "DOCK") to the 5300.
  6. Connect a pass-through terminator to the free end of the SCSI adapter.
  7. Connect a second cable to the terminator and also to your desktop Mac.
  8. Press the power button on your 5300.
  9. The 5300 should show a SCSI icon with the same number you picked in the PowerBook control panel inside it on the screen. If the 5300 starts up normally, shut it down again and check all the connections before trying again.
  10. Turn on the desktop Mac. When it finishes booting, the 5300's hard drive should appear on the desktop of your second Mac as though it were any other normal external hard drive.
  11. When you are done transfering data to and from the 5300, shut down the desktop Mac.
  12. Turn off the 5300 by pressing the power button.
  13. Disconnect all the SCSI cables.
  14. Power up both computers as you normally would.