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View Full Version : Upgrading iBook Hard Drive




Kimber
Apr 16, 2008, 06:56 PM
I am a long time PC user (30 years), and recently purchased a used Apple iBook, as I need to learn OS X. My previous Mac/Apple experience is a bit old. I bought an Apple IIC+ back in the late 80's, and used a few Power Macs at work about 10 years ago (I was working as a teacher). I also worked a bit with Macs as the technology specialist at a local elementary school (but we were 98% PC), however as I said, my experience with Macs is a bit old.

Ok, about the iBook I bought. I am interested in upgrading the hard drive to a larger capacity drive. The iBook I bought comes with a 30GB HDD. The iBook hasn't arrived yet, but I've been looking at a couple of replacement drives in the meantime. I work as a computer tech, and replace hard drives in PCs (desktops and notebooks) all the time, but I've never changed a drive in a Mac. I read somewhere online that changing out the drive on some models is quite cumbersome, but on some models it's no big deal. I guess I'm curious which category mine will fall into.

The basic specs on the iBook I bought is as follows:

Apple iBook G4 1.07ghz, 1.25gb RAM, 30GB HDD, CDRW/DVD combo drive, Airport card. Came with OS X Panther, upgraded to Leopard.

How straightforward will it be to swap out the drive for a larger one in this machine? The three drives I've looked at are these:

1. Western Digital - Scorpio 120GB Internal EIDE Hard Drive 5400 RPM
Model: WD1200BEVE

2. Western Digital - Scorpio 160GB Internal EIDE Hard Drive 5400 RPM
Model: WD1600VERTL

3. Hitachi - Travelstar 160GB Internal Hard Drive for Notebooks 5400 RPM
Model: 0A50817

I can get a discount on any of the above at work, thus these became my choices.

I'm fairly certain that the first two drives above will work, and are the ones I'm leaning toward. Not sure about the third one. I do know I need to stick with an EIDE 2.5" notebook drive that is 9.5mm in height.

Suggestions? Am I just better off to stay with the internal 30GB drive and just get an external USB HDD? I'd like to upgrade to a larger internal drive for portablity's sake, but I don't want to sacrifice performance. Also do larger drives kill battery life? Also, I know that the laptop shipped with the original Panther discs, but I don't believe they included the Leopard upgrade discs (which of course means that if I swap out the drive, I'll have to go back to Panther on the reinstall, unless I can buy a set of Leopard discs).

Suggestions or advice? Thanks in advance for your help.

Kimber



hmai18
Apr 16, 2008, 07:52 PM
The iBook hard drive replacement requires you to basically strip the computer. You'll have to remove both the bottom and top cases. A DIY guide can be found http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/iBook-G4-12-Inch/83 There will be a lot of screws that will need to be removed, but if you can probably do it if you print off the sheet iFixit provides for keeping track of screws, take your time, and follow the instructions.

My drive recently failed me and I had to replace it. I've worked on PCs before but didn't want to mess around with the repair, especially at the end of the semester when my final projects and assignments were due, so I paid a nominal fee for somebody else to install it.

I suggest you look at Samsung notebook drives. It is both quieter and uses less power than the WD drives you've looked at. I replaced my stock 40Gb Hitachi drive with a 120Gb Samsung HM121HC drive and I can't tell whether or not it's active unless I press my ear against the palm rest. SilentPC Review has a list of recommended hard drives http://www.silentpcreview.com/article29-page2.html

Kimber
Apr 16, 2008, 11:07 PM
Great info! Thanks for the help. :)

Kimber