Can I swap G5 & Intel iMac startup drives?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Goop, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. Goop macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    We've got a 17" G5 iMac and a 20" Intel iMac that need to switch places and users. The easiest thing for me, would be to just swap out the internal hard drives.

    They both have Leopard installed, but I don't know if the different processors get dedicated system software installed, or can I just swap 'em?
     
  2. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    #2
    That's not going to work. The universal aspect only applies to the install disks, not the installation on the HD.
     
  3. Goop thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    That sucks.

    So it would only work if both machines were the same type of CPU or is it even more complicated than that?
     
  4. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #4
    That should be the only issue, but it might also have to do with the other hardware. (I don't know if Leopard installs drivers for all hardware on every install, or just the specific ones for that machine.)
     
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #5
    software aside, the hard drives might not even be the same interfaces.
     
  6. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    #6
    That's true. Some of the early 17" G5s were offered with PATA drives.
     
  7. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #7
    All hardware. You can safely clone a drive from one Intel Mac to another, or one PowerPC Mac to another. I'm not sure if that holds true with Snow Leopard's aggressive optimization, though.
     
  8. szark macrumors 68030

    szark

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Arid-Zone-A
    #8
    The answer is no.

    Intel Macs and PowerPC Macs use different hard drive partitioning schemes for their boot drives. Intel machines can only boot off a drive with a GUID partition scheme, and PowerPC machines can only boot off a drive with an APM partition scheme. So neither drive will be able to boot in the other machine.
     

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