Copy my G4 HDD before 'Upgrade'

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by charleyfarley, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. charleyfarley macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2009
    Hello all

    I have a 1.5GHz G4 PowerPc that i love dearly and following some sage advice on this here forum i have purchased a 320gb, 2gb Ram and a tool kit all from OWC.

    Shipped to UK it cost $217 (£135) plus there was a £26 customs charge - this is just info that might be of interest to someone out there, i shopped around and this was good value from a recommended retailer.

    Now i've got all the kit and a few tutorials of how to change the hardware over i am itching to get going but i realised i still have loads of stuff - Music, photos, OSX and other apps etc. - on the current HDD that ideally i would like to transfer to the new one before i install it.

    I just want to know if this is possible, how easy it is and if you could point me in the direction of a tutorial to do this

    Muchos gracias :)
  2. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2009
    If you already had an additional external hard drive backup it would be easier to do because you can just restore all your data back into your new hard drive with Time Machine for example.

    The other way to do it is if you had an enclosure hard drive case you can clone your internal hard drive to your new hard drive and then just install the new drive which is probably the quicker way. Either way you need something to put your old data in before you install your new hard drive. This is one of the reasons why it's good to have a backup system. If something happened to your internal hard drive you can just restore all your data from your backup which is pretty much the same thing as restoring your data to a new hard drive.
  3. charleyfarley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2009
    i have got an additional external hdd. What is 'Time Machine' and how do i go about copying everything to it? is it just as simple as that, drag and drop everything on my pb to the external hdd and then when i have fitted the new hdd just copy back? will everything just reinstall including OSX? apologies if i sound like a novice, i am :)
  4. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2009
    Time Machine is a free application from Apple that backups up your whole hard drive. You didn't say which Mac OS you had. I believe Time Machine was introduced in Leopard (10.5) so if you have Tiger (10.4) or earlier then you won't have it.

    If that is the case then you will have to clone your internal hard drive to your external with either Carbon Clone Copy or use Disk Utility. After installing your new hard drive you just then have to clone the hard drive back from your external using either software. The nice thing about making a clone is that it will an exact copy of your current hard drive so you should be able to continue working without having to do anything further.

    If you can't get cloning to work then you will have to manually copy all your important data over to your external hard drive and then copy over to your new hard drive once it's installed. The problem with this is that applications have to be reinstalled because it may not work if you just copy them over especially if you had to use an installer for some applications. Doing it manually also takes longer because you have to reorganize everything yourself onto the new hard drive. So I recommend trying the other methods first.
  5. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    You didn't say what model the G4 was, AFAIK There was no stock 1.5GHz model. However, all of the G4 models could have more than one HD installed internally. What model is it? Some older models could not access more than about 120GB drives due to hardware limitations. Use Mactracker (available from, etc.) to check your machine and how many HD drives it can take.
    If your machine is the Mirrored Drive Doors model there are trays for 4 HD drives, and that model requires setting the pins on the HD to cable select (instructions printed on the HD). Other, earlier models required "master" and "slave" pin settings for 2 drives (end of the cable "master" and middle connecter drive "slave" - other end to the motherboard).
    So really there is no need to use an external drive.
    After you install the new drive, use disk utility to format the drive, then Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the old drive to the new one, which creates an exact bootable copy.
    ifixit HP may have some good guides.
  6. charleyfarley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2009
    my mac is

    Machine Name: PowerBook G4 17''
    Machine Model: PowerBook5,5
    CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (1.1)
    Number of CPU's: 1
    CPU Speed: 1.5 GHz
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
    Memory: 1 GB
    Bus Speed: 167 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: 4.8.4fl
    Serial Number: W84161JJQRV

    Thanks a lot for all the help so far, much appreciated. However, i'm a bit confused now by the last response from davidlv:confused: is it referring to a desktop mac?

    i've downloaded Carbon Copy Cloner but i haven't been able to find a user guide i am confident with - i could attach my external hdd but the only concern i have is it has been a bit flakey in terms of holding the connection when i have been copying large files to it - its the reason why i steered clear of WD until i just bought the upgraded HDD!! i am fearful that i could lose a stable operating system :eek: for that reason i would rather be able to connect this hdd to my pb and clone across so that when i install as a replacement and switch on 'it just works' - any suggestions?
  7. charleyfarley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2009
  8. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2009
    You can do that and I've already mentioned how to do so above. You need to get an external hard drive enclosure case for your new hard drive. Put your new hard drive in the enclosure and then connected it to your PB. Format the new hard drive and then clone your internal hard drive. After that just put your new hard drive in your PB and you should be done.

    Doing it this way requires you to buy more stuff which is why I said if you already had an external hard drive it would have saved you some money. Since you are willing to upgrade your internal hard drive yourself then I'm sure you'll do it again in the future for other computers so you might as well buy an enclosure for this purpose and future usage.
  9. charleyfarley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2009
    ok i think i'm going to go down the enclosure route, problem now is finding one that is compatible with my 320gb ata hd:confused:

    i can find loads at cheap prices that suit SATA but mine is PATA/ATA. I suppose this is due to the age of my machine, technology moves on quickly... can i adapt a SATA enclosure or keep looking for PATA??
  10. charleyfarley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2009
    ok ignore that last request... i found a few now at good price on ebay. seems straightforward enough, i'll let you know how i get on. Thanks for all your help thus far. :D
  11. charleyfarley thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2009
    :)hello again... seems like i only drop by when i got problem, sorry folks, hopefully this thread will be of use to future diy upgraders.

    i got my enclosure and attached the hdd to it - bit concerned as there are 4 pins exposed with nothing to plug into on the hdd, the long run of pins slotted nicely in place... connected the Y usb and got a green light on the enclosure but nothing showing up in my disk utility - i need to format it first right? did a quick scout around possible causes, i bought a Wd passport hdd once upon a time and learned then that my G4 won't support it through usb... found a suggestion that powered usb hub could be a problem solver so i connected one up and i got green lights on both the hub and enclosure but still not recognized:(

    so do i need a magic wand or something:confused:

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