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MarkC426

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 14, 2008
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Fired up my old G4 PowerBook today, first time in about....5-6 years..!
The 'massive' 40gb ?HDD was making a holy noise, for about 10 mins before starting up, then calmed down.

What SSD drives can I EASILY put in this, if any?
Just not too confident in opening laptops (macpro no problem...;))

I do have Superduper on it, and have a clone I did at some point years ago.
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 14, 2008
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Ok scrub my question.......
I just watched a YouTube video on replacing the drive........o_O:oops::rolleyes:

Holy cow, that's a lot of disassembly.
That's above my pay grade.

I did run verify disk in disk utility, which had no issues.
I may try a format and re-install instead, as I only want it 'work' for old times sake.
 
Ok scrub my question.......
I just watched a YouTube video on replacing the drive........o_O:oops::rolleyes:

Holy cow, that's a lot of disassembly.
That's above my pay grade.

I did run verify disk in disk utility, which had no issues.
I may try a format and re-install instead, as I only want it 'work' for old times sake.

You didn’t mention which PowerBook G4 you have. If a 12-inch model, then yes, it’s a bit of work and not for the faint of heart, especially if you’ve never taken apart a laptop before. Titanium G4s are a bit less complicated than the 12-inch, but come with their own considerations when opening and re-assembling. As for the other two, the aluminium 15- and 17-inch models, they’re surprisingly straightforward and some of the easier varieties to open and reach the hard drive.

Still, I totally understand your hesitation around opening one.

As for what to drop in there should you do go ahead, by far your best bet is to find an IDE/PATA-to-m.2-SATA or IDE/PATA-to-mSATA adapter, followed by picking a SATA (note: avoid any SSD marketed as NVMe or PCIe) SSD to drop into the adapter. Because all PowerBook G4s are 32-bit systems, you’ll want to make sure the SSD is less than 2TB in size.

I personally like the adapters which come with a screw-closed cover. These let you handle them like a conventional HDD and they’re pretty inexpensive:

iu



There are plenty of SSD options between 120/128GB and 480/512GB out there which are now reasonably affordable these days. Any will do the job just fine. As for those options, you can stick with a name brand, such as Western Digital (namely, their m.2 SATA WD Blue SSDs, which I use in one of my MacBook Pros).

Or, you can try a lesser-known brand which tends to have a reasonably good reputation for reliability, even if they’re using slightly older SSD tech (like Zheino, Dogfish/Shark, and iRecData). For my PowerBook G4s and iBook G3s running SSDs (which is all of them), I’ve been relying on DogFish and iRecData for three and four years, respectively, while other MR forum members have found the cheapest, mot reliable option where they live to be the Zheino SSDs.

As far as I know, no one here has ever run into issues with any of these brands. Despite their older tech, the m.2/mSATA solution will still be faster than the IDE bus in your PowerBook, and you will readily notice the performance boost — even on older gear, such as G3 models.
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
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May 14, 2008
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You didn’t mention which PowerBook G4 you have. If a 12-inch model, then yes, it’s a bit of work and not for the faint of heart, especially if you’ve never taken apart a laptop before.
It is a 12" 1ghz PowerBook.
Still looks new, as does the box.

The YouTube video scared me a bit, as the user had trouble with screws which mushed the head and he had to use a drill to drill out the screw.
 

Wouter3

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2017
199
60
Netherlands
I have done the same install as described by BS Magnet above on my 15" Powerbook.
Installation was not a problem at all. Make sure to remember which screws fit in where. Also use a proper Fixit toolkit, so you don't mess up the heads of the screws. Good luck
 
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reddrag0n

macrumors 6502a
Oct 1, 2007
605
150
Canada
Did the same thing on my ti 1ghz. 7 screws on the bottom case and 2 more next to the hdd itself. Pull out a little bracket and swap over the drive for an ssd. Altold that part took 10 min. Its just reinstalling the os that takes time
 
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maître

macrumors member
Jan 5, 2022
36
43
Russia
Holy cow, that's a lot of disassembly.
That's above my pay grade.
Yeah, about that... When I got my 12" PowerBook, something was stuck in the SuperDrive so I had to get it out, you can look it up on ifixit.
But taking out the hard drive is much easier, and the ifixit guide for it is pretty straight forward.
On topic, I agree with others, mSATA to IDE is the best option.
 

micahgartman

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2005
238
316
Houston, TX, USA
It is a 12" 1ghz PowerBook.
Still looks new, as does the box.

The YouTube video scared me a bit, as the user had trouble with screws which mushed the head and he had to use a drill to drill out the screw.
I've dissected hundreds of 12-inch PowerBooks. They're not that difficult to open—it's just a LOT of screws.

Download the Service Source manual from the link in my sig and go step by step through the instructions.

Protip: Use an ice cube tray (or two) to organize the screws as you remove them.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,990
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I've dissected hundreds of 12-inch PowerBooks. They're not that difficult to open—it's just a LOT of screws.
I have to (vehemently) disagree! That one spot where you have to pull a connector up away from the logicboard THROUGH a small rectangular hole on the top case is the most unnerving part of the process.

I did this three times in replacing the screen on my wife's 12" Powerbook. Once to make the replacement, twice to put back the heatsink I thought the computer didn't need and thrice to replace the sleeplight after I stripped the wires out of it's connector on the first time.

At some point a hacksaw got involved because I put a too long screw back in the wrong place.

Give me a 17" PowerBook to work in any day over this.
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 14, 2008
3,625
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UK
I have to (vehemently) disagree! That one spot where you have to pull a connector up away from the logicboard THROUGH a small rectangular hole on the top case is the most unnerving part of the process.

I did this three times in replacing the screen on my wife's 12" Powerbook. Once to make the replacement, twice to put back the heatsink I thought the computer didn't need and thrice to replace the sleeplight after I stripped the wires out of it's connector on the first time.

At some point a hacksaw got involved because I put a too long screw back in the wrong place.

Give me a 17" PowerBook to work in any day over this.
Hey don't be putting me off now......o_O
The HDD finally died, just getting a folder with question mark now, so nothing to lose by trying the upgrade.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
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Hey don't be putting me off now......o_O
The HDD finally died, just getting a folder with question mark now, so nothing to lose by trying the upgrade.
Not putting you off, just providing balance. The truth is actually somewhere in the middle for most people.

I do not deal well with tiny things. I don't have the eye/hand coordination for it. That's a primary reason I never do my own repairs on my iPhones.
 
Hey don't be putting me off now......o_O
The HDD finally died, just getting a folder with question mark now, so nothing to lose by trying the upgrade.

Don’t be dissuaded, just prepared! :)

I know @micahgartman has some considerable experience with disassembly, as I think they’ve done so for customer laptop repairs.

As mentioned earlier, I‘ve taken apart all three aluminium models. In ascending order of complexity/delicateness, the 15-inch is the simplest, then the 17-inch, and finally, the 12-inch. The biggest thing about the 12-inch to mind is the screw hidden beneath the keyboard, which requires removal of those localized keys. Care must be taken to reach this, and care must also be taken not to over-torque it when re-assembling, since its bolt stand is also part of the logic board. And, as always, connectors tend to be pretty delicate. Just pace yourself, take your time, and you should be fine.

As an additional note: the 12-inch PowerBook is, in its assembly, design, and construction, a closer cousin to the iBook G4s than the larger PowerBook models. Apple had to incorporate a couple of novel solutions to bring the PowerBook look and feel down to that compact size (that aforementioned sub-keyboard screw being one of those).

The ice cube tray is a brilliant idea. I ought to use that instead of a microfibre cloth.
 

micahgartman

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2005
238
316
Houston, TX, USA
I have to (vehemently) disagree! That one spot where you have to pull a connector up away from the logicboard THROUGH a small rectangular hole on the top case is the most unnerving part of the process.

I did this three times in replacing the screen on my wife's 12" Powerbook. Once to make the replacement, twice to put back the heatsink I thought the computer didn't need and thrice to replace the sleeplight after I stripped the wires out of it's connector on the first time.

At some point a hacksaw got involved because I put a too long screw back in the wrong place.

Give me a 17" PowerBook to work in any day over this.
A valid criticism that I 100% get behind. One thing to note is that a hard drive replacement does not require a 100% tear down.
 

weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,843
3,518
The ice cube tray is a brilliant idea. I ought to use that instead of a microfibre cloth.
There are a couple of other cheap options for the terminally clumsy. You can get magnetic trays (Aldi and Lidl often sell those very cheaply in a range of sizes during DIY week) or, for larger jobs, I use a craft box with lots of compartments. These work the same as ice trays/egg boxes but have the added bonus of a lid as I am that clumsy and wouldn't put it past me to knock the whole shebang onto the floor.

Small-Rectangular-Magnetic-A.jpg ImageHandler.ashx.jpg
 
There are a couple of other cheap options for the terminally clumsy. You can get magnetic trays (Aldi and Lidl often sell those very cheaply in a range of sizes during DIY week) or, for larger jobs, I use a craft box with lots of compartments. These work the same as ice trays/egg boxes but have the added bonus of a lid as I am that clumsy and wouldn't put it past me to knock the whole shebang onto the floor.

View attachment 2003163 View attachment 2003162

NICE! I wish we had Aldi or Lidl in Canada!

The second solution is giving me an idea, since I have a couple of these lying around: re-use IKEA FIXA parts boxes, once all the pieces have been used:

1652192095610.png 1652192145870.png
 
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weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,843
3,518
NICE! I wish we had Aldi or Lidl in Canada!

The second solution is giving me an idea, since I have a couple of these lying around: re-use IKEA FIXA parts boxes, once all the pieces have been used:
I tend to use one compartment per iFixit step, unless there is a mix of sizes that will be tricky to put back without getting them wrong, then I might split the step further. However, I have generally found the steps at the right level for breaking a disassembly task into manageable chunks and it lets me see at a glance if I have missed a step out in reassembling. One of the worst things apart from stripping a screw or breaking a standoff or cable socket is finding a surfeit of screws when you have finished putting the thing back together again.
 
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MarkC426

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 14, 2008
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UK
There are a couple of other cheap options for the terminally clumsy. You can get magnetic trays (Aldi and Lidl often sell those very cheaply in a range of sizes during DIY week) or, for larger jobs, I use a craft box with lots of compartments. These work the same as ice trays/egg boxes but have the added bonus of a lid as I am that clumsy and wouldn't put it past me to knock the whole shebang onto the floor.

View attachment 2003162
This is exactly what I thought about today, and am about to order.......?
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
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May 14, 2008
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SUCCESS......?

Up and running with 10.3 on a 256gb SSD.

New problem....is there a knack to connect to internet, I am trying to run software update.
Managed to get my router to show up, but it won't connect (with AirPort Extreme card).
Tried Ethernet direct to router, says online in the network settings, but SU doesn't connect, and any website says invalid certificate.

Is this because it's so old (18 years actually)...
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 14, 2008
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UK
What exactly does that mean 'syncing the clock'
The date/time/clock are set correctly.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,990
27,249
SUCCESS......?

Up and running with 10.3 on a 256gb SSD.

New problem....is there a knack to connect to internet, I am trying to run software update.
Managed to get my router to show up, but it won't connect (with AirPort Extreme card).
Tried Ethernet direct to router, says online in the network settings, but SU doesn't connect, and any website says invalid certificate.

Is this because it's so old (18 years actually)...
I am not certain that the update servers are still working with 10.3 and below. You can download the 10.3.9 combo update and use that though. I know Software Update is still working with 10.4 and 10.5.

As far as Airport Extreme, here's the thing with your router. You need to be using WPA or WEP. Airport Extreme will support WPA2, but only if you are using Tiger 10.4.11 or above.

Finally, when using WPA/WPA2 you need to have TKIP encryption, not AES.

There are work arounds, such as slaving a second router to your primary. The secondary would have reduced security, allowing you on your home network, but all your data would be passed to through your primary router and its security.

You're going to be limited with browsers on 10.3.9. A big problem is certificates and use of https over http. There are browsers (such as TenFourFox) that work but you need to be on 10.4 or higher.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,990
27,249
What exactly does that mean 'syncing the clock'
The date/time/clock are set correctly.
In the time/date settings in System Preferences, there is an option for time and date to be adjusted automatically. OS X connects to time.apple.com and updates the date and time every so often when this box is checked. Thus the clock is 'synced'.
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
Original poster
May 14, 2008
3,625
2,053
UK
I am not certain that the update servers are still working with 10.3 and below. You can download the 10.3.9 combo update and use that though. I know Software Update is still working with 10.4 and 10.5.

As far as Airport Extreme, here's the thing with your router. You need to be using WPA or WEP. Airport Extreme will support WPA2, but only if you are using Tiger 10.4.11 or above.

Finally, when using WPA/WPA2 you need to have TKIP encryption, not AES.

There are work arounds, such as slaving a second router to your primary. The secondary would have reduced security, allowing you on your home network, but all your data would be passed to through your primary router and its security.

You're going to be limited with browsers on 10.3.9. A big problem is certificates and use of https over http. There are browsers (such as TenFourFox) that work but you need to be on 10.4 or higher.
This makes sense......?

I am in the process of upgrading to 10.4, I have a retail box for that.
Not too bothered about web/mail, just wanted access to updates.

Worst case, I could download them from my MacPro onto a USB.
 
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