Hard drive for a 12" PBG4 1.5?

GoldfishRT

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So I did it. I had a couple glasses of wine and got all nostalgic and ended up buying what was one of my favorite laptops back in the day. Whoops?

So it's a 1.5Ghz with 1.25GB of ram - nice right? Unfortunately it still has the original 80GB harddrive. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it's total weaksauce regardless of the meager amount of data it can hold.

Now, I've been reading and understand that replacing the hdd in these things is quite the undertaking with a chance of just totally ruining most of the computer if you're not careful - bending the metal casing at the very least seems to be a common issue. Never mind breaking off that power cable on the case. Seems a bit scary.

So my question is if this is even worth the effort? My second question is what would be the best reasonably economical and speedy drive to stick in it in the realm of at least 160GB or so?
 

Hrududu

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Jul 25, 2008
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My 12" has a Western Digital WD1600BEVE Scorpio Blue and its FANTASTIC! Far better performing drive than the 7200rpm Seagate in my 17DLSD. If you're going to rip it apart, this would be the drive I would suggest. Is it worth it? Maybe, but how much do you need to store on it? Are you planning on moving your entire iTunes library? iPhoto Library? Movies it can't play? If you're going to just install Leopard and fool around online then 80GB should be just fine. The damage risked with opening these is most likely the keyboard.
 

GoldfishRT

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I'm thinking of moving my relatively small iTunes library over - but I don't think I'd have much space after that unfortunately.

I guess I'll mull over it.
 

flyrod

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Jan 12, 2015
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mSATA SSD and adapter! They are far cheaper than an IDE spindle drive, are faster, and are silent

+1 This is what I have in my 12" powerbook. There are some guides around on how to open these computers. You'll need the right tools, but if you've worked on computers before there's nothing particularly tricky about them. I think the hardest part may be getting the connector off of the old drive without damaging it. The ribbon is glued (like a piece of tape) to the drive, so just peel if off carefully and don't pull the connector off the drive by the wires.
 

bobesch

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Oct 21, 2015
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Kiel, Germany
I've chosen a 232GB Crucial mSATA with Delong mSATA-IDE adapter. Reasonable price. Place for both Leopard and Tiger/Classic and a partition for data.
Also renewed thermal-paste and thermal-pads.
When removing the heatsink one of the two screws which firmly press the heatsink against the processor broke (maybe because I tilted the heatsink by removing the screw on one side completely and the heatsink liftet up asymmetrically...) I was lucky my friend and neighbor is skilled to solder the screw back onto the logic-board without damage.
The Delong adapter sports a temperature-sensor and the temperature of the mSATA is about 20° higher compared to a mechanical drive and the temperature management of the PowerBook get close to be out of balance.
"G4FanControl" helped me to elevate the mSATA's temperature threshold to a level adapted to normal working temperature of mSATAs, which consecutively lifts up GPU/CPU temp to levels up to 65°C and makes the aluminium-case really feel hot but still keeps the fan off.
At home I use an aluminium laptop-stand to conduct heat off the book (RainDesign iLap).
For me it has been worth the effort...
 

weckart

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Nov 7, 2004
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mSATA SSD and adapter! They are far cheaper than an IDE spindle drive, are faster, and are silent
Also did this. Took my time because it was easy to bend the thin aluminium (and pretty much impossible to straighten it afterwards) and it took forever but is doable. Invest in a small craft compartment box or two as there are a ton of screws to undo.
 

GoldfishRT

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I probably wont be going for mSATA based on bobesch's observations.

+1 This is what I have in my 12" powerbook. There are some guides around on how to open these computers. You'll need the right tools, but if you've worked on computers before there's nothing particularly tricky about them. I think the hardest part may be getting the connector off of the old drive without damaging it. The ribbon is glued (like a piece of tape) to the drive, so just peel if off carefully and don't pull the connector off the drive by the wires.
I was looking at the iFixit guide and more than any tool it seems like patience is needed.

While I'm here. Any suggestions for a good aftermarket battery? The original one is only good for an hour or so now which doesn't cut it.
 

MacCubed

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Apr 26, 2014
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I probably wont be going for mSATA based on bobesch's observations.



I was looking at the iFixit guide and more than any tool it seems like patience is needed.

While I'm here. Any suggestions for a good aftermarket battery? The original one is only good for an hour or so now which doesn't cut it.
The only "good" aftermarket batteries are made by NewerTech, which will cost $50+. Another option is to recell the battery, which is when you replace the cells inside of the battery for ones that are new. This is an extensive process, and requires a good amount of knowledge when it comes to electronics. A soldering iron is required
 

bobesch

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Oct 21, 2015
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Invest in a small craft compartment box or two as there are a ton of screws to undo.
I use a bunch of tiny dessert bowls that can be piled up in the order of the dismantling process.
In addition sticky-note-papers, where I prick the screws through the paper the same order they are located on the Book. That also allows making notes or drawings...
For longtime-archiving the iFixit step can be noted and the screws might be fixed will transparent sticky-tape and the "papers" etc can be stored in transparent household zip-bags.
[doublepost=1460697479][/doublepost]
The only "good" aftermarket batteries are made by NewerTech, which will cost $50+.
Currently out of stock ... Do the have aluminium or plastic surface?
I've removed the aluminum-cover from my original battery and attached it to the replacement battery.
 
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MultiFinder17

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Jan 8, 2008
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While I'm here. Any suggestions for a good aftermarket battery? The original one is only good for an hour or so now which doesn't cut it.
Newer tech is the only place that used to make them, and they haven't had any in quite a while. You can always recell the original battery, have it recelled for you, or buy one of the super-cheap ones off eBay. I have a $15 battery from God knows where in mine, and it actually works quite well.
 

flyrod

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Jan 12, 2015
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I probably wont be going for mSATA based on bobesch's observations.
I don't think my SSD runs particularly hot. It may depend on the brand somewhat. I don't remember how hot the old HDD ran, maybe someone can chime in. Also, mSATA runs on 3.3v and the IDE connector supplies 5v. To convert 5 to 3 you can use a linear regulator that turns the difference into heat, or you can use something more efficient. I've seen both kinds on the fleabay mSATA to IDE converters. Bunnspecial was going to send me a spare 12" logic board that I was going to try running a 3.3v wire from the powerbook supply to the SSD. In theory this should help with the situation, both in terms of battery life and heat. Anyway here are my reported temperatures while browsing with TenFourFox:



For batteries, the chinese ones are not that great from what I've seen, but they're cheap. So maybe they're good enough for what you're doing? An hour runtime on an original battery is pretty good imo. Here's my battery experience:

http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/12-powerbook-battery-info-and-upgrades.1932355/
 

MacCubed

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Apr 26, 2014
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I probably wont be going for mSATA based on bobesch's observations.
They really don't run hot at all, it depends on the adapter that you get. The cheaper Chinese ones are poorly designed, and you should avoid them. The mSATA is a much MUCH better option, it's faster than a 7200RPM HDD, has a higher capacity and costs much less
 

bobesch

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Oct 21, 2015
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[...] Also, mSATA runs on 3.3v and the IDE connector supplies 5v.
To convert 5 to 3 you can use a linear regulator that turns the difference into heat, or you can use something more efficient.
[...]
What kind of mSATA-IDE adapter do you use that converts voltage-difference more efficient? And on what PowerBook (to compare the effect of CPU/GPU speed/temp onto the mSATA-temp.)
[doublepost=1460744452][/doublepost]
I probably wont be going for mSATA based on bobesch's observations.
You'll never get cold fingers on dark and cold winter-nights ...
 
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flyrod

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Jan 12, 2015
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What kind of mSATA-IDE adapter do you use that converts voltage-difference more efficient? And on what PowerBook
I have a 12" powerbook.

Here are two of the converter boards, one is 3.3v and one is 5v (assuming fleabay lets me use their pictures). If you compare them, they look the same except you can see the 5v one just has a regulator added (big power-looking chip on the left). A buck converter is usually more efficient, and it will have more components, including an inductor.


 

bobesch

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Oct 21, 2015
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Kiel, Germany
I have a 12" powerbook.

Here are two of the converter boards, one is 3.3v and one is 5v (assuming fleabay lets me use their pictures).
If you compare them, they look the same except you can see the 5v one just has a regulator added (big power-looking chip on the left). A buck converter is usually more efficient, and it will have more components, including an inductor.
My Delock-Converter's components look like the ones on the upper of your pictures.http://www.delock.de/produkte/F_981_mSATA_62495/merkmale.html
image.jpeg
Could you tell more, which one is more efficient and also more about that "buck converter" ...
Many thanks!
 
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GoldfishRT

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Another question (I love crapping in my own thread!)

Is there a way to enable momentum scrolling for the trackpad on these machines?

Edit: And reverse scrolling direction?
 

GoldfishRT

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Thanks for the link to the app. Works really well. Going to take some tweaking to get it to feel just right but even just having the "natural scrolling" is a huge improvement.

So I'm having a new problem that I've never had before. My dock has been disappearing. I hope my OS install isn't borked. I'll hold judgement until I get the system updated to 10.5.8 (data caps suck). What's odd is that even forcing Finder to restart doesn't fix it. Usually have to restart the system and even then sometimes it just seems to magically not load up while the rest of the system seems to work fine.

I verified the hard disk and so that looks fine. That was my original worry since it didn't want to load up the jpegs I transferred over either.

Is a CPU temp of 62 under full load a bit worrisome? I remember these machines getting much hotter than that but with the fan behavior maybe my memory is failing me.

Edit again: Opened up activity monitor and was greeted with 100% CPU usage and no indication of any process taking it up - also no Dock process to kill and restart. Hmm.
 
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jbarley

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Jul 1, 2006
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Vancouver Island
Thanks for the link to the app. Works really well. Going to take some tweaking to get it to feel just right but even just having the "natural scrolling" is a huge improvement.

So I'm having a new problem that I've never had before. My dock has been disappearing. I hope my OS install isn't borked. I'll hold judgement until I get the system updated to 10.5.8 (data caps suck). What's odd is that even forcing Finder to restart doesn't fix it. Usually have to restart the system and even then sometimes it just seems to magically not load up while the rest of the system seems to work fine.

I verified the hard disk and so that looks fine. That was my original worry since it didn't want to load up the jpegs I transferred over either.

Is a CPU temp of 62 under full load a bit worrisome? I remember these machines getting much hotter than that but with the fan behavior maybe my memory is failing me.

Edit again: Opened up activity monitor and was greeted with 100% CPU usage and no indication of any process taking it up - also no Dock process to kill and restart. Hmm.
Try this...
go to your user Library->Preferences folder and move the "com.apple.dock.plist" file out to the Desktop.
Now restart and a new default .plist file should be rebuilt.
This might fix your issue.
 

GoldfishRT

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Unfortunately removing the various plist files related to the UI and Dock didn't work. Made a new user account and all seems well for now.

Got the combo update downloaded finally. I was able to replicate the behavior twice so we'll see if this fixes it. It seemed related to setting the desktop background through TenFourFox?
 

flyrod

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Jan 12, 2015
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Is a CPU temp of 62 under full load a bit worrisome?

Edit again: Opened up activity monitor and was greeted with 100% CPU usage and no indication of any process taking it up - also no Dock process to kill and restart. Hmm.
The fan should be on at 62 degrees, but that's not too high from what I've seen. The original 867MHz and 1GHz models with the older processors did run hotter than this. Over 70 playing something like halo iirc.

Also, activity monitor should show you what's sucking cpu. You might have to tell it to show "all processes" to see which one it is. Just guessing, I'd say it's spotlight. I don't use 10.5 much, but it seems like every time I boot it, the whole world needs to be indexed all over again.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_converter
 

mlovergaard

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Jan 28, 2011
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Sorry for hijacking your thread, I just got one of these little babies, have always loved the 12" design, I want to add an SSD but after having read the ifixit guide, I am wondering if it is really super difficult, I mean I am pretty good with electronics, having built several computers from scratch, but this seems difficult, did you have any problems when installing your new SSD?
 

bobesch

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Oct 21, 2015
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Sorry for hijacking your thread, I just got one of these little babies, have always loved the 12" design, I want to add an SSD but after having read the ifixit guide, I am wondering if it is really super difficult, I mean I am pretty good with electronics, having built several computers from scratch, but this seems difficult, did you have any problems when installing your new SSD?
If you've build computers you will certainly succeed with the help of the fixit-guide. For some procedures a pincer, and small spudgers are really helpful. And this iSesamo is a great tool though you'll have to take care not to scratch surface or even worse the screen...