iBook G4 won't see new Hard Drive

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by deneals, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. deneals macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2009
    Hello everyone.

    I had to replace the hard drive on my daughter's iBook G4. I replaced the original Toshiba with a seagate 160gb ATA drive.

    When using the original install disk, the installer cannot find the hard drive to install the OS on.

    I was told the problem could only be the cable or a DOA drive; so I got another new hard drive and replaced the replacement, being sure that the cable was connected properly.

    Same result!

    In the past, I've replaced hard drives several times in various machines I've owned. I seem to remember that on one occasion I had the same problem, and found the unmounted drive with Tech Tool Deluxe that I had gotten with an old AppleCare purchase.

    On this iBook G4, however, the Tech Tools disk won't boot the machine. Perhaps I am mis-remembering that incident, but I'm pretty sure that I was able to mount a hard disk in the past using some sort of software.

    Problem is that this iBookG4 won't boot off of ANY of my older system disks I own.

    Can anyone suggest a fix for this problem?


    St Louis, MO
  2. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    The normal way to setup a new drive is as follows.

    Install the drive. Reboot the computer with the OS disc in the optical bay, hold c while booting to trigger the optical drive as the boot disc. You'll then have to run disk utility to setup an Apple Partition Map partition table (GUID is only for Intel machines) and then re-install the OS onto the drive.

    I'm not sure if this is what you've already tried or not, but if it's not, give that a shot.
  3. vic32amg macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2007
    I was wondering, can I use the old drive 320 gb from my black macbook in a 1.33 ibook G4?
  4. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008

    The Intel based macbooks use SATA while the iBooks are PATA connections/bus type.
  5. deneals thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2009
    That's what I've been doing. As I said, the problem is that the new hard drive does not appear in the window to install the OS to; NOR does it appear in the drives window in Disk Utility.

    There must be a way to get the new drive to appear! I just can't figure out how.
  6. ThBrokn macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2009
    I had this happen to me with my old powerbook, i replaced the 40GB in there and the new drive never appeared, i tried everything from hooking up every possible drive i had laying around and nothing even a firewire drive, running on the installer cd and such and nothing, i took it to the apple store and it was a logic board issue, so i sold it :( it was a sad day for me
  7. deneals thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2009
    I was afraid of that. I'm no computer wiz, but I can handle a screwdriver. I bought a firewire cable and used the iBook to target my iMac, and the iBook performed the task. I wonder if that would rule out a logic board problem or would it not make any difference?
  8. ThBrokn macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2009
    Where you able to see the drive? of have you not tried that yet? :D
  9. r.w.b macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2011
    I know that this is an ancient post, but if you are looking for a solution to this problem, then my experience yesterday might help you:

    I was building one iBook out of two faulty boxes, and had the same trouble. Replacement of the drive with an original one from one iBook didn't work, so I checked the spare mainboard and found the problem.

    The hard disk drive ribbon cable runs around the edge of the board, and is connected into a socket and secured by a piece of sticky tape. The connector had sprung apart, and the tape was hiding that fact.

    You do not have to completely dismantle an iBook to gain access to the connector. Simply remove the battery and the base, then gently prise the metal shield away from the mainboard. The clip was, indeed, disconnected and hidden by the tape. The plug and socket can be re-united by pressing them together with a flat tool. I used flat tweezers, but a small knife could do the job.

    Check that the iBook is working, before replacing the base and battery.

    Replacement of a hard drive takes about an hour, if you know what you are doing. A simple check of that hidden connector might save you some time and trouble.
  10. r.w.b macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2011
    In replacing another iBook hard drive, another possibility became apparent:

    That computer would not see the drive, despite previously being able to boot from it via Firewire.

    Upon stripping the box down, I noticed that the hard drive cable was not connected properly. What had happened is that only one row of the drive connector pins had been inserted into the cable socket.

    This is not easy to spot, and was only seen by looking carefully underneath the ribbon cable, where the second row of pins could barely be seen.

    Experimentation proved that it is very much easier to connect the drive wrongly than it is to get it right. How may other people have done this, and subsequently discarded their iBook?

    Happily, and fortunately, the computer is now working properly.

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