Powerbook G4 Project

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mata.morrison, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. mata.morrison macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Hi all, very new here and very new to Apple Desktops and Notebooks.

    Got myself a minted Powerbook G4 1.67GHz 15" for nothing so well delighted with it. However I need to get it kitted out, Power supply, HDD, RAM and an OS.

    I also have a 2007 MPB 2.4GHz 17" I also want to get fitted as it need a Logic-board... but that's for another day :)

    Back to the G4, what exact specs of the above do I need, RAM wise is it DDR? I'm looking at trying to get a copy of OSX Leopard, I am seeing there are install/restore disks on Ebay for like £10-15 but also there is the 'retail' version for like £100, which would I need? HDD drive is Sata I think?

    Any help in sourcing the items would be great as well, Thanks for your help guys and pretty dam fine forum to boot!
  2. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Restore disks wont work, they're locked to specific macs (and PowerBook didn't ship with Leopard). You'll need a retail copy.

    The HDD is a 2.5" PATA drive, though I believe some people have fitted 2.5" SATA drives along with a SATA<->PATA adaptor in the 15"s.
  3. mike457 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2010
    Take a look at OWC to get the specs for the parts you need. I often look at their site to get the information about RAM, and then buy it from Canadian sources where I can get it cheaper. Their My OWC tab lets you follow the specs for your particular computer. They are certainly the best informed and most informative North American supplier.
  4. mata.morrison thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Thanks guys, will check out that site for the specs and see what's what, I'm in the UK though so ordering from there might cost a bit for me. Will keep reading up though and hopefully get it going.

    As for OSx I think that Leopard might be out of the question at these prices, that's getting close to prices of Powerbooks with an OS installed! May go down the Tiger route... looks cheaper!
  5. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    If you scroll down through the threads here you'll find a post talking about a build of Leopard that is reportedly 100% PowerPC (no Intel code). Might be worth your while to look it over. Just saying. :)
  6. Lil Chillbil macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Jan 30, 2012
    first of all it is not a version of leopard, you have to already have leopard on your machine and then pay for the service to strip it of its intel code so he would still be in the same pickle he is in right now
  7. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
  8. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    for specs go to http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powerbook_g4/index-powerbook-g4.html

    Some used allready DDR2.

    For IDE Drives. The biggest, quietest, coolest are WD3200BEVE and Samsung HM160HC (and ...HJ one has two instead of one platter. One platter is quieter).

    I have one ibook G4 with the WD and one with the Samsung. For me personally the Samsung is quieter, but sound is a subjective thing (some find whining more annoying than humming or woosh-sounds. Some won't even recognize them).

    Don't get the Hitachi HTS721010G9AT00 it has 7200rpm, but was only produced til 2007. It has older tech in it than the other two. Is more energy hungry, louder and hotter, while slower.

    Some vote for SSDs (IDE are very rare an expensive, SATA with adapter is sometimes cheaper), but one has to decide for his own, whether he find's the orice justified for the extremely little benefits (from my standpoint).
  9. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Why do people still propagate the thought that 2.5" PATA SSDs are "rare" and "expensive". OtherWorldComputing has options to choose from. As does Amazon and NewEgg.
  10. DrakkenWar macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2010
    San Antonio,Texas
    2.5 Sata Drives with adapter here

    You can always look at the SATA drives too, they are cheap, faster than the IDE drive you have currently and an easy upgrade. As I have posted before with this G4 PB 1.5 here, I had a 320gb drive from a dead toshiba laptop my wife had. After a bit of google searching I found an adapter for around 5 bones shipped. Was an easy task to get in, swap the drive and a CCC to the new drive and I was up and running. Boot times are substantially faster, most programs open on 1-2 bounces. For me it was the most cost effective route to go with what I had on hand.
  11. quasinormal macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2007
    Sydney, Australia.
    Is your Powerbook the last revision one with high resolution screen and dual layer superdrive? The earlier 1.67Ghz takes DDR RAM while high res version takes DDR2.
  12. mata.morrison thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Thanks for all these replies guys, really helping me learn and get to grips with Mac hardware at least! I managed to get a hold of some DDR2 Ram yesterday but didn't fit so managed to use the serial to identify exactly what Powerbook it was, its the earlier which uses DDR.

    Hopefully tonight I am going to strip back my wife's old Dell Inspiron form a few years ago, it should have a nice IDE drive in it and hopefully some DDR. Going to order a power block for it tonight as well so hopefully get that at the beginning to middle of the week. I was looking at some copies of Tiger on Ebay, seem much cheaper that Leopard and price wise between the too i would really have to go Tiger route, near £100 for Leopard for a project is just not viable for me just now.

    I do know that this is quite an old laptop, I do have a pretty good spec'd PC that I use for my photo editing and a pretty decent Dell Vostro from 2007 so this is just going to be an Apple play around, hoping the quality of DVD playback will be good as that's probably what it's mainly going to be used for.
  13. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Well, sorry, I was thinking of Ebay. At least here in Europe they seem rare and expensive. I thought, since this is "just" a "project" to get in touch with Apple products and so he would search for used parts (also I somehow got the wrong impression the Powerbook came with missing parts, sorry).

    On OWC a 80GB IDE SSD costs as much as a 320GB IDE HDD. One would consider, if the benefits from an SSD are that big, given other limiting factors of the old Hardware. Further more, given that a SATA-SSD costs the same as the afore mentioned, minus 30USD and is 120GB.

    I hope that was not because of my post. Well, ok, I could apologize, that one should know what model he has before buying something ;)

    Be sure to get the right block. ;)

    On ifixit.com you will find take apart guides and you can use it to determine the right parts.

    DVD playback: maybe you want to read the "video on powerpc" guide by zen.state, since there you can also read about flash playback from youtube (if that is something you want to do with it, too)
  14. mata.morrison, Jul 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

    mata.morrison thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Don't worry I didn't pay for the RAM, managed to find an old set from an old laptop I had lying around (which I'm sure will come in handy else where!)

    As for the block, I tried a search on Ebay and mostly came up with copies which I don't think I would be too happy with but then again they are cheap. Also will take a look at that guide as that may well be one of the main uses if its possible.

    As for hard drives I won't be spending money on a SSD for this machine, I don't have SSD's in my desktop even and seeing as this is going to be a cheap as possible project will probably try and find either a cheap IDE drive or second hand if my wife's old one isn't up to the job.
  15. mata.morrison thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Well I have spent the last hour looking for a Power Pack/Charger for this thing with no luck. Don't really want to spend more than £20 on it and most of them are going for silly prices.

    I began looking at the 'cheap alternatives' on Ebay also with no luck, as they all mostly have a compatibility list for what they will work with but my model is missing from the list on all of them :(

    This is what details I got after entering my serial in Powerbook Spec and lists the model being Apple PowerBook G4 1.67 15" (Al) 15-Inch 1.67/1.5 - M9677LL/A - PowerBook5,6 - A1106 - 2029. The lists I have looked at do not have 'M9677' in them.

    Anyone got any ideas on where I can get one (Genuine or not) within the UK?
  16. mata.morrison thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    She's alive! :D

    I got the original power supply for the G4 and trawled through around 50 old laptops at work and for 2x 512 sticks of DDR to put in it, fired it up and the HDD was still in there with the OS on it! I am well chuffed about that!

    Downsides though, the screen flickers every so often (possible backlight failure or inverter) although since getting it up and running yesterday it has seemed to calm down (hasn't been on in over 4 years I'm sure) Also first time fired up it showed 1gb RAM, crashed then only 512, reseated and got 1 the back to 512 so possibly the RAM socket is on the way out.

    Either way chuffed to bits! Now to figure out how to use it! Will post a pic or two later tonight maybe!

    Thanks for all your help guys.... I will be back!
  17. mata.morrison thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    Gutted! Think the backlight has just packed in :( black screen, apple logo on the back has died and you can see the faint outline on the screen of the Desktop.

    So new screen then? Would I need the inverter to go with it?
  18. Nameci macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2010
    The Philippines...
    What you need is inverter board. Try to shine a flash light at the back of the apple if you can see what is on the screen. If you can see it then you need to replace the inverter that powers the backlight.
  19. mata.morrison thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    That's very much for your help, managed to order one tonight for the huge sum of £6 :eek: thought I'd be spending at least £20 haha, better that buying a £50-60 LCD that I might not even need to start with.

    Hopefully have it by the weekend!
  20. auricle25 macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2012
    I would like to install a SATA hard drive to my powerbook g4 1.5 GZ 17 inch, but I have got problem to get the right adapter to connect SATA to 44 pin IDE.

    I have just bought a SATA WD 160 gb 7200 rpm, but the connector I have bought from ebay is compatible but I have got problem to screw the hard drive caddy to HD because of the adapter which is vertical and touch with the caddy. I have attached a link from ebay so you could check which connector I bought it.


    I was considering getting the next one from ebay but I don not know if that will be ok


    Please could you help me with this issue, if you could tell me what adapter you bought from internet.

    Thanks a lot,


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