View Full Version : iBook Hard disk upgrade

22nd February 2005, 02:27 PM
Hi all,

I was just thinking about upgrading the hard disk in my iBook (current 12"G4) when the warranty has expired and/or i get a new one down the track.

being my first mac, i'm not sure about how viable an option this is.

I know that with most wintel laptops its (pretty much) just get another hard disk, physcially replace it, ghost the old system to the new disk and away you go.

Is the process similar on using the mac hardware/osx?
For example, swap 30Gb with a 120gb, would this be a problem?

I'm not planning on doing this soon, more for informational purposes :)


22nd February 2005, 02:39 PM
Yes, it's just a matter of going out and getting any 9mm 2.5" IDE hard disk, installing it, booting off your OS X CD, formatting the HD, and reinstalling the OS. Or, you can get a Firewire case and install the 'new' HD into it temporarily, and run a utility such as Carbon Copy Cloner (similar to Symantec Ghost, but it's free) to back up everything to the new HD so that when you install it, you'll be exactly where you were before.

Note the bold text? :) If you're not overly technical with computers, taking apart your iBook isn't a good idea. To do this, you'll need to crack open the case (with a spatula!), remove approximately 30 - 40 screws, install the drive (easy), then reassemble it. If you take your time, allow a couple of hours, it can be done without damaging anything components/parts.

The best iBook take apart guides I've found are here (http://uk.geocities.com/ibookupgrade/) and here. (http://www.yourmaui.com/ibook.html)

If the above doesn't sound appealing, an external FW drive is your best option - and one made for a 2.5" drive should not require external power, as it'll obtain it's power from the firewire port.

22nd February 2005, 02:51 PM
Good advice.

So in short, its possiable. but going by those guides, quite involved.
maybe a project for a (very) rainy day :)

Thanks for the links too.


22nd February 2005, 03:00 PM
Try to get a case with firewire rather then USB only. Then you can use it to start in Target mode. OS X does not do target mode with USB.

I say this because the majority of these 2.5" enclosures are USB only.


22nd February 2005, 03:07 PM
I had a key fall out of my powerbook keyboard, as well as a slight pepsi disaster which led me to get a 2nd hand (but working) keyboard to replace mine with. At first i was quite afraid of pulling my powerbook apart - but once you've done it, you realise it's not hard, and it's quite simple and easy to do.

If i could afford a 100GB 2.5"er i'd throw it in for sure. :)

22nd February 2005, 03:11 PM
Powerbooks are considerably easier to work with - being a machine designated for a "power" user, it appears upgrading components (such as a CD drive or HD) is a relatively easy affair. Just wish this occured with consumer machines such as an iBook! It is doable, and easier with each go, taking apart an iBook that is.

If you get an external FW drive, go for an Oxford chipset, not the PL3507 that seems to be very common these days - they are utter shite.


22nd February 2005, 03:51 PM
Why are they shit bYrd?

I've used plenty of them myself. And my HDD is of that chipset and has been going strong for over a year.

I am also testing some other nice looking drive enclosures atm that also use the same chipset.


23rd February 2005, 08:06 AM
Every combo FW/USB 2.0 case based on the PL3507 chipset I've come across has compatibility issues with certain operating systems (both XP and OS X), and refuses to work with some hard drives. It seems later ROM revisions of the chipset are fine, but most are Revision A or B, not C or D :)

I've still got mine, a 2.5" case, but had to dump my old 10GB drive into it instead of the 20GB I bought for it.


23rd February 2005, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the info guys.

I have a problem with an enxternal USB2 hard disk, but i'll start a new thread for that.

Thanks again,

23rd February 2005, 12:06 PM
I just did it last night.
I've put a toshiba 80GB 5400rpm 16MB cahce ...

I also have manuals for instruction, THAT YOU NEED .. because it's not so easy ...
About the disk you choose a 9.5 mm one .... but get a 5400 rpm .. benchmarks for the toshiba show read and write for 1ooMB block 31MB/s 34MB/s while the stock fujitsu once full did 16MB/s 16MB/s huge difference ...

Also You don;t have to reinstall the system .. just buy a cheap external 2.5" firewire Uguys on the mac firewire 400 is so good get a combo firewire 400/ usb2 for pc compatibility with Oxfor 911 bridge) enclosure to put your old drive in. You will be able to use your old drive externally, AND you'll be able to start your mac with the new drive by pressing T at start up and choosing for the external drive.

Then from the external drive you CLONE the system using I RECCOMEND IT ONLY IT a greatr piece of software called Carbon Copy Cloner (which is free) and works like a charm.

With it you clone the system and in 20 minutes you're up and running exactly the same system/application/users/preferences as the external drive ...

you save days of fine tuning the new installation ...
If you need the ibook manual pop me an email

Have fun

Byrd Edit: changed CONE to CLONE :)