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  1. #1
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    klt's Avatar
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    Question G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    Trying to upgrade to new, larger IDE hard drive in this G4 running OS X 10.3. - This one is pretty old and has begun to make more noise than it should. I understand I can go up to 10.4-Tiger but want to upgrade the hard drive 1st.

    I understand there is a limit to the size of the hard drive this computer will recognize. I also remember reading something about a driver for sale that would remove this existing limit.

    Has anyone heard of this driver? If so, does it work? Any suggestions about how to accomplish the happy installation of a larger hard drive are appreciated.

  2. #2
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    Soulwar's Avatar
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  3. #3
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    Avenger2SER's Avatar
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    I can offer an alternative, however it'll cost a little more. I used to have the same model, and I ended up throwing a SATA controller card, and a 250gb SATA hard drive in it (or maybe 2, can't remember). Got a nice little performance boost and didn't have to worry about drivers, it just worked. Just throwing that out there.
    Macbook Air 11" 4gb, 128gb SSD (2012)
    Mac Mini i5 16gb, 128gb SSD, 1tb internal, 2x 1tb external (2012)
    MacBook Pro,4gb,128gb SSD (early 2008)
    iMac G3 600, iPad Mini Retina 64gb, iPhone 5, and more.

  4. #4
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    mcjacksonnelson's Avatar
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    quick question about this. when you get a new controller card, does it automatically recognize your existing, formatted drives? or do you have to back it all up, reformat and then rebuild? im looking to do this as a summer project. thanks in advance.
    "You can't fight in here, this is the war room!"

    CONSTRUCTIV Art & Design

  5. #5
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    Avenger2SER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcjacksonnelson View Post
    quick question about this. when you get a new controller card, does it automatically recognize your existing, formatted drives? or do you have to back it all up, reformat and then rebuild? im looking to do this as a summer project. thanks in advance.
    Your old drives will work just fine, the controller card will simply let you add whatever SATA card you want. Personally, I like to put the faster sata drive as a boot drive, then keep an IDE drive for extra storage, but thats up to you.

    Make sure you buy a mac compatible controller card of course.
    Macbook Air 11" 4gb, 128gb SSD (2012)
    Mac Mini i5 16gb, 128gb SSD, 1tb internal, 2x 1tb external (2012)
    MacBook Pro,4gb,128gb SSD (early 2008)
    iMac G3 600, iPad Mini Retina 64gb, iPhone 5, and more.

  6. #6
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    mcjacksonnelson's Avatar
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    excellent thanks.
    "You can't fight in here, this is the war room!"

    CONSTRUCTIV Art & Design

  7. #7
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    louishen's Avatar
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    Another alternative is to put a 120 gig drive in the G4 (near the upper limit it will recognise) and run the OS and apps off that

    Avenger2SER rightly said that a SATA controller will give you bigger drives, I hope he can help but I could only find quite expensive mac compatible cards

    A cheaper route is to install a cheap PCI USB 2 card and this will give you access to any size external USB drive. I have kept my smallish 80 gig internal drive but all my music and movies are on an external USB 2 500 gig drive.

    But if Avenger2SER's advice points you to an affordable SATA solution - go with that

  8. #8
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    mcjacksonnelson's Avatar
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    yeah, my problem is that i have an internal 250g but i didnt realize that it would only recognize 128 or whatever when i bought it. so i just want to get an IDE controller card so it will recognize the entire drive.
    "You can't fight in here, this is the war room!"

    CONSTRUCTIV Art & Design

  9. #9
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    Avenger2SER's Avatar
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    Well I got a good deal on the one in my old G4 on ebay if I remember correctly, and the SATA drive was free. I have one more SATA card available if anyone is interested, I just pulled it out of my dead B&W G3.
    Macbook Air 11" 4gb, 128gb SSD (2012)
    Mac Mini i5 16gb, 128gb SSD, 1tb internal, 2x 1tb external (2012)
    MacBook Pro,4gb,128gb SSD (early 2008)
    iMac G3 600, iPad Mini Retina 64gb, iPhone 5, and more.

  10. #10
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Do your homework carefully before investing in a controller card and SATA particularly the alleged speed hump as SATA are reportedly not so much faster than your IDE 100 ATA 7200 RPM HDD.

    Check out this link for SATA and PATA, formerly IDE:-

    http://club.cdfreaks.com/f7/whats-sata-speed-108829/

  11. #11
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    Avenger2SER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    Do your homework carefully before investing in a controller card and SATA particularly the alleged speed hump as SATA are reportedly not so much faster than your IDE 100 ATA 7200 RPM HDD.

    Check out this link for SATA and PATA, formerly IDE:-

    http://club.cdfreaks.com/f7/whats-sata-speed-108829/
    I paired mine to a 10k rpm raptor drive at the time, and I noticed a nice speed difference. You may be right about 7200rpm drives however, I never used one of these with my g4
    Macbook Air 11" 4gb, 128gb SSD (2012)
    Mac Mini i5 16gb, 128gb SSD, 1tb internal, 2x 1tb external (2012)
    MacBook Pro,4gb,128gb SSD (early 2008)
    iMac G3 600, iPad Mini Retina 64gb, iPhone 5, and more.

  12. #12
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Now that would be a speed increase with a Raptor which is 33% faster than the 7,200 RPM drive and 100% faster than an old 5,400RPM approximately.

  13. #13
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    klt's Avatar
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    Apr 20, 2008
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    Thanks to everyone for the very useful information. Steep learning curve for me, but I am happy to wade back into the Mac pond after many years away. Different world for sure which is a very good thing.
    Just to confirm: My G4 Gigabit 450DP running 10.3 (soon to be 10.4), 1.5GB memory, without an additional controller card can only see a max of 120GB HD. No one said anything about some sort of driver that would allow the existing set up to see a larger HD. Looks like I need to save up for at controller card - SATA looks like the best way to go.
    Again, I very much appreciate all of the help, input, etc.

  14. #14
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Again there is no driver - you need to install a PCI controller card as Soulwar indicAted with his various links. Try OWC www.macsales.com for starters.


    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ACARD/AEC6280M/

  15. #15
    G4 Dual 450 Gigabit HD Size Limit Question

    Member Since
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    I had posted here about a month ago. I wanted to upgrade my G4 Sawtooth from the 2 - 10GB drives that were installed.

    I was informed that the G4 Sawtooth could not handle a drive larger than a 120GB. BUT.... I could piggy-back 2 - 120GB's, which is exactly what I did.

    They work just fine. Just make sure to move those little toggle switches around on the back of the drive, or you'll wonder why only one is reading or none at all. LOL (which is what happened to me until I had seen the switches on my old drives).

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