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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac - upgrading the internal hard drive in an old iMac


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Conrad D
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I am an absolute novice when it comes to taking apart a computer and know nothing about any technical terms or parts. I was able to install a new battery when the original died, so when the "genius" at the Apple Store said I could install an additional internal hard drive, I gave it a whirl. Before I try to return the hard drive, I thought I would give this a shot.

My iMac is a 400 MHz PowerPC G3, one of the early generations, if not the first (see-through cobalt blue exterier). I am running with 256 MB of memory and the CPU type is PowerPC 750 (83.0). I have Mac OS X Tiger, version 10.4.6 and this machine had been working great until we recently purchased our first iPod. Now with all the music being loaded in iTunes, the iMac has slowed down and even frozen when trying to use a few applications at once.

I figured I needed more hard drive space and/or memory and the people at the Apple store suggested I purchase a Seagate 80 GB Barracuda and install it myself.

Well, I got the computer apart and found the old hard drive, but that is about as far as I can go. I read about making the new hard drive the "slave" hooking up the BLUE, BLACK and GRAY connectors on the new cable, but I don't know a motherboard from a jumpdrive and the new connectors do not match up with the old one (the Blue connector is not the same size as the old one that I think was going into the motherboard). There is also something about an unused power cable in the old computer for the new hard drive, (which I did not see) and a suggestion that I get a Y-shaped power cable from an electronics store, which even if I knew what it was, I would not know where to begin connecting it. Not only does the new connector not match up, it is about 10 times as long as the old one, which leads me to the final issue: if I could get this all hooked up and power-supplied, where in the world would I put the new, additional hard drive? There is no room I can see adjacent to the current hard drive.

I tried to put in the new drive in without the old, but I got no response, which I have learned is because I need to use the Tiger install disk to set up the new hard drive.

I realize this may provide a great laugh for anyone who knows how all this works. If trying to walk someone through this process using Apple Discussions does not make sense, I completely understand. I had nothing to lose (except possibly the cost of the Seagate drive if they won't take it back). I have ordered more RAM so I can at least upgrade in that area.

I was able to put everything back together after taking the old hard drive out, so I think I could do this if the parts were all there and matched up....but I would still need to know where to put the new drive!

Any suggestions are appreciated. I have already resigned myself to the fact I may just need a more expensive external drive...I just have few available ports.

Thanks in advance to anyone who has the patience to offer some advice!
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Badger
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Firstly, the genius needs to go back to school. There is no way to mount a second hard drive inside any G3 iMac. Secondly, as you discovered, you have two choices; you can replace the internal drive with a new one, or you can use an external drive. The internal drive is cheaper and makes a cleaner installation but an external drive can be used as a backup drive and can moved to another computer. Check out this site: http://www.appletalk.com.au/forums/i...?showtopic=436. It has a complete, illustrated guide to upgrading the HDD in this model. It is really just a matter of switching the connections from the old disk to the new one and matching the jumpers. Now the other issue is whether you want to transfer the data from the old disk to the new. If you do then you'll need some type of external storage. You can use an external hard disk or CD-Rs to hold the data and then transfer it into the new disk. If you're not trying to save the data then you can just install the new drive and go from there.
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wicker_man

 
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I just recently replaced the hard drive in my iMac G3 DV 400MHz, and it was a simple 10 minute job (even though I had never touched a Mac before in my life!).

You turn the iMac upside down, open the external monitor port door and remove 2 screws, plus the 2 next to the front stand thingy. It requires some force to take off the clear base panel (and it does make a loud click the first time I tried it and I thought I broke it, but it was fine).

You then need to remove the metal cage (try and use a magnetic screwdriver, dropping a screw into the mac is a bad idea with a 16,000V or so CRT screen). Then, remove the 4 screws and IDE/power cables holding the hard drive in, and slot in the new one. You may need to remove the RAM and Airport antenna to access the drive.

I used a Seagate 80GB IDE 7200rpm drive and had to set it to Master for it to work. Before, I had it as slave, but when I formatted as HFS+ and tried to install Panther, it complained that it couldn't boot off the drive. So I had to remove it and change the pins.

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lil
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Since it hasn't been said already—you really need to boost the RAM to at least 512MB in total, that will make a big difference.

Vicky
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Conrad D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badger
Firstly, the genius needs to go back to school. There is no way to mount a second hard drive inside any G3 iMac. Secondly, as you discovered, you have two choices; you can replace the internal drive with a new one, or you can use an external drive. The internal drive is cheaper and makes a cleaner installation but an external drive can be used as a backup drive and can moved to another computer. Check out this site: http://www.appletalk.com.au/forums/i...?showtopic=436. It has a complete, illustrated guide to upgrading the HDD in this model. It is really just a matter of switching the connections from the old disk to the new one and matching the jumpers. Now the other issue is whether you want to transfer the data from the old disk to the new. If you do then you'll need some type of external storage. You can use an external hard disk or CD-Rs to hold the data and then transfer it into the new disk. If you're not trying to save the data then you can just install the new drive and go from there.
Thanks a ton! It looks like I will take my chances on returning the internal hard drive and go with an external...would have had to buy something to back up all my files and reload all my software with the internal, so the external will be easier/worth extra cost. Thanks again.
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Conrad D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wicker_man
I just recently replaced the hard drive in my iMac G3 DV 400MHz, and it was a simple 10 minute job (even though I had never touched a Mac before in my life!).

You turn the iMac upside down, open the external monitor port door and remove 2 screws, plus the 2 next to the front stand thingy. It requires some force to take off the clear base panel (and it does make a loud click the first time I tried it and I thought I broke it, but it was fine).

You then need to remove the metal cage (try and use a magnetic screwdriver, dropping a screw into the mac is a bad idea with a 16,000V or so CRT screen). Then, remove the 4 screws and IDE/power cables holding the hard drive in, and slot in the new one. You may need to remove the RAM and Airport antenna to access the drive.

I used a Seagate 80GB IDE 7200rpm drive and had to set it to Master for it to work. Before, I had it as slave, but when I formatted as HFS+ and tried to install Panther, it complained that it couldn't boot off the drive. So I had to remove it and change the pins.
Thanks much, all made sense, going to go with an external!
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Conrad D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lil
Since it hasn't been said already—you really need to boost the RAM to at least 512MB in total, that will make a big difference.

Vicky
Thanks, ordered the memory, waiting for delivery!
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