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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Upgrading HDD disk drive on an iBook


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petenet

 
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Member Since: Jan 13, 2006
Location: Chicago, IL
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My girlfriend has an iBook G4 and she wants to upgrade the HDD. It's the 1.33 model and she's filled it up with music and so on.

So, my questions are:

1> How difficult is it to replace it yourself? From what I've seen and read, it looks like a real PIA. Has anyhow here done a replacement on a G4? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts and what directions you used.

2> If we decided to have it done, we were thinking about sending it off to this company called Mac Service - has anybody used this service? Thoughts?

3> Finally, I believe the HDD in there now runs at 4200 RPM. What sort of performance increase would she gain going up to a 5400 RPM drive or even a 7200 RPM? What does that do to battery life?

Thanks!
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mraya

 
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I had the same idea at the beginning of the year, but several problems changed my mind. So...
1. http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/
2. Never heard about them, but if you have a BestBuy around the GeekPatrol will install it for $60, you don't have to buy the hard drive in BestBuy.
3. iBooks (all models) have hard drives at 4200rpm, since the drive is not going to be running al the time there won't be a huge difference in battery life. If you want to save battery go for a bigger cache.
NewEgg has great deals on hard drives, the only think that i heard may complicate you is the height of it, check it to be 9.5mm.

[is pointless to click here]
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PowerbookG417
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1. Its not overly difficult as long as your somewhat technical and are comfortable with taking the computer apart.
2. Never have dealt with the company, so its hard to say. Personnaly i would take it to a local service depot if i wasnt comfortable in doing it
3. the faster you go the more its going to use your battery up, if your just listen to music and stuff then stick with a 4200rpm HDD, if your playing games and doing video editing then go for the better HDD. I also dont think you can even get a 7200rpm HDD for a laptop.

Here is a website that you might find helpfull if your going to do it yourself
http://www.whoopis.com/computer_repair/
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chuckalicious

 
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You can very easily get 7200rpm drives, but as most people have said, you won't notice a massive increase in speed. Apparently it doesn't drain the battery too badly for normal tasks. What no-one has been able to answer though is how much extra heat the faster drive gives out....

I'm not happy with a drive adding more heat to an already warm laptop.

If it's practical, I'd suggest an external hard drive.

Have you thought how you're going to get the old stuff off the old drive and onto the new one, or is that not an issue?
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mcsenerd

 
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1.) Yes...it's a PIA...but not impossible. I highly suggest that you print out and use the screw guide offered over at ifixit.com
2.) Dunno...people pay me to do stuff to computers...I've never ever had to use service from someone else.
3.) Often the best notebook hard drives (read...fastest and/or most expensive) have the best power conservation circuitry in them. At worst I'd imagine the ding on battery life to be in the neighborhood of 5-10% and that's at the worst.

I've had a 7200 RPM HD in my 12" iBook from the day it was born...I mean unwrapped...and I've never noticed it getting any warmer than a typical iBook. And it is significantly faster than an iBook with a slower HD. It boots faster, "feels" snappier, programs load faster, and disk activity is MUCH faster (long file transfers/DV editing/etc.). If all you're doing is surfing the net, typing up letters, checking email...then yeah...it's not gonna make much difference.
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petenet

 
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Gulp..

Well, I think I'll give the directions on fixit a try - I've always been good with PCs, so I think I can.

As for the current data, we're going to back it up to an external hdd - while this works great, it's not practical for her to carry one around with her.

So, my next question - once the hdd is installed, I was planning on installing OS X fresh from the DVDs that came with it - I know this may seem like a stupid question, but how do I do this? Is there a key combination that I need to punch in to boot from DVD or something?

Thanks for the replies!
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JGruber

 
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Once you hear the shime at the startup, hold down the "C" key.
It will give you the option to boot from a drive connected to your ibook.
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chuckalicious

 
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Cool (literally), if a 7200rpm drive doesn't get any warmer (unless in the apple factory they have an extra heatsink etc inserted during installation) then that's good news for upgrades.
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mcsenerd

 
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Getting that danged bottom case unsnapped is the most gut-wrentching part...you've got be really firm...but overly-so. I managed to do it just fine...but I did ding up the case (an almost imperceptible amount by the way) right near the DVD Slot...and like I said...it's so slight...I'd have to point it out for someone to recognize it.
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petenet

 
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Thanks all.

I am about to start the process. Everything is backed up. I am going to be installing a Seagate 100GB / 5400RPM drive.

I'll let you all know how it went!
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petenet

 
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Well, it didn't work out.

When I was removing the top cover, the connector for the on/off switch didn't come out cleanly - As I was prying it off, the whole connector came off the board, breaking completely off.

Who would even repair this or is it a total loss?

It was worth a shot!
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