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  1. #1
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    iggibar's Avatar
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    Cool 17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    I've decided to embark on a new project.
    I have a 17" Powerbook that as been sitting in a shelf for about 4 years now. After pulling it out and turning it on, I realized I had completely forgotten that the HDD was toast. I quickly took it apart and then AGAIN realized that I had already taken it apart once before and stopped working on it when I found out the HDD needed to be IDE PATA...which I hate. I think I'm getting old!

    I stuck an external usb HDD and went to put my OSX Leopard install disc in the slot, but realized something was wrong with the CD drive. I don't have any flash USB install drives for Leopard since I have the original OSX Leopard install pack disk, and don't really have a good way to play with this. I have about 20 HDDs and SSDs in SATA format, but nothing in IDE pin format, and I will throw my Powerbook out before I spend money on a legacy IDE drive.

    Then came the light bulb moment. This 17" Powerbook is in too good of condition to just throw away. So, without doing any research, I'm modifying my 17" PB to run on an SSD. It's the only chance I have to bring this baby back to life! I'm literally just winging it.

    It's do or die for this Powerbook!

    I will update this thread with pics and tutorials of what I'm doing.
    3.0GHz 10x Mac Pro 6.13.46GHz 6x Mac Pro 5.12.66GHz 4x Mac Pro 4.12.2GHz i7 15" MBP 15.12.3GHz i7 15" MBP 11.32.8GHz i7 13" MBP 11.12.66Ghz i7 15"MBP 6.22.4GHz 15" MBP 5.12.4GHz 13" MBP 7.1

  2. #2
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Then came the light bulb moment. This 17" Powerbook is in too good of condition to just throw away. So, without doing any research, I'm modifying my 17" PB to run on an SSD. It's the only chance I have to bring this baby back to life! I'm literally just winging it.

    Wow…!!! That's going to be some kind of mod to attempt!!! But maybe you can find and get a SATA TO PATA IDE Converter Adapter to fit. That should help make the job easier. Good Luck.





    - Patrick
    ======

  3. #3
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    iggibar's Avatar
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    That is the plan! SATA to IDE adapter, and a little nip-and-tuck hahaha
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  4. #4
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    pm-r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iggibar View Post
    That is the plan! SATA to IDE adapter, and a little nip-and-tuck hahaha

    Yeah, maybe another job for the Dremel tool and an X-Acto knife!!!





    - Patrick
    ======

  5. #5
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    iggibar's Avatar
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    I've started working on this, and I'm going to be posting the progress as I get a chance.

    Here's the start:

    My Powerbook 17":
    Powerbook1.1.jpg
    Powerbook1.2.jpg

    Took the keyboard and assembly off. The keyboard and upper palm rest chassis is welded together and does not come apart easy:
    Powerbook2.jpg

    My work space. Got a movie going in the background.
    Powerbook1.3.jpg

    So obviously, my goal is to run an SSD in place of the current IDE PATA drive that died. Though I said I wouldn't do much research, I actually had to. The internal hdd connector that attaches to the motherboard had a similar connection to my unibody macbook pros. I thought I might be able to just buy one of those instead, but the cables are not the right size.
    The CD drive also has a similar connection to the motherboard, and some of you might know my first gen unibody macbook pro was the first or one of the first to turn dual SSDs via a caddy drive on this forum, so the thought of running an hdd in place of the cd drive came up. Unfortunately, there are no proper cable lengths.

    This is the only adapter that has a chance of working with some modding:
    IDESATA adapter .jpg
    3.0GHz 10x Mac Pro 6.13.46GHz 6x Mac Pro 5.12.66GHz 4x Mac Pro 4.12.2GHz i7 15" MBP 15.12.3GHz i7 15" MBP 11.32.8GHz i7 13" MBP 11.12.66Ghz i7 15"MBP 6.22.4GHz 15" MBP 5.12.4GHz 13" MBP 7.1

  6. #6
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    iggibar's Avatar
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    And that's when I started taking things out.

    I don't run any expansion cards, so the expansion slot will be going. The slot and mechanism is part of a chassis that supports the Airport extreme below and ethernet board above it. I'll figure something out later to secure the airport and ethernet cards.
    Powerbook3.1.jpg

    Just checking to see the SSD fitment. Note: the airport card is no longer supported under the expansion chassis in the following photo:
    Powerbook3.2.jpg

    The IDE to SATA adapter adds length to the SSD, so I'm going to need more space by the SSD's connection. Only way to add more space is to remove some metal support from the inner chassis and expansion slot support for the pin release. I traced an area to cut that I believe will give me more room to make things work:
    Powerbook3.3.jpg
    Powerbook3.4.jpg
    Powerbook3.5.jpg
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  7. #7
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    iggibar's Avatar
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    Time to pull out the dremel! The chassis alloy is light and porous, making it pretty easy to cut. I won't be needing the HDD screw supports, and they are in the way. Out they went!
    Powerbook3.6.jpg
    Took some time to smooth out the edges because that IDE adapter is going to need to be slanted upward and I don't want to go half-azz while I'm here.

    Next up...sneak peak of some JB Weld to reinforce the chassis areas.
    Powerbook5.jpg
    3.0GHz 10x Mac Pro 6.13.46GHz 6x Mac Pro 5.12.66GHz 4x Mac Pro 4.12.2GHz i7 15" MBP 15.12.3GHz i7 15" MBP 11.32.8GHz i7 13" MBP 11.12.66Ghz i7 15"MBP 6.22.4GHz 15" MBP 5.12.4GHz 13" MBP 7.1

  8. #8
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    iggibar's Avatar
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    Even though I don't need the expansion slot, I still want it to look original. So I had to cut the expansion release pin in half because it was so long:
    Powerbook6.1.jpg
    Powerbook6.2.jpg

    I will be using the pin, and its surroundings, as reinforcement for the chassis with he help of some JB Weld:
    Powerbook6.3.jpg
    Powerbook6.4.jpg
    Powerbook6.5.jpg
    I shoved JB in every hole I could get it in.

    Time to let things dry.
    Last edited by iggibar; 11-03-2018 at 03:46 PM.
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  9. #9
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    iggibar's Avatar
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    At the end of the day, I noticed something. I've worked on MANY laptops. This Powerbook was made in 2005, yet it has an internal build/assembly quality better than most laptops sold today. It's really something in my opinion!

    Anyways, this is all the stuff I've taken out of the Powerbook that won't be going back in:
    Powerbook7.1.jpg

    And this is a pic of everything after I put the Powerbook away next to its companions:
    Powerbook8.jpg

    More to follow when I get another minute to work on this project!


    Some additional thoughts:

    I already ordered the adapter, but really have no idea when it's really going to get here. I'm concerned that the hdd to motherboard ribbon cable won't have enough length to bend even with the free space I made. I might have to remove more chassis support on the bottom so that I can move the SSD down towards the edge of the frame(towards the palm rest edge). This should give me just enough space so the ribbon cable doesn't have a crazy bend while it's attached. I'll make that call later when I figure out a way to secure everything so everything can fit back together. I really don't want to remove more chassis support.
    Last edited by iggibar; 11-03-2018 at 03:50 PM.
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  10. #10
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    iggibar's Avatar
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    I mocked up an adapter out of cardboard to see how everything fits. With the ribbon cable attached to the motherboard, the tension caused by the bowing of the ribbon in order to seat properly on the hdd was too great. A gentle tap would dislodge the connection, and the bow of the ribbon caused it to sit too high. I absolutely do not want to put any hard creases/bends on the ribbon to make it fit. I want it smooth as possible.

    With this in mind, I have no other choice but to cut away more of the lower chassis support that is to the left of the trackpad by the edge of the palm rest.
    As the chassis sat, it was one continuous piece. I was afraid that if I tried cutting it right now the chassis might break somewhere else, or the alignment would go out.

    My remedy for this is to apply some JB-Weld to the areas where I know I'm going to need JB-Weld after I cut off the supports.
    Powerbook9.1.jpg
    I let the JB-Weld for a while.

    After letting it dry, I proceeded with removing the section of chassis support. The chassis was too close to the PowerBook shell, so I had no choice but to snap it off in pieces.
    Powerbook9.2.jpg

    I ground and cleaned up the edges.
    Powerbook9.3.jpg
    Powerbook9.5.jpg

    I then applied some more JB-Weld for some extra securement.
    This is where I'm at now. I'm pretty happy with the way things are turning out.
    Powerbook9.6.jpg

    Now I just have to play the waiting game for that adapter.
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  11. #11
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    iggibar's Avatar
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    So, just a little frustrating update.

    This is what happens when you try to save a few dollars!

    When I was looking for the adapter, I knew that the only one that would have a chance at working was the in-line version. I found it on Amazon for about $10 with Prime, and one on eBay for less than $5 shipped. I thought I would get the eBay one and save a few bucks and weight a little longer. I ordered it on November 3rd(!) and still haven't received it yet. The seller used that stupid FedEx/USPS shipping that I HATE! It's ridiculous to have to wait this long when the seller is two states away from me. I've ordered thing from China that took less time! I opened up a dispute, and the seller replied with a FedEx tracking number that shows the last location was in Kentucky where is was dropped off to another carrier.

    Amazon would have been delivered in 2 days, vs the original 3 day difference with the eBay purchase...which has turned into a 15 day wait time! This goes to show, pay attention to the sellers negative rep, regardless of how many reps they have.
    So frustrated right now! I don't even know I still have something coming my way!

    I hate wasting time!!
    3.0GHz 10x Mac Pro 6.13.46GHz 6x Mac Pro 5.12.66GHz 4x Mac Pro 4.12.2GHz i7 15" MBP 15.12.3GHz i7 15" MBP 11.32.8GHz i7 13" MBP 11.12.66Ghz i7 15"MBP 6.22.4GHz 15" MBP 5.12.4GHz 13" MBP 7.1

  12. #12
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    iggibar's Avatar
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    So, I kind of put this project off to the sideburner when I hit a snag and started a new job position.

    I would like to continue working on this, but am stuck.

    This might sound stupid, but I have no way of installing OSX on it. I managed to fit all components in perfectly. Everything looks great! BUT, I can't seem to find a way to install OSX on this PowerBook. I have the OSX Leopard Family install pack, but the CD drive on the Powerbook was bad. I tried repairing it, but the actuating arm of inside the drive was damaged. There's no easy way to boot/install from a USB or external drive.

    Anyone have suggestions? I really would hate to toss this PowerBook after trying so hard to bring it back to life.

    Thanks in advance!
    3.0GHz 10x Mac Pro 6.13.46GHz 6x Mac Pro 5.12.66GHz 4x Mac Pro 4.12.2GHz i7 15" MBP 15.12.3GHz i7 15" MBP 11.32.8GHz i7 13" MBP 11.12.66Ghz i7 15"MBP 6.22.4GHz 15" MBP 5.12.4GHz 13" MBP 7.1

  13. #13
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
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    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

  14. #14
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
    iggibar's Avatar
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    Yes, I know it's possible to put OSX on a flash drive. I have every new OSX on a flash drive. The issue here is that you can't load or boot OSX onto a PowerBook G4 from a USB flash drive or external hdd. The G4 era only allowed external booting via firewire external hdd, which I don't have or really feel like buying.
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  15. #15
    17" Powerbook SSD Project! Follow me in my quest to bring it back to life!
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    I don't believe you can boot from USB on that Powerbook. Creating an install USB flash drive should work since that machine should be able to boot from Firewire. Worth a try.

    Looks like IGGI beat me to the reply.

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