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The Source for Mac Performance News and Reviews

Adding a 2nd IDE hard drive
to B&W G3 rev 2 - Quicksilver G4 Towers

by Mike B.
Published: 11/4/2000


Note: This guide was written in 2000, but is still valid for Towers up to the Quicksilver 2002 model. The 2003 Mirror Drive Door and G5 Towers have a different case design. See your owner's manual for info on hard drive mounting in those systems.

Ever since the revision 2 Blue and White G3s added the stacked drive bracket in the late spring 1999 models, it's been easy to add a 2nd IDE hard drive to new Macs using the supplied dual drive cable. (Revision 1 B&W G3s didn't have the stacked bracket or dual drive cable as well as an earlier IDE chip that could cause problems as noted in this early 1999 article). If your B&W G3 doesn't have the dual drive cable and stacked bracket, check the IDE chip on the motherboard to see if it matches the marking shown in my B&W rev 2 features page.
All G4 models include the dual drive bracket and cable (including G4/PCI "Yikes" models that were discontinued in late 1999).

About ATA/100, ATA/66, etc. Drives:
Most all drives made in the last year are ATA/100 rated (some drives like Maxtors are ATA/133). However like ATA/66, ATA/33, etc. - the specification is designed to be backward compatible (note all the ATA/100, etc. drive reports here from even ATA/3 onboard IDE Beige G3s, or older 6500 PowerMacs, etc.) However just like putting PC133 ram in a 100mhz bus system won't make the memory run at 133mhz, a drive with an ATA/100 rating can't make the onboard ATA/33 (B&W G3) or ATA/66 (G4/AGP) interface run at ATA/100 speeds. The IDE controller chip has that limit. This is just a FYI for those that seem concerned or confused about putting an ATA/100 drive (like most every drive is now) in a Mac with a slower rated interface.

About "Big Drive" (>137GB) Support:
As mentioned in the site FAQ (IDE hard drive section) and drive db reports, only the 2002 Quicksilver and later Macs have native "Big Drive" (aka 48Bit addressing) support (when formatted with OS X 10.2.x or later's Disk Utility).
If you put a large (160GB, 200GB, 250GB, etc.) IDE drive in a 2001 QS, Digital Audio, Gigabit, Sawtooth, B&W G3, Yikes G4/PCI, Beige G3, etc. using the onboard IDE the drive will be limited to appx. 128GB formatted capacity, regardless of the number of partitions. Options to add large drive support for older Macs is noted in the FAQ. (Like a Mac PCI IDE card w/big drive support,'s drivers, or a Firewire case with a bridge board that has big drive support.)

Adding a 2nd IDE drive (slave drive) to a B&W G3 rev 2 or G4 system (up to the Quicksilver models) is a fairly simple procedure if you've ever done any upgrades inside your Mac or a PC, but many readers have asked how to do this, so I thought I'd post a quick overview of what's involved. Read your owner's manual safety precautions first. If you're not confortable doing this, get qualified help or have a dealer do it for you.

Drive Jumper Settings Note:
As mentioned at the main news page several times and in the FAQ, if your original drive is a Western Digital (or Quantum), then you will usually need to change its jumper settings from 'single drive' to 'master' (which means "master with slave present" on these drives - check the drive jumper settings). See Western Digital Jumper Settings Page for the correct settings. (Often the OEM WD drives don't have jumper settings on the drive label.) Some Quantum drives may also have a "single drive" setting that needs changing - see's support section for Quantum drive jumper settings info. (The direct link to Quantum's jumper settings page I had posted originally here is no longer valid after Maxtor bought Quantum.) I show settings used for a Deskstar 75GXP IBM drive as the slave in this article, which has similar jumper settings to later models like the 60GXP. (Update: Hitachi took over IBM's hard drive business now - for jumper settings info included in their install guides, see

For most other drives (Maxtor, etc.) you don't need to change the drive jumpers on the original (master) disk when adding a 2nd drive (slave). However check the drive label if in doubt. For the Maxtor drive that shipped with the G4 system used in this article, no jumper settings changes were needed for it. (J50 jumper on is Master for Maxtor drives typically, OFF makes it a slave. The 2nd jumper that's sideways on the drive is actually not needed for master/slave settings.)

Jumpering the New Slave Drive:
Most drives you order ship set to Master or Single Drive settings. Check the drive label for how to set the drive as a slave. I used an IBM 75GXP drive which has the settings on a label on the edge of the drive rather than on the top side as most other brands do. The photo on the next page of this article show the slave jumper settings for the 75GXP. (The 2 white jumpers moved to the right side of the drive jumper pins.)

Step 1: Disconnect IDE & Power Cables:

The first step is to disconnect the IDE interface cable and power connections from the drive. The IDE cable has a paper tab that should be used to pull the connector loose from the drive. (Pulling on the cable itself is not recommended as it places stress on the cable/ribbon connector interface). The power connector is often very tight and hard to get a grip on with the drive still in the system. If you have problems removing it, then wait until the next step where you remove the bracket mounting screw and lift out the hard drive/bracket assembly which makes it easier to reach.

Remove connections

Step 2: Remove the Drive Bracket

The drive bracket is retained in the case by a single screw (philips + head) in the front. Use a screwdriver that is a good, tight fit for the head as these screws seem easy to 'wallow' out the head which can make removing it nearly impossible.

remove mtg plate screw

drive bkt out

Next Page: Installing the New Drive

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