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PowerBook Firewire Hard Drive Upgrade
(Using IBM's TravelStar 32GB, 5411 RPM drive)
Performance Comparisons & Install
by Mike
Published: 10/13/2000

Intro | Removing Old HD | Installing New HD | Performance Tests

Removing the Existing Hard Drive

NOTE: As I said on the intro page, the Powerbook G3 manual shows how to remove the drive assembly, but doesn't cover how to actually replace the drive in the bracket. As always, if you are not qualified to do upgrades or repairs on a Powerbook, I recommend you have an authorized service center perform this upgrade for you. Be aware you will void the warranty by replacing the hard drive and should you damage anything in the process, you will be responsibe for the cost to have it repaired. This procedure took less than 30 minuteshour total (not counting installing the OS on the new drive), so the cost should be minimal to have a dealer swap the drive out for you.

To save space in this article, I'm not repeating steps on how to remove the keyboard, which is shown in the owners manual. (Disconnect the AC adapter, remove the Battery and CD drive, rotate the locking screw next to the num-lock key and pull back the latches next to the Esc and F8 keys to release the keyboard. Once the tabs are released, the keyboard slides back and flips over to expose the CPU/Hard drive area.) The steps below assume the keyboard is already removed. (Wallstreet owners can also see my previous illustrated Wallstreet HD upgrade guide.)


Step 1: Remove the CPU Heatsink/Coverplate

To remove the hard drive you first have to remove the CPU heatsink/cover plate, which is retained by the two philips (+) head screws noted in the photo to the right.

Once these screws are removed, the heatsink/coverplate is simply lifted up at the edge and pulled back to remove it.

Heatsink Retaining Screws
For this article I did not disconnect the hard drive interface cable (which requires removing the CPU module). I was able to remove the drive screws, etc. just by carefully holding the bracket above the chassis with the cable still attached to the motherboard. Disconnecting the cable would have allowed working on the bracket without having it tethered to the system however, which some may find makes the job easier and worth the extra effort. (I chose not to remove the cable/CPU module as it saves some time and disassembly steps, plus avoids handling the CPU module.)



Step 2: Lift Out the Hard Drive Assy

Unlike the Wallstreet series, there is no screw securing the hard drive bracket in place. There is a clear mylar lift tab on the drive bracket as an aid to lifting out the hard drive assembly from the Powerbook case, however in reality the bracket edges need to be compressed a bit to allow lifting the drive out. (This is due to a rolled lip on the bracket.) As shown in the photo I grasp the edges of the bracket and squeeze them in while lifting the bracket up and out of the case.

Lift Out drive



Step 3: Remove The Hard Drive Mtg Screws

The photo at the right shows the 2 mounting screws on each side of the drive bracket. (The black rings are rubber shock isolation mounts.) Use your Torx T8 screwdriver to remove them. Since I did not remove the CPU module to disconnect the IDE ribbon cable, I have to keep the drive suspended above the drive bay. If you're careful it's not hard to remove the drive this way.

Drive Mtg screws

Note: Take care to *not* press down on the top cover of the hard drive as this can damage it. Always handle the drive by the edges when removing the screws on both sides of the bracket.




Step 4: Remove the Hard Drive From Bracket

Once the 4 screws are removed carefully grasp the connector shown in the photo and pull it away from the drive (carefully - don't place undue stress on the cable - hold the drive/bracket assembly so there the cable is not under tension to allow 'slack'). Some may find it easier to hold the connector and slide the drive away from it to disconnect the cable connector.

The photo also shows a strip of black tape that I remove and transfer to the new drive. I assume this is some sort of dust shield or sealing method.

IDE  connector

This photo shows the bracket with the old hard drive removed to better show the cable routing. Installing the new drive into this bracket is basically the reverse of the previous steps.

drive bkt empty

Next Page: Installing the New Hard Drive

Yes - show me!

No, take me back Home.


Index of PowerBook G3 Firewire HD Install Guide

Intro | Removing Old HD | Installing New HD | Benchmarks

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