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Powerbook Wallstreet Hard Drive Upgrade
Replacing The Original 4GB Drive with IBM's Travelstar 20GB model
by Mike
Published: 8/21/2000

Removing the Old Drive & Installing The New One

Step 4: Remove the HD Connector

At one end of the hard drive assembly is a small circuit board that is basically a right-angle connector for the hard drive to the motherboard.

Using the Torx T8 screwdriver, remove the two screws shown in the photo, and then carefully pull the connector straight away from the hard drive.

End Connector

Step 5: Removing HD Retaining Screws

The photo to the right shows the 4 Torx screws used to secure the hard drive in the bracket. Using the Torx T8 screwdriver, remove all four screws. (Note: the black area you see in the center of the bracket is a thin insulating gasket to prevent the bottom of the hard drive's circuit board from contacting the metal bracket.)

Important: As with any notebook drive, *do not* press down on the top cover of the drive, which can cause permanent damage. Since the top cover is on the opposite side of the screws you're removing, pay careful attention to avoid pressing on the drive's cover during the process of removing the screws.

Remove HD Screws

Step 6: Remove the Drive From Bracket

With the retaining screws and end connector removed, carefully lift out the old drive. I found it best to cover the open side of the bracket with my palm and 'tap' the bracket to help the drive slide free enough to grasp the edges. Once the drive slides out a bit, you can lift it out as shown in the photo.

Don't remove the black insulating gasket from the bracket, it must lie flat to ensure there are no short circuits from the hard drive circuit board contacting the bracket.

Lift Out Old HD

Step 7: Install New Drive in Bracket

Make sure the thin black insulating gasket sheet is flat (not bunched up or folded) in the bottom of the bracket and carefully slide the new drive in with the drive connector facing the open end of the bracket. Remember the previous warning - do not press on the top cover of the drive. Carefully invert the bracket while covering the open bottom to prevent the new drive from falling out and reinstall the 4 drive retaining screws. There's no need to over-torque the screws - snug them firmly, but don't use excessive force.
Note: Although my drive had no jumper installed, if yours does remove it. The drive should be set to "master", which is normally the setting with no jumpers installed.

Insert New Drive in Bkt

Step 8: Reinstall the Connector Circuit Board

Replace the connector circuit board on the end of the drive bracket, making sure the edge connector is pointing toward the label side of the hard drive as shown in the photo. Carefully slide the connector over the male hard drive pins and secure it with the two screws removed previously.

Reinstall Connector board

Step 9: Reinstall the Hard Drive Assembly

Now that the new hard drive is installed in the bracket assembly, you simply slide it back in the powerbook, making sure the circuit board connector is facing down and mates with the connector on the motherboard.

Once installed, secure the hard drive by tightening the Torx captive screw. Then replace the CPU/heatsink cover plate, secure it with the 2 screws removed previously and then replace the keyboard, battery and CD drive.

Reinstalling drive assembly

Hardware installation is now complete. Boot the system with an OS CD in the drive while holding down the "C" key. The Finder will prompt you to initialize the new drive.

Important Note on OS X: For some Macs like the PowerBook G3 Wallstreet, Beige G3 and iMac 233-333mhz, OS X must be installed on a partition/volume fully within the first 8GB of the drive. If you're installing a larger drive in a Wallstreet, you need to use the custom initialization option in Drive Setup and create a 1st partition of 8GB or less for OS X. (Otherwise the installer will only show grayed out disks.) Apple posted a TIL on this in 2001.

Also make sure you choose "MacOS Extended" format for maximum storage space efficiency. As with all drives (IDE, Firewire or SCSI), formatted capacity is less than the rated size. This 20GB drive formatted to 18.62 GB (primarily due to the binary vs decimal numbering system where 1000 decimal is 1024 binary). Install an OS from the CD, and if you backed up your old drive with a Firewire or SCSI drive, install any necessary drivers to allow access to that drive for restoring files.

The next page covers performance tests comparing the new IBM drive to the original 4GB one.


Next Page: Performance Tests

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Index of PB G3 Wallstreet Hard Drive Upgrade Guide

Intro | Removing Old HD | Installing New HD | Benchmarks

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