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PowerBook G4 (Titanium) Hard Drive Upgrade Guide
Page 2 - Removing the Original Drive
by Mike
Published: 9/2/2001

Intro | Removing Old HD | Installing New HD | Formatting the New Drive

Removing the Existing Hard Drive

NOTE: As I said on the intro page, the Powerbook G4 manual shows how to remove the bottom cover and the hard drive assembly, but doesn't cover how to actually replace the drive in the bracket. [FYI - the original Powerbook G4 uses small Philips screws on the bottom, the fall 2001 and later models use Torx head screws.] 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 may 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 minutes 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 bottom cover, which is shown in the PB G4 Ti owners manual. The steps below assume the bottom cover is already removed. (Disconnect the AC adapter and remove the battery first of course.)


Step 1: Remove the Battery Side Drive Mounting Screws

To remove the hard drive you first have to remove the the two Torx head screws noted in the photo below.

Torx Retaining Screws

NOTE: This guide used a PB G4/400 first model. Some later Ti models have a support bar with 2 Torx T8 screws on one side of the Hard Drive that needs to be removed that is not used on the earlier PB G4s used in this guide. See your Apple PowerBook Manual for more info on this support bar. (It's in the back of the manual in the section on removing the hard drive.) Or you can go to Apple's CIP (Customer Installable Parts) page for PowerBooks and select your model (their PB G4 12in, 15in and 17in pages there are for the Aluminum models and have no guides to hard drive replacement (see the Systems page, PowerBook section here for take-apart guides for the AL 15in and 12in models) - The Titanium models are listed below those selections). For the Titanium models (PB G4 DVI, PB G4 1GHz/867MHz, PB G4 Gigabit Ethernet and PB G4) they usually have hard drive replacement guides in PDF form (with line drawings vs photos).




Step 2: Disconnect the IDE Interface Cable

The hard drive interface cable is an orange colored mylar ribbon cable that is lifted to disconnect it from the main logic board as shown in the photo below.

Disconnect IDE cable



Step 3: Lift Out the Hard Drive Assembly

Now that the two battery side screws are removed and the IDE cable is disconnected, you can lift out the hard drive assembly. Don't press on the top cover of the hard drive which can damage it. Grasp the drive by the edges and lift up from the battery bay side. (Since I had to take the photo I had only my left hand free for the image below. During actual removal I'd gasp the ends of the drive and carefully lift it out by lifting while tilting the drive on the battery bay side. )

Lifting drive out

Note: Although I often use the IDE cable to assist in lifting out the drive - *don't place too much stress on the cable*. The drive is snug slip fit but should lift out without undue stress.




Step 4: Remove Insulator Sheet and IDE Cable

Once the drive assembly is removed, lift off the translucent insulating sheet and carefully pull the IDE cable assembly off the original drive's connector pins. Before removing the IDE cable, take a look at how it's connected on the drive - there are a separate set of blank pins to the side of the interface connector on the drive. These pins are not used by the interface cable (they're for master/slave jumpers but are not used. No jumpers should be on these pins for any notebook drive I've seen.

HD assy removed

Do not twist the IDE cable assembly when removing it from the drive. Pull it straight off to avoid bending the pins on the hard drive.


Next Page: Installing the New Hard Drive

Yes - show me!

No, take me back Home.


Index of PB G4 HD Upgrade Guide

Intro | Removing Old HD | Installing New HD | Formatting the New Drive

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