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PowerBook G4 (Titanium) Hard Drive Upgrade Guide
Page 3 - Installing the New Drive
by Mike
Published: 9/2/2001

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

Page 3 - Installing the New 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. 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.

Step 5: Remove the 2 Torx Screws and Gromments from OEM Drive

The original (OEM) drive has 2 Torx screws and rubber grommets on the DVD ROM drive side of the drive that need to be removed and installed on the new drive. The photo below identifies them.

Torx Retaining Screws

Step 6: Install the 2 Screws/Grommets on the New Drive

Since transferring the 2 screws/grommets from the old drive to the new one is straightforward, I don't show a photo of installing them in the new drive. Just make sure the screws are on the proper side of the new drive. Remember the drive mounts with the label facing up and the interface connector pins facing the main logic board. The screws/grommets would be installed on the left side of the drive when oriented this way. (The battery bay side of the drive has its screws installed as a final step.) See the photo in step 8 below - notice the battery bay side of the new drive does not have the screws installed (they are installed last). The opposite side of the drive has the screws/grommets attached.

Step 7: Place the Insulating Sheet and IDE Cable on the New Drive

Now that you've installed the 2 screws/grommets on the new drive, you install the IDE interface cable on the new drive. Align the connector with the pins on the new drive and press it fully on the pins.

Don't forget to place the translucent insulating sheet on the bottom of the new drive. (this prevents the drive's exposed circuit board from short circuiting against the case after insertion.)

As a refresher, here's a photo of the drive with the IDE cable and insulator sheet attached.

IDE cable and sheet

Note the orientation of the IDE cable, insulator sheet, and open screw holes to make sure you have everything installed properly on the new drive before proceeding.

Step 8: Slide New Drive Assembly In Place

TIP: One of the most potentially frustrating parts of this procedure is that the two rubber grommets in the battery bay side wall have a habit of falling out when reinstalling the drive. What I did to prevent this is to use a small amount of rubber cement to help hold the grommets in place.


Note: As mentioned on the page on removing the drive, 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 for the earlier PB G4 Ti 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

Once you've verified the IDE cable and insulator sheet are installed correctly, slide the new drive assembly into the case. You have to do the reverse of the removal - that is tilt the drive assembly to allow the two screws/grommets on the DVD ROM drive side to engage into the case's holes for those screws/grommets. Then the other side of the drive is lowered down to allow inserting the 2 Torx screws on the other side of the drive via the battery bay.

lowering HD in

Make sure the DVD ROM drive side grommets/screws are in their holes in the chassis before lowering the other side of the drive in place. Also watch that you don't bind/deform the two grommets on the battery bay side. (You can see this by looking at the grommet's screw holes from the battery bay side.) I apply a bit of pressure towards the DVD ROM drive side during lowering in the battery bay side of the drive to help avoid distorting the grommets on the other side.

Step 9: Install the 2 Battery Bay Side Torx Screws

The final steps once the new drive is in place are to install the 2 Torx screws through the battery bay wall and reattaching the IDE cable to the motherboard.

Peer through the two battery bay way grommets to make sure the drive's threaded holes are aligned properly (you can raise or lower the drive to align them if need be - a small flashlight may be of help in checking the alignment through the grommet holes). Once you have the screw holes aligned (drive to grommet holes), install the two Torx screws that were removed in step 1.

Install last 2 screws

Once you've installed the two Torx screws (don't overtighten them), you reconnect the IDE cable to the motherboard by aligning the connector and pressing down.

Before Buttoning Up:
After a visual double-check of everything (insulator sheet installed, IDE cable connection down tight, etc.), you can replace the bottom cover and get out your system CD to boot from to format the new drive. (Again the Apple PB G4 owner's manual shows how to remove/replace the bottom cover, as does their online CIP (Customer Installable Parts) web pages.)

Next Page: Formatting the New Hard Drive

Yes - show me!

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Index of PB G4 HD Upgrade Guide

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

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