Pure Danger Tech


Hard drive surgery

15 Jan 2008

Last week the hard drive on my PowerBook G4 started making a whole lot of noise and running really slowly. The drive then proceeded to make a slow drop towards death. I had some backups and managed to salvage everything critical (I hope) before it crashed completely.

Tonight, with the help of iFixIt.com, I replaced the hard drive in the PowerBook. Being the massive geek that I am (according to my wife), I took a few pictures of the surgery. iFixiIt provides excellent instructions on how to do this and tells you exactly what tools you need. The instructions include a screw guide to keep all of the zillions of screws sorted. Here’s a picture of all the tiny screws I extracted:

My only moment of questioning was when I got to the step to remove the rear screws and there were 4 instead of 2! But I have an older G4, I think a fairly rare model, and must have just been a case change. After getting through all the screws and popping the case (as the instructions say…”think happy thoughts”):

The instructions actually directed you to remove the trackpad and keyboard cable but from reading through them there seemed to be no reason, so I just skipped a big chunk. The keyboard connector looked fairly daunting so I was glad to skip that part. Here I finally get the drive out of the case!

and finally I have everything up, partitioned the drive, and started the installer:


I must also give props to the tiny tools I ordered through ifixit.com – the butt end of the tool is connected but spins free which lets you push on the screw but still easily rotate the screwdriver. Great design and amazingly helpful when working with the little screws.