How do I replace the hard drive on an old iBook?

I (or rather, Caroline) has an old iBook, the white dual USB model, but her hard drive is about to give up.



What does it take to replace the drive – apart from that little screw driver, which I don’t have yet.



Will any normal 2.5” drive, like a 40Gb Seagate model ST94011A, that I have lying around, work with it? Can I just swap it out, then have the OS X installer reformat it (it has a Red Hat Linux installation on it currently).



I found this, which seems to suggest that you have to be a little careful, but he’s referring to another model.



Thanks for your help :)



Update: After borrowing tools from my neighbor and two trips to the hardware store for more, the operation is now complete, thanks to the detailed PDF linked to in the comments to this post. The old iBook now has a 40Gb drive, Panther, and it’s running Software Update right now, so I can get iTunes with AirTunes :)

9 comments

PowerBook and iBook drives are standard 2.5" ATAPI drives As far as I know, PowerBook and iBook drives are standard 2.5" ATAPI drives, so I think it will be really just a matter of replacing the drive and booting the machine from a CD to reformat it. Use Apple's drive utility (forgot the name, sorry, it was a while ago) and if you have the patience let it zero all the data on the drive.
By Sebastiano Pilla on Mon, Sep 13, 04 at 19:55 · Reply
  Cancel
Perfect Thanks, Sebastino, that was exactly what I was hoping to hear. Now I just need to find one of those screwdrivers that can unscrew them screws they use.
By Lars Pind on Mon, Sep 13, 04 at 19:55 · Reply
  Cancel
Drive Height I believe there are 2 standard drive heights for 2.5" drives: 9.5mm and 12.5mm. I am fairly certain that you need a 9.5mm one. You can select your exact iBook model at http://www.transintl.com/store/category.cfm?Category=2462 and see if the drives listed as available for your computer are all 9.5mm.
By Yonatan Feldman on Mon, Sep 13, 04 at 19:55 · Reply
  Cancel
Mmmm Torx Lars, Every mac laptop I have come across has used Torx T8 and T10 screws. Newer powerbooks also use small phillips head screws (the normal cross ones). The only thnig that might ttrip you up is that the Apple Disk Utility will pretend it doesn't see the new drive if it's not a supported make/model. Still not too bad - there are plenty of hacks on the net to convince it otherwise, or you can buy a 3rd part disk formatting tool. These days this doesn't happen nearly as often as it used to (the old Apple utilities used to check serial number ranges as well).
By Mark Aufflick on Mon, Sep 13, 04 at 19:55 · Reply
  Cancel
Apple Disk Utility Mark (and Lars), I'm pretty sure the the OSX disk utility has never required an "Apple Firmware" drive in order to do it's thing - last time I remember having to deal with that type of pain was back in '98 or so...
By russell muetzelfeldt on Mon, Sep 13, 04 at 19:55 · Reply
  Cancel
More details found For those following this thread, I've found this very detailed PDF, which seems to explain everything (and it looks scaringly complicated ...) http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/files/iBook500HDRev1.2.pdf I started the process last night, but the found that I was missing some tools. So now I'm off to buy more tools, and I'll try again. A bit anxious ...
By Lars Pind on Mon, Sep 13, 04 at 19:55 · Reply
  Cancel
my combo drive died and I have since found a new one... is it a hard task to replace myself.. Are there any instructional sites I can go to... cheers Dan
By dandixon1@optusnet.com.au on Mon, Sep 13, 04 at 19:55 · Reply
  Cancel
Hi Dan I wish I could help. Someone linked to "this PDF":http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/files/iBook500HDRev1.2.pdf, and that made all the difference. It wasn't a small feat, and I probably broke something in the process. Unless you can find something similarly detailed for the combo drive, or you don't care much about the computer, I wouldn't try it.
By Lars Pind on Mon, Sep 13, 04 at 19:55 · Reply
  Cancel
Lars, the pdf link is perfect!!! I wished apple would create manuels like that. Opend and changed the harddive, only problem i had was left bottem site on the back the metal shielding was sticking to it. Thanks
  Cancel

Leave a comment