7 Replies Latest reply: Jun 5, 2008 9:08 AM by Hot Dice
Hot Dice Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I need to know the model number for the hard drive in my powerbook. The powerbook won't power on at the moment. Is there any way I can look up the serial number and find out what hardware was installed in it? It is a 100 GB drive and the computer was custom ordered.


pbg4 1.67 ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • joeuu Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)
    Should find the serial number under the battery, then search here:


  • Hot Dice Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks, but I need the actual manufacturer and model number. All the specs list gives is:
    "Hard drive 80GB or 100GB 5400-rpm drive options available on 15- and 17-inch models; 100GB option available for 12-inch model (only from the online Apple Store)"
    "80GB or 100GB 5400-rpm Ultra ATA/100 hard drive with Sudden Motion Sensor (15-inch models)"

    I know it is the 100gb version, but how do I found out what it is?
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Hi, HD. If the PB won't run, the only way to get the information you want is to open the machine up and read the drive label. I believe even if you have the original sales invoice and build-to-order papers for the purchase of the machine, there will be no information in them about the drive model.

    Why is it important to you to know that?
  • Hot Dice Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks, I was hoping it'd be easier than that. I need the info because I plan on swapping the platters out of the dead hard drive, into a working hard drive in order to rescue the data. To have any chance for this to work, I need a new hard drive that is the same model.

    And yes, I know this is a task far beyond what most would even consider, but it is this or lose the data as I can't afford data recovery fees. I have a hepa clean room at my disposal, and don't anticipate too much trouble, assuming I get the right drive...
  • joeuu Level 5 Level 5 (5,075 points)
    Obviously you have to take the old drive out regardless, to be sure. Like RAM, Apple may have two or more name brands of the same component installed on any particular model.

    Good Luck,
  • eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    HD: My guess is that unless you are truly expert and have a comprehensive set of specialized miniature tools at your disposal, there is almost no chance that you will succeed in what you propose to do. I suggest that before you tackle the mechanical parts inside your failed drive, you consider swapping the controller board on the outside of it. A failure of that board can render a drive just as inert as a mechanical failure inside it, without disturbing the data stored on the platters at all. A failure of the internal mechanicals, if that's what has occurred, is more likely to have irretrievably destroyed some or all of your data, so that you couldn't recover it even if you were successful in the extremely delicate task of removing the platters and placing them in a new case. If there has been no mechanical failure, replacing a failed controller board with a good one may restore all your data to accessibility without jeopardizing its integrity at all in the process. Changing the board would be a much less intrusive and far safer first step toward recovering your data than tearing down the drive's mechanicals, and it might prove to be all you need to do.
  • Hot Dice Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So true Eww, and thanks for that. I actually intend to do just as you suggest and hope that it works. Although from what I've been told, the noises my drive makes indicate mechanical failure rather than failure of the controller board. But I certainly plan to start there anyway, using the controller from the replacement drive. Unless you have ever seen just controllers for sale anywhere?

    I'm no expert, but I'm rather careful, have torn apart a scrap hard drive to see what its innards look like, and have found few sites documenting various HD projects (clocks, speakers, clear cases etc). I feel I've got a fair chance of making it work long enough to copy at least some of the data.

    So I guess now that it's out there what I'm doing, if anybody has seen this done anywhere before, please do share links!