6 Replies Latest reply: Jun 30, 2006 1:59 PM by dem_z
mlabbate Level 1 Level 1
I bought my powerbook about 2 years ago and to be honest, have loved it a lot. Today after a coffee break, I sat to work on my PB and it was very slow...then began a host of problems which have ended with it not starting up. I have done disk utility tests which found a problem with my hard drive that it couldn't repair. I am also unable to reinstall OS. A hardware test revealed that there is an error with my hard drive. My important documents have been backed up so am not too upset about that but I don't want to spend heaps of cash getting it repaired. For those Aussies out there, would anybody know the approximate cost of replacing the hard drive? Would it be cheaper to buy the HDD myself and try to replace it myself. I could get the IT guys from where I work to replace it. And yes, my PB is out of warranty! Also, should I aim to replace this HDD with the same one thats now busted, or should I replace it with a better one. Apart from increased space, what other benefits would an upgraded HDD give me (I have a 60 GB hard drive, 1.33 GHz).

PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.3.9)
  • Matt Peacock Level 5 Level 5
    It would definitely be cheaper to buy an OEM hard-drive and then ask your IT buddies to replace it.

    As for the new one, to me there seems little point in replacing with the same spec:
    - It's most likely a Toshiba hard-drive that failed, and are known to in these PowerBooks.
    - It's an ideal oppurtunity to upgrade to a faster hard-drive (hard drives are mechanical and therefore the slowest link), and bigger capacity.

    Benefits of a better hard-drive include 1) reduced access times due to higher spindle speed (so applications, files and even OS X itself loads faster), 2) fewer accesses due to bigger cache (a type of RAM within the hard-drive which buffers data - the more the better) and 3) quieter operation due to advances in power management and fluid-filled bearings etc.

  • SMS1 Level 1 Level 1
    I have a quote from Carbon Computing in Toronto and they advised that my Powerbook (purchased in Oct'03) can handle a maximum 120G HD for the 1Ghz model without overheating. Cost is $249CDN plus installation cost.

    I'd appreciate any comments on whether this is true. This model does get a little hot. I have a 160G firewire and a 40G USB. It'd be more convenient to replace the 40G for 120 HD as long as it doesn't everheat.
  • mlabbate Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks Matt, I spoke to the IT guys and they said that they could probably replace the HD for me which is excellent news. The only thing I need to think about is purchasing a new one. Now I know it has to be 2.5", however, would you have an suggestions on brands? Obviously not Toshiba! But, with respect to cache, what is the best...should I go for 8mb or 16mb. I am not sure what it means, I guess I dont need anything special..but I do want something of quality. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • Matt Peacock Level 5 Level 5
    You could direct them to this page for them to read beforehand;

    I'm a big fan of the Western Digital 'Scorpios', a while back I installed a 600VE in my PowerBook. The performance was excellent, and it's a really quiet drive. That said, a forum poster recently indicated that they should really have a firmware update performed before being installed into the PowerBooks. I've had no problems with mine whatsoever, but I'm hesitant to fully recommend them until I get around to looking into this.

    If the work you do isn't intensive I wouldn't worry too much about cache size. You should however get a minimum of 5400rpm drive, don't get a 4200rpm.

    www.tomshardware.com is quite good for comparisons between large groups.

  • EddieC Level 5 Level 5

    My sentiments are very similar to Matt's, though my hard drive experiences have tended to be with either Seagate or Hitachi products. Generally I would also agree that another Toshiba drive is to be avoided.

    For cache, it is always better to go for more - minimum of 8MB. As a very broad indication of what to purchase, something along the lines of 8MB, 5400RPM, 80-120GB.

    Also be aware that not all drives are the same, even if their general specifications are the same. For example, Hitachi produce different versions of their 7200 RPM 100GB Travelstar - not only in Ultra ATA and Serial ATA versions, but also a version designed for extended power-on usage. Drives from different manufacturers may also have varying technologies built into them. Something else to consider is the length of warranty. Some manufacturers offer longer terms than others.

    15" 1.25GHz/12" 1GHz PBs, 2xPPC Mac minis, 12" iBook G4,   Mac OS X (10.4.6)   Cube, 2xTAMs, iPods 2G/4G, iPs, AEBS, AX
  • dem_z Level 1 Level 1
    Hitachi (sp?) makes the best HDs on the planet. bar none.