Mac Hardware forum

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Replacing a Power Mac G5 Hard Drive

by velokev / July 12, 2007 8:37 PM PDT

I just recently got a Power Mac G5 (June 2004 model) from a family member, but I want to replace the hard drive with a new one. I understand I can use just about any SATA drive I'm looking to replace the old one with about 1TB of space, but how to I initialize it once I physically install it, and will I lose the basic programs, such as safari, iLife, iPhoto, etc? I know I'll lose the loaded data such as pics and music. I'm still a bit of a novice when it comes to the macs.

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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 12, 2007 9:45 PM PDT

Once you have the drive(s) installed, you will need to initialize them. You do this by booting from the OS X installation disks or from the Restore disks that came with the machine.
Once booted, ignore the installer and take a look at the menu bar at the top. Hiding in one of those choices will be Tools or Disk Utility or the like.
You are looking for Disk Utility. Launch it, select a drive from the left hand pane, click on the Partition tab, choose 1 partition, journaled, HFS+, extended and click the Initialize button.
Very shortly the drive icon will appear on the desktop.
Repeat for all other new drives.
Quit and go back to the installer and install OS X on whichever drive you want. It does not matter which one, you can boot from any of them as long as there is a valid system on it.
iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie & iDVD will not be installed but Safari will. If you use the Restore disks, the machine will be as if you had just opened a brand new machine, including all the applications that were on it when it left Apple. I can't remember if the iLife suite was included with the PM series though. If it was, and the OS, on the Restore disk, is lower than 10.4, it might still be worth installing the lower OS and updating it, just to get the iLife programs. Of course, you may already have the purchased version of iLife.

Good luck


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Rescue Discs
by velokev / July 13, 2007 1:25 AM PDT
In reply to: PM G5

Thanks for the great reply...I don't have the software discs that the Mac came with--Can I create my own from the existing hard drive?

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Not really,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 13, 2007 4:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Rescue Discs

but here is what you could do.
At some stage you will have to get a copy of the OS on DVD. Current shipping OS version is 10.4 (Tiger) with 10.5 (Leopard) due out in October.
If you can wait to perform all your hardware updates, it might be better to wait for Leopard. Your choice.

If the machine is stable now and you know the Admin password, you could start the hardware updates immediately.
Purchase the drives and install them. Leave the original drive installed. This will have to stay there until you get yourself an OS DVD.
Use the Disk Utility on that drive to initialize the other drives. Once initialized, they will mount on the desktop and be available for use.


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Installing new SATA drives in Mac G5
by Acadiarush / September 2, 2007 4:38 PM PDT
In reply to: Not really,

I found this discussion after searching for sometime on Google and thought you may have the answer to a problem. I have a Mac G5, dual 1.8. Recently, the motherboard and processors were replaced trying to fix a problem. immediately after, the computer would often crash or lock up. This had happened occasionally in the past but I was never able to figure the cause. Today, I noticed something odd about the hard drive configuation via the Disk Utility that does not make sense to me.

In this Mac there are spaces for two drives. The top spot is the startup drive (Mac HD) and the one under it is usually used as storage (Storage HD) if it has been added by the owner. Disk Utility showed the top drive as: Connection: Internal, lower and Connection ID: 0. It also showed the bottom drive as: Connection: Internal, upper; Connection ID: 0. I am not a tech person but it would seem that some wires are crossed here. If so, it may potentially be the cause of some issues. What is your take on this?

Also, it seems unlikely that the wires could were crossed when the motherboard was installed since they are so tight.

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SATA Drives
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 2, 2007 11:58 PM PDT

One of the benefits of running a Mac is that it will boot from any drive that contains a valid OS.
This includes external Firewire & USB (only Intel Macs) drives and anything that is connected internally.
It can also boot across a network but that's another story.

In light of the above, to say that the upper drive is the startup disk and the lower is storage is not quite true. If both have a valid OS installed, each could be used as a startup drive. This is useful for performing maintenance on the normal boot drive while booted from the other.

SATA drives do not have jumpers. as we know them, so their identity is controlled by the SATA controller. The same applies to drives in Firewire enclosures. Each drive is set to Master and are controlled by the Firewire Controller. You can have a considerable number of external firewire drives, all set to Master, without any problem.

Somewhere along the line, the two connections from the SATA controller have become switched. The Upper one is now connected to the lower drive and vice versa. (as you said)
Shut the computer down, swap the cables around again and reboot. You may have to reroute the cables to ensure that they reach fairly comfortably.

Let us know


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Buggy G5 Dual 1.8
by furutan / August 2, 2008 3:37 AM PDT

There are lots of issues with the dual 1.8 G5s - freezes on wake-up, completely random data corruption, kernel panics, etc. I know of a number of identical units with identical problems. This was confirmed by two independent Apple certified techs (working for separate companies) with whom I have spoken.

Multiple Genius bar people have told me that, as the problem could not be detected by their test suite, there was nothing they could do. Even so, during the 13 months of repair attempts they replaced the RAM, the motherboard, the processors, and the power supply. Due to a couple of slips by Apple, I discovered that a identical motherboard was pulled from someone's G5 in Houston, tested, re-certified and installed in my machine as a replacement. Same random-bit defect - same result.

If your machine is still under AppleCare (It probably isn't.) and they have made three unsuccessful attempts to fix the problem, contact Apple Customer Relations and request a replacement. This would earn you a brand new computer a with full warranty.

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