PowerBook G4 Aluminum 15" 1.5-1.67 GHz Hard Drive Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Moderate

You can install hard drives up to 12.5mm thick.

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Edit Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

  • Use a coin to turn the battery locking screw 90 degrees clockwise.

  • Lift the battery out of the computer.

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Edit Step 2 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the four Phillips screws from the memory door.

  • Slide the memory door away from the memory compartment.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 8 screws:

    • Two 3 mm Phillips in the battery compartment, on either side of the battery contacts.

    • Two 12 mm Phillips on either side of the memory compartment.

    • Four 16 mm Phillips along the hinge.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Rotate the computer 90 degrees clockwise, so that the power receptacle faces you.

  • Remove the three 3 mm Phillips screws.

  • When replacing these screws, you must place each screw in the correct order. Begin by installing the screw closest to the display hinge, and go out from there.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Turn the computer 90 degrees clockwise so that the hinge faces you.

  • Remove the bottom 5 mm Phillips screw on either side of the hinge (two total).

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Rotate the computer 90 degrees clockwise, so that the ports face you.

  • Remove the three 3 mm Phillips screws.

  • When replacing these screws, you must place each screw in the correct order. Begin by installing the screw closest to the display hinge, and go out from there.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Turn the computer over and open the display.

  • Remove the two 1.5 mm hex screws in either corner, next to the display (a T6 Torx driver will work, but repeated use will strip the screws).

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Grasp the back corners of the upper case and pull up. Do not pull the upper case off yet; you still need to disconnect the keyboard and trackpad cable.

  • Lift the back of the case up and work your fingers along the sides, freeing the case as you go. Once you have freed the sides, you may need to rock the case up and down to free the front of the upper case.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Rotate the upper case up and toward the screen, so that the upper case rests against it.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Remove the orange tape securing the trackpad ribbon to the logic board.

  • Disconnect the trackpad ribbon from the logic board.

  • Remove the upper case from the computer.

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Edit Step 11 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the three long silver Phillips screws from the retaining bracket on the left side of the optical drive.

  • Remove the retaining bracket.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the large orange hard drive cable from the logic board, removing tape as necessary.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Lift the hard drive up from the right side and remove it from the computer.

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Edit Step 14 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the two silver Phillips screws and black rubber bumpers from either side of the hard drive (four sets of screws and bumpers total).

  • There is a black pad on one end of the hard drive that you should peel off and transfer to your new hard drive.

  • Lift the plastic shield off of the hard drive.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the hard drive cable from the hard drive by applying even pressure on both sides while maintaining a firm grip on the drive itself. You may need to remove a piece of orange tape attaching the ribbon cable to the hard drive.

  • This is a bit tricky. Try holding the drive against your body while pushing the cable away from you, or rocking the cable gently from side to side while applying even pressure, or both. If you bend the pins, do your best to straighten them, using the hard drive cable as a guide.

  • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • When re-installing the adapter cable, be sure to place it over the large field of pins so that the small connector lines up with the motherboard.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the PowerBook G4 Aluminum 15" 1.5-1.67 GHz device page.

Required Tools

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Coin

$2.95 · 1 In stock

1.5mm Hex Screwdriver

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Thankyou for this guide i fixed my powerbook by replacing the harddisk and it is working great again!

Twetter, · Reply

I recommend that you have several (ie 10-12) little cups nearby with a pen and some small scraps of paper to write on. As you remove screws, step by step, place that step's screws into one cup and label it "Step #X". That way, when you're putting everything back together, you won't have to guess as to which screws were for which step. I did this, on a recommendation of a friend who did this very same repair, and it made the reassembly even easier.

beil, · Reply

Better still is to print out these instructions. Then as you remove screws, scotch tape them to the instruction sheet right on the place where it says to remove them. The tape keeps them from getting lost and the order can't be screwed up.

Lavatop, · Reply

These were such great directions!! It was no harder than baking a cake. I didn't have a spudger, but a thin plastic chopstick worked fine. I took lavatop's tip to print out directions and tape the screws in order. It was great advice. Thanks IFixit!

Karen Ann, · Reply

By "bottom", it means the top ones (if the computer were right-side-up), i.e. the ones closer to the lid.

colleenthompson, · Reply

Don't be hasty! I've seen 2 laptops with a forlorn screw trapped in a video port screwhole, from where it's very difficult, if not impracticable, to remove it.

colleenthompson, · Reply

Quote from colleenthompson:

Don't be hasty! I've seen 2 laptops with a forlorn screw trapped in a video port screwhole, from where it's very difficult, if not impracticable, to remove it.

I've done that. Was not fun extracting the screw. I had to use a a large speaker magnet to get it out.

Dan, · Reply

By "rotate" they mean tilt... You tilt the upper case (which contains the keyboard" up so that it rests against the screen. If you happen to have a helper nearby, get them to gently hold the upper case, when it's tilted up, in place so that you can do step 10.

beil, · Reply

It may be easier to leave the ribbon cable attached to the logic board and simply disconnect the other end from the drive after it is lifted out of the compartment slightly.

(Why pull more apart than necessary?)

This is how I did it when replacing the stock drive with a WD 320GB drive.

caffiend, · Reply

In my PowerBook the cable from the right speaker was preventing me from removing the hard drive. I firstly had to diconnect that cable from te logic board before I could remove the hard drive.

Johnny, · Reply

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