iBook G4 12" 1.33 GHz Hard Drive Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

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

You can install hard drives up to 9.5mm thick.

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Edit Step 1 Battery  ¶ 

  • Lay your iBook upside down on a flat surface.

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

  • Lift the battery out of the computer.

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Edit Step 2 Keyboard  ¶ 

  • Pull the keyboard release tabs toward you and lift up on the keyboard until it pops free.

  • If the keyboard does not come free, use a small flathead screwdriver to turn the keyboard locking screw 180 degrees in either direction and try again.

  • Flip the keyboard over, away from the screen, and rest it face-down on the trackpad area.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Remove the four silver Phillips screws that secure the RAM shield.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Pull the keyboard cable up from the logic board, holding the cable as close to the connector as possible.

  • Make sure that you reconnect the keyboard cable before replacing the RAM shield.

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Edit Step 5 Lower Case  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger or small flathead screwdriver to remove the three rubber feet from the lower case.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Remove the three newly-revealed Phillips screws.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger or small flathead screwdriver to pry up the three metal rings that housed the rubber bumpers.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Remove the three hex screws using a T8 Torx screwdriver.

  • The shorter screw is in the center of the computer.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 4.5 mm Phillips screws on either sides of the battery contacts.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Breathe deeply. Trying times are ahead, but we promise the lower case does come off.

  • Push the thin rims of the lower case surrounding the battery compartment in, bending them past the tabs, and then lift up to free that corner of the lower case.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • There is a slot on the wall of the battery compartment that locks the lower case in place. Use a small flathead screwdriver to pry out the slot's lower rim and pull up on the lower case to free the slot from the tabs holding it.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Run a spudger along the seam between the lower case and upper case on the front of the computer to free the tabs locking the lower case. Pull up on the lower case and continue to use the spudger as necessary until you hear three distinct clicks.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Continue to run the spudger around the front right corner. There are two tabs on the port side of the computer, one near the front corner and one near the sound-out port.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • There are three tabs over the optical drive that must be released before the lower case can come off. Slide the spudger into the lower case above the optical drive and run it toward the back of the computer until you hear three distinct clicks.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • The front and sides of the lower case are now free.

  • Turn the computer so that the back is facing you and pull the lower case up and toward you until the back tabs pop free.

  • It may be helpful to jiggle the case up and down.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Remove the small greasy springs with white plastic caps from either side of the battery contacts.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Have patience and follow the directions, the end result is up to you. In my case it worked. But I was a Technician TRW Automotive. and worked on Air Bag modules that was returned from customer's that needed them analyzed. I just retired after 26 years.

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Edit Step 18 Bottom Shield  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 4 screws from the bottom shield:

    • Two 3 mm Phillips.

    • Two 7.5 mm Phillips.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Lift the bottom shield off.

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Edit Step 20 DC-In Board  ¶ 

  • Remove the two Phillips screws securing the DC-In board, removing tape as necessary.

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Deroute the cable from around the optical drive, removing tape as necessary.

  • Disconnect the DC-In cable from the logic board and angle the DC-In board out of its compartment.

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Edit Step 22 Upper Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 3 mm Phillips screws inside the left edge of the battery tray.

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • We recommend placing the computer on a soft cloth from this point on to prevent damaging the logic board.

  • Turn over the computer and open it.

  • Use the flat side of a flathead screwdriver to remove the small magnet covering a screw near the middle of the computer.

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Remove the following 7 screws from the edges of the keyboard area.

    • Three 2 mm Phillips along the right edge.

    • One 4.5 mm Phillips underneath where the magnet was.

    • One 6 mm Phillips with a small head in the lower left corner.

    • Two 6 mm Phillips with large heads, one in the upper left corner and one in the middle.

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Before you can yank the upper case off, you must disconnect the trackpad connector, the blue and white power cable, and speaker cable as described in the next steps. Be especially careful with these cables; never pull directly on the cables, but use a spudger to pry up the connector directly.

  • Carefully lift the upper case slightly and move it toward the front of the computer to reveal the trackpad connector. Use a spudger or your finger to disconnect the trackpad connector hidden beneath the white plastic tab.

  • After disconnecting the track pad connector, carefully rotate the upper case away from you and rest it against the display.

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Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • The connectors at the ends of the following cables are attached very firmly to the sockets on the logic board. Pulling directly on the cable will either separate the cable from its connector or the socket from the logic board.

  • Use the sharp end of a spudger to disconnect the speaker cable connector.

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Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • Using the sharp end of a spudger, disconnect the connector for the blue and white power cables. Again, be careful to pry up only on the connector.

  • It is very easy to break the connector from the board, so be careful.

  • The key is to apply force in two directions, down to keep the surface board connections intact, up to release the connector.

  • The upper case is now free and can be removed from the computer.

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Edit Step 28 Top Shield  ¶ 

  • Remove the fifteen 3 mm Phillips screws securing the top shield to the computer.

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Edit Step 29  ¶ 

  • Lift the top shield up from the right side, minding the upper left corner, which may catch on the metal framework.

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Edit Step 30 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the metal hard drive retaining bracket from the computer.

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Edit Step 31  ¶ 

  • Remove the four Phillips screws securing the hard drive to the metal framework.

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Edit Step 32  ¶ 

  • Slightly lift the hard drive from the free end and pull the hard drive straight away from the connector.

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Edit Step 33 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the hard drive brackets from the left and right sides of the hard drive.

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Edit Step 34  ¶ 

  • Remove the two black T8 Torx screws from either side of the hard drive (four screws total).

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Edit Step 35  ¶ 

  • Pull the plastic hard drive connector straight away from the hard drive.

  • This is a bit tricky. Try rocking the connector gently while pulling with even pressure. If you bend the pins, do your best to straighten them, using the hard drive connector as a guide.

  • Hard drive remains.

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

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

For more information, check out the iBook G4 12" 1.33 GHz device page.

Required Tools

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Flathead 3/32" or 2.5 mm Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Coin

$2.95 · 1 In stock

Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

iFixit Lock Pick Set

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Inspection Scope

$39.95 · 50+ In stock

Frictionless Ratchet

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Portable Anti-Static Mat

$34.95 · 44 In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

I did this not just for upgrade but because G4 had been out of service for over 12mths due to what I believed was a faulty logic board. Attempted re-installs of OS (when I found the disc) suggested HDD failure so I ordered a 160Gb replacement from ebay for £40 and have just replaced original 30Gb HDD with a 160Gb following these instructions - I have no previous experience in this type of work but now have a working lap top with fully installed OS up and running and all at a total saving of at least £827 based on new MacBook prices!!!

Dave, · Reply

"Close the display and flip the computer over." ...Seems like this instruction ought to be at the beginning of step 1 rather than step 2. In step one, the display is already closed and the computer flipped over. In step 2, you just keep it in this position and proceed from taking the battery out to removing the rubber feet.

margaretmiz, · Reply

Don't use a screwdriver! I broke out one of them...

Creditcard, FIngernails would be fine.

hugobass, · Reply

Well, if you've had an iBook G4 this long, odds are the little rubber feet are falling off just from being looked at. Except the battery mounted one. That sucker is the Devils' Tower of little rubber feet.

john pellino, · Reply

I bought & used the tool kit that you sell for this repair. The 3 rings came off when the screws came out--maybe because the screw bit holder is magnetized.

syl57, · Reply

I found T9's rather than T8's.

gdavids57, · Reply

I found 2mm allen screws in this location

rneumann, · Reply

When I did this, it helped to start around the disc drive

kleitscs, · Reply

I find that a stiff nylon guitar pick will work if you don't have a spudger.

discodamon, · Reply

I didn't find this step difficult at all. I have very short nails. I imagine a woman with long nails might have a problem grasping the rim and pulling up.

syl57, · Reply

Definitely read the rest of the instructions now. I struggled at first... I was using my ipad with the step by step instructions and didnt scroll down past this photo, so I didnt see the sequence of how to loosen the tabs. in fact I didn't know where the tabs might be... Only discovered that part when I reassembled it. The spudger didn't work for me. Too soft, I used mostly a thin very small screwdriver.

manyanelson, · Reply

Steps 7-9 were effortless for me.

syl57, · Reply

Steps 10-12 were just as easy. I bought & used the Spudger, too.

syl57, · Reply

this required a little more force than I felt comfortable with at first.

Dave, · Reply

This is where things got interesting for me. I had 4 missing screws! I don't know if it came from Apple like that (highly doubtful) or if it was returned to me without the screws from the Apple Store repair I had done to replace the Latch (more likely, huh?).

syl57, · Reply

Be careful here as the actual DC silver connector is raised from the chipboard so once you remove the screws use the spudger to gently lift out the DC IN board itself. There's some rubber casing around the silver connector too which got caught on the plastic casing of the laptop which required a bit of gentle poking to get free...

loughlin, · Reply

Again, I was missing a screw here--the left one! The process of removing this part was not a problem.

syl57, · Reply

Also, once I removed it, I thought there was more to do. It happened so quickly and effortlessly! I kept wondering when the difficult and trying part was coming. I was kind of disappointed by the lack of the challenge, but that's OK! The difficult part came from reversing the directions and getting the shield back in place. A cable covering on the back edge under the shield slipped out and prevented the metal tabs from seating correctly. Once I figured that out, it was smooth sailing!

syl57, · Reply

Although these instructions forewarn that these connectors are fragile, I would suggest emphasizing this in BOLD. When one of these connectors in the next couple steps pulls free from the logic board, as my speaker connector did with very little force, I was told by my Mac repair center that "...you're at the end of the road, period. There's no way we can re-solder that speaker connection". This may not be totally correct because other advice in iFixit suggests it is possible but regardless, the extremely small contact pads that need to be re-soldered really requires removing the entire logic board, experience with very tiny solder projects, and double the time and effort.

A second tool such as a tiny flat blade screw driver to hold down the connector that is soldered to the logic board while pulling/prying up on the male side of the connector with the spudger so that the soldered portion doesn't rip off the board was found to be helpful.

This set of instructions however is very complete, just read them carefully.

crtolson, · Reply

If the speaker connection (step 25) is carefully/successfully removed, it is possible to leave the power button (blue and white, step 26) connector in place and carefully lift the metal cover to access the HD toward the front.

crtolson, · Reply

The speaker cable connector was very tightly connected into the socket. When I tried to take it out the socket came right off the motherboard. In this case, in order to pull out the connector plug you must hold down the socket at the same time to make sure it isn't pulled from the motherboard.

tbj240, · Reply

i got a used book and opened it to exchange the hd to a bigger one. i found the airport/bluetooth cards connective socket dislocated and the speaker cables' socket as well. now i've led the free end of the speaker cable together with its connector through the opening of the kensington lock outside the case (no easy task but it went through) to fix a jack which goes into the headphones plug.

channy8, · Reply

Be careful with this step, when I did I was stuck with glue on the cable connector of the card.

JCarlos19, · Reply

Warning, be extremly carful with this step! I lift the hole socket from the board. :(

Its not cool to have a new "big" HD in a computer without powerbutton!

And belive me it is really a tiny work to solder it in place again.

hugobass, · Reply

There is a rectangular magnet on the underneath side of the upper case assembly near the CD-ROM. Be sure it is in place or the "close lid and sleep" function will not work.

apenzott, · Reply

There is actually no need to remove the power plug if you are careful with the placement of the top cover. I had the whole plug pull of the board and had to solder it back again. Not an easy task had to use a magnifying glass to see it.

john50, · Reply

Quote from john50:

There is actually no need to remove the power plug if you are careful with the placement of the top cover. I had the whole plug pull of the board and had to solder it back again. Not an easy task had to use a magnifying glass to see it.

I wish I had read John's comment! I thought I was being careful to unplug without pulling and I pulled the whole plug out of the board too : ( I've never soldered anything before.......

Ann, · Reply

Quote from john50:

There is actually no need to remove the power plug if you are careful with the placement of the top cover. I had the whole plug pull of the board and had to solder it back again. Not an easy task had to use a magnifying glass to see it.

As noted above, be very careful!

I also had the whole plug come off the board and had to solder it back. Definitely try and do it without removing the blue & white power cable.

Matt, · Reply

Ditto. I didn't even notice that I'd torn the connector off the logic board until I went to put it all back together. It really is way too tight a connection and since you have so little room to work, it's VERY hard to pull it out without damage.

If you break this connection, anything else you're doing won't matter. Go slow, get a magnifying glass and perhaps try to hold town the part that's connected to the logic board as you attempt to pull out the connector....

If you have any problems or think that you can't do this, I'd say that you should stop, button it all back up and bring it to someone. Even a cheap, used logic board is around $250-350 -- and that's not worth it.

dylewski, · Reply

Quote from Matt:

As noted above, be very careful!

I also had the whole plug come off the board and had to solder it back. Definitely try and do it without removing the blue & white power cable.

Several people have mentioned soldering the plug back.......How exactly did you achieve this?! Are you experienced with micro-soldering? Were you able to salvage your laptop?! Although I got good advice to take it to a tv/electronics shop and have them solder the blue and white cables directly to the board, I have not done this. The comp is still neatly packaged by teardown step and sitting in a cardboard box. It's really annoying to look at this useless box of components that used to be a very nice little laptop : (

I would love to hear how you managed the repair.

Ann

Ann, · Reply

Quote from Ann:

Several people have mentioned soldering the plug back.......How exactly did you achieve this?! Are you experienced with micro-soldering? Were you able to salvage your laptop?! Although I got good advice to take it to a tv/electronics shop and have them solder the blue and white cables directly to the board, I have not done this. The comp is still neatly packaged by teardown step and sitting in a cardboard box. It's really annoying to look at this useless box of components that used to be a very nice little laptop : (

I would love to hear how you managed the repair.

Ann

The plug has two holes in the back that slot into two pins on the board.

I slotted the pins in and the two wires on the front of the plug that need soldering to the board line up where they attach to the board.

I used a soldering iron with a flat tip (like a flat-head screwdriver) and pressed on the two wires at the same time for a second or two. That was long enough to melt the solder and reattach the wires. It took two attempts to get it attached correctly.

I didn't add any extra solder and I haven't had much experience with soldering.

Matt, · Reply

Quote from Matt:

The plug has two holes in the back that slot into two pins on the board.

I slotted the pins in and the two wires on the front of the plug that need soldering to the board line up where they attach to the board.

I used a soldering iron with a flat tip (like a flat-head screwdriver) and pressed on the two wires at the same time for a second or two. That was long enough to melt the solder and reattach the wires. It took two attempts to get it attached correctly.

I didn't add any extra solder and I haven't had much experience with soldering.

Ann, · Reply

Quote from Ann:

Thanks Matt! That was a very complete description. My son (mechanical engineering student.....unfortunately, not electrical...lol) has some equipment. I'm hoping that he can manage it when he comes home this weekend. I do see the pins on the board and the two wires.

Thanks again sharing your approach!

Ann

Ann, · Reply

Quote from JCarlos19:

Be careful with this step, when I did I was stuck with glue on the cable connector of the card.

DO NOT PRY!!!! just toasted my iBook following this lousy advise. Try pulling from the wires very lightly instead or cut back the surrounding metal to get a better approach. If anyone has a high res scan of the area surrounding the the plug and where to solder connection, I melted the socket and am now resorting to soldering directly to the board but its not going well.

eric, · Reply

It is NOT necessary to remove these cables. Just flip the upper case on the screen and secure it with a little tape and nothing can happen to this delicate connection!

Everling, · Reply

this is a very tricky step

Joel Grimes, · Reply

Man, this step is really hard. The hardest step of the iBook guide. It is possible to carefully wiggle it out. Bit by bit, wiggle the plug gently back and forth ever so slightly, so that it comes out. It is SO easy to break it. I've done it before. With patience, it can be done. Just take your time.

Jonas Kvale, · Reply

Variant:

Upper-left corner is M2.5 x 5.5mm screw.

apenzott, · Reply

On some caes, only one side of the metal frame exists, the front-facing half the hard drive is directly suspended by rubber shock absorbers embedded directly into the frame.

apenzott, · Reply

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