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Why is my replaced hard drive not showing in OS X installer

My powerbook's hard drive died a few years back and I just got around to replacing it with a "SEAGATE MOMENTUS 5400.3 - HARD DRIVE - 80GB - INTERNAL - 2.5IN - ULTRA ATA/" (I have a link to pictures where I purchased if needed) I read in the comments that others had used this drive for their powerbooks and I'm hoping it is indeed compatible.

I followed the steps to replace the drive and double checked the ribbon cables but when trying to install OS X, the hard drive does not come up. Also, the keyboard and trackpad were not working. I was able to get around this by using a USB mouse.

The second thing I tried was running the Disk Utility to check if there were hardware problems. I ran the extended test and everything was recognized and tested correct.

I read on another answer to check the jumpers, but I do not believe this HD has jumpers..

I intend to go back at it tonight and re-open the laptop to make sure any cables weren't pulled loose.

Any ideas? Let me know if I can explain anything more clearly. Thanks for your help!


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What's the model number of this drive?


Hi Mayer, The HD is: Brand Name: Seagate

Model: ST980815A

thank you!


Thank you all for your help. I got the hard drive to work. I opened the utility where the HD was showing, partitioned it and at first it did not work but after giving it some time, the installer finally showed the HD as being able to install the OS. After the install, I realized the keyboard was working after all.. just the trackpad is still giving me problems. But I can use the mouse for now and dig more into that later. thanks!


Fixed the trackpad. Indeed, it seems the cable was not seated correctly.. was hard to see but must have been connected to 2 pins instead of the 4. Can't believe I got this thing working again!!


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First don't completely finish screwing it down unless/until its working. You don't mention why the unit died a few years ago... that problem might be what's wrong. That the keyboard & trackpad don't work suggests a liquid spill... that plus time is not a good combination.

IF disk utility finds/verifies the drive it's not part of the problem. Explain that the disk tested with DU but won't show up on your install, unless you're trying to install an intel OS on the PPC. It can only run 10.5 (without booting into classic) or earlier.

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Thank you for your response. There were no spills on the unit. It had many freezing problems and eventually the harddrive stopped working. I was still able to boot the computer from the CD but the original harddrive would not show up. I believe a ran a diagnostic on the HD which said there were fatal issues.. but this was years ago. This led me to purchase a replacement HD.

The last time (a couple months back) I turned on the powerbook (by booting to the install CD), the trackpad and keyboard were working. I have to admit that i did not power up the mac, before opening it up last night. Hindsight is 20/20!

I have the original install disc for the Powerbook, so it is definitely not Intel OS.

Thanks for the advice on screwing back the case.. I will remember that when I take it apart again tonight! :)

I will run the DU again tonight and write down exactly what it says. I could have sworn when it was going through the tests, I heard the harddrive start spinning (sound from left side instead of the right where the cd/dvd drive is).

thank you again.


What you describe as the original problem clearly could have been a failed HD... but it might also have been a failed ribbon cable or connector. Be certain you are getting the cable/connector lined up right on the HD... if's easy to misalign the pins and be out one row... then, of course, the new HD wouldn't work.


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Christopher Buckingham will be eternally grateful.
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