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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > iBook G4 Hard drive upgrade is it worth while?

iBook G4 Hard drive upgrade is it worth while?
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May 1, 2007, 08:29 AM
Hi i have an iBook G4 1.42, 60 4200RM, 1.5GB ram that is covered under Applecare until Spring 09.
I would like to upgrade the HD to a 80GB 5400RPM PMR drive. I don't want to do this myself as it will void my warranty for my computer.
I do not want to use an external drive as my aim of doing this upgrade is to boost the performance of my iBook.

The thing is my iBook is under Applecare for nearly 2 more years.
If i change my HD by an Apple technician it will void the warranty of my HD although it will not void the warranty for all the other computer parts. If anything was to happen to the HD whilst it was in warranty i would be responsible for it and I would have to pay for a tech to open it up again and fit the new part.

I could claim some of the money for the initial job from my insurance as i damaged some of the casing on my iBook by accident and that has to be repaired anyway (i found a cheap replacement case in excellent condition) which will be used for this job. I could fit the new case myself or if i didn't want to my insurance will pay somebody to do it for me and whilst they had the case open they could drop my HD in an possibly charge me a little extra for this. I don't really like claiming though.

The thing i am concerned with most though is that I will be voiding my warranty of my HD so will be responsible for it in the future. I cannot see the Fuji HD that is in my laptop packing up anytime soon and if Apple was to replace it they would replace it with like for like. This would mean that i would get a 60GB 4200RPM drive again which i do not want and would have to put up for 2 more years.

So my question is there anybody who has done this upgrade for an iBook G4 and would you recommend it what kind of improvements did you notice with this upgrade? I am using maximum ram at the moment.

The drive that i would upgrade with is a Seagate Momentus 5400.3 ST980815A 80GB 5400RPM PMR drive that comes with a 5 year warranty. I have read that these drives are reliable and i hope that it would not fail on me in the next two years that my laptop is under APP but i am just concerned that it may do.

Should i go ahead with this is it really worth while i am not really sure what to do right now.
( Last edited by rach; May 1, 2007 at 08:37 AM. )
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May 1, 2007, 11:54 PM
I'm not sure of the details, but companies like TechRestore, MacRescue, and other companies often can do the upgrade for you and may offer their own brand of support/extended warranty. One route you could take is to cancel your AppleCare service and get a refund (I think they can prorate it), then ask one of those other companies on their policy for support.

You won't have the benefit/convenience of AppleCare, but it should give you enough coverage for your desired upgrade.
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May 2, 2007, 12:36 AM
rach, if you plan to continue using your iBook G4 for a good while longer, then yes, I would say it's worthwhile. I upgraded my iBook (G3) myself to an 80 GB drive a while back and it's been very useful. I would recommend that you go for a larger capacity drive (like 160 GB) however, if you do plan on using your iBook for a while longer.

If you're on a budget, you should consider doing the upgrade yourself, even though it's tedious. You'll probably never have to open up your 'Book again, though if you do, at least you have a better idea of how to and you'll again be saving yourself a good bit of money.
rach  (op)
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May 2, 2007, 06:33 AM
ginoledesma and Gamoe thank for your advice.
Gamoe I actually tried upgrading the HD myself then i gave up after i got the metal plate of. I am glad that i did give up as i have heard of peoples warranty being voided by upgrading their HD's by themselves.
I actually put in for a claim yesterday a little while after i posted this when i was quite sure on this but today i am not sure about this still.

I don't think that i will cancel the Applecare as i think that it is quite useful to have. I live in the UK and those extra warranty schemes in the UK are actually more expensive than Applecare cover.

I have the drive to hand already i still have quite a bit of space left on this 60GB drive i have over 40GB of space left so i think that an 80GB drive will be ok for me. I also have another computer that i don't use much that i can store things in and i also have a small external drive as well.

If i go ahead with this I will get the upgrade done by an approved Apple service centre to preserve the rest of the warranty on my laptop and hope for the best that the Seagate drive does not give me any problems. Apple should still honour the rest of my warranty i hope as i would be getting the upgrade carried out in an Apple service centre.
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May 2, 2007, 10:31 AM
Originally Posted by Gamoe View Post
I would recommend that you go for a larger capacity drive (like 160 GB) however, if you do plan on using your iBook for a while longer.
Definitely do it. I bought a used iBook a few months back (1.2 GHz with a 30GB) and immediately upgraded it to a 120GB hard drive. I have tons of music and photos so I need the extra space. Hard drives are cheap.

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May 2, 2007, 11:22 AM
Do it, but put in a 160gb drive.
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May 2, 2007, 09:36 PM
I upgraded my HD the week i bought my ibook. Then last month had to take it in for a bad FW port. I told the "Genius" that i had upgraded the HD and the Optical drive and he made no mind to it. In fact he said that they did not even look at that and it wouldn't matter anyway. I'm not sure if this is the norm. Or if it's because i am in contact with the Genius Bar a lot for the company i work for. But i got my logic board replace under warranty no questions asked.

If you change it out your self and then find you have to take it in for something you could always swap it back out. Just take your time and find a service manual online to give you directions. Its really not that hard if your comfortable with a screwdriver and a non-conductive stick.
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rach  (op)
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May 5, 2007, 06:15 PM
Thank you for all your advice.
I actually upgraded my HD myself today. My replacement case came yesterday and i decided to change the casing myself today. I was so close to the HD after i took the top the top case of that i decided to just take the HD out as well.
Everything has gone fine and everything is working as it should be. It wasn't really hard you just really need the right tools for the job and be well planned.
I am bit concerned over the Apple Care situation but hopefully it should be ok. Hopefully my experiences will be like Cucucachoo if/when the time comes for me to use my Applecare.
I will also keep onto the old drive as well.
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