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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Jumper needed when replacing iMac G5's internal hard drive?

Jumper needed when replacing iMac G5's internal hard drive?
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BoulderDash
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Jan 25, 2010, 03:03 AM
 
Hi there,
My family's PowerPC iMac G5 20" has been having problems for a few months (programs quitting unexpectedly: Software Update, Disk Utility, iTunes, etc.), so I think that it may be time to replace its internal hard drive. At first we started by buying two new sticks of 1GB RAM and swapping those out, and also formatting the drive and reinstalling Leopard 10.5... but the problems persist even with fresh installs of 10.5 from the Leopard DVD. So, now we're on to buying a new Serial ATA drive. We'd really appreciate it if someone could chime in about these questions:
  1. Can we go from the iMac G5's original 250GB Serial ATA hard drive to a 500GB Serial ATA hard drive?
  2. If so, would this Western Digital - Caviar GP 500GB Internal Hard Drive work?
  3. If so, are we going to need to use a jumper on the new Western Digital hard drive to slow its Data Transfer Rate from its native 3Gb/s to our iMac's current hard drive's 1.5Gb/s?

I've seen posts where people say that a jumper to slow the Data Transfer Rate is necessary, and I've seen posts saying that it isn't true. Does anyone know, for certain?

It seems like a fairly easy swap, so please let me know if our plan to purchase a Western Digital - Caviar GP 500GB Internal Hard Drive would work. Hopefully, that will solve the errors which we have been seeing.

Thank you!
BD
     
reader50
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Jan 25, 2010, 04:18 AM
 
In my own experience, SATA speed jumpers have not been needed when upgrading Macs. In all cases, the new drive runs fine on the onboard controller. And you can go way higher than 500 GB with a new drive.

However, a question. Does your iMac G5 have the built-in iSight above the screen? If so, changing out the hard drive is rather involved. It's easy as can be on the earlier (non-iSight) G5s.

If you do have the built-in iSight and proceed with the upgrade, then I'd suggest putting in at least a 1 TB drive. You won't want to upgrade the drive again later, so put a big one in when you have the chance.
     
AKcrab
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Jan 25, 2010, 09:09 PM
 
If it's NOT an iSight model, I would pull the back off and look for damaged capacitors. You may be barking up the wrong tree.
     
BoulderDash  (op)
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Jan 25, 2010, 11:41 PM
 
Well,
I'll report back on the topic of my post:

- Based on reader50's feedback, I did purchase the aforementioned Western Digital hard drive and installed it... it works great without jumpers (which would have forced it down to 1.5Gb/s from its 3Gb/s). So, consider that closed.

Unfortunately, after swapping both 1GB RAM sticks with new Kingston sticks, reinstalling Leopard OSX 10.5 (and then using the 10.5.8 combo updater) and finally now swapping the hard drive with the new Western Digital hard drive... our Second Generation PowerPC iMac G5 20" (Ambient Light Sensor, non-iSight) is still exhibiting the following crashes when using Software Update, Disk Utility, etc.:

Exception Type: EXC_BREAKPOINT (SIGTRAP)

AKcrab, it just so happens that one month ago I dealt with Apple about our First Generation PowerPC iMac 17" which was having the "bulging" and "leaking" capacitor problems which people have experienced. So, based on your reminder, I just checked our Second Generation PowerPC iMac G5 20" for the same problems and can report that they look nothing like the problem-laden capacitors we had in our First Generation PowerPC iMac 17".

So, now I just don't know what to do. I can tell you that the "Exception Type: EXC_BREAKPOINT (SIGTRAP)" issues crop up after making the jump from 10.5 to 10.5.8.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what ould be going wrong? Shall I NOT rely on the Software Update install of 10.5.8 Combo and incrementally download 10.5.x releases? Shall I NOT rely on the Software Update and download the 10.5.8 Combo updater straight from Apple.com?

I'm lost. I've replaced all hardware that I could (RAM sticks, hard drive) and done multiple fresh installs of Mac OSX Leopard (10.5 DVD).

Is it time to make an appointment with an Apple Genius? Thank you,
BD
     
reader50
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Jan 26, 2010, 12:34 AM
 
I tend to download the Combo updater manually.

However, note that the capacitor problem affected the power supplies much more often than the motherboard caps. The PS caps got far more usage. So pull the PS and open it, looking for bulge/leak indications.

From your description, is it crashing most often on applications that exercise the hard drive motors? ie - scenarios that draw more power from the PS? To test this, you could turn the LCD brightness down to minimal, as well as set Processor Performance to "Reduced" (Sys Prefs -> Energy Saver -> Options tab). Then see if the system has fewer crashes.

Alternatively, plug in some bus-powered devices to the FW and USB ports, to increase the power demand. Crank the LCD up to max brightness, and put in a DVD movie to play as the desktop background. See if the system has instabilities sooner.

Note that bad caps usually have visible problems, but not always.
     
BoulderDash  (op)
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Jan 27, 2010, 11:48 PM
 
Hey there,
Well, as I was doing incremental updates (that I've also seen called "delta" updates) from my Leopard 10.5 install DVD to 10.5.8... downloading the separate installers of 10.5.1, 10.5.2, etc. in order to avoid the issue that I thought may have been plaguing my 10.5.8 builds:

Permissions installed incorrectly by Apple's 10.5.8 Combo Update

My machine just started to go "crazy." The windows on the screen became "pixelated" and then "blocky"... eventually turning completely unreadable. So, now I know that it's not the hardware that I've replaced this week (two 1GB Kingston RAM sticks and the Western Digital - Caviar GP 500GB Internal Hard Drive) nor is it the software that I've installed and re-installed multiple times this week (four fresh installs of Leopard 10.5). As you both have stated, it's looking more and more like the issue my First Generation 17-inch iMac G5 had:

Weird pixelation caused by bulging or leaking capacitor

I doubt that Apple will offer to fix this issue since this Second Generation 20-inch iMac G5 is 3 or 4 years old... but, I'll call them tomorrow and see. At the very least, I'll make an appointment at the Genius Bar and see what's what.

Thanks again,
BD
     
   
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