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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Upgrade iMac PowerPC G5 With WD Caviar Green 2TB: Possible?

Upgrade iMac PowerPC G5 With WD Caviar Green 2TB: Possible?
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BoulderDash
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
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Jan 13, 2011, 11:37 PM
 
Hello,
My older, spare iMac has a drive that's starting to fail... and I was wondering if anyone could tell me the largest capacity hard drive with which I could buy and replace it myself. Here is the iMac's overview:

Model Name: iMac G5 (white model)
Model Identifier: PowerMac8,1
Processor Name: PowerPC G5 (3.0)
Processor Speed: 1.8 GHz
Number of CPUs: 1
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 1 GB
Bus Speed: 600 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 5.2.2f4

I was thinking about possibly getting a Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive... any thoughts on the matter? Any suggestions, if this drive isn't a feasible replacement?

Know that I did perform several searches, but I never knew if the iMac being discussed was one like mine. Thanks in advance,
BD
     
AKcrab
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Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Jan 14, 2011, 12:53 AM
 
Should work fine.
     
reader50
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Jan 14, 2011, 01:56 AM
 
For a boot drive, the max your G5 can use is 2.199 TB decimal (2.0 TB real). A larger drive would partition to that size, with the remaining space unreachable - this is a limitation of the Apple Partition Map.

You could install a bigger drive, partition it GUID, and use it as a data drive. With essentially no size limit. But you couldn't boot from it, you can only boot from an APM-partitioned drive. So you'd need to boot from an external (FW, USB, or USB Flash), or netboot, or replace your optical drive with a second HD.
     
BoulderDash  (op)
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Jan 15, 2011, 09:50 AM
 
Hey there,
I just wanted to report back on my experience with the above upgrade. I did end up purchasing the Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB and installing it into my aforementioned iMac.

Everything went very well, and I installed Leopard 10.5.1 onto it from my Leopard install DVD (being that Snow Leopard is not compatible with PowerPC). I did software upgrades up to Leopard 10.5.8. When I was done with the updates, I shut the iMac down for a few minutes. This is where the only wrinkles began.

Upon trying to start the iMac up using the back, power button... only the power light on the front would do anything (i.e. light up). There was no startup chime, no spinning drive, nothing at all. I let it sit in that state for a few minutes and also pressed and held the power button. Nothing changed. So, I unplugged the iMac and waited a few minutes.

Upon plugging the iMac back in and attempting to start it, I encountered even more issues. With each press of the power button I would experience one of the below (in no particular order):
  • Power light would light then go off (no chime, no drive spin)
  • Power light would light then go off (half of a chime, drive spun but then spun down)
  • Power light would light then stay lit (half of a chime, drive spun but then spun down)
  • Power light would light then stay lit (fan spun at full throttle and sounded like a jet engine, half of a chime, drive spun but then spun down)

After doing some research, I thought that it might be the SMU acting up, as stated in this post by Apple:

iMac G5: How to Reset the SMU

Since resetting the SMU as directed above, I've seen no problems. Just to ensure getting off on the correct foot, I also ran DiskWarrior 4 on the drive and rebuilt its directory.

Thanks again for the information folks... now on to my next post asking about pulling data off of a failing external drive (which led to this project). Have a great day,
BD
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jan 15, 2011, 10:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
So you'd need to boot from an external (FW, USB, or USB Flash), or netboot, or replace your optical drive with a second HD.
G5s don't boot from USB. I had no idea there was a limit on the APM disk size. Interesting to know.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
hoyeboye
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Mar 9, 2011, 04:05 AM
 
I just replaced my G5 iSight's HDD with a WD Caviar Green 500GB and have had some crazy issues, I think related to power management. When it comes out of sleep, I can no longer write to the HDD, can't connect to computer over network, and shared printing won't work. When I do a software reboot, it boots to the missing OS screen. Hard reboot works fine.
I tried the SMU reset, but then it would NEVER boot into OSX. I had to hold down OPTION to manually select booting from the HDD.
Wanted to see if anyone else had issues with the Green drives in an iMac.


21" iMac G5 (iSight)
Mac OS 10.4.11
2.5GB RAM
500GB WD Caviar Green (soon to be replaced)
     
   
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