Reviews and Daily News with a  Difference!
Recent Updates  | Mac Upgrades/Mods  | CPU Upgrades  | Storage  | Video  | Audio/HT  | Apps/OS/Network  | Search
News, Tips, Reviews or Questions to News at Xlr8YourMac.com
Reader Article on PB G4 12in HD SwapReturn to News Page

Click for Voyager Hard Drive Docks!
Click for Voyager Hard Drive Docks!

PowerBook G4 12in Hard Drive Swap
By: Stefan Horn
Posted: June 6th, 2003

FYI: This article was posted in 2003 - Our FAQ's PowerBook section (and iBook section) links to later/more detailed guides (including PDF downloads) available at iFixit's Take-Apart Guides page.

Difficulty: For advanced users. (You assume all risk in doing this; if something gets damaged in the process, the Apple warranty won't cover it.)

Tools needed:

  • Phillips driver (very small)
  • small screwdriver
  • small hex-wrench (6mm)
  • tweezers

(Note: You should use a 2.5in hard drive with a max height of 9.5mm. Although one reader in the past put a 12.5mm hard drive in a PB G4 12in model, the taller drive blocks airflow inside the case. Hitachi 80GB 9.5mm notebook drive reviewed here in May 2003. (FYI - this article was posted in 2003, there are later models of 9.5mm high drives with much higher capacity. Search the drive database here for later reader reports on PowerBook G4 hard drive upgrades.)

remove battery

Remove battery, then remove memory access plate (4 screws).


Remove black screw (marked yellow), then remove memory module.

battery bay screws

Remove 3 screws in battery bay (marked yellow).

remove F keys

Clip out the keys F1, F2, F11, F12 with a small, flat screwdriver.

2 small screws

Two small screws are hidden under two small covers; remove them with the tweezers.

torx screws

Remove the two hex-screws with the hex-wrench (6).

side screws

Remove the 4 screws on the rear side, the 2 on the left, and the 2 on the right side of the case.

Now you can remove the keyboard by flipping the keyboard towards you. Be careful with the flat ribbon cable that is fixed with a silver foil. Remove that too.


Here you can see the silver foil (I put it on the right side...)
Pull out the flat ribbon cable... but don't break it!!! Very gently please!!!

There are 3 more cables hidden under 2 more silver foils. Pull them out very carefully, as there are very thin cables on the connectors. Next remove all screws you see on the aluminum plate (approx. 10 or 11), note which screw goes where because they differ in size.


After all screws are removed you can take off the upper piece of the case. To do so you have to raise the piece while you are clipping out the clips holding the case in place. Use your fingernails for that, they won't harm the surface of the Powerbook. But be careful, these clips tend to break very easily.
Now the powerbook is lying with open guts in front of you

  • Unplug the hard disk cable (marked yellow, be careful!!!)
  • Remove 2 screws (marked yellow)
  • The harddisk can be removed now.

power guts

Plug the cable onto your new harddrive and exchange the rubber shock protection and the metal mounting plate from your old drive to your new hard disk.
Assemble your powerbook the reverse way you disassembled it.

Other PowerBook/Storage Related Articles:
See the Systems page PowerBook section and the Storage Topics pages (IDE, Firewire, SCSI).
There's also a step-by-step HD upgrade guide for the original PowerBook G4 15in model here. (Pismo and PB G3 wallstreet guides linked on the systems page, PB section.)

(Ad/Sale items)

= UPGRADES by Mac =
Upgrades just for

= Refurb Mac Pros =
(Click for List)

SSDs up to 4TB
Fast SSDs for Most Macs/PCs

= ThunderBolt =
Drives, Docks & More

Up to 12TB HDDs
HGST, WD, Seagate, Toshiba

= 2.5in HDs & SSDs =
Notebook Hard Drives and DIY drive/case kit bundles

Lifetime warranty RAM Upgrades!

Internal and External Superdrives/Blu-Ray drives

Graphics cards, Displays, Adapters, Cables & more

Interfaces, Cables, Software, Speakers, Headphones & more

Apps, Utilities, OS, VM, Games and more

WiFi and Bluetooth Devices/Adapters/More

= Repair Service =
for iPhone, iPad, Macs

= iPad/iPhone/iPod =
Accessories, Cases, Repairs & More

NuGuard KX Cases
*Extreme* Drop Tested!

XLR8YourMac T-Shirts

Recent Reviews and Articles:
Listing/links to recent articles, guides and reviews you may have missed.  Details

= back to www.XLR8YOURMAC.com =

= Other Site Topic Areas =
Mac Mods/Upgrades | CPU Upgrades | Storage | Video | Audio/HT | OS Updates/Network | Recent

Copyright © 1997-2018. All Rights Reserved.
All brand or product names mentioned are properties of their respective companies.

Legal: Site Privacy and terms/conditions of use.