How to access to hard drive once removed from iBook?

Hi, my logic board is broken and I want at least to recover the data in the hard drive.

I can easily follow ifixit instructions to take it off the iBook g4.

Once I do that I have the hard drive in my hands.

At this point I want to access to the 2.5" hard drive... with what?

Do I use a hard drive dock?

Does it have to be firewire or can it be usb?

Can I have access to my iBook g4 hard disk through a pc or do I have to use another mac?

Also, this hard disk I am removing has Tiger 10.4 installed, and I still have the original disk. I want to erase the hard disk so to use the Tiger OS again on another machine (the copy of Tiger I have can be used only on one machine at a time), how can I do that? will a formatting be enought?

Thank you!


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Giuseppe I'm curious. What is your logic board problem ?

Hi Lemerise, my logic board probably burned. One second it was working, then large grey lines on the monitor, then black. Now whenever I turn it on it shows me only large vertical grey lines. Even when i plug the cable to the external monitor plug, so to see on another spare monitor, i still see no signal or grey lines. I went to the Apple store and (as i knew from reading here) they told me it has to be the logic board, that need to be replaced, for 259 $. At this point i want to recover the hard disk and sell the working pieces on ebay. This iBook is 1,33 combo drive, 1.5 gb ram and 40gb hard disk. Everythign worked fine, plus i have an isight in perfect condition. This iBook served me as a dream for 5 years of heavy usage, and when i mean heavy i mean over 10 hours around 5 times a week. I bow down to the quality of apple. Now it's time to move on to a newer one.

OK thanks. I just wanted to be sure that your logic board was really faulty cause Apple often gives a bad motherboard diagnostic when something else is the culprit. I can see your logic board has a faulty graphic chip so in your case the diagnostic was right. I was also asking because the 1.33 12" has a problem with the airport card but the logic board can be salvaged if you remove the airport card.


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First is the Tiger software. Mac does not have licensed type software like Microsoft does. It can be installed on numerous machines. It does have what are called machine specific disks that can be installed on only one type of machine, these are usually gray disks. We can clone your current hard drive and system to work on another Mac using SuperDuper, which is a free download:

You can put your old hard drive in an external enclosure, firewire or USB. iFixit carries one.

Firewire ATA Laptop Hard Drive Enclosure

Also here is a less expensive option for the external drive especially if you will not need it but for moving your data. I use it at my shop and it works great.

Either one should be accessible from mac or PC.

Here's how to remove the old one: iBook G4 12" 1.33 GHz Hard Drive Replacement

Good luck



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Great minds think alike, and so do ours! +


A good option would be to buy a hard drive enclosure. Then you can connect the hard drive to another computer and get your information off of it. You can use either a firewire enclosure or a USB enclosure. You should be able to use a Mac or a PC to access the information from your hard drive, but you won't be able to boot from the hard drive on a PC.

As far as I know, you can use your Tiger OS disc to install the OS on other computers without having to erase the original hard drive. Apple does not have the pesky CD-keys that Windows uses. Hope that helps!


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Didn't intend to step on your toes, I started writing before your post was up. +vote


Hi Lemerise, you mention a problem with the airport card on this model. I suffer under (or at least my mac does ;-)) frequent kernel panic, mostly when it tries to connect to the wlan. Could this problem be solved by dissassembling the card?

Kind regards

St. Everling


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Yes, the problem resides in the airport socket on the logic board so removing the card or disconnecting airport solves the problem. You can use a USB wireless dongle instead of the airport card. In the iBook G4 1.33 12" model, the airport card also carry the bluethoot function so when removing the card you also loose bluethoot.


Mayer - you gave a less expensive option for the external drive but the link was expired, can you please give a new link or the name of it? I only plan to use it once to transport data.


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