Q. Transferring Your HDD Between PowerBooks

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Date: Thursday, May 23rd, 2002, 10:56
Category: Archive


Terry White asks:

Q. I saw that you moved your 60GB drive to your new 800Mhz TiBook. Was Mac OS X already on it? How did you handle the difference in versions of Mac OS X?

A. Yes I moved my previous 60GB HDD from my Rev. B PowerBook G4 667MHz (Gigabit Ethernet) to my new Rev. D PowerBook G4 800MHz (DVI) and there are a few precautions you should observe before undertaking such a task.

First, before you transfer the HDD, you will need to update the version of OS X that is on the hard drive. Although the new DVI PowerBooks ship with Mac OS 10.1.4 it is not the same build as you have if you downloaded 10.1.4 update from Apple. The build that comes on the DVI PowerBooks is 5R60 whereas the downloaded version is 5Q125.

Different builds of the system software add functionality for new models such as updated drivers for the new 32MB ATI Radeon 7500 Mobility video subsystem – analogous to the software enablers in Mac OS 7/8/9. To update simply install the version of Mac OS X that comes with the new PowerBook onto your old hard drive. Warning: simply installing your older drive into a DVI machine will yield an ugly kernel panic as boot.

Another consideration is AirPort. If both PowerBooks have an AirPort card installed you will also need to re-install the AirPort 2.0.2 software from the CD included with the new PB. The AirPort software binds to the hardware ID on your AirPort card, when you transfer your drive to the new PB it will not recognize the card. The AirPort software (unlike the OS) must be installed after the drive is transferred to the new machine.

Apple’s iTunes and iPhoto are sensitive about being moved and doing so or simply re-naming your hard drive can make both programs unable to find your music and photo libraries. It is much easier to take your HDD with you when you move.

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