Recommendations/Comments? on my planned iMac G3 500 hard drive upgrade

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hello. I didn't know whether this was the right forum to post in, or if Current Hardware would have been a more fitting place, so I apologize if I was wrong in posting here.

I've decided to upgrade the hard drive in my fall 2000 500Mhz Snow iMac G3 SE (1GB RAM).

I've been looking around at hard drives and have been trying to find as much information as possible on the upgrade process. The most useful information I've found has been from the following sites:

Macworld: Upgrade an iMac

Visual Installation Guide - 2nd Generation iMac Hard Drive (from


I've ordered an Hitachi 120GB 7200RPM Hard Drive, and a Bytecc Firewire Enclosure (Oxford 911 Chipset) for the old 30 GB Quantum Fireball to go into.

Are there any other necessary resources that I should take a look at before I crack open my one and only computer? Or any other advise that one could provide to me?

I've also been considering if I will be able to switch the drives without losing any data. I don't have an external hard drive at the moment, only an external cd burner. I have nearly filled my current 30GB hard drive with data that I don't want to lose, but as it would be difficult and time consuming to back up everything to CD-Rs, I'm wondering if a quick switch over is possible. Does anyone have any advise/input on that?

I've also been wondering what would be advised as far as partitioning the 120GB drive. I'm currently running OS X 10.3.8 (soon to be 10.3.9) and I'll be upgrading to Tiger as soon as it shows up on my doorstep. I use my computer for internet, email, messaging, and my computer also gets me by with Photoshop 7, Illustrator 10, and barely runs InDesign 2 when absolutely necessary (I can be very patient ). I've also been hoping to digitize a bunch of 8mm tape that I've got and possibly cleaning some of it up in iMovie.

I know I've asked a lot here, and I am very appreciative of any help you can give me. I plan on moving up to a more powerful computer just as soon as the good people at Apple find a solution to "the mother of all heat problems", but I love this little computer and plan on letting it live on as long as it chooses to do so.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    defjefdefjef Posts: 62member
    oh! and another thing... when I get the Hitachi hard drive, will I be setting it to Master or Slave? I would assume Master, but I'm just double checking.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    To be perfectly honest, the easiest thing for you to do is make your 120GB the external drive - that way you're sure to retain all of the data on the 30GB, without having to worry about partitioning the new drive, migrating everything over, etc.You also don't have to worry about messing up the computer when you open it up.

    This also allows you to move any extraneous data to the firewire drive. You can drag all of your movie files, iTunes library, iPhoto library, etc. to the new drive, along with your user folder. This allows you to do an "erase and install" with Tiger, letting you start over with a fresh copy of the OS. You can then bring back your home folder, iTunes and iPhoto libraries. Just reinstall the the Adobe software from the CD's and *poof* you have Tiger on a fresh hard drive, you retain your critical data, and you have a huge storage space for all of those movie files you're going to digitize.

    That's just my humble opinion, someone else may have a way better idea though ... wait for a few more responses!
  • Reply 3 of 3
    defjefdefjef Posts: 62member
    Thank you. I appreciate your opinion. It had actually been my original plan to just go with an external drive until I started reading around ( ) and found all of the success stories of the procedure and how upgrading the drive sped up people's computers. I've got time until the hard drive arrives to think it all over.
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