Macintosh: transfer data from an old HD to a new one

By brifd1 ·
I'd like to transfer data from a hard drive that was in a Macintosh G5 where the motherboard died to an I-Mac. It is my understanding that I need a box of some kind to hold the hard drive, but I also need the applicable cabling to be able to connect it to the I-Mac, which has USB and a Firewire plug in the back, but since it's "all in one," it's not like any other computer I've seen where one can slide it in and plug it into the board. In addition, the G5 had a CD-RW that I might like to keep using, if possible.

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Is the G5 OS X?

by seanferd In reply to Macintosh: transfer data ...

All Macs use the HFS filesystem, that is, the "old" Mac OSes as well as the OS X class of Mac OSes both use versions of HFS. Hopefully, the older filesystem is readable from OS X if the G5 is OS 9 or earlier.

But for the physical connection, just get a drive enclosure for the HDD - you can get a USB or Firewire enclosure. I'd think the USB variety would be a bit cheaper than the faster Firewire, but I couldn't say if the differential is significant. USB 2.0 speeds should be plenty fast enough for your purposes, though.

Whichever you use, you simply plug the enclosure cable to the USB or Firewire port on the Mac. You put the old drive inside the enclosure. You just need to make sure that the data connectors on the drive and the drive enclosure match - if they are SATA or IDE connectors, and if IDE, sometimes laptops use a different laptop type connector than desktops. You can just buy an adapter for laptop to standard if this is the case.

You may be able to drop the optical drive into such an enclosure, but if this is a laptop optical drive, it may not work well or at all.

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Yes, it's OS X (10.5)

by brifd1 In reply to Is the G5 OS X?

Thank you for your suggestions. Another option would seem to be to replace the motherboard. I've never done this before, but it looks like the G5's motherboard is attached by Phillip's head screws. My challenge would be to remember what went where, but it would be my plan to liberally use a digital camera along the way. It looks like one can be had for ~ $200, except it's also recommended to have a thermal test of some kind, and I don't know what that involves and by who. If I stick with transferring the HD, another option that I thought of is that I have an external HD that went out in less than a year that already has all of the applicable plugs, that is unless I want to get that drive replaced, as it's under warranty...but it's been opened, so it may no longer be because of that!

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As stated above you'll need a USB External Drive Enclosure

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Macintosh: transfer data ...

Also as both computers are Notebooks the G5 if I remember correctly has a 2.5 Inch Drive that should be IDE, so you would need a 2.5 Inch IDE External Housing.

The upside is that these 2.5 Inch Drives run on 5 V DC so you don't need a Power Adapter the USB Port will supply enough Voltage & Current to run the drive.

The only thing you need to know here is that the different makes of HDD's may require a different Jumper Setting. Some require that the Jumper be set to Master and some require the Jumper to be removed. This all depends on the Chip Set used in the HDD and the Chip Set used in the External Enclosure.

Something like the enclosure shown here should be what is required.


Just plug the drive into the Enclosure and the USB Lead into a USB Socket on the new Computer and copy the data off the old drive. If the computer doesn't recognize the Drive in the Enclosure open the enclosure after first unplugging it from the computer and remove the HDD, then change the Jumper to either Master or remove it and refit to the enclosure and then plug into the Computer.


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