Contribute
Register

Can I use my Mac's old system drive?

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Apr 3, 2014
Messages
5
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Hi all,

I've been toying with the idea of building a hack for some time now...but I've been scared off for various reasons. I just got laid off on Monday so I've got some time on my hands while looking for a job...I need a new computer and I figure this might be a good time to dive in.

I have an old Power Mac G5 that just died about a month ago after almost 10 years of service. I don't know what the issue is (Power supply? dead battery? dead board?) but I figure the time/money spent troubleshooting might not be worth it considering how old it is. That said, the system drive actually had some decent software on it (I had it imaged at the post house I used to work at) and I'd like to basically rebuild around that. Is this possible?

From what I've read on these forums it sounds like Macs are very finicky about what components are used...will I need to know exact model numbers for a lot of parts to build around it?
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I could build from scratch using the guides on this site, but adding in this variable might throw enough of a wrench in that I'll be in over my head as a true novice.

Thanks all!
 

Going Bald

Moderator
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
Messages
22,475
Motherboard
GA-X58A-UD7-F7
CPU
W3670
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Hi all,

I've been toying with the idea of building a hack for some time now...but I've been scared off for various reasons. I just got laid off on Monday so I've got some time on my hands while looking for a job...I need a new computer and I figure this might be a good time to dive in.

I have an old Power Mac G5 that just died about a month ago after almost 10 years of service. I don't know what the issue is (Power supply? dead battery? dead board?) but I figure the time/money spent troubleshooting might not be worth it considering how old it is. That said, the system drive actually had some decent software on it (I had it imaged at the post house I used to work at) and I'd like to basically rebuild around that. Is this possible?

From what I've read on these forums it sounds like Macs are very finicky about what components are used...will I need to know exact model numbers for a lot of parts to build around it?
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I could build from scratch using the guides on this site, but adding in this variable might throw enough of a wrench in that I'll be in over my head as a true novice.

Thanks all!

Yes you can use the drive out of the old Mac. What were you running - 10.5 or 10.6? If 10.5 it won't run with modern PC parts so you will have to wipe and start over.

For parts see the Buyer's Guide.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2014
Messages
5
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Yes you can use the drive out of the old Mac. What were you running - 10.5 or 10.6? If 10.5 it won't run with modern PC parts so you will have to wipe and start over.

For parts see the Buyer's Guide.

Thanks for the response!
Are you saying I can only use it if it was 10.6 or later? otherwise I'll have to wipe it clean?

I actually don't know what version it was running. Is there any way I can find out? Will it just be a matter of building the hackintosh and then popping in the drive to see if it works?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Messages
42
Motherboard
H97N-Wifi
CPU
i7 4770k
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2047 MB graphics
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
  3. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. iBook
  2. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Wouldn't be sure at 100% but I doubt that a G5 is able to run 10.6 Snow Leopard, I think it's built exclusively around the Intel based Apple devices.

I wonder as well if the type of connexions (verify if it is SATA and not IDE) on your hard drive because IDE wouldn't be compatible with the MoBo for a Hackintosh.
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
22,231
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Thanks for the response!
Are you saying I can only use it if it was 10.6 or later? otherwise I'll have to wipe it clean?

I actually don't know what version it was running. Is there any way I can find out? Will it just be a matter of building the hackintosh and then popping in the drive to see if it works?

Thanks!

Your not understanding how creating a CustoMac works. We're not installing OS X on Apple hardware. I'm sure that you understand that. OS X pre-installed by Apple on your old hard drive will not run on newly built PC hardware. Take a look at the guides section and 10.9 installation to learn about making the unibeast USB. That and Chimera/Multibeast are what make this all possible. If you do want to run the now ancient Snow Leopard, you must buy the retail disc from Apple and then use iBoot to install. Note that you must buy Sandy Bridge or older hardware to run Snow Leopard full time.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
324
Motherboard
Z68X-UD3H-B3
CPU
i7 2600k
Graphics
Radeon 6870 1GB
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
A few different issues going on here.

First, no there's no way you can directly boot from that drive on PC hardware. (Or even Intel Apple hardware). A G5 is pre-Intel so it's running PowerPC code. OS is likely Tiger 10.4, possibly Leopard 10.5. But nothing beyond that.

Assuming the drive is SATA, you could put the drive in a modern Hackintosh or Mac (booting from another drive) and be able to read/salvage the data on the drive just fine.

As PmLondon says, the drive might be IDE. If so, you could still likely read it using it either in a USB external case, or internally with an IDE to SATA converter.

Actually running applications installed on it is a whole other set of issues. First, your old programs are likely to be PPC apps and Apple has dropped support for running PPC code since Lion. Second, even if you could run the apps, you'll likely encounter missing libraries and system files that were installed in your old system and user folders but not present on a new.

If any applications are Universal apps that don't have dependencies on previous system files, then those may actually fire up just fine. (I wouldn't count on the likelyhood being very high though, if the distance is from Tiger to Mavericks.)

My take: I highly recommended building a hackintosh around new hardware including boot drive(s), and it can't hurt to attach the old drive just to save data files/documents from it. But its best to think of the old G5 (and majority of old software)as in the past, and no part of its old OS are you likely to carry forward to a new machine. In most cases from an improvement in performance standpoint, you really wouldn't even want to.)

If the software is good, then there's probably much newer versions of it long since available.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2014
Messages
5
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
With regards to newer versions of the software...among other things, it was running FCP 7...so even though 10 exists I would have been happy to stick to 7.

Even so, it sounds like using the system drive just isn't something that looks possible, so thanks for the feedback. I'll try and give building one a go anyway.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
324
Motherboard
Z68X-UD3H-B3
CPU
i7 2600k
Graphics
Radeon 6870 1GB
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
With regards to newer versions of the software...among other things, it was running FCP 7...so even though 10 exists I would have been happy to stick to 7.

Even so, it sounds like using the system drive just isn't something that looks possible, so thanks for the feedback. I'll try and give building one a go anyway.
FCP 7 will run fine. I still use it exclusively. (I couldn't even do my job with FCX).

I've never tried to fire up an existing install of it on a newly installed system though. I suspect it will have to be reinstalled.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top