View Full Version : OT: Upgrading Mac Internal HDs

Triple G
02-11-2006, 01:27 PM
Hi all,

First off, sorry for the OT post, but I didn't know where else to put it. Hopefully someone here will be able to help.

I've got an upgraded G4 with two internal Ultra-wide 320 18 GB SCSI hard drives. They're about 6 years old and are starting to go, so I'd like to replace them with larger-capacity IDE ones. The reason for the two drives is that I have one that boots OSX, the other boots OS9.

Question 1: What's the best way of copying all the data from the SCSI drives to the larger IDE drives? They need to be exact duplicates of course (i.e. bootable).

Question 2: From talking to a friend of mine who's a PC tech, I'm under the impression that if I copy a smaller drive to a larger one, I'll wind up with two partitions; one for the drive and one for the extra, unused space. This is not what I want. Is there a way to copy the data and keep everything on the larger drive as one large partition?

Question 3: Is it worth it to buy an extra IDE drive to set up a software RAID through the Mac Disk Utility? And is that even possible if I'm starting with a disk that already has data on it?

Thanks in advance for any advice...:)

02-11-2006, 06:43 PM
You can use "Carbon Copy Cloner" by Mike Bombich to clone your drives. I've used it twice, it works very well.

You will not need to recreate the same partition size on the target drive. You can use a single partition on the larger drive.

IDE performance isn't that great and software RAID setups on IDE drives don't give you a huge performance advantage, in my experience. Redundancy is good, if you have a lot of critical data. Striping will give some advantage, but I'd spend my money on more RAM, if you're not already maxed out.

One more thing; if you're purchasing brand new drives, you might want to consider an SATA controller and SATA drives. They are faster, and the cables are so much easier to deal with. Finally, you'll be able to use them on your new G5 or Intel Mac in the future!

02-11-2006, 06:44 PM
BTW: CCC is free.

02-11-2006, 06:47 PM
There's a bit of software called CopyCatX (http://www.subrosasoft.com/OSXSoftware/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=7) which clones Mac drives exactly onto other drives. Helpful for moving your perfectly set up sysem onto a newer larger drive without having to go through all the installation stuff.

Warning: It clones all the glitches, problems and file corruptions too. Exact copy, so you sure that's what you want? Not a new clean install?

Warning #2. It costs US $60. Worth it though I think considering how time consuming it is to re-install a new system on a new drive and then set it up the way you had it before.

(PS. I have nothing to do with this company or their software, except as someone who bought it.)

02-11-2006, 06:49 PM
Well, there you go. Every time I spend money on software, I learn there's another version available as freeware!

Triple G
02-11-2006, 11:05 PM
Thanks guys. I checked out CCC...looks like it'll do exactly what I'll need it to do.

I looked into the Serial ATA option that you suggested, djtoltz. I noticed that Sonnet has an SATA PCI card (https://secure1.sonnettech.com/product_info.php?cPath=24_39&products_id=105&osCsid=ca2647a916fdf8583366c74b13ae837f) available for $80. From what I can gather, it looks to support only 1.5 Gbps while the latest SATA drives such as this one (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144010) are capable of 3.0 Gbps, or double the throughput. Do you know of any PCI cards available which would allow for the 3 Gb/s throughput rate?

For the extra $80, I'm just not sure if the difference between an SATA 150 and an ATA100 (which is what my machine will currently support) is going to be all that noticeable. All I know is that the Ultra320 SCSI drive I've got installed now is nice and fast, and I'd like to lose as little of that performance as possible while keeping my costs as low as possible. If I'm going to be spending in the area of $125 to $150 for a controller and a new 40 or 80 GB drive, and still take a performance hit...well, I might as well just drop another SCSI drive in there and call it a day. Ugh...all this is making my head hurt...

Thanks for any further advice/suggestions.

02-12-2006, 02:34 AM
.....Question 1: What's the best way of copying all the data from the SCSI drives to the larger IDE drives? They need to be exact duplicates of course (i.e. bootable)......

Forget about it, install your new harddrives and install a new system on them. Replacing HD's is always a good time to install a new and clean system and software, although it may take more time.

Ron Herrmann
02-21-2006, 06:51 PM
I agree with ingo (sort of) IF you're currently having any probs with your system.
If, however, your system is "squeaky-clean & stable," why not just use Apple's Disk Utility to make a disk image of your old disk? Then use the "Restore" command/button to restore the contents of the image to the new disk.
Either way (Disk Utility or CarbonCopyCloner) you need one place (read: hard drive) to store the image. If you're patient, you can use a compressed disk image format (which it takes more time).
Free is nice... Disk Utility is also free ;-)