old pc harddrive as external osx harddrive?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by paulitheism, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. paulitheism

    paulitheism Guest

    Hey y'all. I'm newish to the mac community, but I have a question that
    I don't *think* is a newbie/faq, that I'm hoping is easy and
    non-troublesome to talk about.

    I'm running the latest version of osx 10.4 on an ibook g4. I have an
    old, dead, wintel desktop that was tripple booting win98, winnt, and
    slackware linux with a fucked up kernel on three different partitions.
    The desktop is dead but I don't believe the hard drive is dead (I think
    it's just a motherboard thing).

    What I'd like to do is just yank the hard drive out of the old machine
    and plug it into an external case that goes to a USB port (I feel I've
    seen such a thing on sale somewhere... ?) and run it as an external
    spare hard drive for my mac. So two questions.

    1. Can I do that without reformatting? I'd like to recover the data
    on the old drive (almost all on the win98 partition) and copy it to my
    mac before I format. Is there any special software I'd need to do

    2. After recovering the data, can I format the external hard drive via
    osx, getting rid of the partitions and making it more mac-friendly?
    Again, is there any special software I need to do this?


    -Paul, who is now trying to remember whether the ribbon cables
    attaching the HD to the motherboard belong to the HD or to the
    motherboard. :)
    paulitheism, Aug 29, 2006
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  2. paulitheism

    Jon Guest

    Sounds perfectly reasonable. :)
    No. FAT32 is no problem read and write, and NTFS can be read by a Mac.
    If the Linux partition is UFS, that should be OK, too.
    No. What you need is on the Mac (Disk Utility).

    Good luck, & HTH.
    Jon, Aug 29, 2006
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  3. Yes, you can do that without reformatting. The Mac should be able to
    read the disk without any problems and without any special software.
    Yes, you can do that with 'Disk Utility', which is located in the
    'Utilities' folder inside your 'Applications' folder. It comes with the
    system. No special software needed.
    Johan W. Elzenga, Aug 29, 2006
  4. paulitheism

    paulitheism Guest

    Sweet! Jon, Johan, you both rock. Thank you!
    paulitheism, Aug 29, 2006
  5. Since when does the iBook G4 only have USB 1.1 ports?
    Johan W. Elzenga, Aug 29, 2006
  6. paulitheism

    Jon Guest

    Answer: It does not. It has USB 2.0, but I believe (!) the point about
    booting only off FireWire still stands, i.e., it will not boot off USB.
    Jon, Aug 29, 2006
  7. True, but the OP never said he wanted to boot off that disk.
    Johan W. Elzenga, Aug 29, 2006
  8. paulitheism

    Jon Guest

    True enough - it came up during the discussion, but IMHO it can be a
    fairly important additional point, so I added a comment.
    Jon, Aug 29, 2006
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