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What is the maximum hard drive size?

What's the max hard drive size for this unit? It had a 160G in it and I think I failed. Tried replacing the 160 with a 500G and it isn't seen.

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Did you boot to the install Disk, and try to do an install?

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Booting w new disk yields "No operating system" message. Booted from Snow Leopard DVD and Disk utility can't see the old disk or the new disk. System profiler says there's a SATA error. Logic board? Original disk just "clicked" and I got the folder icon on boot.

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Sounds like the SATA data cable may not be connecting correctly. I would reseat both ends and see if you get the same error. Also try replacing the cable. If these steps fail you may have more serious problems. What was the old hard drive doing?

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Reseated the cable... used another drive. Nada. Took the original 160G drive, cabled it up via a SATA-USB converter I had and the drive just clicked. Power cycled it a few times and SHAZAAM... drive (original 160G) comes up. Put it back in the iMac and booted like a dream. I know I'm far from "safe" with this drive but I know I have the machine back for a bit to get an up-to-date TimeMachine backup off of it (one I had was a week or too old from the failure date) and I'll see what happens.

Still don't know if this is drive related, logic board related, gamma ray related (grin). Who knows. Geek gods were shining on me today!

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While you have it open, examine the cans (capacitors for budging and/or corrosion. This is a common problem on this machine.

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Good answer + Ralph

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Either of these are OK

providing you connected them correctly and did not damage the connector or logic board removing the old drive.

If this answer is acceptable please mark it.

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Jim Anderson zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.
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