Author Topic: How to build a windows machine in an old Mac G4?  (Read 1663 times)

87Warrior

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How to build a windows machine in an old Mac G4?
« on: April 20, 2011, 12:24:30 PM »
I will preface this with I know little about building a PC and less about anything Mac.

My wife has a Powerbook G4 that does not work. According to the Apple store and a couple local repair shops, it needs a new hard drive and logic board. All of the places quoted a high repair bill using refurbished parts since new is not available. Wife is ready to recycle it.

I would like to know, if even possible, what it would take to gut it and build it as a Windows machine (probably XP).

Why, you ask? I would like a garage/shop/travel laptop. I will use it to view large pdf files, search the web, run AutoCad and listen to miusic. I have been using an old Inspiron 9100 to do this but it is massive, heavy and has a battery that is no good.

Or should I look elsewhere?

Help out the computer noob.

jeepidude

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Re: How to build a windows machine in an old Mac G4?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2011, 11:57:33 AM »
I won't say it's impossible, but I wouldn't attempt it and I'm comfortable with completely disassembling and replacing laptop components. You would have to basically replace everything (mobo, processor, ram, video card, probably the battery, hard drive, etc), make it fit by adjusting the case and making custom mounts and make custom adapters for the screen and touchpad and keyboard and then you'd have to deal with getting them all to work (I'm sure that it's been covered by someone.. it could be as easy as just installing a driver or could be much more involved). I've never pulled Powerbook apart so I don't know if Apple uses any connectors that PC based laptop manufactures use.. I seriously doubt it though. laptop components are typically device-specific so you'd have to identify a specific combination of parts that would work for the Mac.

You should be able to replace the hard drive with pretty much any laptop drive, and you might be able to find a good deal for the logic board online.. I'd look into replacing those and then installing XP on it.

Another option would be to just buy a new battery for the Dell or buying a newer laptop. Autocad's minimum requirements are pretty light so you could be good with a $300 laptop from Wal-Mart, depending on the specs.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 12:00:07 PM by jeepidude »

speedy_2

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Re: How to build a windows machine in an old Mac G4?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2011, 12:21:03 PM »
Yeah, the easiest way would be to get a complete laptop and guy it. Then put it into the Mac.  But....why. lol. Modding a laptop case is not easy, if not impossible depending on what you're going to try to put in it.

87Warrior

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Re: How to build a windows machine in an old Mac G4?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2011, 01:01:15 PM »
I kind of suspected I would get those kind of replies. Doesn't hurt to ask though.

Have thought about repairing the powerbook, but I don't know if XP could be installed and run programs successfully since it is not an Intel machine. Or is there a way around this that I have not found?

What I like about her old Mac is the screen. So crisp and clear, she used it for photo editing.

Any recommendations where to buy a battery. Dell quit selling them a few years back. I got the 9100 in 2004 before college so I don't know if it is worth investing money in.  Time to look at walmart again.

Kalgorn

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Re: How to build a windows machine in an old Mac G4?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2011, 01:20:49 PM »
Dawg, eBay is littered with laptop batteries. Just make sure you get a new one.

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87Warrior

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Re: How to build a windows machine in an old Mac G4?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2011, 01:54:04 PM »
Haha, ok. I will look at eBay. Haven't purchased anything from there in at least 7 years so I forget it still exists.

angry hampster

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Re: How to build a windows machine in an old Mac G4?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2011, 04:53:59 PM »
Haha, ok. I will look at eBay. Haven't purchased anything from there in at least 7 years so I forget it still exists.

Purchased a new screen from some ebay vendor in Hong Kong for my netbook last year. Good a good deal on it too. Look for similar deals.

Drainclog

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Re: How to build a windows machine in an old Mac G4?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2011, 05:18:58 PM »
As far as I know, the old macs had processors that used an instruction set that's different than that of an intel/amd x86 processor.  That's why it was such a big deal when Apple started making computers running on a processor from Intel.  A modern one should be able to run OSx, Windows, Linux just fine, but the old ones wouldn't.