SOLVED Mac Powerbook G4 - external hard drive compatible


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Hello, I do hope someone can shed some light on this for me...

I am trying to retrieve old data from my Mac Powerbook G4 (photos and music) to put on my relatively (but in no way really) new MacBookAir. I purchased a WD 2TB My Passport for Mac but upon plugging it in, I have found that it is not compatible with such an old machine.

The G4 is updated as far as it will go OSX 10.4.11 Tiger and the newer MacBookAir is running on Big Sur 11.6.5

Any recommendations for an external hard drive compatible with both or any other solutions for moving the data from old machine to newer?

Thanks in advance.
 
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I get an error message on the G4 saying "Disk Insertion! The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer" and give three options
1) Initialize 2) ignore 3) eject.

It does not appear in Finder.
 
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New Mac operating systems (10.13 or later) default to a new file format for disks. It's called APFS. APFS disks won't mount on older operating systems. Maybe your new Pasport is formatted that way? Reformatting it to the older MacOS Extended (Disk Utility is your friend here) will allow the disk to work on all machines. So why APSF? It offers some additional speed for systems that can use it. But you don't need it.
 
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Sounds like it needs to be formatted. Have you tried "Initialize"?
Thanks for getting back to me again. I did try "Initialize" but it doesn't offer any options to change anything - I'm not entirely sure why it offers it as an option at all! I'll see if I can do something about the APFS (as DanL suggested). Will update.
 
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New Mac operating systems (10.13 or later) default to a new file format for disks. It's called APFS. APFS disks won't mount on older operating systems. Maybe your new Pasport is formatted that way? Reformatting it to the older MacOS Extended (Disk Utility is your friend here) will allow the disk to work on all machines. So why APSF? It offers some additional speed for systems that can use it. But you don't need it.
Hello - thanks so much for the advice. I am a real novice so excuse me if these q's seem obvious.

In Disk Utility the only place I can see to change from APFS to MacOS Extended is in 'partition' and I get this message:

"Partitioning this device will permanently erase the data stored on some of the partitions. You can’t undo this action.
This partition will be erased:
“Back up, NY”"

The only other data on this hard drive is a couple of timemachine back up's from recent days so not the end of the world if they're deleted but I just want to check before I do it!

Also there are two MacOS Extended options: MacOS Extended (Journaled) and MacOS Extended (Case-sensitive, journaled) - which is it?

Thanks again!
 
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Hello - thanks so much for the advice. I am a real novice so excuse me if these q's seem obvious.

In Disk Utility the only place I can see to change from APFS to MacOS Extended is in 'partition' and I get this message:

"Partitioning this device will permanently erase the data stored on some of the partitions. You can’t undo this action.
This partition will be erased:
“Back up, NY”"

The only other data on this hard drive is a couple of timemachine back up's from recent days so not the end of the world if they're deleted but I just want to check before I do it!

Also there are two MacOS Extended options: MacOS Extended (Journaled) and MacOS Extended (Case-sensitive, journaled) - which is it?

Thanks again!
Select “MacOS Extended (Journaled).” APFS will be totally alien to your PowerBook. Which version of PowerBook G4 is this? Based on the oldest model, your best bet for transferring files using Target Disk mode is FireWire 400. The newer models also have FireWire 800. So depending on the Mac that you will be copying to, it will have to have Firewire as well. However, your MacBook Air probably does not have FireWire. I don’t think these models never had FireWire.

So your best bet is to transfer the data to the external drive and then onto the MB Air. When formatting the external drive, try to do it on the G4 first, as this is your least common denominator. If it doesn’t work, then do it from the MB Air, hoping that the G4 will be able to recognize it. Good luck.
 
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Well, you said your Passport was just purchased, so I assumed it didn't have anything useful on it. Yes, if you reformat it, you lose your data. As noted, if the data is important to you, just copy it off with the machine that wrote the data on it, and then reformat the disk so that both machines will be able to access it. The difference between MacOS Extended (Journaled) and MacOS Extended (Case-sensitive, journaled) is simply whether you care whether file names are case sensitive. In the latter case they are. In the former case they aren't.
 
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Well, you said your Passport was just purchased, so I assumed it didn't have anything useful on it. Yes, if you reformat it, you lose your data. As noted, if the data is important to you, just copy it off with the machine that wrote the data on it, and then reformat the disk so that both machines will be able to access it. The difference between MacOS Extended (Journaled) and MacOS Extended (Case-sensitive, journaled) is simply whether you care whether file names are case sensitive. In the latter case they are. In the former case they aren't.
Thank you so, so much for your help and useful explanations. I have now successfully reformatted the HD and transferred iTunes from the G4 to it. Transferring from HD to MacBook Air now - so fingers crossed!
 

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