I have two 1.25GHz Mac mini PowerPC G4 systems. The first is without a wireless card, and the second has one. I want to put the card from the second mini into the first. What’s the best plan?
The easiest solution is to purchase a Mac-compatible wireless USB adaptor and use it with the Mac mini that lacks a wireless card. Unfortunately, not all such adaptors work with Macs, so make sure you check before buying.
If you decide to dive into the guts of your minis, you can swap the hard drive or move the AirPort card. We went to iFixit.com to look at its Mac mini PowerPC repair guides [www.ifixit.com/Device/Mac_Mini_(PowerPC)], and it appears that moving the AirPort card may be slightly easier than swapping the hard drives, but the latter isn’t much more difficult.
With an external FireWire hard drive, you can clone the contents of mini number one’s hard drive to the FireWire drive by using a tool such as Carbon Copy Cloner (payment requested; www.bombich.com). Then confirm that the external drive can boot mini number two and that it contains all your content. Now attach the two minis with a FireWire cable, boot mini number one by holding down the T key to boot into FireWire Target Disk Mode, and then boot mini number two. When you do, mini number one’s hard drive will appear as an external hard drive on mini number two’s display.
Using Carbon Copy Cloner, clone mini number two’s hard drive to mini number one. You now have the contents of mini number two on both Macs. Finally, shut down both Macs, attach the external hard drive (which contains the contents of mini number one) to mini number two, boot from that drive, and clone its contents to mini number two.