View Full Version : Boot from CD? Powermac G4

Sep 14, 2009, 09:46 PM
I have a Powermac G4 Quicksilver and it has a blank HD in it, how can I boot from CD and install the OS?

Eric S.
Sep 14, 2009, 10:19 PM
Won't it boot from the CD if you hold down the 'c' key during boot?

Sep 15, 2009, 12:53 AM
First you need Leopard or earlier. Snow Leopard doesn't work in any machine with a PPC processor:

General requirements
Mac computer with an Intel processor
1GB of memory
5GB of available disk space
DVD drive for installation
Some features require a compatible Internet service provider; fees may apply.
Some features require Apple’s MobileMe service; fees and terms apply.
So, with the proper DVD inserted and no OS on the HDD, just turn on the machine and it should boot from the OS DVD. If it doesn't you may need to hold down the Option key prior to the gray screens that appear shortly after power-up. Some machines in the past required you to hold down the "C" key - I dunno about the G4s.

Sep 15, 2009, 01:22 PM
I am trying to install OS 8.1 because all I have in there right now is a CD Rom so OS 8.1 goes on a CD. I have other OSs, any way around installing OS 8?

Sep 15, 2009, 01:22 PM
Whenever I turn it on, i just shows the Mac folder with a ? on it and it keeps flashing, it wont boot from CD

Sep 15, 2009, 01:29 PM
Also, if i hold down the option key, it takes me to a blue screen with a arrow and a refresh button on it, nothing else.

Eric S.
Sep 15, 2009, 01:42 PM
According to this page (http://lowendmac.com/ppc/quicksilver-power-mac-g4.html), the Quicksilver requires OS 9.2 at minimum.

Sep 15, 2009, 01:56 PM
so you think i should try and install os 9.2 then? it wont boot from any cd, but you can hear the cd drive spining

Sep 15, 2009, 02:00 PM
According to this page (http://lowendmac.com/ppc/quicksilver-power-mac-g4.html), the Quicksilver requires OS 9.2 at minimum.

In addition, install disk from another computer won't work. You need the original install disk or retail install disk.

I suggest 10.4.

Sep 15, 2009, 02:03 PM
I have the DMGs and I am burning them to a CD, any special way I should be doing it? I cant install anything larger then 9.1 yet since it only has a CD drive right now. I want to get a OS on here so I can then start upgrading everything. (DVD drive, memory, etc.) Also, I have a empty 250GB HD in there, is that going to be a problem?

Sep 15, 2009, 02:04 PM
Here are the specs of the computer. I got it from a friend and it had no HD in it, so im trying to install any mac OS right now.

Powermac G4 - Quicksilver
512MB & 128 MB memory
250GB HD

Sep 15, 2009, 02:06 PM
What i am trying to do here is put the highest posible OS on it, and make it run iTunes for my apple tvs. So i am trying to make an iTunes server pretty much. Just need some help/advice on how to get it up and running.


Sep 15, 2009, 03:00 PM
yaaa!!!! I got it to boot from the CD now, but its not finding any HD. Do i have to initialize the HD? is so how do u do that? And the HD is 250Gb is that a problem?

Sep 15, 2009, 03:48 PM
Make sure the HDD is set to master.

Are you installing OS X on it? Once you boot from CD you can select disc utility from the top of the menu and format the drive before you install the OS.

Sep 15, 2009, 05:11 PM
It is set to master, and I am trying to format the HD but keep getting this error, why??

POSIX reports: The operation couldn’t be completed. Cannot allocate memory

Eric S.
Sep 15, 2009, 05:28 PM
You have another thread going about this same format problem, right?

What OS are you using and what make is your disk?

You may find some similar reports here:

Sep 15, 2009, 05:31 PM
yes but no1 seems to know anything. i am using SL and its a WD internal 250 HD. There is no firmware update or anything to it. Any suggestions?

Sep 15, 2009, 05:49 PM
Snow leopard? Is that what you said? That shouldn't even boot. 10.4 will install on your computer, you can get that on CDs. 10.5 can be installed but you need to hack it about as it 'required' an 867Mhz + CPU to install.

Sep 15, 2009, 05:53 PM
no no i am using snow leopard on my imac, but i am trying to format this other HD to put in my G4. But everytime i try and format the HD it comes up with this error....

Partition failed with the error:

POSIX reports: The operation couldn’t be completed. Cannot allocate memory

i need help formating my HD for a mac because right now it wont format as anything

Sep 15, 2009, 06:02 PM
I can't comment on that error. I'm going to assume you've done a thorough Google. You should be able to partition and format a working drive in your PM, boot from the 10.4 CD then open disk utility from the 'utility' (iirc) menu.

Eric S.
Sep 15, 2009, 07:43 PM
Did you look at the pointer I gave you earlier? Other people are experiencing the same problem, it may be drive firmware. There's at least one solution there that worked for a couple people - under Windows reformat as NTFS, then under Mac OS reformat again as HFS+.

Sep 15, 2009, 10:08 PM
yea i tried that and still no luck...

Sep 16, 2009, 12:47 AM
How big is the HDD? Don't G4 controllers have a size limit like Windows did? If so you may need to partition it on another machine or something first. <shrug>

Dave H
Sep 16, 2009, 01:13 AM
Later Quicksilver G4s (those with Boot ROM 4.33f2 or higher) have large drive support in OS 10.2 and up.

Eric S.
Sep 16, 2009, 10:31 AM
He said he's trying to format the drive on an iMac under 10.6.

Sep 16, 2009, 12:06 PM
Did you try the "verify disk" option in disc utility? Maybe the disk is bad.

Jun 27, 2014, 07:39 AM
i know this is an old thread but id like to respond to it now to leave some information..

the intel imacs format hd's with a different partition map
referred to as GUIID

the powerpc powermacs format hd's with apple partition map

ive seen people do full installs that seemed to install properly but afterwards refused to boot up!!
how they did this was they booted from the cd/dvd installer to install, but their hard drive they were installing to had been formatted on an intel mac (or newer windows intel pc), and therefore had the newer intel type partition map and then when they reboot and their 'freshly installed system' will never be able to boot.. even after formatting "mac os extended" and doing the entire setup process !!!

it will never work because these computers (powerpc powermac) were never designed to boot from these partition types.... even tho you can format the partition to be the proper MAC OS EXTENDED journalled or non-journalled .. IT WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO BOOT IF IT WAS PARTITIONED WITH THE GUIID PARTITION TYPE ON AN INTEL MAC. :cool:

to fix the problem u have to completely repartition the disk drive with the apple partition map partition table type and reformat at least one partition to mac os extended and install either mac os 8/9 or X. you must do this either by booting off a hard drive that has the proper apple partition map + a working install of an os, or by using a cd/dvd installer for panther, tiger or leopard and going into "Disk utility" app within the setup program, and making the appropriate changes to the non bootable disk's partition map (which will erase all data on the drive)