Installing OSX and booting of off USB Flash drive

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by hobo.mac, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    #1
    I am sure there were many posting on this topic, none of them however clearly solved this issue
    I have MacMini G4, original boot rom doesn't support booting off of USB drive, there are tweaks I've seem people used to bypass that.
    My first issue however is how to even install OSX (either Tiger or Leopard) on USB stick? Installer always tells me I cannot install on USB drive

    I want to have a small solid state device I can use in case emergency/backup
    to startup and restore my original HD
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #2
    You will need a USB flash drive that is large enough to hold your OS install media. When you are up and running (either from booting off of the CD/DVD, or from the OS on the hard disk) you can open Disk Utility and select the USB drive on the left. Select "Restore" on the right and drag the "Mac OS X Install DVD" from the left to the top section (source). Drag the USB Flash Drive to the bottom section (destination). and click Restore. It will of course overwrite anything on your USB drive and format it as Mac OS Extended and will give it the same volume name as the DVD. You should be able to reboot and hold down the Option button and see the USB drive as an option. It will take some time to complete (30 minutes or more).

    This has worked for me on an iMac G5 1.8. I have not tried it on a Mac mini so I am unsure what the machine will do when attempting to boot from the USB drive but above is how you create the bootable USB media.

    The PowerMac G4 I have will boot from a USB-based DVD drive, so it may work for you.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    eljanitor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #3
    It runs slower then a crippled dog trying to use OSX from a flash drive.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    #4
    Thanks, I'll try that. On previous forums I also read that this was done easier with G5 based machines, but they may have referred to booting part, and they offered tricks to bypass NVRAM

    ----------

    Oh, and one more thing, in this setup, it'll run as if it was running off of CDRom I assume? this may explain very low speed. When I boot off of external HD (Firewire 400) it's decent speed and USB2 is much faster
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #5

    If you boot from the USB drive to install the OS, it will install the OS much faster. I think the poster above was referring to running the OS from the USB drive.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    #6
    I think he/she was, however, when you start up off of the USB drive, I just realized after additional reading, you can in 2 modes, as if you running off of CD and we all know of how slow that is, mainly due to going "external" and swapping files back and forth, or the second type would be as if the system was actually installed on a flash drive and using it as a regular HD, which would speed up operating system

    In any event, in between typing those messages I checked the size of my USB stick and the size of install CD, plus size of installed OSX. my flash drive is too small, someone mentioned before 2G needed, I have 4G and the minimum is 8G needed, ideally 16G
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #7
    If the disc image is highly fragmented, then booting from a disc will be really slow. The Apple OS install media is defragmented pretty good so they boot fairly quick but you will still hear the laser seeking when booting from the DVD/CD drive. The USB flash drive will not have this seek delay, so it will boot much faster, approaching the speed of an SSD.

    ----------

    On another note, I will expect to be getting a G4 mini in the next few day and will try what I told you and report back. I was offered a few them - it would be interesting to do a cluster computing project :)

    I will probably, depending on their RAM, setup Netboot and Server on one of the units, and try to place them on a network and make Netboot function. I have Tiger Server and Leopard Server, so I will try them. Best way to learn! :)
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #8
    not sure if this is what your looking for...but what i do

    use either carbon copy or super duper (i use super duper lately)

    http://www.bombich.com/index.html

    http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html

    insert usb stick in mac (i use 8gb size)

    -start superduper
    -copy "untitled" to disk image
    -save as "make a name" where (your usb stick)
    -image type read only...compression none
    -start

    now if your ever have to restore your mac

    -boot off osx cd/dvd
    -open disk utility
    -restore tab
    -source (nav to image on usb stick)
    -destination (drag untitled..or whatever you called harddrive)
    -check erase drive
    -restore
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Mac Pro 4,1 6 core 3.46, 16 of 1333. GTX970
    #9
    I am going to cross-hiijack.

    I have a few macs. All are PPC except a MB with a C2D.

    I have an external FW400/800 Iomega HD. I have it partitioned into at least 6 parts. I want to be able to boot off of each of them and install an OS from them. I have Leopard on one already and can install from it.

    When I try to restore an install image (have tried SL and Tiger) it will not let me put anything in the source? blank. Is this because the result will have the same name as the Leopard install?

    Is this a pipe dream? I have a second (and 3rd) external FW400 drive. Can I restore to those and drag and drop onto the other partitions?
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    #10
    cross-hiijacking

    Why don't you start a new thread instead of changing this one?
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #11
    I have the same problem booting off of a USB drive.
    I could boot and hold down the 'option' key. It saw the USB drive had OSX installed on it, but wouldn't boot.

    I'd love to know if anyone figured out a way to boot off of the USB drive.
    If you can't boot off of it, I don't see the point of installing onto it (or even cloning to it).
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Mac Pro 4,1 6 core 3.46, 16 of 1333. GTX970
    #12
    Because it can add clutter. But since you requested.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #13
    Are you working on a G4 mini?
     
  14. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    #14
    how did you install it onto USB in the first place?

    to boot off it, from I have read you need manipulate with NVRAM
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #15
    I just procured two of these machines today. I will attempt booting from USB and report back the results.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #16
    No luck booting from an 8GB flash disk. The 16GB was read inappropriately in its current OS, Panther, which appeared to be a limitation of Panther or the machine's firmware, so I did not use it.

    I entered Open Firmware, and did not see where it found the USB disk as an option; there was no "ud" in devaliases or any USB device that points to a disk. I will try later with an external DVD drive via USB and see if it boots it.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    #17
    Did you try anything more? Did booting off of DVD/USB work?
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #18
    I'm in the same boat as you!

    I recently got an imac G4 20" with Panther 10.3 and this OS has no option to boot from USB.

    I've tried numerous ways of doing it and no luck. The funny thing is I also put the retail DVD and it just spits it out.

    Can a non dual layer DVD drive read a dual layer DVD? Reading is all the same no?
     
  19. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    #19
    G4 machines do not support booting from USB (firmware), but I came across people who managed to do it on here, I just can't find them so I posted this thread
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #20
    I have not tried anything additional but I can see if it will boot from a USB DVD drive.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #21
    I attempted a boot from an external USB drive and it would not boot from it to a Leopard DVD.

    Interesting thing is that I have an older G4 Power Macintosh that is a dual 500Mhz that will boot from the same USB drive. Must be a firmware limitation.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #22
    So basically the iMac G4 can't boot off anything but its primary HDD or the DVD. So iMac G4's dont have the option of having an external HD (via USB/FW) as their main OS.

    The only options we have of installing OSX Leopard would be, removing the internal HDD, use an external enclosure, connect to another mac, install OSX to the the now external HDD. Remove the enclosure and pop it back in to the imac.

    Or, can we just upgrade the DVD drive to a DL readable drive? I have one sitting around maybe that would work to just boot of the Install DVD directly???
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #23
    It will boot off FW HDD/optical drive. You can also use another Mac's DVD drive in TDM. If you want to upgrade internal DVD to more modern one, any should work, but you'll need to remove drive's bezel and tray bezel to fit drive in its place properly.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    monkeybagel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    United States
    #24
    Any DVD drive should be able to read a DVD-DL disc as it is part of the standard. The main limitation on DL disc is writing.

    Now if it is a writable DVD DL, then it may not read it, but if it is a pressed DVD DL, there should not be a problem.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    #25
    Hi.

    I have the same problem. I have a Mac Mini from december 2012 with Lion Mountan 10.8 and it doesnot boot from pendrive. (Pendrive is working good. I tested on other Mac)

    I try to boot, rebooting MAC and pressing ALT, I choose USB Penrive and appears a circule with /.

    Anybody can boot Mac Mini from pendrive?
     

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