USB or FireWire booting a Power Mac G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Jethryn Freyman, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    466MHz "Digital Audio" model G4 Power Mac here, running 10.5.8.

    Thinking of giving it a CPU and GPU upgrade sometime in the future, as well as a PCI USB 2.0 card.

    I've done some research, but still have some questions:

    1. Is this model of Mac USB bootable? (specifically, from a USB 2.0 drive on a USB 2.0 port on a PCI expansion card)
    2. Is this model of Mac FireWire bootable? (using the built in FireWire 400 ports). From what I understand it IS bootable from Firewire (according to Apple's website.)
    3. Anybody got experience of doing this?

    My intention would be to upgrade it and then run it from an external USB or FireWire 400 hard disk instead of from a disk from the built in IDE.
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    #2
    Yes it will boot from Firewire, but not from USB. Any Mac with built in FireWire can boot to it (and even some without). Booting to USB is an Intel thing. I am curious as to why you would rather use FireWire to boot over the internal PATA bus.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    Thanks for the answer.

    I was thinking about Firewire instead of the PATA bus to overcome the 128GB capacity limit on over PATA.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles & Northern California
    #4
    +1. I frequently boot from a Firewire 400 external backup drive attached to my G-4 tower.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Wichita KS
    #5
    Why not get an internal ATA controller card? Just curious cuz its you're going to get much better speed from an ATA bus than FireWire.
     
  6. yamu, Jul 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2011
    #6
    A Digital Audio Powermac can boot from usb or usb 2 PCI Card. In fact, every Powermac that can boot natively into OS 9 can boot from usb, except maybe the last MDDs. I even did that back in 2001 with OS9 and a USB Zip Drive. I booted Tiger with no problems from an usb stick over usb2 pci-card, holding alt-key at startup.

    Only Powermacs hat can't boot OS9 cannot boot from usb.

    But it is very, very slow and i don't recommend it. Powermacs are slower
    over usb/usb2 than intels, firewire is definitly the better choice or best would be a sata pci card.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #7
  8. macrumors 6502

    reddrag0n

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    Not all G4's can boot from firewire. Only the G4 models with an AGP graphics card can boot from firewire. The original G3 B&W and G4 Yikes can't boot FW.
    Apple states this on their site. KB HT2699
     

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