Booting and installing OSX from Firewire drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jpl88, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. jpl88 macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2007
    Hi all,
    superdrive on my imac g5 refuses to boot from a DVD which is problematic as I'm trying to re-install OSX. The drive attempts to access the disk and then the fans turn in full blast mode and nothing happens. I tried the dvd on my ibook and it works fine.
    I read on the forums that it is possible to boot from a firewire drive but would it be possible to install OSX from a firewire DVD drive. does anyone know?
    any help will be much appreciated!
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Before you start trying to boot from a FireWire drive, have you tried putting in the install disc and holding down "option" after the startup sound? That tells the Mac to look for all bootable devices. You might be able to get the Mac to boot off the install disc that way.
  3. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    You could connect the two macs using firewire with the problem mac in target disk mode and install the OS using the drive from the ibook.
  4. yippy macrumors 68020


    Mar 14, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    It should be, in fact, you might even be able to use your iBook as that DVD drive if you don't have one. To do this:

    Put the install CD in the iBook.
    Restart your iBook holding down the "T" key. You should get a firewire symbol floating around on your screen.
    Connect your iBook and iMac together with a firewire cable.
    Restart the iMac holding down the "Option" key. After a while you should get A list of icons showing the bootable drives connected to the iMac.
    If this works you should get the OSX install CD in the list. If so, click on it, click on the arrow to the right and you should be good to go.

    If this doesn't work you can use a normal external firewire DVD drive if you can get your hands on one as I am positive that they work.
  5. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Is it possible that the install disk is for the iBook, not the G5? What version Mac OS? What color is the install disk?
  6. jpl88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2007
    Thanks for the quick replies everyone.

    The disk is an original retail disk so should be compatible (it's black). It think it's just my superdrive that's messed up. It plays DVDs and CDs fine under OS, but burning and booting doesn't work.
  7. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Yup, the black disk should work. You are probably right, the superdrive could be wounded. It doesn't burn?
  8. jpl88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2007
    it crashes during any burn operation, although when I take out the cdr/dvdr it shows that some of the surface was burnt
    when I try and boot from the superdrive, the drive accesses the dvd and then stops. Then the imac heats up big time and the fans turn on full blast.
    however playback is not affected once under osx.
    I don't suppose replacing the drive itself is a good option? I have the iMac G5 with isight which I opened up to change the hard drive, and access to the optical drive seemed very difficult.
  9. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Sounds like the SuperDrive is dying. For the money and the convenience you might want to look at an external Firewire SuperDrive.
  10. jpl88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2007
    I've just tried yippy's idea and linked my macbook to my imac, rebooted the imac and the macbook in firewire mode. Now imac did get access to the dvd in the macbook, and everything seemed alright at first, but 5 minutes later I had a "forbidden" symbol displayed on the imac.
    Again fans working full blast on the imac (coughed up a nice amount of dust as well!)
    I am now wondering if connecting a firewire dvd to the imac will work any better. Any opinions?
  11. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Confusion here, do you have an iBook (PPC chip) or a MacBook (Intel chip)?
  12. jpl88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2007
    Sorry for the confusion - I only have a Macbook now (I've auctioned away my old iBook). My iMac G5 is the only Power PC machine I have now.
  13. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    You can't run the OS X installer for a PPC Mac like your G5 out of Target mode on an Intel chipped Mac. Can't be done! Either the MacBook won't start with the PPC installer disk; or the Intel installer won't work on the G5.
  14. jpl88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2007
    Thanks for your help Sherman. I naively thought that the iMac was just accessing the Macbook's drive like a firewire drive...
  15. rookiemac macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2007
    does that mean if i have the os x , and a imac and macbook (both intel processors), i can use themac book to boot the imac? cause i installed some driver into my imac and now everytime i boot up it tells me to reboot, so i need to somehow erase eveyrthing on that sucker and reinstall os x

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