Booting From USB Running Tiger with Powermac G4

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by htg, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. htg macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #1
    Here's the situation: I've just bought 5 PowerMac G4s off eBay, none of which come with hard drives but they come with everything else. I'm trying to find a cheap way I can use them and test them temporarily with an OS without going out to buy 4 hard drives (the other Mac I'm using for something else).

    I was thinking if I go and buy four 16GB USB sticks and install Tiger on them, would I be able to boot from them with no HD? Does PowerPC support that? I read somewhere that you can only boot from Firewire devices with PowerPCs, so I'm not sure.

    If it can be done (which would be awesome!), I would also like to know how (obviously!).

    Thanks.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
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    located
    #2
    It is possible with some tricks.
    Also know, that USB flash memory thumb drives are very slow (10 to 20 MB/s read speeds), thus booting an OS from them will be fracking slow.
     
  3. htg thread starter macrumors regular

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  4. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #4
    As said, it can be done, but I wouldn't recommend it.

    If your goal is to test them, it's easy enough to just buy one hard drive, install an OS on it, and then boot them up one at a time with that drive in order to make sure they work. Then get the hard drives for the ones that work for permanent use.

    Incidentally, simsaladimbamba, while USB booting is definitely slower than a good internal hard drive in many cases, I've found it's quite useable most of the time. I regularly boot off a flash drive for diagnostic purposes, usually into either the Mac OS X Installer or DiskWarrior, but I've booted into a full OS too, and it's really not bad. When I compare to booting off a DVD to install an OS (obviously a different scenario than here), it's night and day difference in speed.

    jW
     
  5. htg thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #5
    Good point. I think that's what I'll do. Could somebody do me favour and confirm whether this hard drive would work? I'm 90% sure it will, but I just want to check. Also, does the fact that it is 2.5 inches instead of 3.5 inches make a difference?
     
  6. simsaladimbamba

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    #6
    I know, that CDs and DVDs are slower, my Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard installer is on USB HDD, thus reinstalls are pretty fast.

    But running an OS from a slow USB flash memory thumb drive ca be a pain, as many of the cheap USB flash memory thumb drives are quite slow, I once had one with 2 MB/s write speeds and 10 MB/s read speeds. Of course there are faster ones out there.
     
  7. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

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    Orlando
    #7
  8. htg thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
  9. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #9
    2.5" IDE and 3.5" IDE are not identical, like 2.5" SATA and 3.5" SATA. It needs to be a 3.5" IDE drive. The connectors are physically different, plus power is not carried through the IDE connector for the 3.5" drives, but is for 2.5" drives (hence no Molex power connector).

    EDIT: There are adaptors if you already have the drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812203012

    jW
     
  10. htg thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 2, 2009
    #10
    No, I haven't yet bought anything. I'll go ahead and buy the one you recommended though. Looks good.
     

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