Booting iBook G4 from external firewire drive

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by umiwangu, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. umiwangu macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2006
    I have an old iBook G4 from a friend that needed a new hard drive. I stuck the new hard drive in, only to discover that the combo drive was having problems reading the Tiger DVD. I restored an image of the DVD (compressed .dmg image) to an external firewire hard drive with my MBP. I kept getting an error about image no being checked or something, so I ran it in terminal with the -noverify switch.

    Now... when I boot up the iBook and hold down the ALT key, it sits there for a while, but it doesn't seem to see the external hard drive. Is there something I need to edit in the open firmware?

    I guess I could check to make sure the hard drive is actually bootable by connecting it to my MBP via USB (don't have the new firewire cable), but even if it boots, that wouldn't 100% guarantee that it should boot on the iBook.

    Or what if I took the hard drive back out (not the easiest process, but it's about the 10th time I've opened this thing to get the hdd in/out) and restored the install disk to the internal hard drive? Would it work to install? Probably not...

    Any help is appreciated. I've tried an external DVD drive, but it's USB, and as far as I know, the G4 does not support booting from a USB drive.


  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    To be bootable on PPC drive must be Apple Partition Map. If you've formatted it on MB, pretty sure you have GPT (GUID) partition. Invalid image file could also be your problem (i.e. you have 2 problems :)).
    You can try to boot this iBook from USB drive using this hack:
    For some it works, for others it doesn't.
  3. umiwangu thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2006
    Ah... I'll have to double-check that. As for that hack, I took a look at it, and I don't think I saw the USB drive listed with devalias. I'll try again when I get home.

    Thanks for the help though.

Share This Page