Broken DVD drive on Powerbook. External USB?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ftored, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. ftored macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2005
    Hello, i know this has been asked a lot but i need to know if an external usb dvd rom can be used to boot the powerbook G$ 12 inch at 1ghz. I search on the forum and some say it can and some other not.

    Anyone tried with a similar/same spec machine? If it works i ll get me an external usb dvd.

    On a second notice, i have a MBP (early 2008). Can i use disk target mode to install the system to teh powerbook via firewire? Or the fact that is PPC and Intel wont let me?
  2. TDM21 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    It is possible to boot PPC Macs from USB devices, but very tricky and not every device works. I have my PowerBook running Xubuntu off a thumb drive until I get my hard drive replaced. You wouldn't be able to check if a USB DVD drive worked until you hooked it up. If you wanted to purchase an external DVD drive then get one that can connect using firewire.

    Regarding your second question: If Target Disk Mode still works on Intel Macs like it did for PPC Macs then you should be able to use the MBP as and external DVD drive for the PowerBook.

    You should just have to do the following:
    1. Boot the MBP into target disk mode (hold T on startup)
    2. Insert the system disc into the MBP
    3. Connect the MBP to the PB using a firewire cable
    4. Boot the PB while holding the Option key.
    When the startup manager appears, the hard drive and dvd drive of the MBP should appear.

    I know those steps worked between my PowerBook and G4 PowerMac, but I have no way of knowing if it will work with a MacBook Pro.
  3. ftored thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2005
    I used this method betwwen a PowerMac G4 and my Powerbook and worked perfectly in the past.
    But i was concerned that the intel thing on newer models will create problems in disk mode..

    Looks i need to find a cheap firewire then:p
  4. Merakko macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2008
    Padova, Italy
    i'd get a cheap combo drive on ebay, and i'd replace it by myself, well...that's what i did actually :=)

    20$ and max 20 mins of work ;) working flawlessy ;)
  5. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I found a $50 (well $80 discounted) drive that runs off USB.

    Samsung SE-S084

    Works brilliantly, but don't quote me on that; works for me.
  6. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    I see you have the 12" iBook, but after reading through the 16 pages of instructions for replacing the optical drive, I doubt I could essentially completely disassemble and reassemble my iBook in anywhere near 20'!

    Is there a trick that they don't know about?
  7. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Yes I've booted and installed the OS from an external USB optical drive before on my G4/G3 iBooks. You can only boot from Firewire hard drives though. So yeah I don't know if any USB DVD/CD drive would work but I didn't have no problems with mine. I can't remember what brand it was but I sold it another MR member. I'll see if I can dig up my old thread in the Marketplace.
  8. Merakko macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2008
    Padova, Italy

    i've opened 12" and 14" iBooks,12" and 15" allu powerbook, the most difficult part in opening a 12" ibook is disassembling the bottom case, the plastic part, besides that...just screws ;)
    the more you open the more u get practice lol, i've always tried to replace the broken part in my macs, if u look around, you can find very good deals..and consider that i often but cables and other lil things from u.s.a. cuz here in italy they are much more expansive ;)
  9. Merakko macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2008
    Padova, Italy
    about your "second notice", yes, u can, u just need to choose the right option when u r going to format ur "target" device, making it bootable for ppc, i think it's the second choice when u click the option button in the partition tab in disk utility. Then just select it as target for the installation.
    btw i'd suggest you to do something different:
    1)put ur macbook pro in target mode
    2)conenct ur powerbook with the broken drive to it through firewire
    3)insert the os dvd into the macbook pro drive, and just use it to install the os into ur powerbook (when the macbook pro is in target mode, u can use its dvd drive as a firewire externa dvd)
    4) if u r going to install Leopard on a 1ghz powerbook, i wouldn't suggest you to do that, i did with my old 12" pb (1,2ghz, 768mb)but it was quite a pain in the ass to use (1,2ghz ibook works better btw).
  10. ftored thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2005
    Thanks everyone for the replies. I was not going to install leopard on it but the origila 10.2 that came with the laptop. Or if i can source me a cheap tiger cd.

    I ll try the target disk method as Merakko mentioned and hopefuly it will work all right.

    I opened it once and change the HDD and i didn't find it amusing as to repeat that:D

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