Help me revive a beloved G4 iMac

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by kimtoufectis, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. kimtoufectis macrumors newbie

    kimtoufectis

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    I made a mess of a 20 inch "sunflower" G4 iMac while attempting to reinstall Lubuntu beside OS X 10.5 (so I could dual-boot) when, uncertain how to proceed, I cancelled partway through. The drive dumped the install DVD and the machine became unresponsive. At reboot I get the usual Mac chime, then a grey screen with a tiny folder icon blinking between a OSX symbol and a question mark.

    Sooo...I searched forums like this for help. I tried recommended routines to hold key combinations during booting to unstick matters; none did. I can't find a way to insert an install disk into the DVD drive (no evident manual release button). At this point I'm stuck.

    It's such a shame to see this elegant machine to be reduced to a 40-pound paperweight, so I hope someone can help guide me through its restoration to a working state. I have the following possibly-useful items with which to attempt a recovery:
    • Install disks for OS X 10.5 and Lubuntu 14.04 for PPC
    • An early-2006 32-bit Intel iMac Core Duo running Peppermint 8 (Ubuntu 16.04 variant), which has FireWire 400 ports and a DVD burner
    • A working 40 GB FireWire external drive
    • A firewire 400 cable that can interconnect the two Macs
    One thing I do not have is a keyboard original to this Mac. The Apple aluminum keyboard I ordinarily use with it isn't recognized by this older iMac until after startup is complete, so I keep a generic USB keyboard handy that allows keystrokes during the startup process (well, at least it did before I hashed the OS).

    Any advice for how to get this treasure back into gear?
     
  2. benwild_33 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #2
    You should be able to put the DVD in to your 2006 iMac and boot that in to target disk mode with the firewire connected to your g4 iMac, this should allow you to use the DVD drive to install on your G4. It might also be worth keeping an eye out for an original keyboard, the older ones do tend to come up for virtually nothing on ebay.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #3
    I know if you shut a Mac down and then hold down the mouse and turn it on (while continuing to hold the mouse down) the tray will eject if a disc is in the drive.

    Unsure if that would work here or not without a disk in.

    There's probably an Open Firmware command or something to eject the tray though.

    Maybe @LightBulbFun knows more on that…
     
  4. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #4
    alright if you have a 10.5 install disk.

    turn on the iMac and just after the chime hold down command option O F (if your using a windows keyboard hold down alt windows-key O F)

    you should end up at a an OpenFirmware prompt, type eject cd this should cause the CD/DVD Drive tray to come out where you can then insert your Leopard DVD, close the tray, wait for a few seconds while the drive recognises the disk, then type boot cd:,\\:tbxi this will boot the machine from the ODD where it will load leopard and you can install OS X as one normally would :)
     
  5. mp2017 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    #5
    It works whether there's a disc in the drive or not.

    OP, just hold down the mouse button as suggested in this post.
     
  6. kimtoufectis thread starter macrumors newbie

    kimtoufectis

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #6
    I'd be pleased to try that, but have no idea how to do that and haven't found step-by-step instructions online to follow.
     
  7. benwild_33 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2016
    #7
    Put the DVD in the 2006 imac and hold T as it boots.
     
  8. kimtoufectis thread starter macrumors newbie

    kimtoufectis

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #8
    I tried this with the left button. I tried it with the right button. I tried it with both buttons. I tried waiting for the chime to depress the left button. I tried...all the combinations. Same chime, same grey screen, same oscillating icons on a tiny folder icon...

    Then I wondered about the mouse I was using. Since newer Apple keyboard isn't recognized I wondered whether I would have a different outcome with an Apple Mighty Mouse (not as old as the machine but closer). Success!!!
    --- Post Merged, Oct 1, 2017 ---
    Thanks to all who offered input!
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #9
    Yeah, things generally tend to work better on stuff like this with actual Apple hardware. :)

    Glad you got the tray open!

    Shouldn't have a problem getting OS X reinstalled at this point.
     
  10. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #10
    That's quite a big success...

    The word, I mean.
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #11
    OP is happy! :)
     
  12. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #12
    Is he?

    Well then, OP has achieved something that 90% of the population couldn't.
     

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11 October 1, 2017