How To: Installing Tiger sans DVD

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Hank_Reardon, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. Hank_Reardon macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2005
    I've seen many posts concerning Apple's decision to ship Mac OS X 10.4 exclusively on DVD. While I understand that Apple has offered its customers a $10 exchange option to "downgrade" to CDs, I would like to post a second option for those more adventurous types. You can actually install Mac OS X Tiger from your iPod! What does this require?

    1. Tiger install DVD
    2. A friend's Mac with a DVD drive
    3. An iPod with a firewire cable (not sure about USB2.0... haven't tested it).

    I should also add that any external hard drive will also work for this. The data currently stored on the hard drive your your iPod will not be modified. Anyway, without further adieu, the steps:

    1. Connect your iPod to a Mac with a DVD drive and ensure that you have enabled mounting of your iPod as a disk. You should also insert the Tiger DVD.
    2. Launch Apple's Disk Utility applet, found in /Applications/Utilities/
    3. Choose any disk listed on the left hand side and select the "Restore" tab.
    4. Here you will see a "Source:" field and a "Destination:" field. On the left you should be able to find your iPod drive and your Tiger DVD. You want to drag the Tiger DVD to the "Source:" field and the iPod drive to the "Destination:" field.
    5. Next click Restore. You need not check "Erase Destination" unless you just want to.

    Once that process has completed, your iPod will be a fully bootable Tiger installation image. Simply plug your iPod into the system onto which you'd like to install Tiger, pull up the Startup Disk applet in the System Preferences, and the iPod will appear in the list of available start up volumes (assuming once again you have enabled mounting of your iPod as a hard drive). Select it, click restart and proceed with installation.

    There are a few additional nuances and implications to this method. First of all, you can also use a disk image to restore your iPod. If you have trouble using the aforementioned methodology you can first generate an image of your install DVD, then mount that image and then use the mounted volume as the source.

    Second, since most external hard drives, iPod included, are faster than most internal DVD-rom drives (my iBook's included), this method can greatly decrease the requisite install time (not taking into account the time invested preparing the volume). If you must install Tiger on multiple machines and would like to avoid the dangers of scuffing the disk or would like to decrease the wait time, this is also a viable option.

    Lastly, and in my opinion most interestingly, this is a good method of making an install partition. Once you get the system to boot off the iPod (or external hard drive), if you have made a disk image of your install DVD you can easily use Apple's disk tools to format a small 3 gig-or-so partition and restore it with the install DVD's image. This way if in the future you need to do a fresh Tiger install, you can simply boot off of this partition and zap, new system in no time.

    Alright... that's it. :) Hope this wasn't too confusing or too obvious. Happy Tiger'ing.
  2. asa_nisi_masa macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2004
  3. Klondijk macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2005
    Bondi iMac

    i tried this on a Bondi iMac (I know, I know, USB 1.1, not supported, blah blah)and surprisingly, I WAS able to boot off of the iPod, but the installer ran a script and then wouldn't proceed. Interestingly, the reason given was "Mail cannot run on this computer". I'm going to pull the hard drive tomorrow, install Tiger, throw it back in, and see what happens.
  4. Klondijk macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2005
    Tiger on a Bondi iMac

    I pulled the hard drive, installed Tiger, put it back in, and everything's fine. I'm running at 800x600, because it makes everything much snappier, but Tiger is just as usable as Panther was on this machine (iMac 233, 512mb, 6vram), and some things (Safari, Mail, and especially searching are quite a bit faster, but then again I wiped the hard drive, so it's a nice crispy-fresh install).
  5. markoibook macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2004
    Reading, UK.
    How do you find the performance of spotlight on that machine? I.e. how long does it take to perform a typical search, and is spotlight very responsive? Also, how does the dashboard run on it?
  6. 5300cs macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Followed these instructions and it worked like a charm. I installed Tiger on my 800mhz G3 iBook with no snafus whatsoever!

    Thanks!! :)
  7. Klondijk macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2005
    Spotlight on Bondi

    So far, Spotlight works fine, I'm finding it's faster to launch applications that aren't in the dock by command-space and typing the name, then hitting return than it is to navigate to them. I have a couple of thousand mail messages that spotlight has no problems with, but I haven't filled the hard drive back up very much yet (I'm only using about 4 gigs), so we'll see how it goes. Dashboard seems to work fine, it isn't quite as quick to open as on the FP iMac, but it's absolutely usable (it's a little dark, but then, everything is on this elderly CRT). Again, everything works quite a bit better in 800X600, I'd really recommend making that your default resolution to run Tiger (or Panther, for that matter). Also note that I used the customize install to skip languages and printer drivers, saving about a gig and half of the scarce bootable partition on this machine.
  8. Joeycolon macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2005
    Mac Os X 10.2.8

    I have Mac OS X 10.2.8 and when i open disc utility there is no restore tab... does anyone know how to do the restore function on this machine?
  9. yippy macrumors 68020


    Mar 14, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    10.2 doesn't have the restore function. What you can do is use Carbon Copy Cloner, it does the same thing. Find it at
  10. Joeycolon macrumors newbie

    May 2, 2005
    yippy bombich's carbon copy does not recognize my firewire iPod or my usb ipod... i read the forms on CCC website and others were complaining about the same issue... your help is greatly apreciated, if you know of any other programs that do the same thing or what type of program this is so i can search for other one which would do the same thing... thanks for all your help
  11. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Try SuperDuper!

    Just updated for Tiger. Demo lets you clone -- full version much more.
  12. billyb macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2003
    Target disk question

    This is what I'm trying to do. Let's say the computer with the DVD drive is computer A, and the computer with the CDROM drive (only) is Computer B. I want to install Tiger on computer B. Do I:

    a) put the DVD in Computer A, turn off that computer, plug it by FW into Computer B, and then start Computer A in Target Disk Mode? And then use Computer B to access Computer A's DVD drive and install that way? Or, do I

    b) put the DVD in Computer A, turn off Computer B, connect the FW, start Computer B in Target Disk Mode, and then use Computer A to install Tiger onto the FW disk (computer B)?

    I'm not sure which way is correct.

    A completely different alternative. If I have a normal external FW drive, can I use Computer A to install Tiger onto THAT drive, then plug the drive into Computer B? How do I make Computer B able to run Tiger without needing to be plugged into Computer A or the normal FW hard drive?

    Sorry for the confusion,

  13. toughboy macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Izmir, Turkey
    i wonder if this works with the Tiger which can be downloaded as a torrent, or if we have to have the original install dvd....
  14. 5300cs macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    I hope you don't mean an *gasp* illegal version
  15. mwdmeyer macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    I tried to do this on my windows formatted ipod (from my mac) but while copying the files it failed and said cannot find file.

    Is this because my ipod is formatted for Windows (and therefore the filesystem doesn't support it?)


    EDIT: Just formatted it to the mac file system and it is working now.

    So you cannot do it on a FAT32 formatted IPOD.
  16. Klondijk macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2005
    Another option: USB external disk

    I've got an old USB 1.1 external hard drive, and decided to see if I could boot another older iMac (slot-loading 350) off of that. I used Disk Utility to restore to the old 2.5 drive from the Tiger .dmg, and then tried to use the Start-up disk preference pane to restart the mac from the external drive, but Panther wouldn't allow it. However, if you hold down the option key at restart, and then wait a minute or two, the external disk IS selectable to start up from, and installation after that was completely normal (albeit a bit slower: without the extra languages and printer drivers, it took about 35 minutes). Tiger runs ok on this mac, at 800X600 it runs perfectly (Dashboard was a little slow at 1024).
  17. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    you want option b.

    turn off computer b. start it up while holding t. computer a is on, and has tiger disc in. plug b into a with firewire, and it will show up on desktop. open tiger installer on a and it'll restart from the disc, then install on hd in computer b. bam!
  18. jimthorn macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2003
    Huntington Beach, CA, USA
    I just want to reassure anyone wanting to install from one Mac to another that it does work. My friend owns a 600Mhz iMac G3 with only a CD-RW and he bought Tiger on release night. He came to me the next day asking me if I could install it on his machine even though he doesn't have a DVD drive. I booted his machine in Firewire Target Disk mode and connected it by firewire to my old 900 Mhz iBook G3 with combo drive. I popped the Tiger disk into my iBook, chose his iMac's disk as the install destination and about thirty minutes later it finished. I rebooted his iMac and it runs beautifully. Yet another example of Apple hardware/software working exactly as it should.

    One more thing -- his old iMac runs well on Tiger. No "eye candy" effects, but the OS is pretty snappy.

    Also, I didn't have Tiger installed on my iBook and I still don't. That has no effect on installing the OS to another machine.
  19. Gerg macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2003
    Weird. Each time I've tried to do this, it fails. I see the iPod and the DVD in Disk Utility, I drag & drop and click "Restore." The Disk Utility starts to churn, asks for my password, then unmounts both the iPod and the DVD (I see them disappear from the desktop, and they become grayed-out in Disk Utility), which ends up in a failure (An error (5) occurred while copying. (Input/output error))

    I'm doing this on my Mini and my 10GB iPod, which I've erased for this operation.
  20. Gerg macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2003
    OK, I got past this error. I had used Disk Utility to erase the iPod, but then it wasn't happy. I had to let iPod Updater restore the iPod settings and flash firmware, then I was able to restore the Tiger DVD to the iPod.

    Turns out my B&W G3 can't boot from a Firewire drive, so unless anyone has any brilliant ideas, I'll have to request CD's from Apple & return my DVD.

  21. Klondijk macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2005
    Try the option key

    On my legacy iMacs, Start-up disk refused to restart from an external drive, but if I restarted holding down the option key, the disk appeared (eventually, give it a couple of minutes), I could select it, and the installation proceeded apace. I have had a couple of crashes on the 233 Bondi imac in a week, but I don't know if this is Tiger-related or not.
  22. panphage macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2003
    Does this affect the iPod's 'normal' function at all? I mean, will I be able to use it as an iPod still?
  23. Gerg macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2003
    I had to delete all my music from my iPod to get Tiger to fit, but I'll just hook it back into the Mini when I'm done and let it update itself again. For me, this is a one-time only operation.
  24. kubark42 macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2005
    I just downloaded the dmg from Mac's website (they posted it today for Student ADC members), and am having more or less the same problem, that of installing on a machine when there's no DVD. In fact, my PB has a DVD player, but I have no Mac that has a DVD burner, so I'm going to give it a shot this way.

    I'll keep you guys posted.

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