Installing 10.5 on G5 (no gfx card or dvd)

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by VelNZ, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. VelNZ macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2010
    I received an Xserve G5 I bought from an auction website today. It didn't come with any software or documentation.

    It has the following specs (relevant to my question):
    2.0ghz PPC
    CD-ROM Drive
    No graphics card

    I have a Mac OSX Server 10.5 disk but this is on a DVD which the Xserve will not see. How can I possibly install an operating system on this server?

    I've tried putting one of the Xserves hard drives into an external enclosure and connecting it up to my iMac to create a bootable hard drive that I could then put back in the Xserve. Unfortunately this did not work and gave the error "Could not restore - device not configured" in Disk Utility.

    I have Apple Remote Desktop if that helps, but from what I understand I need to get into the installer before I can access it.

    I also don't have an external firewire hard drive that I could use to boot from.

    Any help would be much appreciated!
  2. pismobrat macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2007
    You can put the G5 server it Target Firewire Disk Mode

    - that will allow you to mount it on your desktop as an external HD
    - Reboot your mac and run the installer and install it to the G5
  3. VelNZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2010
    Ah thanks for that! Will I be able to see the installation on my iMac's display even though it's installing to the G5?
  4. jared_kipe macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    pismobrat's method will not work if your iMac is intel based.

    Otherwise yes, your iMac's screen will be showing what is running on the iMac. Namely the code that does the installation, however it may be installing to a hard disk in your G5, the actual code will NOT be running on your G5's cpu. At least not until you reboot the G5...

    And there in lies another problem, if you would like to setup the OS that is now installed on your G5 you would need to boot off that drive using your iMac again. No biggie. But you need to remember that when the G5 is running, it will have different hardware available to it so don't rely on any specific hardware (like MAC addresses) until you get it booting on its own drive and can manage it with RDC.
  5. VelNZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2010
    My iMac is Intel-based and running Snow Leopard.

    Any other options I can use?
  6. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    Borrow a Macbook or other Mac with DVD drive and firewire. Plug the Firewire in to the both. Start the tower in target disk. Boot to the DVD on the macbook or other mac. Select the tower's hard drive as the target. I've had to do this a few times, works perfectly.
  7. VelNZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2010
    My iMac has a DVD drive and firewire so I'll try doing that with it tonight. Thanks.
  8. VelNZ thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2010
    Have now tried doing the Target Firewire Disk Mode method. Server goes into it without any problems but my iMac won't see it. Tried running the installation on the iMac with the Xserve connected via firewire and in TFDM and the installation won't see it either. Also tried putting the installation on a bootable USB drive which boots on my iMac but won't boot on the server.

    I'm not seeing any options now besides buying an external firewire dvd reader and booting from that.

    Is there anything else I can try?

    Could I take one of the Xserves hard drives and put it in a external enclosure, hook that up to my iMac and somehow put on the installation so the Xserve will boot it?

Share This Page