Installing Leopard on capable iMac G4 (USB 2.0)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by WarMachine, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. WarMachine macrumors member


    Sep 17, 2008
    Hi, I've been lurking the forums for some time, but I never registered until now. Prepare for this cause it's quite a problem, here goes:

    I have two iMacs, the intel iMac (Early 2006) and the PPC iMac G4 (USB 2.0) [last generation of the moveable flat-panel iMacs], and I wanted to install Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard on the G4. Now, my G4 is capable enough for Leopard, it has a 60GB HD, 768MB of RAM (required minimum is 512MB) and 1GHz processor (required minimum is 867MHz).

    My problem is that the Leopard DVD is a dual layer DVD, and the G4's drive can't read DVD DL. So I can't install Leopard the old fashion way.

    I tried putting the G4 on Target Disk Mode and install Leopard from my intel iMac, but the installer says that because the G4's drive doesn't have a GUID Partition Table (which is exclusive to intel iMacs), it can't install it on the G4.

    So I tried it backwards, put the intel iMac on Target Disk Mode with the Leopard DVD inside and boot into it from the G4. Putting it that way enables me to see the disk as normal and boot into it until I get to a blue screen and the computer just hangs there with the colored spinning ball on the screen, while the intel iMac makes a lot of noise reading the Leopard DVD. I waited for about 15-20 minutes and nothing happened, it just hangs.

    I really want to install Leopard on my G4, but I can't think of any other way to do it.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. MCRunning macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2008
  3. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    You can't do what you're trying to do with an Intel and PPC Mac. You need an external DVD player that can recognize the DL disc or another PPC Mac.

    Good luck.
  4. WarMachine thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 17, 2008
    The "USB 2.0" part is the model of the iMac, that's what that particular version of the iMac G4 flat-panel is called (last generation of iMac G4s actually). I am obviously using firewire to connect both computers.

    By the way, I also tried downloading a sparse image version of Leopard that had the printer drivers, extra languages and X11 taken out so it would fit on a 4.7GB DVD, but it seems to have lost the bootable properties as well, so I can't use it. Although I'm very interested in making a copy of my Leopard DVD with the stuff I don't need taken out (developer apps, etc), but it seems like quite a hassle.

    Anyway, I don't have an external DVD drive unfortunately. But that seems like the least troublesome way to go.
  5. ddeadserious macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2008
    Plymouth, MI
    Why not try this:
    1. Get your Leopard DVD and put it in your G5.
    2. Extract the entire disc image from the Leopard DVD.
    3. Open Disk Utility.
    4. Get your firewire external hard drive and give it a ~10Gb partition.
    5. On that 10GB partition, click the "Restore" tab on the top.
    6. Drag your Leopard DVD Disc Image as the Source.
    7. Drag the 10GB partition as the Destination.
    8. Wait until it's finished.
    9. Plug in firewire drive, and boot up the G4 holding the option key.
    10. Select the firewire drive as the boot device
    11. Go through with the install.

    Here's a link on how to do that :


    1. Buy external DL-DVD reading drive.
  6. WarMachine thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 17, 2008
    That sounds pretty good, but since I don't have a working external hard drive, is it possible to make the partition in the G4's hard drive and then recombine it after I finish installing Leopard? The G4's data is backed up on my intel iMac, so I don't mind potential data loss endeavors.

    Edit: Can I use the bootcamp beta version for this? I remember it had that capability of restoring a partitioned drive (though I don't know if it'll work correctly if I mess with the partition).
  7. WarMachine thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 17, 2008
    I finally know what the problem was, the recently added extra memory wasn't tightly pushed and didn't register with the system, and since I formated the drive, I never noticed until much later. That's why the disc never finished reading when putting it on the intel iMac on Target Disk Mode. Suffice to say, that once I popped in the memory correctly, that method worked beautifully, although a little slow.

    And in case you're wondering, I did try that method of putting the Leopard DVD in a partition on the same drive I was going to install it in. And the disc seemed to work fine. I didn't install it because that's when I noticed the true problem and preferred to recover the drive to a single volume and not have to deal with the partition, but just a proof of concept if anyone wants to try it.

    Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.
  8. jestermelody macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2008
    Hi All,

    I got the same problem,Im trying to install leopard using LaCie DVD D2 and after booting,the apple logo spining wheel will appear and nothing happens.
    My imac is 512, 1.25ghz ,80gig
    Anyone can help?
  9. pabloaje macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2018
    Hi, a bit of late but did you ever figure what was the problem?
    Dig up and old iMac g4 1.25Ghz and spinning beach ball at leopard install boot

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8 September 17, 2008