Is it possible to Boot 10.2 from an External Firewire CD?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 1, 2002
Gourock, Scotland
I have a slot loading iMac. The CD/DVD has quit reading CD's though it will take them in and spit them back out. I have a USB Iomega CDRW attached to give me access to CDs.

I currently have 10.1.5 and I want to upgrade to 10.2. I expected just to put the 10.2 CD into the Iomega drive, but the iMac won't boot from this external CD. I can't remember when the internal CD failed but I think it was after I had installed 10.1. I have tried booting with the 10.1 CD and 9.2 CD but with no luck. (therefore, I think the problem is with USB External CD drives).

I have a few solutions in mind.

One is to get the internal CD repaired but I'm a long way from the Apple Shop.

The preferred option would be to get an External Firewaire CDRW and use it to install the software. I know that I can boot from a Firewire Hard drive but can the same be said for a Firewire CD? I was in contact with FreeCom who have told me that it isn't possible with their drives. Does anyone have experience of booting from an External Firewire CD with 10.1 made by another another manufacturer?

The final idea is to get a Firewire hard Disk, borrow a friends machine and install 10.2 to the Firewire HD. This disk can then be carried home and used to run my computer. My friend has an iBook and an older G4. Will this work or will I end up with 10.2 for the ibook or G4 on my iMac at home?

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.





macrumors 65816
Feb 20, 2002
99.9% chance, the external drive is an ATA connection (just like Harddrives)
take the external one out of its case, & replce the internal


macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2002
bat country
or see if you can find a spare slot loading drive (it will be a lot cheaper than an external firewire one). will have some occasionally, and there's always ebay...

edit: i just checked and owc has dvd/cd slot loaders for $60 bucks. now if only they'd get some combo-drives for those of us with cdrw imacs...


macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2001
WestCost, USA
iBook install

FattyMembrane has the right idea... get a replacement CD drive... $60 is not bad.

as for the iBook install idea... yes.. you will get an OS for an iBook, things like Battery indicators will be all over the place. There could be some issues with booting off the FW for your G4 and the defvice table. It should just fix the problems.. but I'm not sure. There could also be problems with the drivers and such for the CPU. the G3 is a diffrent Architecture from the G4... so it may not work at all. You could probably install a very slim version of it and it would probably boot... but it wont have everything you need. I know you can do it with an iPod... so I asume you can do it.

... but... just get a new CD-ROM...


macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2002
Philadelphia, PA
I used my external firewire cdr to upgrade this pismo I am working on. Worked without a problem. A temporary solution might be to borrow a friend's fw cdr to upgrade - until you decide what to do.


macrumors 6502
Jan 5, 2002

I have an external FWCDRW, too, and everything works fine, even booting from the 10.2 CD. Actually, I only use this drive, because the internal DVD drive from the slot-loading iMacs just sucks big time.
I think the only thing you need to check is if you have the actual firmware installed, I think it's 4.1.9f1 right now (that's the one I got)... I guess the last update added support for firewire-booting.


macrumors 68040
Jan 25, 2002
in transit
My slot loading iMac has the same issues as yours..

I used my Firewire Que CD-RW drive to install 10.2

So to answer your question, you will be able to boot off of a Firewire drive.