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Mac OS X install over FireWire?

retta283

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Original poster
Jun 8, 2018
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Victoria, British Columbia
I have recently ordered an iMac G4, but the DVD drive is dead and I won't be replacing it for a while. I will need a way to install OS X without the DVD drive. I can install 10.4 using Target Disk mode on the G4 and installing from another machine, but not for 10.2 because I don't have any other supported Macs. I have one idea that might work, but I want to verify if possible before I waste time doing it.

My idea is to use my 2008 MacBook Pro, in Target Disk Mode, and create two partitions with the Jaguar CD 1 and 2 restored to them via Disk Utility. I can then boot the G4 iMac from these partitions and install to its HDD. Will this work? I remember reading about others having success installing over FireWire but I cannot remember specifics.
 

Amethyst1

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Oct 28, 2015
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The problem with that is that your MBP's HD is using the GUID partition scheme, which the iMac G4 cannot boot from (it requires APM).

If you format your MBP's HD to use the APM partition scheme, the iMac G4 will be able to boot from it.

Restoring the two Jag CDs to different partitions won't work, everything needs to be on one partition and the installer modified accordingly. My advice - don't waste your time with the ancient retail discs but use this:


everything on one disc that can be restored to a single partition and a much newer baseline OS.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,642
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ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I have recently ordered an iMac G4, but the DVD drive is dead and I won't be replacing it for a while. I will need a way to install OS X without the DVD drive. I can install 10.4 using Target Disk mode on the G4 and installing from another machine, but not for 10.2 because I don't have any other supported Macs. I have one idea that might work, but I want to verify if possible before I waste time doing it.

My idea is to use my 2008 MacBook Pro, in Target Disk Mode, and create two partitions with the Jaguar CD 1 and 2 restored to them via Disk Utility. I can then boot the G4 iMac from these partitions and install to its HDD. Will this work? I remember reading about others having success installing over FireWire but I cannot remember specifics.
Why not just reverse TDM?

You can share optical drives using TDM, so if you put one of your Macs that has an optical drive into TDM to the iMac then you can boot the iMac off that other Mac's optical drive.
 
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retta283

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 8, 2018
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Victoria, British Columbia
Why not just reverse TDM?

You can share optical drives using TDM, so if you put one of your Macs that has an optical drive into TDM to the iMac then you can boot the iMac off that other Mac's optical drive.
This only applies to Intel Macs, correct? I hadn't planned on creating CDs anyway after finding that the optical drive was dead (currently no CD-Rs, didn't want to waste DVD-Rs on a CD sized image) but I have created a DVD using the link @Amethyst1 provided, as it seems to be quite a "universal" disc that works on most Macs that shipped with Jaguar, so I think it's a good bet. If the DVD doesn't work on the G4 (which would surprise me) then I might have to buy some CD-Rs/
 

bastifantasti

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2009
79
40
The problem with that is that your MBP's HD is using the GUID partition scheme, which the iMac G4 cannot boot from (it requires APM).

If you format your MBP's HD to use the APM partition scheme, the iMac G4 will be able to boot from it.

Restoring the two Jag CDs to different partitions won't work, everything needs to be on one partition and the installer modified accordingly. My advice - don't waste your time with the ancient retail discs but use this:


everything on one disc that can be restored to a single partition and a much newer baseline OS.
I have been looking for this - I have the iMac G4 17" 1.25GHz model (cannot boot into os 9, just uses classic) - think it's the one for my machine too? Does it come with the necessary "classic" environment? Right now I copied the system folder off of my Power Mac over the network, but would like the "original" model specific classic install disk.
 

bastifantasti

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2009
79
40
Yeah TDM was created in the PPC era, or have i made that up? I used it loads of times on PPC macs and never in the intel age (now I typically do everything via internet restore if i ever encounter a massive issue...)
 

retta283

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 8, 2018
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Victoria, British Columbia
Yeah TDM was created in the PPC era, or have i made that up? I used it loads of times on PPC macs and never in the intel age (now I typically do everything via internet restore if i ever encounter a massive issue...)
It's existed as long as FireWire if not before that. The question was whether a PPC machine can use another PPC machine's optical drive via TDM. I've heard conflicting reports, some say it was only starting on Intel Macs that the optical drive could transmit over TDM
 

Amethyst1

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Oct 28, 2015
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The question was whether a PPC machine can use another PPC machine's optical drive via TDM.

I've just tested this using my 17" PB (A1085) - and the answer is yes.

tdm.png
 
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bastifantasti

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2009
79
40
TDM over SCSI existed long before TDM over FireWire. These days, it's TDM over... Thunderbolt.
Thunderbolt... ::vomit:: :D

Speaking of which I have 20 year old firewire cables, yet my thunderbolt cables get replaced often because i break them somehow - always a loose connection. You ever get that? Although I am the type of person who spills wine on a laptop so i am not the model of electronic-care.
 
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Amethyst1

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Oct 28, 2015
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I have been looking for this - I have the iMac G4 17" 1.25GHz model (cannot boot into os 9, just uses classic) - think it's the one for my machine too? Does it come with the necessary "classic" environment?
The disc should work fine on your machine. And yes, it contains an image called OS9General.dmg holding a complete OS 9.2.2 to use with Classic.
 
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