USB boot and other questions

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Zotaccian, May 7, 2014.

  1. Zotaccian, May 7, 2014
    Last edited: May 7, 2014

    Zotaccian macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2012
    So, I tried to install OS X Leopard to this PowerBook G4 machine I have but for some reason I couldn't make it to boot from USB. All I got was kernel panic error or this message: "unknown word .printf". That error message is totally new for me but anyways, I couldn't make it to boot. I tried making USB stick out of Tiger disc 1 image but that also didn't work, it didn't even try to boot. DVD drive couldn't read my Leopard disc.

    So, can you even boot Tiger installation from USB? I had selected Apple Partition Map so that should be fine. Is it even possible to boot USB 1.1 machines from USB or is there are limitation? This is 2003 model, first aluminum PB. My Macbook has FireWire, would it be wise to buy FireWire cable since I think I should be able to enable target disk mode, I tried Leopard disc on that PowerBook but it couldn't read it but my Macbook can so with that FW cable and targer disc mode I could use Macbook's drive and it would save me from all hassle in future in case old PPC machine cannot read disc

    EDIT: Sorry if I wrote in confusing manner, but the thing is my machine now has Tiger after I made images in Macbook and then burned on sctatch-free discs. What I want to know is tips for the future :)
  2. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2012
    Calgary, Canada
    This is a late response.

    It is possible to boot a PowerPC Mac with USB 1.1 to a USB thumbdrive. You must format the drive properly, which can be done under Mac OS X 10.4.11. This is how I installed Mac OS X 10.5 on my Power Mac G4. You need to have a thumbdrive that is at least 8GB in size.

    Assuming you have a copy of OS X 10.5, insert the disk on any Mac you decide and create a disk image in Disk Utility. Then, erase your thumbdrive, format it for the Apple Partition Map and click the Restore tab in Disk Utility, with your thumbdrive selected. Mount the OS X 10.5 image, and it'll appear in the Disk Utility. Drag the "Mac OS X Install DVD" image in the Disk Utility window into the Source box, with your thumbdrive as the selected device to restore to. In the Destination box, choose your mounted thumbdrive, and restore it. Note that it will take a long time to do, even longer if the Mac you chose has USB 1.1

    Then, plug in the USB thumbdrive into the Mac you want to receive the installation, power it on while holding the Command key. When the boot menu appears, you should see the Mac OS X 10.5 installation DVD as an option.

    IF using the Command key does not work, there are commands in the Open Firmware interface to make it work, some of which are outlined in this video's description and comments.

    Install Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard via USB on PowerPC Macs - YouTube
  3. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Just a minor correction. I think you mean the OPTN key and not the CMD key, right?
  4. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a


    Aug 10, 2012
    Calgary, Canada
    Yes, that's what I meant. I had a feeling I was making a mistake.
  5. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    If you buy a FireWire cable, then you can start the MacBook in Target Disk Mode with the Leopard DVD in the drive. It will then appear as a DVD drive to the PPC Mac. There are no set limitations with USB installs, but my SanDisk drives won't work but my PNY works just fine. I think it is a matter of brands and if they include those "smart utilities" that come on a separate non-removable partition on the USB.

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