USB SuperDrive compatibility question

zackkmac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 7, 2008
741
40
Tulsa
Hi all, I have an old iMac G3 that is not wanting to read my OS X Tiger install DVD. In fact it just gets stuck inside the combo drive when trying to eject it, and I have to remove the bottom case to get in there and remove the disc.

So, my question is, will my Apple USB SuperDrive work with my G3 and allow it to boot into the install interface? I have researched and read mixed things about booting the G3 with USB devices. Some say not at all, some say with an OpenFirmware hack, and another post I read said as long as the USB medium contained a bootable image of the installer, so with this being an Apple DVD it should fit that description perfectly.

Normally I would just try it without asking here first but it is not with me right now, so getting the SuperDrive would require a trip of its own.

Thanks in advance. Also, if this thread is more fitting under the PowerPC section, mods feel free to move it. :)
 

ivnj

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2006
1,175
38
Somebody told me once even os 9 allowed usb booting some g4s so it might. But not sure about g3s. But the os allows it I think. So worth a try.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,883
372
Inside
If your iMac is a slot loading iMac, it can boot from a USB device with no need for OpenFirmware modifications. The Apple Superdrive will likely not work for your needs. If you already have one, you can try it. However, I'm fairly certain it won't work. Two things you can try to more easily remove the disc in the future, press the mouse button then turn on the computer while holding down the mouse button. This should eject the disc. The other is when the machine is on, insert a bent paperclip into the right most part of the optical drive's slot. There is a little click button that it will press that will make the drive eject its disc.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
IIRC, PPC-based Macs can be booted via FireWire, but not USB. USB-booting was a feature added to Intel-based Macs.
 

zackkmac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 7, 2008
741
40
Tulsa
Thanks for the answers. I sort of doubt the SuperDrive will work, but I will give it a shot anyways. The iMac is a slot-loading model, but the actual drive has gotten so weak that it can't eject the disc. You can hear it try but it does not have enough force anymore. Either that or something is broken internally. It's been like that for a while now.

If it can boot from USB then I may take my retail disc and copy it to a bootable USB and see if that works. That would be great. Then later I can replace the drive in the iMac.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,883
372
Inside
If you copy it to a USB drive, make sure it's at least 8GB and you use a software like CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.

Yes, PowerPC Macs starting with the slot-loading iMac and the Sawtooth PowerMac can boot from a USB device. With no need for messing around with OpenFirmware.