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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs System 10.4
This isn't so much a hint as much as a discovery, but it could be useful to someone. This hint talks about getting a PowerPC Mac to start from a USB 2.0 drive, but it involves messing around with the system's NVRAM, which can be a complicated thing to do.

But today, I tried something new. I backed up my internal drive to an external USB 2.0 drive using SuperDuper! (a great application, by the way). Today, just for fun, I rebooted my PowerBook G4 with the USB drive connected while holding the option key to load the boot drive selection menu. It showed my internal drive as well as my external backup drive as valid boot drives, so I chose the external drive. OS X booted successfully off of the external drive, albeit slowly. But for recovery purposes, this could be invaluable.

My system is running 10.4.8, so I'm not sure if this is a 10.4.8 feature, a SuperDuper! related thing, or if it has to do with some other factor, but it works, and that's all I care about.

[robg adds: I can't easily confirm this one, so if others with USB2 drives and bootable backups could test, I'd be appreciative.]
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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: wwelsh39 on Oct 24, '06 09:11:25AM

Yup, I just booted up from an Iomega 250 GIG external drive which can be connected with either FireWire or USB 2. It's currently connected with USB 2 because I've had trouble using it with FireWire. It was slow starting up but worked just fine.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: tsur on Mar 10, '07 11:16:41AM

For the cloning of the startup disk installed system to an external USB2 disk, I find "Carbon Copy Cloner" easier (..& free) alternative to the mentioned SuperDuper. That is because Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) lets the user copy JUST the necessary files without the whole HardDisk (maybe I'm wrong, but didn't find such option in SuperDuper).



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This works on a MBP as well...
Authored by: bradleyd1971 on Oct 24, '06 10:26:14AM

It's slow, but it works.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: wordsofwisedumb on Oct 24, '06 07:28:08PM

I did this in late July, so it is not a 10.4.8 feature. It has been around for at least that long.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: bjsvec on Oct 24, '06 07:54:23PM

This didn't work for me. I have an iMac G5 1.8ghz running 10.4.8 and an Iomega 250GM USB drive.
I tried it with bluetooth keyboard and usb keyboard. Both let me hold option to get boot menu, but all I see is my internal drive and I don't even seem able to select that. I see a reload icon and a right arrow icon and the drive in the middle, but the arrow keys don't do anything..

Is there something that needs to be done to set the external drive as bootable to be recognized on this menu?



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: jedik on Oct 25, '06 12:38:21AM

Use the appropriate tool to copy the System files to the external drive and use the mouse to select it in the menu that appears when you hold down the OPTION key during boot? =)

---
:: Jedi Knight ::
-- Mac Rules! --



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Mar 18, '07 12:21:32AM

Sometimes if volumes don't appear in Startup Manager (what you get when you hold down the Option key at startup), you need to reset the Mac's PRAM, NVRAM, and Open Firmware. Shut down the Mac, then power it up, and before the screen lights up, quickly hold down the Command, Option, P, and R keys, until the Mac has chimed twice more after the powerup chime. Then, before the screen lights up, hold down Command-Option-O-F until the Open Firmware screen appears. Then enter these lines, pressing Return after each one:

reset-nvram
set-defaults
reset-all



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: hamishb on Oct 24, '06 10:12:24PM

Could this be used to boot from a Flash Drive? Thinking of adding a couple of gig to my Mac mini webserver in order to "save" the hard drive.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Nov 08, '06 08:22:51PM

One problem with booting OS X from a flash drive, is all the write operations that take place on the boot volume while OS X is running (including virtual memory swapfiles) might eventually cause the memory locations on the flash drive to reach their maximum rated number of write operations after a shorter time than a hard drive's disk sectors.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Apr 22, '08 12:50:39PM

But in specific, late answer to the question, yes, most flash drives (bootable ones--some early ones aren't bootable, and some early (and maybe some later?) USB drives aren't bootable) will boot OS 10.4.3 and later, from USB (1.1 and 2.0), on most Macs, starting with the slot-loading iMacs, the AGP/Sawtooth G4, and the Powerbook G3 Firewire. Some late-model Powerbook G4s don't seem to be able to boot from USB, but I haven't tested that much, to see if something else was going on that might be resolvable.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: ij00mini on Oct 24, '06 11:48:06PM

Why wouldn't this work on an intel mac?



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: jedik on Oct 25, '06 12:41:58AM

The boot meny appears when you hold down the OPTION key after starting your Mac?

Do you have a GUID partitioned drive with the system files?

If the answers to the above questions are both yes, I think so...

---
:: Jedi Knight ::
-- Mac Rules! --



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: totoro on Oct 25, '06 09:32:32AM

Booting from a USB 2.0 drive has always been possible on Intel Macs.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: gjw on Oct 26, '06 12:39:16PM

Starting with the release of the AGP G4 towers, Macs gained the ability to boot from USB-connected media in general. For some reason, historically, Mac OS X specifically wasn't able to boot from a USB-connected device on a PPC Mac. When the x86 Macs were released they could boot OS X from USB media, but PPC machines still couldn't. So this ability to do so now is new and perhaps not as simple as "now it works." It may not be supported and may instead just be a coincidence of installation that a handful of people have run across.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Apr 22, '08 12:51:56PM

It was a feature added to OS 10.4.3 and later.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: jiclark on Oct 25, '06 10:39:20AM

This is weird, because I was recently trying to do exactly this, to implement another tip here regarding making a single drive that could boot both Intel and PPC Macs. When it came time to install Tiger on the PPC partition, it woudn't let me, stating something like "can't install on this drive because this computer cannot be started up using this drive". I did some searching, and seemed to find near universal consensus that PPC Macs couldn't boot from USB (2 or otherwise).

So what gives here?



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: bdog on Oct 25, '06 06:30:56PM

My co-worker and I did this a few years back with a G3 iBook, 32MB flash stick (I don't call them drives, they aren't drives!) and a very stripped down install of OS 9. It booted very slowly, but worked.

For those of you who have trouble; Is your system blessed on the external drive?



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: gjw on Oct 26, '06 12:35:30PM
(I don't call them drives, they aren't drives!) Sure they are. They just aren't disk drives.

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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: bdog on Oct 26, '06 05:18:54PM

Here is the difference; A disk requires a drive to operate, and that is two devices. Solid state memory is just one device (the storage medium is the read/write controller as well). If you read the below definition, it implies that there are TWO devices.
A device that reads data from and often writes data onto a storage medium, such as a floppy disk.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: tpillon on Oct 27, '06 03:55:13PM

This has been possible for quite some time, at least since 10.3. If I'm not mistaken, this is how they do software restores at Apple retail stores, though I'll bet they use firewire whenever possible.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: nparker13 on Nov 02, '06 10:47:55AM

So if im understanding this correctly, i can backup to my usb external drive thats formatted as HFS+ with a GUID partition table, and be able to boot my Intel MacBook Pro off of it???

Thanks,
Nate

PS (I have the enclosure, but my backup drive is dead, so im trying to figure out whether i should just get a firewire or 3x interface external drive instead.)



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: gjw on Nov 08, '06 08:54:21AM

It's a distinction that has no real meaning. A flash drive is conceptually two devices. It's the storage media and the logic and electronics that know how to invoke a state change to store and retrieve data thereon. Just because they happen to be in the same package doesn't really invalidate it. A hard (nee fixed) disk drive is only a single device as well.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: cjm7c on Nov 12, '06 11:57:36PM

I found the following interesting anomaly when attempting to boot from my USB 2.0 Western Digital "My Book" drive. First I tried to make a clone of my Mac's drive using RsyncX. While it appears that the synchronization process was successful, I found I was not able to boot from the remote drive as I expected (it's well known that booting from an external USB drive isn't supported on Macs). I then tried, as the comment suggested, making my backup clone with SuperDuper!. Somehow, my Mac was actually able to boot off the USB 2.0 drive using the backup clone made by SuperDuper!.

I don't know exactly what SuperDuper! does outside of simply copying files so I can't speculate on why this program allowed my Mac to boot off a USB 2.0 drive. I'll provide my system information in case it helps someone figure out why this worked.

Powerbook G4 12"
PowerPC 1.33 GHz



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: cjm7c on Nov 13, '06 12:01:54AM

I'm also running 10.4.8



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: yogiqan on Oct 27, '07 06:38:15PM

Hmm, same machine here, well, almost: 12" Powerbook, 1.5 GHz, 1.25 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD, running 10.4.10. Made a clone with SuperDuper 2.1.4 to an 2.5" HDD in an external USB housing, took about 90 minutes, as fast (or slow) as Carbon Copy Cloner or Disk Utility restore. Looked good, almost everything got across oK (except, thankfully, for the virtual memory partitions;-), but no-go. Not with option at startup, nor selectable in the Startup Disk Panel. I did the backup with the formatting option and the permissions repair enabled, but that shouldn't do any damage. So, what am I missing here?



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Apr 22, '08 12:55:23PM

Some late-model Powerbook G4s don't seem to be able to boot from USB. Though other factors might be at play: this user's USB drive might not be one that supports booting; he may not have reset PRAM, NVRAM, etc.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: willeyeam on Dec 28, '06 04:23:25PM

Not so easy as it makes it sound.
especially for someone in my position, whose internal hard drive is more than twice the size of their external. for me, i have 350gigs worth on my internal drive, but my external is only 150gigs.
So I created my own custom copy script in superduper, to exclude my the folders that contain large amounts of data i don't need backed up.
This cut down the size to something that fits. all of the ignored folders are in my home folder, so i don't think it should inhibit the system from booting. Superduper says it did it all, but alas, i cannot get it to appear in startup disk panel, or by holding option at startup, or even with the older Open Firmware bit.
I have a G5 quad powermac, 10.4.8. WHAT AM I MISSING!!



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: jaw444 on Dec 30, '06 10:50:26PM

i have a powerbook G4 1.5Ghz with 10.4.8. I used SuperDuper today to copy my computer hard drive to a Western Digital My Book USB2 drive. SuperDuper said at the end of the process that the drive was made bootable, but the SuperDuper website is clear that this should not work on a USB drive. After the copy was made, i noticed that the number of files copied was a little less than the total number of files, whatever that means. I checked in StartUp Disk/System Preferences and the USB2 drive partition with the system did not show up as a choice of start up drives. Only the computer hard drive showed up with the system. After I read this hint, i tried holding down the Option key and restarting but it didn't bring up the external disk partition--the only choice that came up was the computer hard drive system folder. I tried it twice. I may be doing something incorrectly.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: Mars_Artis on Jan 08, '07 03:47:21AM



Never worked on my Pmacs dual G5 2,0 and 1,8.
Neither on my Pbook 1.7



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Easily boot from USB drives on Macs
Authored by: mikemrclean on Feb 07, '07 02:49:44PM

Actually I am loading my iBook 500 g3 with tiger from a USB 1.1 as I type this. I tried a lot of goofing around but working with an old USB external DVD is working fine. I replaced the iBook hard drive and didn't have a CD version of Tiger. The external drive is an old USB klunker. I did find that the DVD drive you use makes a great difference. It seems half the DVD rom (IDE) drives out there do NOT provide the boot code the MAC wants to see. I have three drives that would not boot my iBook. The one I am using now is a Samsung (ugg) DVD/CDRW from Micro-XXXX. (The $29 variety) Boot with the option key, Bios shows both the internal and external DVD and has allowed a flawless (pretty slow) installation.

---
Michael



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: who922 on Feb 13, '07 01:21:44PM

I am trying to boot OSX from a USB flash drive. I am using an imac. I need to wipe the drives on several Macs the school district is getting rid of and some of the CD roms don't work. I copied the OSX disc to my drive and tried to boot from the flash, but it doesnt see it. It only gives me the arrows and sees no drive. Any ideas? I'm not sure how SuperDuper would work in this instance.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: koalatana on Mar 08, '07 11:38:54AM

Hi all !

Here is my "success" story...

I had a PB G4 with a dead internal hd, and I have bought an external usb 2.0 drive. I was told by apple tech support, that booting off the external drive is impossible on g4 computers.

Then, I have stumbled upon this site, and with SuperDuper, I have made a complete backup of the neighbour's mac mini. I borrowed the mini, did the backup, and in SuperDuper, all of the booting related options were greyed out.

I have tried booting the mini from the external drive, and it did not work.
Even if i held down the option key, the drive did not show up in the bios.
I wasn't able to select it as a startup disk, either.

Then, I was curious, how would my PB react to this new situation with a -supposedly- bootable version of 10.4 on the usb drive.

And, tadaa, as I went into the bios, the drive showed up !

I was able to boot the system, and I can use it now, it's not really slow at all for general usage. Only the booting is slightly longer than usual.

I didn't really notice anything bad, all the new hardware parts, airport, etc were detected instantly.

It is working fine, however, there are strange things.

Sometimes, the drive doesn't appear in the bios, but boots.

Sorry for the long post, and the bad english.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Mar 18, '07 12:49:38AM

Best I can tell, from my experience and that of people posting above:

• USB 1.1 and 2.0 ports/drives have always booted OS 9, on any Mac that can boot into OS 9.

• Macs up through the Powerbook G4 1.33 GHz, and at least some desktops of the same vintage, and maybe a few other pre-Intel PPC Macs (not sure why not all the pre-Intel PPC Macs), will boot from USB 1.1 and 2.0 ports/drives into OS 10.4.x (at least 10.4.6 and above--I didn't try earlier versions)--NOT OS 10.3.9 or earlier. Older Macs may need their firmware updated to the last version available for that Mac model, and not all USB drives might boot. Some USB drives will appear in Startup Manager (what you get when you hold down the Option key at startup), and others won't; when they don't, reset the Mac's PRAM, NVRAM, and Open Firmware (see my steps above), and that may allow some of them to appear in Startup Manager.

I found out that 10.4.x will boot from USB today, by surprise, when I had a USB drive in a 3.5" MacAlly drive enclosure, connected to an iMac G3 slot-loading, 350 MHz, since this model doesn't have Firewire ports, whose internal drive didn't yet have an OS on it; I had booted the Mac from an OS 9.1 CD to set its clock, then I restarted the Mac, and ejected the CD, and to my surprise, the Mac then saw my USB drive's OS 10.4.8 volume, and booted from it. It was slow, but not impossibly slow. It also appeared in this Mac's Startup Manager, and I could select it in the OS 10.4.8 Startup Disk prefpane. However, as I expected, I couldn't select the drive's OS 10.3.9 volume in Startup Disk--I just got a system beep when I clicked the Restart button--and when I selected the OS 10.3.9 volume in Startup Manager, it started to boot, showing the Apple logo on a white background, and the spinning activity indicator, but after about a minute, the Apple changed to a slashed circle.

I do remember reading that Apple never said it wasn't possible to boot OS X from USB ports--they said it was a decision they made to prevent it, because OS X booted and ran so slowly from USB. Some people have said it's a limitation of the firmware, or Open Firmware, but that doesn't appear to be the case, unless it's a few Mac models just prior to the Intel-based Macs that can't boot 10.4.x from USB, as illustrated by some user examples above, unless there was some other issue preventing them.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Apr 22, '08 12:58:19PM

A late clarification to my post above: I later found that OS 10.4.3 is the minimum OS X version for USB booting.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: spacebaby on Oct 01, '07 05:00:23PM

Hi Mike,
Thanks for the hint. I have two problems which I need your help on. I'm 3 days old using Mac. I have an iBook G3 600Mhz/384MB dual USB running on OSX 10.1.5. I'm looking into upgrading to Tiger or Panther as 10.1.5 is very annoying (as you know, I'm sure). How do you managed to install Tiger without the CD? Did you copied from your old hard drive? or you ripped the image off a CD?
Another problem is the USB drive, it doesn't seem to detect anything I put into it. I have a USB external hard disk, a Sandisk Ultra II USB plus SD card and Belkin 54G wireless dongle. When I plugged in the external drive or the SD card via USB, I get an error saying something like "there are no readable volumes" and prompted me to repair or initialize it. but when I did, nothing happens.

What should I do? Please help as I can't afford to buy another Windblows laptop.
Many thanks in advance!!!



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: cboyd0319 on Nov 09, '07 06:56:32PM

Your post worked GREAT, but I have a few things to add...

-- To upgrade OSX 10.4 on a iBook G4 and PowerMac G4 (both running Tiger) to Leopard 10.5 with only a DMG and USB drive --

- Download/Install: Carbon Copy Cloner at [link:]http://www.bombich.com/software/ccc.html[link:]

- Copy the DMG to the laptop

- Connect a USB drive WITH external power source to the laptop

- Using Disk Utility: Erase the drive

- Open "Carbon Copy Cloner" and select the DMG of the install disk

- Select "Use block-level copy" "Erase drive"

- Click "Clone"

Once the clone is complete, reboot the Mac and perform the open-firmware changes mentioned in this post. You should then be able to install from the external USB drive like it was the actual DVD.

**NOTE** I do NOT endorse stealing software. I obtained my DMG from our Apple Enterprise License at work and downloaded it directly from them.

Once you see your new OS you will need to reset your firmware so it doesn't try and boot from the USB drive anymore.

- Reboot the computer and press:
Command-Option-P-R
This resets the firmware to the factory settings.

Keep holding this until you hear three "Bongs". Once you release, the Mac should boot normally into your new OS!

ENJOY!!



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: cboyd0319 on Nov 09, '07 06:58:32PM

I forgot to add that you want to clone to the USB drive (if this wasn't understood)



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G4 USB 2.0 booting works at 2.0 speeds with Leopard
Authored by: zeraien on Nov 23, '07 01:39:54PM

I have succesfully booted a Leopard install using a USB2 drive on my powerbook g4, and it was running at USB2 speeds (averagnig about 6mb/s when using SuperDuper to backup from an external booted upon USB2 drive to an internal drive)!

So if you have Leopard, you can boot off of USB2. About time I'd say.

Screenshots and more information here: link
PS: SuperDuper Leopard backups are not yet bootable (as of 2.1.4), but I used disk utility and it worked fine.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: vrcomm on Jan 29, '08 01:41:01PM
I have a PowerBook G4 1.6 w/ 15" screen running OSX 10.4.11, and was in the process of switching HD from 80GB to 250GB. Never enough disk space. None-the-less I came accross this thread and it was a life saver. First of all, I finally got a clear indication that holding down the Option key was all I needed to do to select my boot drive on powerup. Even better, I was able to easily move from my old internal to the new internal by using SuperDuper ([link:] www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html). Wow it WORKED! I was able to test the new drive before even cracking the case. So after I finished the drive replacement I purchased a registered copy, its that good. thanks to everyone.

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Just a clarification...
Authored by: jiclark on Feb 02, '08 12:34:24PM

There are several posts in this thread that refer to "copying" an installation to another disk, in order to boot from it. You should know that OS X DOES NOT SUPPORT a simple copy of a System installation to another drive. It will not boot. The only way to do it is with a program that knows how to make a copy "bootable". I believe that the only utilities that make it possible are SuperDuper, CarbonCopyCloner and Apple's own Disk Utility.

So unless you're using one of those utilities to clone your working OS X installation to another drive, it's virtually certain that you'll fail. Also, from reading this and another hint on the topic, it sounds like there are two other things that might make some difference:

1) When formatting the drive you want to clone TO, don't check the box labeled "Install OS 9 drivers", and...
2) Make sure you're cloning an installation that is specifically 10.4.6 or newer (and by extension, you might want to make sure the system that you're booted from to do the clone, meets that requirement as well?)

Good luck, and post back when you discover tips or tricks that seem to work for you!



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One more thing...
Authored by: jiclark on Feb 02, '08 12:44:02PM
Even though I highly recommend both SuperDuper and CarbonCopyCloner (and in fact use SD to make bootable external backup drives for client's machines all the time) I thought it prudent to point out that you really shouldn't use either to clone a hard drive from an old machine to use in a new machine if the new machine is not of the same processor family as the old one!

In other words, it can be dangerous to think that an installation created for a PPC machine will work fine in an Intel one. Best to do a clean install, then copy your data over manually.

Hope that makes sense!

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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: nakae on Jun 03, '08 03:13:27PM

Okay, I kinda get how to do it. But if someone out there can give me the answer to these very basic questions I think I may have found success...

1. Does this work for Imac G3 600mhz?
2. I haven't used it yet but I got a 250gb Western Digital USB external drive, will it be compatible?

I'm sure I'll have a ton of questions after these two are answered.
Thanks



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: junk666 on May 28, '10 02:34:48AM

Title of this hint should be "Easily Boot From USB Drive Whenever Possible". If it is possible, it is easy. If it is impossible, (as in the case of the very latest PowerPC Mac (PowerMac G4 FW800), well, it ain't easy.

Apple does not address booting any PPC Mac to USB. They do mention {{http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1948}} that...
"Intel-based Macs support starting from an external USB storage device's volume that:

* Has been formatted with a GUID partition type
* Contains an installation of Mac OS X 10.4.5 or later, or Mac OS X 10.5 or later, which is compatible with (or shipped with) the Mac that the USB device is connected to. Note: You should not use a version of Mac OS X that is earlier ("older") than the version your Mac shipped with.

To start from a USB storage device that meets the above requirements, connect the device, then select it in Startup Disk preferences. Or, connect the device, restart, and immediately press and hold the Option key to access Startup Manager.

Notes:

* It may be necessary to connect the USB storage device to an external power supply, depending on its power requirements.
* If you're using a MacBook or MacBook Pro, try using a different USB port if you cannot startup from the external USB storage device.
* On a MacBook Air, the computer may shutdown automatically as a preventive measure if a USB device with issues is connected, or if the USB port on the MacBook Air itself is damaged.
* If you use Boot Camp, you may not be able to boot natively into supported versions of Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista operating systems installed on external USB hard drive.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: Neville Hillyer on Jun 14, '10 11:37:45AM

Perhaps somebody with more experience can tell me why I cannot boot into OS 9.2.2.

This is what I did:

With my 733 MHz G4 I used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone a volume with a little used OS 10.4.11 and OS 9.2.2 onto an 8 GB USB flash memory stick. I can boot into the flash 10.4.11 but not the 9.2.2 except from the original 9.2.2.

Flash details:
Apple partition map
Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
OS 9 drivers installed

I would be grateful if somebody could tell me what to do so that I can boot into the flash 9.2.2 from both Startup Disk and Startup Manager.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: Neville Hillyer on Jun 15, '10 12:56:18PM

I have put an update to my earlier message at:

http://forums.macosxhints.com/showthread.php?p=586158#post586158

Please use this new location for replies.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: loonatic on Aug 09, '10 02:06:50AM

Here's what I did to be able to boot from an external USB drive on my PowerPC G5:

http://mediacaster.nl/usb_boot_imac_powerpc_g5.html

1. Be sure to partition the disk with an Apple Partition Map (i.e. not GUID or MBR)
2. Determine the partition where your bootable image it situated (e.g. an MacOSX DVD or DMG restored to a partion with Disk utility's restore). This might be disk1s3 in which case the partition number is 3
3. Restart your iMac while holding down Command-Option-O-F (Alt-Cmd-O-F). This will land you in Open Firmware.
4. Type:
dev / ls
to get the device tree/list.
Look for something in the output like:

/usb@b
/disk@1

As we're talking about a tree here, write down the complete path to this node. In my case it would be:

/ht/pci@2/usb@b/disk@1

5. Type:
devalias ud /ht/pci@2/usb@b/disk@1
In other words: make 'ud' equal to the path you found in step 4.
6. Now verify you got the right disk:
dir ud:3,\
(3 is the partition number you wrote down in step 2)
And look for a file with tbxi attribute, probably in:
\System\Library\CoreServices\BootX, e.g.:
dir ud:3,\System\Library\CoreServices
7. Then boot from it:
boot ud:3,\System\Library\CoreServices\BootX
8. Presto !
USB's your uncle.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: rgawander on Aug 12, '10 11:16:37AM

I have a Powermac G4 digtial audio,and I can boot of a 8 gig flash drive !I Did the same thing, Superdupered my start up disk,then imaged it back onto an USB flash drive and it worked.Just like others I was thought Macs can't boot off USB,which is technically true,you can't select an USB in startup disk.But the hardware only sees the system,not where it is.I already knew it can boot from an USB if you use classic 9.2 .But you can't install OS X onto a USB from your install disk.So you have to clone it.I was originally looking for this trick for a firewire drive,that would not boot,and it works the same way,hold down option when starting up,and select drive.And it works not only through the built in USB,but also through a PCI-USB card add on.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: goodidea on Aug 12, '10 06:03:49PM

So, it doesn't seem to be officially supported by Apple, but in many cases (or most cases?) it works.

Luckily also in my case:
- Just today I made a system copy (OS X 10.4.11) with Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3.3 to an external USB drive (without external power support!) and I could boot from it holding the "ALT" key during the start of the Mac. No problem at all ...
- The Mac: iMac 17" TFT 1,25 GHz (PowerPC 7445 = G4 processor; bought 2003/09)

And I have a good reason to boot from USB: my firewire ports are both defect .... so I am really glad that the USB method did work !!!



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: joshmacembark on Feb 16, '11 02:58:02PM

Hey Guyz,

i've read this thread. and i dont know why i still cant boot from a usb.

i have a PowerMac G5 tower with 10.4.8 and im trying to boot it from an portable thumbdrive that i made bootable with Snow Leopard using DiskUtility.

does it not work because the thumbdrive is portable and does not have an external power source?



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: joshmacembark on Feb 16, '11 03:03:25PM

but i cant put snow leopard on it because its not intel based anyway right? or is there a way around that?



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: drglitch on May 25, '11 12:43:56AM

This worked for me. I was able to install booting from an 8GB USB thumb drive on a 1.25 GHz PPC G4 Macbook Pro. I used Disk Utility to format the thumb drive as Mac OS extended, and then restored the install image onto it.



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: Captain_Dirk on Jul 02, '11 10:20:10PM

Alternative boot switch:

If holding down Option during start-up doesn't work for you (i.e. the Startup Manager does not show your USB device as a selectable option), you can try to hold down simultaneously Command-Option-Shift-Delete during start-up instead. This makes the Mac skip the default boot device setting and scan for an alternate boot device. Be prepared for an agonizingly slow boot through early version USB ports. Your vintage OS-X-Mac may seem hung for a while but is actually just watching paint dry and will eventually move on. ;-) If you get error messages, your USB media may be formatted or partitioned incorrectly (there are several settings to consider, one of these - the Apple_partition_scheme - is a somewhat hidden option in Disk Utility; easily overlooked)



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Easily boot from USB 2.0 drives on PowerPC Macs
Authored by: Captain_Dirk on Sep 04, '11 10:22:54AM

Don't rely on this, though. Whenever my dumpster salvaged iBook G4 decides it doesn't want to boot from the hard drive any more it then also fails to do this scan for an alternative boot device (I think some kernel panic hits it first). In this situation the earlier described boot through firmware still works (in my case "boot usb0/disk:3,\\:tbxi"). (Note: so far I have been able to boot from one 4GB Micro Center give-away flash stick (long straight) but not a more recent such Micro Center give-away (short curvy) -- so, some flash sticks simply might not work (perhaps if they register too slowly))



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