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10.5: Install 10.5 on an unsupported PowerPC iMac Install
There are two parts to this solution; the first part covers installing Leopard on an unsupported 700mhz G4 iMac, and the second part fixes the sleep issues with the graphics drivers.

Part One: Installation using the DVD installation disk. The instructions below pretend that the iMac is an 867Mhz model. The change is temporary; after reboot the settings are lost.
  1. Insert installation DVD
  2. Reboot
  3. Hold down Command-Option-O-F to boot into open firmware
  4. At the prompt (>), type the following (note that the 0 below is a zero)
    dev /cpus/PowerPC,G4@0 
    d# 867000000 encode-int " clock-frequency" property 
    boot cd:,:tbxi 
  5. After the install disk has booted, you must load Terminal from the menu and enter the following:
    pmset -a displaysleep 0 halfdim 0 sleep 0 disksleep 0 force
    To verify your changes, type pmset -g. If this is not done, the install will freeze when the display or system tries to sleep during the install.
  6. After installation, go to the Energy Saver System Preferences panel, and set the machine to never sleep.
Read on for the sleep issue solution...

Fix the sleep issues by replacing the graphics drivers with the 10.4 drivers:
  1. Back up all of the GeForce* and NVDA* files in /System/Library/Extensions.
  2. Replace those drivers with the 10.4 files, ie. GeForce2MXGLDriver.bundle, GeForce.kext, etc. Note that there is not a one-to-one relationship with each file.
  3. Change ownership of the files as follows:
    bash$ sudo chown -Rh root:wheel GeForce* NVDA*
    bash$ sudo chmod -R a+rX,u+w,go-w GeForce* NVDA*
  4. Reboot
This should work with other unsupported models.

[robg adds: This should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: changing things in open firmware can be dangerous. Installing OSes on unsupported systems and replacing drivers from previous releases can be dangerous. If you try this hint, Bad Things may happen to your hardware. Proceed at your own risk.]
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10.5: Install 10.5 on an unsupported PowerPC iMac | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Similar to a previous hint...
Authored by: phoopee3 on Dec 22, '07 12:53:34PM
I much prefer this previous hint - http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20071026083746346 - and I say that because I actually used it and it worked really well.

---
When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

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10.5: Install 10.5 on an unsupported PowerPC iMac
Authored by: winddog on Dec 24, '07 11:58:27AM

Update:- As I stated above, replacing the graphics drivers with the drivers from 10.4 does fix the sleep issue. Unfortunately I have found some applications such as toast will not run, my guess is that quartz extreme is disabled with the 10.4 drivers. I have read reports of supported GeForce cards having similar issues, my recommendation would be disable sleep in System Preferences and hope that 10.5.2 fixes the issue.

The firmware install method above works fine (it is a temporary modification that is reset when the machine is rebooted), just remember to disable sleep or when the machine awakes the video will be unreadable and you will have to use the power switch to reboot.



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10.5: Install 10.5 on an unsupported PowerPC iMac
Authored by: ericdano on Dec 24, '07 06:19:27PM

Doesn't work on my G4 cube. It ran for a while, then promptly turned itself off......



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10.5: Install 10.5 on an unsupported PowerPC iMac
Authored by: RichSPK on Dec 29, '07 10:53:50PM
After I typed
boot cd:,:tbxi
I got the error
can't OPEN cd:,:tbxi
After doing some googling I tried
boot cd:,\\:tbxi
and that seems to have worked. It's testing the consistency of the install disc right now. This is on an 800 MHz QuickSilver.

---
Rich

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10.5: Install 10.5 on an unsupported PowerPC iMac
Authored by: ivanov on Jan 10, '08 03:27:49PM

Whilst the install works with older video drivers, and it fixes the sleep problem, this hack introduces another problem: iSight cameras no longer work. Anyone with a solution?



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10.5: Install 10.5 on an unsupported PowerPC iMac
Authored by: dalem7 on Apr 06, '13 11:00:07PM

THIS DOES NOT WORK! I have followed the instructions perfectly.

I have tried this twenty times. I have a iMac G4, Model: M6498, 800MHz, 256MB, HD 60GB.
Each time I get the following message: can't OPEN; cd, \\:tbxi

Note: I have a new full retail install for 10.5.8. The 5 family use. I paid over $200 for it with shipping.

My hard drive is wiped clean.

I realize my mac is old. I could care less about intel Macs. I love my PowerPC. And I'm not a rich person. I can't afford to buy a new mac. I love my Mac. Would someone please help me?



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