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10.5: Install tips for older somewhat broken Macs System 10.5
I wanted to install Leopard on an iMac G4 800 with a broken DVD player (having read errors on the Leopard DVD) and an empty internal drive. So I faced two issues that I have been able to solve: not having a bootable drive in the machine, and working around a broken DVD player.

No bootable drive:

To launch the installer, I booted from an external FireWire drive. This means that the installer will create a file named boot.txt for the Open Firmware on the drive the Mac was booted from. The issue is that the Open Firmware is instructed to read this file during the boot process, but it looks for it on the internal drive. So the first boot will fail, as it will not find the file boot.txt. Continue the boot by typing mac-boot while in Open Firmware as indicated by Open Firmware.

Once booted, copy the file boot.txt from the root of the boot drive to the root of the internal drive: cp /boot.txt /Volumes/myVolume/boot.txt. Now relaunch the installer and you are done.

Broken DVD drive:

My internal DVD Player is getting errors on the Leopard DVD, even thought the disc is clean. So I needed to boot from an external DVD player. Pressing the C key at boot did not help. The trick is to set the Startup Disk in System Preferences to the Leopard DVD inserted in the external DVD drive. Then launch the installer, and tell to the Mac how to boot by pressing keys at boot time. During reboot press any key and the Mac will boot on the disc selected in the Startup System Preferences panel.

[robg adds: This hint contains another solution.]
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10.5: Install tips for older somewhat broken Macs | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Franken Macs
Authored by: bedouin on Feb 21, '08 02:57:37PM

I have a Quicksilver where the only stock part is probably the logic board and case. I've upgraded the CPU, added SATA, USB 2.0, and have more USB and Firewire devices attached than I could be bothered to count.

All of this makes OS installations *incredibly* finicky ever since 10.4 for me. Random lock ups during install, kernel panics -- all kinds of weird stuff. But once the actual OS is on the machine -- its solid as a rock. I could try pulling various upgrades to determine where the problem is, but -- that would require work.

Easiest method to deal with machines like these is to install OS X onto a FW drive, with another machine if needed, then boot the Franken Mac into target disk mode and use Carbon Copy Cloner to get a fresh install onto it. Works for me. Last time I had to do this I tossed $5 to CCC's developer in gratitude.

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10.5: Install tips for older somewhat broken Macs
Authored by: captainulf on Feb 21, '08 11:45:22PM

Couldn't you just hold down the option key at power up and have the firmware boot manager discover the external DVD drive?

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10.5: Install tips for older somewhat broken Macs
Authored by: asmeurer on Feb 22, '08 05:35:55PM

I was having difficulty getting the Leopard installer to recognize my drive (it wouldn't mount under any kind of Terminal coaxing that I knew of, except occasionally it would but the installer failed). I ended up cloning both my drive and the installer to the external drive I bought for Time Machine, and then re-cloning back to my hard drive.

If you plan on doing more than one upgrade/install or have any kind of problems, I highly recommend you take advantage of the Leopard installer's Disk Utility's non-destructive partitioning and clone the installer to an external firewire and boot that. It WAY faster than the DVD (my booted hard drive clone even felt faster than my real hard drive).

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10.5: Install tips for older somewhat broken Macs
Authored by: jaguarz on Feb 23, '08 08:32:18AM

You can also get yourself a double-male ended Firewire cable off eBay for about 8 bucks... plug one into your "broken" mac (dead optical drive) and the other into another mac. Then boot the "dead drive mac" holding down the 'T' key to boot into "target disk mode" that mac has now become an external firewire drive for the other computer. You can use one mac to install OS X onto the other machine... I've done this several times... the best $8.00 I've ever spent!

(also works great for salvaging files of a corrupt hard drive that won't boot!!!!)

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Proxies for safari
Authored by: jeff Allred on Feb 23, '08 06:23:02PM

I am very new to the MAC, and not a programmer. I find it annoying in Safari to have to choose change settings for my proxies and choose HTTP and HTTPS (as well as others) in the select proxy server to configure when I am at work and then uncheck them when I am home or I cannot get on the internet. Is there a way to do this automatically?

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Proxies for safari
Authored by: jbendayan on Feb 24, '08 03:57:56AM
Yes there is.

I use, for the same exact need, a small utility called Marco Polo ( which switches automatically between network contexts (they need to be created first) based on rules.
It can do many other things as well.

HTH ;-))

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