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10.5: Install on a PPC Mac from an external USB Drive
Authored by: DinoBob on Feb 10, '12 10:12:00PM

I am a PC guy for many many years but a complete Mac n00b. I got a G5 iMac from my brother-in law that had puked the hard drive. Of course, he had lost the install DVD in a flood this summer. Arg.

I obtained a disk image of the Leopard DVD, but experienced much frustration as the drive does not read dual layer DVD. I tried a pared-down disk image on DVD-R, but no luck there. It just hung at the Apple and pinwheel.

Ultimately, my solution also involved another Mac. I popped a new 500 GB SATA hard drive into a USB enclosure, connected to my Windows box, and placed the .dmg on it. I connected it to the Mac Mini, and copied the file to the desktop. From there, I just wiped the SATA drive using Disk Utility, and created two APM-formatted partitions- one 20GB to hold the image and leave some extra space, and another one using the rest of the disk. From Disk Utility, I verified and then used Restore to copy the image to the 20 GB partition. Since my G5 does not have the camera, removing the back to swap the hard drive was a cinch. At first it would not read it at all, and I then discovered that I needed to jumper the SATA drive to 1.5 GBps. Once I did that, I booted using the Option key, selected the image partition, and installed to larger partition. Bang!

For someone who has the very last iMac G5 with the camera, disassembly is more of an impediment. But getting to the guts of the earlier model could not be easier. Three screws on the lower edge of the unit and the back comes right off. If you have one of these this method is a slam dunk.

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