Currently Being ModeratedSep 25, 2012 3:32 PM (in response to Myles3234)
You can certainly buy a new hard disk drive and install it. OWC / MacSales is a recommended vendor.
You cannot download an OS from Apple on that machine. You would need to buy a retail package of OS X on a DVD. You can install up to Leopard; not Snow Leopard.
Strictly speaking, a used Mac should always be sold with its original system installation discs. They are supposed to be included with the hardware according to Apple's licensing agreement. I would not consider buying a used Mac without them.
It cannot boot since there is no device from which to boot.
Retail versions of OS X tend to have insane prices, so shop around.
You could try to obtain replacement system installation DVDs for that computer by contacting Apple, but I do not know if they have them or what it might cost. Have your system's serial number available, they won't be able to help at all without it.MacBooks iMacs iPods AirPorts, OS X Mountain Lion, 27 years Apple!
Currently Being ModeratedSep 25, 2012 3:46 PM (in response to Myles3234)
If you go to OWC / MacSales you will find what you need:
All G5 PowerMacs use Serial ATA drives so you have a large selection.
Your challenge is to find a Leopard DVD. Here is one Amazon vendor:
If I had to guess that's more than you paid for your G5
Contact Apple to see if you can obtain a system installation DVD. You have nothing to lose.
Currently Being ModeratedSep 25, 2012 4:00 PM (in response to Myles3234)
Definitely try to get the recovery disc from Apple first. It will be less expensive.
If you're sucessful you will not need to buy the full retail version.
Remember to determine the G5's serial number first:
Currently Being ModeratedSep 27, 2012 4:20 PM (in response to Myles3234)
Probably; depends on what version OS X was originally included when it was built.
As a rule you cannot install an OS that predates the hardware, due to potential incompatibilities with the software (drivers) that control it.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 14, 2013 1:08 PM (in response to Myles3234)
So, I see this has been resolved, but I wanted to add some detail:
I also just purchased a surplus Power Mac G5 surplus from my university. It was also stripped of its hard disk and, therefore, its OS. I called Apple and they looked up which OS came with the computer originally (Jaguar!! Oy!) and in the process of trying to send that out for free realized that they don't have it and never will. They said they were very sorry but I would have to purchase the newest supported OS for the machine, which is OS 10.5 Leopard. I was apprehensive as I knew it could be outrageously expensive online, but went along with it. Anxiously, I waited for him to find the list price and they said, "it will be $16.88 for the Leopard OS." I nearly jumped out of my seat and had them quickly send off a copy.
Moral of the story - Call Apple for OS, buy hard disk anywhere else.