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Upgrading Xserve G5 using USB Optical Drive/ Target Disk Mode

1071 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Oct 27, 2012 1:13 AM by Neville Hillyer RSS
Ryan The Apple Guy Calculating status...
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Oct 25, 2012 7:53 PM

Hello Everyone!


I am trying to update my Xserve G5 that is currently running 10.3 (Panther) to 10.5 (Leopard). I have tried multiple methods and cannot seem to get it to work.

I have tried to:


  1. Use a USB Optical Drive - I tried using a USB optical drive because the Xserve G5 has a CD drive not a superdrive. It recognizes the Leopard Installation DVD as it pops up on the desktop. I open the installation and click the restart button, but it restarts again and goes to my desktop as if I just turned on the Mac. I have tried doing this in Safe Mode (Holding down Shift on Start Up) and trying to select it from volumes (Holding down Option on Start Up). These two do not work.   I believe it is because I am using a USB optical drive and that it wont recognize the drive unless you are logged on in the OS. Could this be it?
  2. Use FireWire Target Disk Mode - I also tried to use target disk mode by hooking up my Xserve to my MacBook Pro 2009. Everything work fine. I put the Xserve into target disk mode by holding down T on start up and it goes into target disk mode. It pops up on my MacBook Pro desktop as a FireWire external device (I can access all of my files on the Xserve hard drive). My only problem is that I do not know how to run the installation disk of Leopard off of my MacBook Pro so it installs it on my Xserve.


Any Suggestions or Ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Thank You

- Ryan

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)

    Hi Ryan,


    You were so close on #2, but put the Install Disc in the MBP, boot the MBP in t mode, boot the xServe using the option or alt key, see if the Install Disc in the MBP shows as a boot choice.

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,845 points)

    This should be on a different forum.


    I have used a later Xserve and I would not do it this way as it will not be flexible for future use.


    Your original problem was probably because the installer is double layer and your drive may only read single layer.


    I would investigate a new internal (NOT external) multi-function DVD drive - the last one I bought (SONY DVD RW DRU-190A) was about £20.


    Alternatively a clone of the install disk on another internal drive or volume would be good - not sure if Carbon Copy Cloner will do this but it may be worth a try.

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,845 points)

    An interesting use of Target Disk Mode. Does it normally work?


    It is not necessary to boot an installer as long as it can be mounted. I have in the past used the following:


    sudo /Volumes/Leopard/System/Installation/CDIS/Mac\ OS\ X\\ OS\ X\ Installer /Volumes/Leopard/System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg


    Not sure how to use this here especially as it appears one Mac may be PPC and the other Intel.

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,845 points)

    In my first post I assumed you were trying to install Leopard Server but if this is not the case Carbon Copy Cloner will definitely do this. I have used it for this several times.

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,845 points)

    The simplest way is to use an empty internal disk or volume on the Xserve.


    Download Carbon Copy Cloner to the Xserve.


    Mount the Leopard installer on the booted Xserve via MacBook optical drive and file sharing or Target Disk Mode.


    Clone the install disk to the empty volume with Carbon Copy Cloner - probably default settings throughout.


    Boot into volume with Leopard Installer.


    A better way is to backup the whole Xserve boot volume first to another disk with Carbon Copy Cloner - this will give you extra insurance in case anything goes wrong.


    Large CCC backups can take a long time.


    Good luck.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)

    Is the Drive APM partition scheme? Did you format it on yhe xServe?

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)

    When i was trying to restall it, It would not let me install unless I made partioned as GUID Partition Table.

    Only running the Installer ON an IntelMac will require that.


    You must be running the G5 xServe off the Install Disc in the MBP, with he MBP in t mode.


    Try that but reformat/Partition the drive using the xServe.


    This isn't a Gray Intel only Install Disc is it?

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,825 points)

    So what should I do since reformatting the HDD through disk utlity on the Xserve is not an option

    Why not???


    Boot th xSeve using alt key from Install Disc in MBP, then...


      2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu. (In Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you must select your language first.)

          *Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from the disc again to access Disk Utility.*

       3. Click the Erase tab.

       4. Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the hard drive icon to display the names of your hard disk volumes and partitions.

       5. Select your Mac OS X volume.

       6. Highlight the drive, select Partition Tab, then Format type... MacOS Extended Journalled, APM Partition.


    Quit DU which puts you back to the Installer... Install.

  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,845 points)

    It is probably not be too late to try my last instructions. Whatever you do make sure you have a backup of anything critical before you go any further.


    Good luck.


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