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How do I install OS X 10.5 without a cd dvd drive?

3565 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 9, 2013 1:08 PM by TommyH RSS
curtiswMac90 Calculating status...
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Jun 22, 2012 10:02 AM

My cd/dvd drive busted WHILE I was upgrading the OS to 10.5.  Now I get the folder with the question mark when I start up, or a blank screen.  Other than installing a new cd/dvd drive, how can I install the OS without the drive?  I only have other Intel Macs to use, no PPC.  I don't believe Firewire/Target disk will help much in this case will it?  I don't need any data from the currently unreadable hard drive - luckily had transferred everything ahead of time, but also erased a backup OS 10.4 boot drive too soon.






PowerMac Dual 1.8Mhz PPC

  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,260 points)

    It will. Put the DVD into the drive of one of the Intel Macs, start the Intel Mac in FireWire Target Disk mode, and perform the installation.



  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (36,555 points)

    Installing OS X 10.4 'Tiger' on DVD-Challenged Macs Using FireWire Target Disk Mode -


    Installing Tiger Without a DVD Drive - []


    How To: Installing Tiger Using FireWire Target Disk Mode - [ r_using_firewire_target_disk_mode/]

  • TommyH Calculating status...
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    Apr 8, 2013 6:07 PM (in response to Limnos)

    I'm having trouble with the installations Limnos recommended after trying it several times. Here is my situation:


    • PPC based Power Mac running 10.5 non working DVD drive
    • Intel based Mac Pro running 10.8 working DVD drive
    • Want to erase and reinstall the PPC based Mac and install 10.4 and then upgrade to 10.5


    I want to reinstall 10.4.5 (I have those discs) on the PPC based Power Mac.  The discs say Mac Mini on it.  Not sure if that matters.


    I succeed in getting the PPC in Target disc mode. I can see those drives on my Intel Mac.  I put the DVD into the Intel Mac's DVD. Click on Install OSX. It asks to reboot (Intel Mac). I do and it just reboots-does not boot from DVD drive.  I tried holding the Option Key, reboot, then select the DVD drive (Intel Mac) and it just boots normally-again. All the while the PPC based Mac is in Target Disc mode.


    Any recommendations on how to get the Install disc to work?


  • Curtis1820 Calculating status...
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    Apr 9, 2013 5:37 AM (in response to TommyH)

    "The discs say Mac Mini"


    This does matter. If these are install discs that shipped with a Mini then they can only be used to install the OS on a computer of the exact same model and specs as that Mini.  You'll need a retail version of the OS DVD or downloaded version from Apple to get the install to work. You may be able to buy these on eBay for less. Just be sure to see a picture of what you're buying - you don't want grey disks, you want the disks with the full color logo on them.

  • TommyH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I found my original Power Mac G5 discs and I'm getting the same results. 


    When I put those PMG5 discs into the DVD drive of the Intel Macpro and open that disc it won't allow me to double click to install.  When I reboot with the Option key down it does not give me the option to boot from that DVD either.


    All the while I've successfully mounted the PowerPC in Target mode on the Intel system though.

  • Curtis1820 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 9, 2013 6:55 AM (in response to TommyH)

    Again, original Apple install disks will only work on the same system they shipped with, so your PMG5 disks won't be recognized by the Intel machine. Borrowing an external DVD drive to connect to the G5 might be an option but would take some sleuthing. A new DVD drive is probably cheaper than retail OS disks.


    Another option might be to use the Intel machine to create a disk image of the PMG5 DVD using a disk-ripper program.  Put the disk image on an external FireWire Hard drive and then connect it to the PMG5 and boot from there. Not sure if you can rip original install DVDs.

  • TommyH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Curtis. I had the Targets reversed.  Once I did that right it worked perfectly fine.


    Thanks for the advise on the Disk Image too.


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