11 Replies Latest reply: Jun 5, 2008 11:51 AM by jso56
Eddie777 Level 1 (0 points)
I have an Imac G4 flat screen with no OS installed. When i try to install OS X i get all the way till where you choose the destination to install it to and it says "you cannot install OS X on this volume.You cannot start up your computer using this volume." when i try to install it on my external hard drive since i bought it at an auction i think they removed the built in HDD. Ive tried Disk utility with no result. Is there a way to install OS X on the external harddrive? Any help is appreciated.

imac G4
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)
    Do this:

    Extended Hard Drive Preparation

    1. Open Disk Utility in your Utilities folder. If you need to reformat your startup volume, then you must boot from your OS X Installer Disc. After the installer loads select your language and click on the Continue button. When the menu bar appears select Disk Utility from the Installer menu (Utilities menu for Tiger or Leopard.)

    2. After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Note the SMART status of the drive in DU's status area. If it does not say "Verified" then the drive is failing or has failed and will need replacing. SMART info will not be reported on external drives. Otherwise, click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.

    3. Click on the Options button, set the partition scheme to GUID (only required for Intel Macs) then click on the OK button. Set the number of partitions from the dropdown menu (use 1 partition unless you wish to make more.) Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Partition button and wait until the volume(s) mount on the Desktop.

    4. Select the volume you just created (this is the sub-entry under the drive entry) from the left side list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

    5. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Options button, check the button for Zero Data and click on OK to return to the Erase window.

    6. Click on the Erase button. The format process can take up to several hours depending upon the drive size.

    After formatting has completed quit DU and return to the Installer. Now complete the OS X installation.

    You can basically do the same procedure for the external drive by selecting it instead of the internal drive, then follow the same steps.
  • eww Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Hi, Eddie. Your external drive must connect to the iMac via FireWire if you want to be able to start the computer from it. A USB drive won't be able to start the computer, even if an OS is successfully installed on it. Apple does not support booting any PowerPC Mac in OS X from any USB device.

    If you boot the iMac from your OS X installer disc (with the external drive disconnected from the computer), ignore the Installer application, and go to Apple Menu > About this Mac > More Info > ATA, you should see both a hard drive and an optical drive. Is there no hard drive?
  • ali brown Level 7 (26,465 points)
    Welcome To  Discussions Eddie777!

    Which version of OS X are you attempting to install, and what type of discs are you using?

    ali b
  • Eddie777 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok i switched out the usb and used firewire and did the steps in the extended hard drive preperation and successfully installed OS X panther then used an upgrade disk and upgraded to Tiger. I have used the disks with the X's on them but even when i choose to start up using the external harddrive the screen only shows the flashing folder.
  • ali brown Level 7 (26,465 points)

    "...installed OS X panther..."
    Did you use a Full Retail Version, of the Panther Install CDs?

    "...then used an upgrade disk and upgraded to Tiger."
    That is most likely the cause of the problem.
    Unless the upgrade disc, was shipped with the exact same model of iMac, thru the up-to-date program.

    Additional info in these links.
    Using OS X Install CDs/DVDs On Multiple Macs
    Software Update, Upgrade: What's The Difference?
    What's A Computer Specific Mac OS X Release

    If you want to install Tiger, you should use the Full Retail Version, of the Tiger Install DVD.

    ali b
  • eww Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Hi, Eddie. Ali may be right about the use of a model-specific Tiger Upgrade disc being the cause of your continued inability to boot from the external drive. You could test that theory by reinstalling Panther alone (from your retail Panther installer) and then seeing whether the drive will boot your Mac before upgrading to Tiger. If that works OK, Ali is probably right.

    However, I know for a certainty that not all Upgrade discs are model-specific, if any of them are. So it's possible that your problem is something entirely different.

    If you can't boot into Panther after installing it from a retail disc set, one such possibility is that you have an external drive enclosure with a non-bootable FireWire bridge board. The bridge board mediates between the drive and the computer, and although most FireWire bridges used in modern enclosures enable a Mac to boot from the drive in the enclosure, some do not. A few years ago, more of them were non-bootable. It may be (I'm not sure) that combination enclosures with both FireWire and USB 2 interfaces more often contain non-bootable FireWire bridges than FireWire-only enclosures.

    System Profiler will identify the bridge used in your enclosure. With the external drive connected via FireWire and turned on, go to the top of the Apple menu and choose About This Mac > More Info > Hardware > FireWire. Post back to tell us exactly what information is shown about the FireWire drive.
  • jso56 Level 1 (0 points)
    hey kids!

    my first posting so if i trample some etiquette please forgive me.

    -running 10.3.9 on an imacG5.
    -new wd my book 500gb firewire external drive. drive has been formatted & partitioned using disk utilities & apple file system (default used).

    1) i want to make one of the external drive partitions bootable to 10.3.9 (i need the ability to run a classic application).
    2) i want a second external partition bootable to 10.5 (need an app upgrade that requires 10.5).

    procedure that has not worked:
    1) create dmg file of 10.5 install disk using disk utility.
    2) restore this new 10.5 install dmg file to the desired external drive partition using disk utility.
    3) select this partition as the startup device.
    4) BUT on restart a) a ? icon appears, which b) is quickly replaced by a folder w/ a face icon, which is followed by c) booting from my internal drive running 10.3.9.

    any & all help is welcomed.

  • jsd2 Level 5 (6,200 points)
    jso - it's your MyBook drive - you need to exchange it for a different brand:

  • The Bohemian Level 3 (525 points)
    Hi and Welcome,

    For the WD Drive, are you connected with a FireWire? And also, a Disk Image may not take... May have to Clone to the Partition to have it Boot. And, you can make two types of Clones... Device or Volume.
    Which WD Drive is this? Home? Studio?
    I do know what WD says, but I do have mine Booting... sooooo.

    Do you want to pursue it...?

    PS: It might be a good idea to start a new thread for this...

    Message was edited by: The Bohemian
  • Kappy Level 10 (263,335 points)
    We'll forgive the lack of etiquette since it's your first post. However, it's inappropriate to hijack another user's topic. So, please post your own new topic in the same forum. If you don't know how that's done then click on the Help & Terms of Use link in this page's right sidebar. You might read the TOU as well to avoid future missteps.
  • jso56 Level 1 (0 points)
    jsd2, bohemian, & kappy,

    tbanks for the info. i sniffed around, gathered some info, & tried to get the wd-md to boot again w/ no luck.... will be looking for a compatible drive nxt wk....

    apologies for hijacking. my problem seemed close enough & the thread title described what i wanted to do....

    thanks again folks!