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installing on PowerPC G4 Powermac, optical drive is failing.
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Proinsias
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Oct 2014
Posts: 113
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:23 pm    Post subject: installing on PowerPC G4 Powermac, optical drive is failing. Reply with quote

I switched on my G4 Powermac for the first time in a year or two. It's running OSX 10.5.8 but it's feeling outdated, no updates in the time it was off. It took hours to update xcode, install macports & compile bash from source to get a post shellshock version running. I'd prefer to use something actively supporting the architecture.

The problem at the moment is getting it to boot into something other than OSX. the cd/dvd writer is very temperamental, i had it booting Debian and Yellow Dog from CD a few years back and ran both on the second hard drive for a while, I've lost the Debian disk but it won't boot the Yellow Dog disk anymore. it's refusing to recognise most disks and after spending a week or so attempting boots, burns and cd's freshly burnt from my desktop to no avail. I've briefly tried booting from usb but had no luck. Gentoo was my first pick but I've been trying Debian, ubuntu & derivatives with no joy in getting anything to boot.

The machine is an Apple Powermac G4 933MHz 1.5GB RAM 2002 Quicksilver PowerPC. Main 60GB ATA hard drive has OSX 10.5.8, spare ATA 160GB hard drive doing very little. It's not a necessary piece of kit, but it's the sexiest computer I've ever owned, it's built like a tank and I'd like to keep it around as a pet.

Any suggestions for getting started with an install? I currently can't get past a blue screen with a small question mark file icon if i attempt to boot anything other than the current OSX install. I've come across snippets online suggesting that linux can be installed from another *nix based OS, which I think OSX may be, but my google-fu is failing me.
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khayyam
Watchman
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Joined: 07 Jun 2012
Posts: 6228
Location: Room 101

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Proinsias ... I can't remember if Apple's Open Firmware allows booting from a USB stick on those machines, none the less have you tried? If the internal mutli-drive is failing, you might try an external USB CD ... if you have one at hand, or can borrow one. BTW, is it the disk selection or does the boot happen then fail?

It should boot, I've installed gentoo on numerious Apple's of that period (and prior) ... so, the booting part should be possible, the status of the ppc tree on the other hand I can't speak for.

Also, you mentioned Debian and Yellow Dog Linux, have you tried booting a recent gentoo iso, ie, install-powerpc-minimal-20140713.iso?

best ... khay
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Proinsias
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 06 Oct 2014
Posts: 113
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been trying to boot from a USB and failing. I've tried thegentoo minimal ppc install iso, I've booted into OSX and the optical drive won't accept audio cd's or movie dvd's so I think it's safe to safe to say it's broken. I don't have a usb cd drive but i suspect they are cheap.
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khayyam
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Joined: 07 Jun 2012
Posts: 6228
Location: Room 101

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Proinsias wrote:
I've been trying to boot from a USB and failing.

Proinsias ... ok, so you can select it via 'c' at boot, but it fails at some period during the boot? If the latter then you might try adding the slowusb boot parameter.

Proinsias wrote:
I've tried the gentoo minimal ppc install iso, I've booted into OSX and the optical drive won't accept audio cd's or movie dvd's so I think it's safe to safe to say it's broken. I don't have a usb cd drive but i suspect they are cheap.

I've had some success in the past dismantling them, vacuuming out dust, and oiling the cogs and bar (using machine oil ... the kind of oil supplied with hair clippers will also work) ... but, yeah, an external one is fairly cheap.

best ... khay
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