View Full Version : installing macos 9 without CD/DVD drive

12-11-2003, 04:12 PM
Hello all,

I am relatively new to the mac scene, but I have been working with PCs and UNIX workstations for over ten years now. I was recently given an older (ca. 2000) iMAC DV that had suffered a hard drive crash and has a bad DVD drive. I was hoping that someone could suggest a way to install an operating system on it without using a CDROM/DVD drive.

I do not have another mac available to me, otherwise I would have tried using OS X to do a network install. I do have, however, a Windows 2000/XP box and a RedHat 9 box on my local network. All I have for the iMac is the System Restore CD that came with it originally.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

-- Josh

12-17-2003, 07:17 AM
why don't you buy a cheap Firewire CDRW and have done.

12-17-2003, 05:19 PM
Kinda tuff.

Yes, you could use an external CDROM. That would be the easiest route.

If you had access to a second Mac you could mount the CD via filehsaring. . .

If you are feeling a bit adventurous, you could crack the case and replace the bum CD/DVD drive, or even remove the HD and image it, but that would take another mac with room to connect a slave ATA drive, or a FireWire bridge to connect your drive too.... Cracking open a slotloader is easier than it looks. The plastic case is a bit tricky the first time, but getting at the drives is pretty straight forward.

It is possible to fileshare between Macs and PCs, but you would have to be able to see and run the CDROM on the PC. There is (was) a great product called Drive 2000 which makes Mac format media (floppies, zips, etc.) readable on a PC, but no idea if something like that would let you do a remote install from CD; you would want to configure the networking first before even entertaining that idea.

Check macwindows.com (http://macwindows.com/) for info about sharing, etc.

Good luck.


Charlie Don't Surf!

12-17-2003, 05:24 PM
Oh yeah, and as a Unix type you need to get your hands on OS 10.

At least 10.2.x which runs decent, but 10.3 is much snappier on old G3s like your DV.

There are several sites like osxhints (http://www.macosxhints.com/) that ought to wet your (Unix) apetite a bit....


Charlie Don't Surf!

12-18-2003, 09:46 AM
I had assumed the imac was not booting... is it?

12-18-2003, 08:04 PM
Okay, here's an update. The iMac is not booting to an OS. If I allow it to power up completely, all I get is a flashing icon telling me that there is no OS installed. I have cracked the case and dug around in the innards of this machine. Overall, I am quite impressed with the way apple has put it together. I pulled out the DVD drive with the intention of replacing it with one of the many IDE drives I've got kicking around here. Alas, the drive appears to be a proprietary format...once I get the cable adapter pulled off it looks like it is some sort of laptop drive. I have replaced the hard drive (as that was the original cause of the failure) with another standard IDE drive and all that remains is to get some sort of OS on the drive.

So, I guess what I was hoping is that one of the following is possible:

1. Install the hard drive in another machine and write a simple image to the drive. I only have windows and linux PCs and a Sun Ultra 30. This would be made exceptionally easy if I could find someone who had a working mac of this type who would be willing to make an image of their drive and let me download it from them. Failing that, is there any way to write an OS to the drive using a PC that the mac would be able to read?

2. Boot the mac from the network and install a base OS that way. Is it possible to boot an iMac DV using a TFTP or BOOTP server?

3. This is the option that I am the least fond of... I could buy a replacement CD/DVD drive (internal or external) and use that to install the OS. However, I'd rather not spend too much money on this project, as the iMac itself was given to me by the in-laws after they determined that it would be too expensive to fix it.

Thanks to everyone thus far for your advice! I sincerely appreciate it.

-- Josh