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hor411's picture
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Joined: 2021 Apr 12
PowerBook5,5 - reinstall osx

Hello,
i got old powerbook g4 17" with openfirmware 4.7.8 (report as powerbook5,5). I cant boot from USB - after open openfirmware "terminal" are USB without electricity. On HDD is broken installation osx 10.4.2 - working only finder and terminal, other apps cant be opened.
I MUST reinstall (clean install?) osx. But - i dont know which image file i have burn to DVD. dmg images? cdr images? iso images? I am download "single_dvd_leopard_install.cdr", but cant boot from this DVD...
Please help...

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24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Is it this one exactly? https://everymac.com/systems/apple/powerbook_g4/specs/powerbook_g4_1.5_1...

I would try booting with Tiger retail disks or booting from a Firewire drive, if available.
The Tiger CDs are here: #26 to #30: https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/mac-osx-mac-os-10-ppc

We have a thread about USB booting too:
https://macintoshgarden.org/forum/usb-booting

hor411's picture
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Joined: 2021 Apr 12

Yes, is this one... All attempts to boot from usb failed. "super-drive" is broken, not reading media... IEE1394/firewire device unfortunately do not (and new ones don't exist in shops). I am so screwed Sad

sfp1954's picture
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Joined: 2013 Dec 29

Replace the super drive. Very easy. I've done dozens of them.
A #00 Phillips, a T8 and a T6 (and a drive).
Just don't lose the locking clip to the keyboard.

https://www.ifixit.com/Device/PowerBook_G4_Aluminum_17%22

If you're in the USA and want to pay for shipping I would do it for free.

hor411's picture
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Joined: 2021 Apr 12

Laughing out loud I am from Czech Republic. But, ... , I will try it Smile

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

If you have another Mac or a Leopard 10.5 virtual machine under VMWare, it should be doable to take out the PBs HDD and restore a 10.5 installer DVD image to a small "Recovery" partition on the HDD using a USB to pATA adapter and OSX DiskUtility.
After booting the PowerBook from Recovery you should be able to install 10.5 Leopard.

Maybe look for the USB device in Open Firmware again.
OF is not that easy to understand, but a thumb drive should be found after all.
I needed several tries too, to get into the installer from a USB thumb drive with my Mac Mini G4. Wink

hor411's picture
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Joined: 2021 Apr 12

I considered this (restore to HDD using USB->PATA). Openfirmware does not detect USB drive:
...
/usb1a
/usb1a/keybord0
/usb1a/mouse0
/usb1b
/usb1c
...

IIGS_User's picture
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Joined: 2009 Apr 8

An external DVD drive should work as well.

hor411's picture
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Joined: 2021 Apr 12

External DVD drive with FireWire/IEEE1394? I don't have that. And you can't get it in any shop...

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Have you already tried replacing the internal optical drive with an SSD? If you've got one with the optional external case, you can plug it in to another computer to format the SSD and create an 8GB partition with the restored DVD on it. Then soft-lock the partition, remove the SSD from the external enclosure and stick it in the optical drive spot, and boot.