Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Install Mac Os X Leopard(10.5) to iBook G4 without CD/DVD

Hello. A few days ago, I've bought a cheap iBook(14", 1.42Ghz PPC). Unfortunately it's CD/DVD Drive not working. But I've got an Intel iMac(Snow Leopard 10.6.8) at home as well. Also, I've got Leopard & Snow Leopard Discs. But unfortunately I've lost my Leopard disc. But there is a luck, I made a dmg from Leopard DVD before I lost it. Cause I like USB installs.

iBooks & other PPC Macs not supporting USB boot. Also, without installation DVD there is no meaning Target Disk Mode because I've got an Intel iMac & you can't install Leopard to a PPC Mac using Intel Mac.

I've searched internet like hell to solve a solution, but couldn't find it. The best answer I found was there is no way of doing this: "Nope that wont work. It will install an x86 version of leopard on your powerbook. (Assuming your putting the powerbook in target mode and installing from the macbook)"(Matt321-macforums)

So, I thought something that could work. At first try, I've managed to install Leopard to my new iBook G4:

What You Need: You need another Mac(I used Intel iMac 20'' Core 2 Duo) that uses Firewire 400 & a firewire cable. Also Leopard installation disc or Leopard dmg file.

1-  I opened iBook G4 with pressing & hold "T" button on the keyboard. Eventually screen will show Firewire icon.

2- Then con Firewire cable to my Intel iMac. iMac recognized my iBook G4's Hard Drive as an external HDD.

3- I've opened Disk Utility(Applications - Utilities - Disk Utility) then clicked "Partition". Selected "Option" button at the bottom and then "Apple Partition Map" & pressed OK.

4- Then I've changed Volume Scheme from "Current" to "2 Partitions". I've renamed partitions as MACINTOSH & LEOPARD_BOOT. I gave LEOPARD_BOOT partition 8GB. Rest remained at MACINTOSH part. With Format: "Mac Os Extended(Journaled) selected, I pressed Apply. This would take a few minutes.

5- Put your Leopard Installation Disc to your primary machine(i used iMac) or double click your prepared Leopard dmg file. You will see ''Mac Os X Install DVD'' at the left side on the Disk Utility. Select it & click ''Restore'' at the top. Put ''Mac Os X Install DVD'' to Source & LEOPARD_BOOT to Destination. At the end, click Restore button at the bottom. This will take some moments. When it finishes, close Disk Utility.

6- Shutdown your iBook G4. Unplug Firewire cable. Then reopen it with ALT "Option" Key. Select LEOPARD_BOOT at opening & you will see installation starting.

7- When installation finished, open iBook G4 with ALT "Option" Key again. But this time, select MACINTOSH partition. System must open without any fail.

8- If you want you can delete or erase LEOPARD_BOOT partition with Disk Utility.

Installation took almost 1 hour. I've heard normal Leopard installations take longer than 5 hours with optical drive. So, this method should be the fastest way to install Leopard to your G4 PPC Mac.

NOTE: I tested this method on iBook G4 14'' 1.42Ghz, İbook G4 12'' 1.33Ghz & Powerbook G4 17'' 1.67Ghz machines. With this method, you can even install Tiger(10.4) on your PPC machine.

That's it. Thanks for reading this tutorial. Stay in tune.


  1. The instructions between steps 4 and 5 do not make sense or you are leaving something out. After you make the partitions, you say you closed iBook G4, then reopened it with ALT "Option". What does that mean? Closed iBook means Shutdown? Did you need to copy anything over to the 8GB Partition?

    1. Hello. I think I was mistakenly deleted some part of my tutorial. I've fixed it. Tutorial is now complete & I hope it helps.

  2. Hello. I'm trying to upgrade a mac mini to 10.5 with a .dmg file. I followed your instructions, but when I restarted the computer, I saw the blue screen with the 2 arrows along with the 10.5 installer. I selected the installer and then the right arrow, which brought me to the installation window. At that time I received an error saying that I need to have 10.4 installed before it will do the installation of 10.5. Prior to partitioning the hard drive I had done a completely new 10.4 installation on the mini. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

    1. This is the first time I've heard such problem. I think there is something wrong with your DMG file. You should try different one. Also can you tell us your Mac Mini's exact model(Powermac 10,1 or 10,2 - or Intel)?

  3. hi...Im student from Informatics engineering nice article,
    thanks for sharing :)

  4. Hello everyone,

    please i need to upgrade my ibook g4 from os x 10.4.11(Tiger) to 10.5(Leopard) but i don't have a disk for it and i don't have a dmg file either.
    Please does anyone know where i can get a dmg file or an image of the os x 10.5 disk which i can burn.
    Please someone should assist me on this, thanks.

    1. Hi Scott. You have 2 ways to get Leopard dmg file:
      1- Buy original Leopard Disc from vendor & create .dmg file.
      2- Download .dmg file from some websites. But this way is illegal & I can't recommend it. All responsibility is yours.

  5. Great tutorial! Worked great thanks!

  6. Thanks for this tutorial I was getting frustrated I was choosing the wrong format for the partitions it cleared it all up

    Thanks Dude