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Ask Max: How can I install OS X on a backup drive?

Asked on 08/04/2010:

Hello Jacob,

I have a G5 Dual 2.7Ghz PowerPC running 10.4.11, and I have the original OS software discs that came with the tower, 10.4.2 I want to install 10.4.2 on an external drive so that occasionally I can boot up some software that will only run on that older OS.

When I try to do this install, I keep getting into a "do loop" where the install disk wants to restart the computer and then when it does, it says it cannot "install the software on this computer", I can't seem to be able to perform this simple install without restarting the computer and then I go around again. Please help Mr. Wizard.



Dual 2.7 G5Are you sure that you have the original install DVDs for your system? Most gray labeled discs are locked to the exact generation computer that they shipped with.

Most Dual 2.7 G5s shipped with 10.4.0 and did not have 10.4.2 DVDs. Those 10.4.2 DVDs were included in the generation after that model. However, if you are sure that they work on your G5, It may just be a problem with the destination drive. If you have a second internal drive you could experiment with, try installing 10.4.2 on that drive.

Then use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone that fresh install onto your external hard drive. Dont forget to format the External Drive as a Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume with a Apple Partition Map. Those are often the default settings when using Disk Utility to partition a drive.


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