PowerMac G5 DVD-Rom cannot read my Superdrive - DVDs and ejects OS X Install DVD on Boot

A PowerMac G5 I was working on would boot up directly into a Grey Screen or a Grey Screen with a missing Startup Disk icon. (OS X folder icon with Question mark)

To begin fixing it, I put in an OS X Installer Disc into the Superdrive. To do so, I rebooted the computer and held the left mouse button down, this tells the computer to open the Superdrive.

After it opened, I put the OS X Disc into the DVD-Rom and rebooted. Holding down "c", I could hear the Superdrive trying to read the DVD, but shortly after the DVD ejected.

The problem was that the drive was bad and had to be replaced.

For roughly one evening, I assumed it was Firmware related or some incompatibilities with the DVD Disk and the G5. It was not, so if you ever run into this problem, most likely you have a bad Superdrive on your hands.

Installing OS X on a G5 with a bad Superdrive or no DVD capabilities using a second Mac

1. Power down the machine that you want to install OS X on, in my case, the G5.
2. Put the OS X Disc into a second computer with a working DVD Drive, in my case an macbook pro
3. Connect a 6 pin to 6 pin firewire cable to each computer.
4. Reboot the computer with the install discs in it, in my case the macbook pro, when it restarts hold down "t"
5. You will see a Firewire symbol which means you are in target mode.
6. Turn on the second machine, in my case the G5, hold down the option key.
7. You will get a menu that shows your bootable drives, after awhile it will show the Mac OS X Install DVD as a bootable Drive.
8. Choose the OS X Install DVD and click on the Right Arrow.
9. Now you should be able to install OS X onto your machine using the other machine`s DVD-Rom. In my case, I was able to install OS X using my macbook pro`s dvd-rom onto my G5.

Important: You can`t use a Intel copy of OS X on a Power PC, so make sure you have an appropriate copy.

You can also use a firewire drive to restore a Mac, but that is not covered here.

Keywords: mac os x target mode, g5 super drive broken, broken dvd rom mac g5, os x dvd not reading, os x install disks eject g5

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Posted on: Apr 6, 2010 12:47 pm

Excellent work around... Thanks