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Error Installing OS X on Mac G4

My gray Mac (Quicksilver) G4 tower ran OS X tiger quite smoothly. After some unsuccessful experiments trying to install OS 10.6 (involving typing some code in the firmware) it now runs only OS 9 . When I try to reinstall OS 10.3 or 10.4 it stops with an error message saying it cannot install it. Apart from the moral to be content with what one has, any suggestions welcome and thanks.

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  • Vee Tee May 02, 2010

    Thanks - The installation errors occur after all these steps have been taken - I have a feeling it is when the computer is about to restart just after installation. At that point it fails.

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I would suggest sticking with Tiger. How to reinstall:

I assume you put the Tiger disc in the drive and rebooted while holding C or you changed your startup disc in System Preferences.

As you are clicking through the installation program, look for a "Options" button at the bottom, I believe. Click the button. Look for the "Archive and Install" option. Careful: **DON'T select "Erase and Install" unless you want everything erased off your hard drive.

There is a small risk of data loss when installing the operating system. You should have backups of your important pictures, documents, etc. You should have backups of your home folder. [The free Carbon Copy Cloner can make a copy of your hard drive onto an external hard drive. It can also make a disk image you can save to an external hard drive, if there's other stuff on the drive.]

Select "Archive and Install," which will save your previous OS in a folder and install Tiger. It will not touch your pictures, documents, etc.

After that, you should be good to go. If not, let us know and we'll do our best to help.

*If this info is helpful, please rate my solutions, and recommend me. Thanks! **

Posted on May 01, 2010

Testimonial: "Good solid advice."

  • Ex2bot May 02, 2010

    Did you install using the "Archive and Install" option? That may be the key.

    It's possible that your install disc is defective. Do you have a friend who also has a retail Tiger disc that you could use or else a backup copy? But I see you said you'd tried installing 10.3 and 10.4.

    Have you tried running the Hardware Test that came with the computer? Look at your system discs; one of them should have a Hardware Test (you have to boot from the CD/DVD).

    Another thing to try would be holding down Command(Apple key)-Option(ALT)-P-R (all four keys). This will reset the Parameter RAM (PRAM). It won't hurt anything to reset it, though you might have to reset some of your System Preferences, such as mouse speed, clock, etc.

    Do you have another Mac with a Firewire port? If so, you can order an inexpensive Mac-to-Mac Firewire cable and use Firewire Target Disk mode to install the OS on a machine *from the other machine*. This might be more successful. Let me know if you want to try it and I'll give you more information.

    Good luck. I can see how this would be frustrating. It should install without a hitch, but that's not happening. I get an email notification when you post a comment, so let us know if the troubleshooting steps above work or not (if you want to). If these don't work, we'll keep working on it.


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