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I have bought an old iMac G5 (A1145, iSight 20") from a friend and there was no OS installed on it. So now I want to make a clean/new OS X installation. I created an install USB (with Tiger 10.4.6) and boot from it. The Installer went well but there was no HDD to select at [Select a Destination] screen. So I opened Disk Utility (DU) to see what happened and found that DU did not recognize my HDD instantly, I had to wait about 10 minutes or more and finally DU can see it. I tried to erase the disk but it took so long to operate and showed the error message "Disk erase failed: operation timed out". I guessed that the HDD may get damaged so I bought a new SATA HDD (Seagate, 160GB, 7200rpm) and replaced it with the old one. Try to boot from USB again and now it stuck at the grey screen with the Apple logo (no spinning icon).

Update: Try to replace the new HDD by the old one again and I can boot into the Installer, but there still no HDD to select either in [Select a Destination] or [Disk Utility].

I have 4 Tiger Install CDs (10.4.11, copied, not original) and have it installed successfully on my iMac G4. But when I try to boot from these CDs on the G5 it just stuck at the gray screen with 🚫 icon and the spinning icon.

Now here's what I want:

  • install OS X Tiger (or Leopard) on 20" iMac G5

What I already have:

  • an iMac G4 runs Tiger 10.4
  • a 17" iMac G5 runs Tiger 10.4
  • an Intel Macbook run 10.6
  • a Firewire-FireWire cable
  • 4 Tiger Install CDs
  • an 8GB USB 3 stick with Tiger Installer

Is there anyway to clone MacOS from the iMac G4/G5-17" to the iMacG5-20"? I've heard somewhere about install MacOS to an iMac by booting from a Firewire Disk, but I dont have a one. Can I boot my iMacG5 using G4's CDs or 17"G5's USB via FireWire cable? Please help!

My appreciate! Thanks for your time!

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    Minimum OS is 10.4.2 [max 10.5.8] - what's on your CDs? I very much doubt you'll get it to boot from a USB, btw - that's hard enough to do on the early Intels. – Tetsujin Aug 25 '17 at 7:10
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    @Tetsujin : Actually, I can get it boot from a USB (via open firmware). – quangtruong1985 Aug 25 '17 at 7:28
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    Ah - I've no experience with open firmware at all. – Tetsujin Aug 25 '17 at 7:38
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    What's the model of the HDD you used to replace the dead one? The G5 uses SATA I, but drives should be backward compatatible. Also, try FreeBSD to see if it's a OS X issue. I did it on an XServe so the procedure should be the same – Allan Aug 25 '17 at 11:39

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