I've got an eMac that's mostly working (running Tiger, plus a selection of other nice software), but has a broken optical drive. I have a spare USB optical drive lying around, and it works for most purposes, but, according to this discussion on the Ars Technica OpenForum, most PowerPC Macs (including eMacs) can't boot from USB drives (at least not out of the box and without a LOT of tinkering and swearing), although they can boot from FireWire drives.

Just in case I ever have to reinstall Mac OS X on the eMac, here's my question: if I plug a USB-to-FireWire adapter into one of the eMac's FireWire ports, and plug the USB optical drive into that, will the eMac be able to boot from said optical drive, or will I have to shell out for a FireWire optical drive?

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    Kudos on having an eMac that still boots! I found this adapter on Amazon, but you'll need extra cables. There are FireWire 400 optical drives, but the only ones I can find are on eBay. Because Firewire 400 is essentially an archaic technology, there are few, if any, manufacturers which have products available. Welovemacs.com has eMac-compatible internal replacement CD & DVD optical drives, too, if you feel like opening the case and doing some organ transplant surgery. :-) – IconDaemon May 15 '18 at 16:58
  • @IconDaemon: Well, I've already opened up the thing once (to replace a dead motherboard battery), so I guess I could take a look at putting in a new internal optical drive (assuming I can scrape up a few bucks for it). – Sean Sep 27 '18 at 0:31
  • Okay, what the hell is up with the drive-by downvoting?! – Sean May 8 '19 at 3:49
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    Haters will hate. :-) Some people have nothing better to do but be nasty for no apparent reason. I upvoted to put it back to zero. How is the project going, by the way? I maintained a fleet of eMacs years ago, and other than suffering lower back injury from carrying them around, they were solid machines. The kids at my school were fond of poking holes in the speaker cones until Apple provided the plastic grills. Even then, some delinquent figured out how to remove the grill and continued poking the holes. Ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate to the rescue! – IconDaemon May 8 '19 at 11:17
  • @IconDaemon: The stumbling block remains funds (lack of). – Sean May 8 '19 at 21:08

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