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I am restoring an ancient PowerPc iMac and I have a very peculiar situation. The iMac has a new ssd drive where Mac Os 9 is installed and works perfectly. I would like to install also 10.4 Tiger but the original install disks are long gone and burning a bootable disc seems impossible (I tried anything). The old 20GB hdd contains a perfectly working Tiger install and I could connect that HDD via USB because I have an adapter.

Is there any method that would allow me to end in a situation where I have both working and bootable operating systems on the new ssd?

Maybe copying the old disk to a partition on the new one?

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Oh goody a classic MacOS question...

The nice thing about the classic MacOS is that once it is installed you need little else besides the files in the system folder. Yes there is the "blessing" of the system folder but if it is your intention to use it in a "Classic Environment" inside macOS then you should not need to worry about that.

Connect the drive with the macOS Tiger installation and boot from that. I think that will work. Some older Macs cant boot from USB. Failing that can you put it in an old firewire enclosure?

The goal here is that once booted into macOS Tiger just drag the folders from the classic install on the SSD to your Tiger drive. Put them at the root of your (Tiger) Mac HD and take the whole system folder, applications folder and anything else you need.

I did this a while ago and while I was at it I made a zip archive of the whole thing, "just in case." Just in case happened and I unzipped the files and it worked a treat.

Once you have done that you can use an old (shareware) copy of Carbon Copy Cloner to "back up" the Tiger drive with MacOS 9 on it to the internal SSD.

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  • +1 for the statement "Oh goody a classic MacOS question..." When I hear someone say things to this effect, it gives me confidence in their ability. – Allan Jun 5 at 22:21
  • I worked in Tech Support at MacWarehouse for 4+ years and literally wrote some of their RAM upgrade guides. I could still walk you through upgrading the RAM on a Mac SE, Plus, SE-30, etc.. Not bragging mind you, I just did so much of it it is likely written on the surface of my brain. – Steve Chambers Jun 5 at 23:31

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