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It's a long story, and I have to admit right up front I think I did some pretty dumb mistakes during the process.

Ok, a G5 at work is dead (likely to be a logic board issue). I need to boot from the system (running in Leopard) in order to retrieve some custom settings in the program Matlab and the genuine software environment is needed. But as all the rest of the Macs we have are Intel based, I need to reformat the drive with GUID partition table (from what I read so far) in order to boot form that drive.

So I went ahead to try creating a disk image of the G5 drive (130GB of data). Either Disk Utilities or Carbon Copy Cloner were not able to do that. Disk Utilities said it is too large. CCC just said it could not complete the process. So after some discussion with coworkers, I backed up the drive, but instead of creating a disk image, I simply "select all" and dragged all the files onto an external drive (now I think I might have screwed it up by doing so.... )

Then I reformatted the drive with GUID partition table, and copied all the files back to the newly formatted drive (Yes, this is a stupid idea, I destroyed the original disk...)

Was going to boot from the newly formatted drive with original data from my MacBookPro (running in Leopard) using firewire 800. The drive showed up as a bootable drive but after a second it showed an error stop sign and went back to boot from my internal drive.

So my questions is, is this drive still recoverable so that I can boot from it? Or I screwed it up completely already?

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2 Answers

Just grab your leopard disk, and re-install the OS. You'll probably need to do an archive and install, but you'll recover the disk, and probably won't have to re-install any software.

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i'm not a mac user, but i don't think that fat binaries actually shift between architectures, do they? –  Journeyman Geek Nov 13 '09 at 2:02
    
Leopard is perfectly fine on a Intel based system. Leopard is actually both PPC & Intel based. What happened is that the symbolic links were damaged when copied off the disk. By re-installing leopard, he'll be rebuilding the necessary links. He'll have to update to latest thru software update.. But it'll work. –  Benjamin Schollnick Nov 13 '09 at 2:42
    
Thanks for the replies! I installed OS X on the drive and now I can boot from it. But I cannot figure out how to link back to the existing accounts... –  omicronomi Nov 13 '09 at 18:42
    
Did you choose to preserve user and network settings? If so, you should see them in the account panel, and just be able to login normally. If you didn't follow the steps in this apple Knowledgebase... support.apple.com/kb/HT2196 –  Benjamin Schollnick Nov 13 '09 at 19:45
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I can't begin to count the mistakes..

'But as all the rest of the Macs we have are Intel based, I need to reformat the drive with GUID partition table (from what I read so far) in order to boot form that drive'

  • no- they use a different architecture so the OS alone is different - however a intel mac could read from, but not boot from that disk- you could have popped the disk into an intel mac or linux system to boot it

Disk Utilities said it is too large. CCC just said it could not complete the process.

You could have tried DD

but instead of creating a disk image, I simply "select all" and dragged all the files onto an external drive (now I think I might have screwed it up by doing so.... )

-Not a muckup. can't boot from it, sure, but you can recover the files you need off it

So my questions is, is this drive still recoverable so that I can boot from it? Or I screwed it up completely already?

-wipe the drive, reinstall the right architecture of OS X, and you can use it

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The G5 is dead, so how would I reinstall OSX just on that harddrive? –  omicronomi Nov 13 '09 at 2:45
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