Target Disk Mode

I found a G4 Mac Mini on Craigslist, intent upon experimenting with MorphOS. It arrived packed well, but the hard drive was dead. I cracked it open, and swapped the drive, but no joy. I tried another drive, and even from the option-boot screen, the Mini didn’t see the drive.

I booted from several install discs, and none worked. In a fit of masochism, I even booted into Open Firmware, but couldn’t get that to work either. I plugged a USB IDE drive sled into my Mac Pro, and restored the Tiger DVD to it…. nope. Mini couldn’t see it.

Finally, I remembered Target Disk Mode. I dug through boxes, found a FireWire cable, plugged one end into my G4 Cube, and the other into the Mini. Booted the Mini while holding T, and its drives appeared on the Cube’s desktop. I put the Tiger install DVD in the Cube and ran it — but installed Tiger on the Mini hard drive. After the install completed, the Mini saw Tiger on it’s hard drive, and booted happily.

This is the newest of my vintage machines, and has so far taken the longest (or at least the most attempts) to get working.

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