Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Breathing new life into a sluggish iBook G4

Well maybe not as much new life. Let's call it an iBook G4 on dialysis, anyway the main objective was to erase and reinstall OSX 10.5 Leopard on my 12" iBook G4 1,33 GHz . Unfortunately my original DVD was "lost" so I had to go and find another solution.

Failure 1 - Burned image on DVD

I did try to burn a new DVD using an image of the original but that didn't pan out very well as the installation process got stuck in the verification phase. I did try to skip the verification process but that just left me with a totally unusuable system.

Failure 2 - External USB DVD 

I moved on to trying to boot from an external USB DVD reader/writer using instructions I found at Ben Collins blog. But for some reason my external USB DVD reader/writer just wouldn't show up in Open Firmware.

Success - Image on USB stick

When I was busy googling for options to get my external DVD functioning I briefly read something about USB sticks being friendlier in this scenario than a USB drive of some sort. So I used OSX's "Disk Utility" to write the aformentioned ISO image to a USB stick and went back to step 1 of Ben Collins instructions and success showed its pretty little face at step 4 i.e typing boot ud:,\\:tbxi in open firmware. From there on everything worked flawlessly. To get to open firmware press and hold Command+Option+O+F as soon as you power up your iBook.


The only problem was that many of the apps I had installed on my iBook now only supports Intel architecture. But I quickly realized I'm not alone! I found the Power PC Software Archive a great collection with the latest release of many PPC apps on local mirrors. This means I that I once again can run Spotify on my iBook G4. Also I found the Mac PowerPC blog, and the great great great app MacTubes. Normally YouTube is out of the question on the old iBook, ok so I might get it to start but viewing pleasure is out of the question. MacTubes changes all that, now I can search, browse and play videos to my hearts desire with out any lag or out of sync audio what so ever.


  1. Congrats on booting off usb!
    You might also want to checkout


    for some helpful ppc content

    1. Thanks and thanks for the tips, I've already added them to my feed reader.

  2. I keep getting the error "LOAD-SIZE is too small." Do you know a way around this? :/

    1. How did you get the image of your install DVD onto your flashdrive?