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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Mar 20, 2012
    Posts
    13
    G5 imac stuck on OS 10.6
    I bought an old iMac G5 and inadvertently installed OS 10.6 on it. Amazingly it runs, but takes almost 10 minutes to start. I want to install 10.3, but I cannot get the original G5 iMac disk to mount properly. When I try to start from the install disk the image is very snowy, and appears as a negative.

    I tried to quit the installer, then use the Disk Utility to erase the iMac's drive, but it would not let me do that either.

    How can I get the OS 10.3 to run this iMac?

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    48,532
    Specs:
    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Snow Leopard, OS X 10.6 will not run on a PPC G5 iMac. It can only be installed on an Intel machine. Are you sure it's a G5 iMac and not an Intel iMac?

    In any event, if that iMac came pre-installed with a version of OS X later than 10.3, you can not install 10.3 on it.

  3. #3

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabert78 View Post
    I bought an old iMac G5 and inadvertently installed OS 10.6 on it. Amazingly it runs, but takes almost 10 minutes to start.
    I have my doubts that you were able to install 10.6 on an iMac G5 (PPC based Mac). As chscag mentioned...10.6 only runs on Intel Mac's. Maybe you really have an Intel Mac.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabert78 View Post
    I cannot get the original G5 iMac disk to mount properly.
    Is this a gray-colored disk? If so...are you 100% sure this gray-disk came with this iMac? The gray disks are model specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabert78 View Post
    How can I get the OS 10.3 to run this iMac?
    How come you want such an old OS X version to run on this Mac? 10.4 or 10.5 would be much better (but more expensive to get the install disks).

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  4. #4

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
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    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    22,020
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB Flash Storage, 3.3Ghz, 16GB memory, OS X.11.5.
    Go to About this Mac and share with us the iMacs precise details. Makes no sense installing OS X.6 on a G5. Sure it was not OS X.5 Leopard?

    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac12,1
    Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 2.7 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 6 MB
    Memory: 12 GB
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Mar 20, 2012
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    1) This is a G5 Mac per the About This Mac Window
    2) I used OS 10.6 install disks and the computer does boot, and it accepts and runs programs - I have no idea why this works when it shouldn't, but it does.
    3) The disks I am trying to install are gray, and they say OS 10.3.6 on them - they are not the ones that came with this iMac, but are ones that I hung onto from an old iMac three years ago
    4) I could just leave it the way it is, but it is dead slow so I want to get the proper OS on it

    Please give me instructions on how to make a thumb drive startup for this Mac

  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabert78 View Post
    1) This is a G5 Mac per the About This Mac Window
    2) I used OS 10.6 install disks and the computer does boot, and it accepts and runs programs - I have no idea why this works when it shouldn't, but it does.
    Sorry...but I guess I would have to see it to believe it.

    - If this iMac is running OS 10.6...it's got to have an Intel cpu.
    - And if it has a G5 cpu...then it's not running OS 10.6.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  7. #7

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabert78 View Post
    3) The disks I am trying to install are gray, and they say OS 10.3.6 on them - they are not the ones that came with this iMac, but are ones that I hung onto from an old iMac three years ago
    Those disks won't work if they are from a different model Mac computer.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Mar 20, 2012
    Posts
    13
    The disks plainly say G6 iMac, and they worked on the old iMac I had three years ago - the iMac I am having trouble with is the same model as that old one.

    I know it should not have worked, but I used a Snow Leopard install disk and the computer is running. I bought this older iMac and donated it to a charity where I am a volunteer. I just want to get it back to the proper OS.

  9. #9

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabert78 View Post
    The disks plainly say G6 iMac...
    Of course the disks don't say "G6 iMac" on them...there is no such thing as a "G6 iMac"!! I realize that this is probably a typo...but I still need to call you out on it...since you are being so insistent!


    Quote Originally Posted by Jabert78 View Post
    and they worked on the old iMac I had three years ago - the iMac I am having trouble with is the same model as that old one.
    There were 8 different G5 iMac models. Unless these disks came from EXACTLY the same model G5 iMac...there's a very high chance they will not work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabert78 View Post
    I know it should not have worked, but I used a Snow Leopard install disk and the computer is running. I bought this older iMac and donated it to a charity where I am a volunteer. I just want to get it back to the proper OS.
    Again. OS 10.6 will not work on a G5 iMac. Regardless of this point...we know that the optical drive works...since you say you installed OS 10.6. If you were able to install OS 10.6 onto this computer...and if the gray iMac G5 disks are not working...then the problem is either the disks are bad (cannot be read)...or the gray iMac G5 disks are the WRONG disks for this model computer!

    I think that there is definitely a communication issue in this thread. If OS 10.6 is running on this computer...then it must have an Intel cpu...and you clearly have misidentified this computer as an iMac G5!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
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    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB Flash Storage, 3.3Ghz, 16GB memory, OS X.11.5.
    Post from 'About this Mac' and we will believe you otherwise it is an error of machine or operating systems. G5's cannot run Snow Leopard OS X.6 period.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  11. #11

    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Jul 30, 2009
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    Wisconsin
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    Mac Mini (Late 2014) 2.6GHz Intel Core i5 Memory: 8GB 1600MHz DDR3
    The replies are all accurate. They're just trying to help. You've posted information that is conflicting. If we can help you sort that out, then maybe we can help you with a solution. The first step is recognizing that several different people are telling you the same thing, and they are right.

  12. #12

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
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    Modesto, Ca.
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    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    The early Intel iMacs LOOK EXACTLY like the Last iMac G5. No difference on the outside at all. Agree with above, post what is on About this Mac from the Apple in the top left corner.

    I have both my old iMac G5 and the Intel that looks just like it and trust me, only the Intel will boot from 10.6.

    Are you sure it's not 10.5?

  13. #13

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    ...post what is on About this Mac from the Apple in the top left corner.

    Are you sure it's not 10.5?
    Back up in post #5...OP claims that "About This Mac" says "G5". Yet OP still says OS 10.6 is installed (and running). So very very confusing!!!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  14. #14

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Jan 04, 2005
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    Modesto, Ca.
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    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Back up in post #5...OP claims that "About This Mac" says "G5". Yet OP still says OS 10.6 is installed (and running). So very very confusing!!!

    - Nick
    I found one on Apple support that made my head hurt. Person there said if you put 10.6 on a Power PC Mac it Magically becomes an Intel CPU as the CPU is part of the OS! Not joking! WOW!

  15. #15

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    I found one on Apple support that made my head hurt. Person there said if you put 10.6 on a Power PC Mac it Magically becomes an Intel CPU as the CPU is part of the OS! Not joking! WOW!
    That's why it's "Magic"! We're not supposed to understand how "Magic" works...it just does!!!

    - Nick

    p.s. Regardless of what I/we know regarding the impossibility of installing OS 10.6 on a G5 Mac computer. Just out of curiosity (just like you)...I did some internet searching last night to see if there were some sort of wild claims that 10.6 could be installed on a G5 (legal or illegal methods)...and I found nothing.
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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