Panther: Can’t install on secondary hard drive without booting from CD

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
May 2nd, 2004 • 11:14 pm

I didn’t realize that this was a problem… This morning, I want to start configuring my second internal hard drive (recently installed) by installing Panther on it.

In the good old days of the classic Mac OS, you could insert a system CD, and launch the system installer on the CD without having to boot from the CD, as long as you didn’t want to install the system on the current system volume.

You can’t do that with Mac OS X, however. I would have liked to be able to install Panther on my secondary hard drive in the background while continuing to work on stuff within the Mac OS X environment booted from the startup volume on my main hard drive. But as soon as I launch the installer on the Mac OS X installation CD, it asks me to restart from the CD.

Too bad. I suppose I really should start exploring alternative ways of installing Mac OS X, from disk images etc. My idea, however, was to have a really clean install from CD, not to clone my current startup volume, as I want to make sure that I am not recreating the environment that’s causing my still unexplained system-wide freezes. (After a few days without any freezes, I had two more in quick succession yesterday evening.)

I guess there must be a limitation in the architecture of Mac OS X itself that really requires that you boot from the CD in order to be able to install the system on a hard drive volume. I don’t see what, though. After all, whether you boot from a CD or from another hard drive volume, the destination volume is free to be erased, configured, etc.

3 Responses to “Panther: Can’t install on secondary hard drive without booting from CD”

  1. Jon Bains says:

    You can install OSX on any drive without having to boot from the CD by running osinstall.mpkg as opposed to the big friendly click me installer. Can’t remember exactly where it is as I haven’t a CD handy but I seem to remember its in /library/installation or something like that.

    Only works if you are running the same version of the OS (jaguar/panther etc) tho’ as they keep changing Installer


  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Jon: Thanks for the tip. Should have thought of it myself… Would have only been useful for the first step, though. It looks like you need to be booted off the volume in order to install most subsequent updates. Oh well.

  3. aol says:

    I was experiencing a freeze on Tiger (OS X 10.4) when I tried to boot from the Panther install CD that came with my 15 AL PB. The grey screen loaded with the off-white apple logo, but there was odd distortion around the apple logo and the machine would not continue to boot. I tried several times, and then went searching for how to install 10.3 on a separate partition and found this page. And this process works to install panther on a separate partition when tiger is installed and booted. Thought I’d post a note.


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