Can't Even Install OSX


Whenever I try to install MacOSX from my CD, I launch the installer and it claims that due to an error of -2, System Disk could not set the CD as the startup drive.
I tried various commands in Open Firmware to boot from the CD-ROM as well as restarting holding down the 'C' key, but to no avail. Has anybody experienced this - also the MacOS reports when I eject the CD that some data may be missing or something - is this because it contains a MacoS X Desktop Database File and not a MacOS 8.5.x/9.x one? My CD has wierd smears on the bottom of it but disk First aid reports that everything is fine? Have I just been unlucky for the second time recieving a dodgy CD or is this a problem with my machine?
Please respond to my e-mail address if possible
From your system specs it looks like you have added a 2nd HD?
Or is it just a partition? Have you monkeyed around with your IDE drive
chains at all? I ask because OS X will not boot off of a "Slave" device.
When I added my 2nd HD, i reconfigured everything, and my CD became the "slave" on the IDE chain. This
prevented X from booting from the CD.

Good luck,
My System Spec is as follows:
300MHz B&W G3
192Mb RAM
IDE (BUS 1) Master 15GB IDE Drive (for X)
Slace 6GB IDE Drive (MacOS 8.5.1)
IDE (BUS 0) Slave Generic IDE DVD-ROM (Not Apple's)

(My DVD insists on being Slave as otherwise it causes severe pauses on startup and can cause it to take 5mins+ to boot)

X Should install on this configuration perfectly right?

So the CD drive you referred to in the first post is in
fact a Slave DVD-ROM? Or do you have two CD drives, both
Apple's and the new one? (and no zip...)

Because OS X will only boot (even off the CD) if the drive
is in master mode. To install, you might have to swap in
Apple's drive if you have it, or just make the DVD drive
Master for the duration of the install process.

If on the other hand, you have two CD drives and are trying
to install OS X by booting the CD off the master drive,
I sure don't know what to tell you...

Hope this helps,
Yep, My DVD ROM drive is the slave device, I can't set it to master though because when I do the MacOS takes an eternity to boot for some reason with minute long pauses between every few seconds during bootup...

Do you reckon there's a fault with my DVD drive then?
Yep, X can't start up from the CD because the drive is Slave.
The fact that if it is master there are such long boot delays is a bit odd, no? I assume this means there's a problem. If I were you, I'd double-check the jumpers, and make sure there are no cable-select or other sierd issues.

Things to try:
1) Set the system to boot off the CD drive, then shut the system down, and change the drive to master for the OS X boot process (maybe X will boot at the right speed?). Restart, perhaps also holding "c" -- this is what I did.

2) Set the drive to master, endure the long startup into 9, and then restart into X.

3) Fiddle with the IDE settings or try it on a new bus.

Remember, you only have to endure the long startup once -- when OS X is installed, you can switch the CD back to slave, because from then on, X will be booting from a master HD.

Thank you for your advice everyone,
I'll try restarting with DVD as master and installing after that, I fear that there may be something wrong with my DVD drive though, so I'll also try it with an old IDE CD-ROM if I can find one in an old machine...
An article in Apple's OS X knowledge base (accessible here) confirms that OS X cannot recognize any ATA (IDE) hard drives on the second bus (bus 1) if there is a lone slave DVD device on bus 0.

So even if you succeed in installing OS X with a spare CD drive (as master) or by switching your DVD to master, the system may not be able to boot OS X from the bus 1 master hard drive once you switch the DVD back to slave. (Is this sentence too dense to be comprehensible? If so, sorry...)

Perhaps switching the buses to your HDs and DVD will fix this?


[The link may require an applecare ID (free) and/or the applecare cookies already on your drive. Shouldn't be a problem, though.]