RetroMacCast

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The old upgrade switcheroo (how to get a G5 booting from internal software based RAID1)

It's been a while between posts.

I've recently picked up an Aluminium 24" iMac 2.4GHz to replace my old Dual G5 tower as my workstation.

Since this was my first intel workstation, I decided to retire the installation that has been running since OSX.2 and had been progessively upgraded to 10.4.11. It was time to do a fresh install.

The machine came with OSX.4 and I upgraded through to 10.6.2.

It was time for a cull of applications, and only those that I use regularly made it back in. The only app I had trouble with was EyeTV, which resulted in an upgrade to the latest version which is Snow Leopard compliant.

Moved all my data across between machines using Firewire 800 without any trouble.

All this was the easy bit. The hard bit started when I tried migrating my server from a G4 Xserve to the retired G5 tower.


Now, I had only recently put a 1Tb Western Digital Caviar drive in the G5, so I went out an acquired a matched second so that I could run them as a RAID 1. That's when the fun started. To be brief I will dot point what did and, more importantly, did not work:

Problems:

* Booted G5 from OSX.4 install disk and run disk utility to set up RAID - appeared to work
* Tested G5 to see if OSX.4 would install onto RAID - refused to identify RAID as bootable
* Booted G5 from OSX.5 install disk and run disk utility to set up RAID - appeared to work
* Tested G5 to see if OSX.5 or OSX.4 would install onto RAID - both identified RAID as bootable
* Put G5 into Target Disk Mode and connected to Xserve via Firewire 400 - worked
* Used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone Xserve boot partition onto G5 RAID - appeared to work
* Booted G5 - did not work, could not 'see' RAID
* Put G5 into Target Disk mode and booted Xserve from G5 RAID - worked
* Put Xserve into Target Disk Mode and booted G5 from Xserve - worked
* Booted G5 from internal RAID - still did not work!

Solution:

* Put Xserve into Target Disk Mode and boot G5 using Xserve boot drive - worked
* Use latest Disk Utility from OSX.4.11 Server on Xserve boot drive to build RAID on G5 - worked
* Use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone Xserve boot volume to G5 RAID - worked
* Boot G5 from RAID - worked!!

Points of interest along the way:

* When using G5 in target disk mode (FW400) with Xserve controlling cloning - clocked at around 8Gb/hr
* When using Xserve in target disk mode (FW400) with G5 controlling cloning - clocked at around 20Gb/hr
* Using gigabit network direct between Xserve and G5 to copy data - clocked at around 100Gb/hr

BTW: Checking Apple's support pages reveals that both the Xserve and G5 tower can autoswitch for crossover on gigabit ethernet - no special cable required, just a standard Cat6.

So I now have a G5 that boots into OSX.4.11 Server and am happily copying my data across via gigabit ethernet.

Hope this might help someone else doing similar things in the future.

Views: 460

Comment by LaurentB on December 12, 2009 at 9:13am
I'm bookmarking this one!
Thanks
Comment by applefreak on January 24, 2010 at 1:29pm
a G5 on the floor isn't a good idea
one said to me his power mac G5 fans where always running at high speed


opened, cleaned all inlets, all fans, removed an replaced hard disks, the memory, graphic board....
the whole interior

problem solved, for years now
Comment by macdownunder on January 24, 2010 at 1:37pm
Thanks for the tip Applefreak!

In it's working environment, mine is elevated and in the workstation cupboard.

As I sit above it, I am accutely aware of it's cooling status, and whenever I get it to do some movie transcoding, the fans fire up for a while which is an interesting experience.

I can safely report that the inside of mine is very clean (even when I purchased it second hand). Hope to keep it that way!

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