Skip to main content

1.6, 1.8, or 2 GHz G5 processor

128 Questions View all

"Mac OS X cannot start on this volume" Error

Block Image

I am trying to install Mac OS X from the CD to a flash drive, as I do not have a spare hard drive and the internal one is missing. I have formatted the flash drive to the Apple Partition Map and the drive is formatted to Mac OS extended. What do I need to do to get Mac OS installed on this USB stick?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 0

What is the storage capacity of the flash drive? How is it connected to the computer? What version of the OS are you trying to install on it?


@zpl The flash drive is 16GB, plenty for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Its plugged into the USB port on the back of the iMac.


I have tried GUID and Apple Partition Map with it formatted to Mac OS extended (journaled) and they both have the same error message so I don't know what to do next to make this work.


Check out the System Requirements section of the Mac OS X Tiger Wikipedia page. There's a section that says "it was possible to buy the 'restore' DVDs containing the Intel version through unofficial channels such as eBay, and officially through Apple if one could provide proof of purchase of the appropriate Intel Mac. These grey-colored ‘restore’ DVDs supplied with new Macs, are designed to only restore on the model of Mac that they are intended for." There may be some additional information there that can help you out. Can you post a screenshot of the attached disks in Disk Utility?


@zpl I added a image of what the iMac says when I try to install the OS


Show 5 more comments

Add a comment

2 Answers

Chosen Solution

This series of Mac can’t boot from the USB port ;-{

Your options are limited! You can boot up via a bootable optical disk (CD or DVD) or a FireWire 400 external drive

You’ll need to dig around for replacement SATA I (1.5 Gb/s) drive. Most drives today are fixed speed SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) which won’t work here. Some drives offer auto sense technology like Samsung SSD 870 EVO SSD note the interface line lists support! Make sure the drive you get spec sheet lists is like this one, if it doesn’t don’t buy it!

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

for slightly different purposes this article

suggests instead

“check that the “Partition Map Scheme” is set to “GUID Partition Table” (which means it is Mac OS X bootable).”

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0

1 Comment:

I didn't think HFS+ ever used MBR. Hasn't it always been a GPT file system?


Add a comment

Add your answer

Maxwell will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 0

Past 7 Days: 0

Past 30 Days: 4

All Time: 224