View Full Version : Boot eMac from Combo drive

10th August 2009, 01:13 PM
G'day all
I posted a week or so ago regarding my first tentative venture from Windows to Mac after buying an eMac.
As I originally posted, I know exactly zero about Mac's so I'm not sure whether I have a problem with my eMac or the cd/dvd drive.
The machine came without any operating system.
A friend gave me a couple of dvd's supposedly containing retail OS X Tiger (as well as OS 9). I don't know the exact origin of these disks, and they won't boot the machine.

I've done some research and booted into Open Firmware. I've tried the command which is supposed to give a directory listing of files on the cd (pasted from website -
"To get a listing of the files on a CD-ROM, type (for example):
dir scsi-int/sd@3:,\"

That gives a result of

"Can't open the DIR device"

I then tried both of the following commands which are supposed to force a boot from cd (when holding down the "C" key fails - which it did)
"boot cd:9,\System\Library\CoreServices\BootX
boot cd:9,\\:tbxi

Again, this results in "Can't open the DIR device"

Does this mean the cd/dvd drive isn't working.....or something else?
I'm not a newbie to computers (been working with Windows and DOS for a LOT of years) but this is my first Mac and I'm as green as grass with it.

Any and all help is GREATLY appreciated and will stop any more hair loss

10th August 2009, 02:07 PM
Either the drive itself is dead, or the discs you were given aren't actually bootable. If the latter were downloads, and burned on a PC, they will usually not be bootable. If they were originally DMG files, and the DMG file was mounted to the desktop, this will render the resulting DMG non-bootable.

10th August 2009, 02:39 PM
You are probably better off getting a retail disc of Tiger to boot from ( assuming your combo drive is OK that is ) - black discs with the big X on them and not a machine specific grey disc.
Umm - just like we suggested in the other thread.


10th August 2009, 03:52 PM
Thanks Brains and Stewie.
After having more carefully checked the disks I was given, it looks like they're unbootable copies. They have a small Apple logo and the words "Mac OS X Install disk 1 (and) 2 - Not for resale" .....that's it...nothing else!
That probably explains why they won't boot my machine........BUT.......why can't I actually read the directories on the disks?
Is there something I'm not doing?