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Re: no way to boot from mobile firewire hdd?

2g wrote:
since my iBookG4's internal hdd got dead bought http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10558 could happily restore osx and boot from it but installing debian nor ubuntu seem to fail at installing yaboot process

I got my 40gb "G-drive" firewire 400 to boot by temporarily using another system to issue yaboot from (ybin actually) - perhaps you could use a live distro temporarily to issue the ybin commands to your firewire drive.

This is probably not the most efficient way to do this, and could have a few errors as it was a real caffeinated situation. :) If anyone sees any errors or easier ways, please tell me. I'm not a firewire expert as we'll soon see.

What I did was boot Ubuntu (long since purged - maybe you could use a live Debian CD, etc) and finish the Debian install on the firewire drive even though it is still unbootable at this point.

At the terminal in your live-cd (in my case my internally-booted distro) run:

find /proc/device-tree -name 'sbp-2@*'

This was the result and I made a note of it:


Mount the firewire drive, and find the yaboot.conf file in it's own filesystem. Below is a snippet of the edits I made to this file - maybe this could help you out:


Note the format of the ofboot and device lines which contained some of the info gleaned from the previous find command. With a dead internal drive, maybe your devices will be sda instead of sdb?

Copy this edited yaboot.conf file to the /etc directory of your live-cd or internally booted system. (be sure to make a backup of this *original* yaboot.conf if you are using an internally booted distro!)

Now in /etc of your booted system where this freshly-edited yaboot.conf file from your firewire drive came from, run

mkofboot -v

Hopefully the drive will get blessed at this point, and if you reboot it should boot from the firewire drive. In my case, if I wanted a choice of either the firewire drive or the internal hardrive to boot from, I just held down ctrl-option and made my boot selection when both drive icons showed up.

I did notice when I was testing out Ubuntu and Debian Etch-testing that only Ubuntu came up with a yaboot warning prompting me to see if I wanted to finish the install, whereas Debian did not warn me and just finished the install anyway - although both required manual editing of the yaboot.conf file in either case.

At any rate I hope this helps. I'd like to thank Ben and all of the Debian PPC team for making PPC linux a real pleasure for me so far on my G5 iMac.

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