Investigation: booting a mac pro that doesn’t have a dvd drive

A short post. I am working on a friends computer slash getting rid of shit, and I am giving him my older mac pro. He wants to play older games, browse the net, and use lmms. With an R7 370, 2 xeon 5150’s, and 16gb ram, this thing can frame limit to 60 and stay locked in quake champions at high settings. He just wants to play older Final Fantasy games and emulators. This’ll be fine.

So I beed it to boot off of a dvd to install correctly. It won’t install windows off of a usb stick. I currently don’t have a spare ODD laying around, so I will be using target disk mode on other macs to try and boot this mac pro.

They SHOULD just pop up as a dvd drive or external cd drive with a disk in it, so we’ll have to see what we get.

Post in a moment with pics. I’m going to try a powerbook and an imac as those are the machines I have available. Heres hoping x.x

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Ok well I have an update but I’m annoyed.

Yes, you can use a powerbook as an external firewire cd drive. And, yes, with a windows disk in a powerbook g4 in TD mode the mac pro will in fact see a windows dvd.

However whether its that the powerbook has a slow disc drive, that the mac pro has a hybrid efi, or that I have an x86 disk in a ppc machine, which shouldn’t matter.

So idk I’m trying to see if anything else will pop up. Linux dvds don’t come up, nothin. Fuck.

It’s been a minute but IIRC apple EFI needs to chainload a UEFI bootloader that can boot the windows bootloader that can proceed. EFI by itself isn’t capable of doing it.

But, you can probably network boot into winpe and run setup from there, or network boot into Linux and install from a VM.

I’m just not sure what’ll happen after the initial installation, once you get a bootloader that’s capable of loading windows and once windows decides to update the bootloader … will everything still work, it’s hard to predict.

I decided I was goj g to use this to make a video. Its kinda what I wanna showcase on my channel. Hey, if you have this machine and this problem, try these things etc

Seems like a good project

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Ok so I am working on this again today and I am going to record dvd / cd attempts as well as refit and refind attempts. Of course once in one of those, I can boot whatever I want.

The question I shill have is can I use my powerbook. Idk if I have a working ODD I think they are all dead.

Heres hoping

Oh yeah and my imac of course, but theres things in osx I can try too I guess.

I will leave notes here.