I was recently helping a friend with their iBook G4. It came to me with the ominous clicking hard drive. After a little bit of playing around I determined that the hard drive was in fact toast. Now, if you have ever disassembled an iBook G4, you will know what a pain in the posterior it can be. Removing the hard drive basically requires a total tear down, minus the LCD panel. If you are ever disassembling the iBook G4, do yourself a favor and go to that link. I went to install a new hard drive in the iBook G4, but the owner didn’t have the installation disks. Doh. What’s a person to do? Ubuntu PPC to the rescue!
Now, I know it’s not the Mac OS. It’s not going to be as polished. But it’s a great way to revive that laptop. First things first, go grab the Ubuntu PPC. Just click on the link entitled “Mac (PowerPC) and IBM-PPC (POWER5) desktop CD.” This will start downloading the iso file. Now, you need to burn the iso image to a CD. The easiest way to do that is to grab this free ISO burner.
Okay, once the CD has been burned, we are ready to put it into the iBook G4 and boot. Once it loads, you want to click the “Install to Disk” icon on the desktop. This will start the installation wizard. When you do the install, make sure you select the boot option with no splash screen. Otherwise, you may get a video lock – ie, the computer won’t boot.
Now, that should pretty much be it. But, if you are having withdrawal from OSX look and feel, you can turn your Ubuntu computer into Leopard OS X. You may not be able to do some of the effects and the look isn’t 100% on the iBook, but it looks good enough.
Hope that helps.