Leopard .dmg Install

December 17th, 2008

How to install Leopard from a .dmg file – My Constraints:

  • Leopard not on DVD, only 7GB .dmg file
  • Tiger is available on bootable DVD
  • Cannot boot on USB or Firewire drive

I am providing this because some of the more popular methods did not work for me.  If the following does not make sense, read this original guide and the digg comments on it.  Here’s an overview followed by notes:

  1. Prepare.  Backup all your important files, docs, iTunes library (split itunes library), iPhoto library (split iPhoto library), etc on an external drive or network drive. Make sure you 7GB leopard install .dmg is handy (on your backup drive is fine).
  2. Create a 2nd partition, 8GB or larger, where we’ll put the leopard install .dmg, then we’ll boot from that and install leopard onto big partition, see NOTE below.
  3. Prepare 2nd partition as a bootable Leopard Install option, see NOTE below.
  4. Reboot, hold down ALT, pick leopard install boot option, Install leopard on 1st partition – I recommend erase and install, but you can also upgrade.
  5. Optional: Merge 2 partitions together – Caveat: I have not done this – delete 2nd partition then resize partition.

NOTE: Creating 2nd Partition in Tiger

Tiger’s “Disk Utility” application creates Apple Partition when I re-partitioned it, with no option for creating a GUID partition.  On Intel mac’s, you need GUID partition in order to boot the drive and to install tiger. However, http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1600 said to “erase” partition and it would be given GUID paritition – This also did not work.  What did work is using the command line program diskutil, which you can run from the terminal application.  Example of what I did

% diskutil partitionDisk disk0 2 GPTFormat HFS+ Big_Daddy 224GB HFS+ leopard_install 8GB

NOTE: Preparing 2nd Partition

Many web pages said to use “Disk Utility” to restore .dmg as source and the newly created 2nd partition as destination.  This did not work for me, and as apple support states, sometimes disks cannot be dragged to destination in “Disk Utility” from Tiger DVD.  So I installed tiger on the first partition (erasing it first) in order to get a working “Disk Utility”.  Now dragging disks worked but whenever I clicked on “restore”, “Disk Utility” gave error 2, 16, or some other number. What did work is mounting .dmg file (use hdiutil or just double click it), then using the command line program “asr” from terminal.  Example:

sudo hdiutil attach leopard_install.dmg
sudo asr restore --source "/Volumes/Mac OS X Install DVD" --target /dev/disk0s3 --erase

In hindsight, this should all work from terminal app from Tiger DVD right at boot – you should not need to reinstall tiger.