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How to restore factory Mac OS 8.6 on Lombard without a DVD-ROM drive?

I got a Lombard 400mhz yesterday but it's missing its DVD-ROM drive. As you may know, booting from USB is impossible on this specific PowerBook model. I do not have a HDI-30 to DB-25 SCSI cable, but I have the Lombard restore CD image and the original 6GB IDE HDD still spins (but it only has Mac OS X installed on it).

I want this Lombard restored to its factory software (Mac OS 8.6). How can I proceed? I have tried BootMania on a MDD G4, but I cannot add or create any disk image in BootMania for some reason (the CREATE IMAGE button is always grayed out).

How would I proceed?

Update (07/27/23)

Uhm, unless I misunderstand you, HFS+ was introduced with Mac OS 8.1 in 1997. The PowerBook G3 Lombard shipped in 1999 with Mac OS 8.6 so it supports both HFS and HFS+ drives natively. Also, don't worry, we can try anything you want with the 6GB IDE HDD, I've dd'ed it to a disk image, formatted the whole drive and flashed the disk image back in it and the Lombard still boots OSX just fine as if the drive was never formatted, so we're ready to try anything with that 6GB IDE HDD.

Tomorrow, I will try to go to a local electronics shop to see if I could find a 25 years old HDI-30 to DB-25 SCSI adapter or cable. This would enable me to use a PiSCSI or a SCSI2SD both of which I own. Even if such an adapter cost 30$, it would still be much cheaper and easier to buy than an unobtainium Lombard DVD-ROM drive that still reads anything lol

Update (07/28/23)

I found a HDI-30 to DB-25 SCSI adapter for the Lombard in an electronics shop that had very, VERY old parts. This was their last adapter and the box was as yellow as a banana! ;-) But it worked and I installed Mac OS 9.2.2 thru my PiSCSI. Thanks.

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Boy, I really need to sweep out the cobwebs out for this one!

I do believe you have the needed software as the restore CD should get you to the original OS. Now the trick is getting it installed.

You had the right idea, but the CD has a bit more hidden! It’s setup as a blessed drive so the IPL via the systems firmware can do its thing.

I think you need to look for either the Lombard CD/DVD unit or find a SCSI unit which you can connect into your system.

There is still one more shoe to fall here! OS-8 and early OS-X versions use HFS and the newer OS-X versions use HFS+, that plus can get in the way here.

If I remember correctly Leopard is the last HFS and Snow Leopard is the first HFS+ version. A drive that’s upgraded or running HFS+ Can’t be backed off to HFS. You’ll need to wipe the drive to then install the older HFS OS.

So I would strongly recommend you find another drive then risk killing what is working now. As I don’t remember what the restore disk will install.

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@marc19630 - Apple back then took a more conservative approach.

While HFS+ was introduced in OS-8 (8.1) concurrently OS-X was also being released! Within it the break was a bit different.

To add to it if you where running an older HFS OS (OS-8 or older), it was only upgraded during a maintenance release of OS-9 to HFS+ in the case of OS-10 that was the jump between Leopard (10.4) to Snow Leopard (10.5).

If you did a fresh OS install it was prepped with HFS+ in OS-8.

Don’t shoot the messenger here! 🤗


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