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ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 05:43 PM
I just picked up an old Mac G4 at a yard sale for $20. The owner said that it just needed the OS reinstalled BUT, he didnt have the discs anymore. I have a Leopard 10.5 DVD so I figured I'd be alright. Got the beast home and looked it over and its a 400MHZ CPU (there goes Leopard) and has 384mb of ram (3x 128mb). I tried booting it as is and it boots up to a flashing folder with a question mark. THe previous owner told me that it ran fine and then just booted that way one day and he figured the OS was screwed up so he throw it in the closet and bought a new Mac.

My question is, what can I do at this point? I'd like to get it up and running but the only Apple OS I have is Leopard 10.5 and I believe that needs over 800Mhz to run. Is there any way to try to recover the OS that is already installed? There is a sticker on the back that says OS 8.6 if that helps. I'd really like to get this going just for music and maybe movies.

Any help would be appreciated as I am an Apple newb :)



ezramoore
Mar 30, 2012, 05:46 PM
You are correct in assuming that you won't be able to install leopard with 400 mhz.

It isn't even running OS X, judging by that sticker.

The flashing folder icon means that the firmware cannot find the system on the disk. The reason it started doing that one day is likely that the hard drive has failed/is failing. You could replace the hard drive and reload a compatible OS, but unless you are doing it for fun/experience/nostalgia it probably isn't worth your time.

Intell
Mar 30, 2012, 05:48 PM
Leopard can work on there, but it'll be slow with only 400Mhz and 384Mb of ram. The flashing question mark is likely being caused by a dead hard drive. You'll have to buy a new one. Because of the age of the Mac, you'll have to get a PATA/IDE/EIDE drive that is 128Gb or less in size.

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 05:51 PM
You are correct in assuming that you won't be able to install leopard with 400 mhz.

It isn't even running OS X, judging by that sticker.

The flashing folder icon means that the firmware cannot find the system on the disk. The reason it started doing that one day is likely that the hard drive has failed/is failing. You could replace the hard drive and reload a compatible OS, but unless you are doing it for fun/experience/nostalgia it probably isn't worth your time.

Its my first Mac so its kind of a challenge for me. And as I said, I think it would be good for storing and playing Mp3 files.

I found some 1GHZ G4 CPU's on ebay for under $20 Shipped. Is it just a matter of pulling the old processor board out and installing the new or do certain motherboards only support certain CPU's?

----------

Leopard can work on there, but it'll be slow with only 400Mhz and 384Mb of ram. The flashing question mark is likely being caused by a dead hard drive. You'll have to buy a new one. Because of the age of the Mac, you'll have to get a PATA/IDE/EIDE drive that is 128Gb or less in size.

I have a whole closet full of 80-120gb PATA hard drives and TONS of RAM :)

Intell
Mar 30, 2012, 05:52 PM
I'm guessing that you have a Sawtooth PowerMac G4. Does it have an APG video card? Those older ones can take most G4 upgrades. But before you go blowing money on one, post a link on here so that it can be confirmed to work in your machine.

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 05:54 PM
I'm guessing that you have a Sawtooth PowerMac G4. Does it have an APG video card? Those older ones can take most G4 upgrades. But before you go blowing money on one, post a link on here so that it can be confirmed to work in your machine.

It does indeed have an AGP video card and 3 spare ISA slots.

Here is the CPU I was looking at:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PowerMac-Mac-MDD-G4-1GHz-1-0GHz-CPU-Processor-820-1497-A-/270893396874?pt=CPUs&hash=item3f1281338a

Intell
Mar 30, 2012, 05:57 PM
ISA? Maybe you mean PCI. Because you have an APG slot, I'm fairly certain that you have a Sawtooth G4. Good buy, those last a long time.

That CPU will not work in your machine. Notice that it says MDD. This is the last few models of the PowerMac G4 line. Their CPUs are not compatible with the older non-MDD PowerMacs. You need one that does not have a 167Mhz bus speed.

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 06:01 PM
ISA? Maybe you mean PCI. Because you have an APG slot, I'm fairly certain that you have a Sawtooth G4. Good buy, those last a long time.

That CPU will not work in your machine. Notice that it says MDD. This is the last few models of the PowerMac G4 line. Their CPUs are not compatible with the older non-MDD PowerMacs. You need one that does not have a 167Mhz bus speed.

I'm surprised I didnt catch the MDD. I was looking at a dual 867mhz at first but that was MDD as well. So if I find one that is NOT MDD, it should work?

I thought they were ISA slots in there because they were extra long. Never seen the longer PCI before.

Secondly,
I know in theory I can get leopard to install on the 400mhz with some modifications. If I was to change the HDD and add more ram, could I boot with the Leopard DVD or will it not boot due to the CPU speed? As of right now, with the current HDD it will not even see the DVD when I boot with the option key.

ezramoore
Mar 30, 2012, 06:04 PM
Does that machine even have a DVD compatible optical disk drive?

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 06:05 PM
Does that machine even have a DVD compatible optical disk drive?

Sure does. I was even smart enough to check that ;) At least the drive says DVD on the front.

Intell
Mar 30, 2012, 06:06 PM
An OEM CPU from any PowerMac, except the MDD, should work and will be an upgrade over your current one. I believe most will work, but others have to confirm it.

They are standard PCI slots. Not sure why they look bigger.

Leopard will boot from its installation DVD on any speed G4. Your G4 may not have a DVD drive or it may be unable to read DVDs due to its age.

Nameci
Mar 30, 2012, 06:08 PM
They are standard PCI slots. Not sure why they look bigger.



64-bit PCI? That is why it is longer?

Here is the link for your CPU upgrade.

http://eshop.macsales.com/search/MaxPower+G4

or this;

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=cpu+upgrade+powermac+g4&_sacat=0&_odkw=7448&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 06:10 PM
An OEM CPU from any PowerMac, except the MDD, should work and will be an upgrade over your current one. I believe most will work, but others have to confirm it.

They are standard PCI slots. Not sure why they look bigger.

Leopard will boot from its installation DVD on any speed G4. Your G4 may not have a DVD drive or it may be unable to read DVDs due to its age.

I'm assuming the DVD drive wouldn't be reading because of its age. Can I just swap a newer DVD drive into it? I"m sure I have 15 or 16 of them lying around here :)

You are right about the slots, they are PCI. They just have an extra length on them that I am not used to seeing. I plugged a PCI card in just to convince myself.

----------

64-bit PCI? That is why it is longer?

Here is the link for your CPU upgrade.

http://eshop.macsales.com/search/MaxPower+G4

or this;

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=cpu+upgrade+powermac+g4&_sacat=0&_odkw=7448&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313


Wow, those are expensive. I found this on ebay for $10.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-PowerMac-G4-CPU-Processor-Board-1-0GHz-820-1497-A-630T4676-630-4668-Tested-/160703019001?pt=CPUs&hash=item256aa577f9

ppcg4mac
Mar 30, 2012, 06:11 PM
I recently bought a gigabit with the same problem. The easiest fix for this is to clone off another PPC macs HD, or find some disks. If you are in Colorado i could get you OSX 10.2.8 and OS9., i still have them on a eMac lying around.

Intell
Mar 30, 2012, 06:11 PM
64-bit PCI? That is why it is longer?

Not sure. zen would know. Surprised he isn't in here already congratulating ccross13126 on his purchase.

I'm assuming the DVD drive wouldn't be reading because of its age. Can I just swap a newer DVD drive into it? I"m sure I have 15 or 16 of them lying around here :)

You are right about the slots, they are PCI. They just have an extra length on them that I am not used to seeing. I plugged a PCI card in just to convince myself.

They use standard desktop IDE/PATA drives. Just make sure you set the jumpers to be the same on the replacement drive.

Wow, those are expensive. I found this on ebay for $10.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-PowerMac-G4-CPU-Processor-Board-1-0GHz-820-1497-A-630T4676-630-4668-Tested-/160703019001?pt=CPUs&hash=item256aa577f9

That's from a MDD. If you're unsure, Google the part number. Another name for the MDD is FW800.

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 06:12 PM
I recently bought a gigabit with the same problem. The easiest fix for this is to clone off another PPC macs HD, or find some disks. If you are in Colorado i could get you OSX 10.2.8 and OS9., i still have them on a eMac lying around.

Unfortunately I am in NY, lol. I will just look online for an older OS install disk. Unless I can just get my OS 10.5 to work.

Nameci
Mar 30, 2012, 06:14 PM
Unfortunately I am in NY, lol. I will just look online for an older OS install disk. Unless I can just get my OS 10.5 to work.

upgrade your CPU first before you can install Leo, I tell you upgrade CPUs are not that cheap.

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 06:16 PM
Not sure. zen would know. Surprised he isn't in here already congratulating ccross13126 on his purchase.



They use standard desktop IDE/PATA drives. Just make sure you set the jumpers to be the same on the replacement drive.


Great, I'll do that and the HDD to get started.

One more thing (Sorry, I have lots of questions!)
It can handle 2GB of RAM. It has 4 banks, can I add 2x 1GB or will it not recognize them because of the size?

----------

upgrade your CPU first before you can install Leo, I tell you upgrade CPUs are not that cheap.

The link I added was a pull from another G4. I dont see how its any different than the links you posted except that it is used. I cant see spending $60-$300 on a CPU for a machine that is just being built for fun. $10-$20 is justifiable.

Intell
Mar 30, 2012, 06:16 PM
Great, I'll do that and the HDD to get started.

One more thing (Sorry, I have lots of questions!)
It can handle 2GB of RAM. It has 4 banks, can I add 2x 1GB or will it not recognize them because of the size?

Because it has 4 slots, it is a Sawtooth model. 1Gb PC100 non-ECC ram sticks were never made.

The link I added was a pull from another G4. I dont see how its any different than the links you posted except that it is used. I cant see spending $60-$300 on a CPU for a machine that is just being built for fun. $10-$20 is justifiable.

Re-read my previous post. I added something to the end of it.

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 06:19 PM
Because it has 4 slots, it is a Sawtooth model. 1Gb PC100 non-ECC ram sticks were never made.



Re-read my previous post. I added something to the end of it.

Ok. The Ram I had was out of a PC. I figured it was the same stuff.

Crap, is everything on ebay MDD lol. I really dont wanna spend so much to upgrade this thing, lol.

Intell
Mar 30, 2012, 06:20 PM
Ok. The Ram I had was out of a PC. I figured it was the same stuff.

Your Mac takes low density PC100 SDRAM. This kind was popular in Windows boxes from about 1997 to 2003.

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 06:23 PM
Your Mac takes low density PC100 SDRAM. This kind was popular in Windows boxes from about 1997 to 2003.


Well, I think I'll start with changing the HDD and DVD rom and see if I cant find an older copy of the OS.

Nameci
Mar 30, 2012, 06:23 PM
Great, I'll do that and the HDD to get started.

One more thing (Sorry, I have lots of questions!)
It can handle 2GB of RAM. It has 4 banks, can I add 2x 1GB or will it not recognize them because of the size?

----------



The link I added was a pull from another G4. I dont see how its any different than the links you posted except that it is used. I cant see spending $60-$300 on a CPU for a machine that is just being built for fun. $10-$20 is justifiable.

You have a nice sawtooth by the way of your description. And you have a dependable and reliable machine there. What you need is a CPU upgrade and the latest model Powermac G4 CPU pull will not work on your sawtooth. CPU's that are compatible have bus speeds of 100 - 133MHz.

This is a link for your powermac so you would what you need and what it can take.

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac_g4/stats/powermac_g4_400_agp.html

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 06:41 PM
So its pretty safe to assume none of my DDR400 Ram will work in this?

Intell
Mar 30, 2012, 06:43 PM
So its pretty safe to assume none of my DDR400 Ram will work in this?

It won't work because it won't fit.

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 06:53 PM
It won't work because it won't fit.

You are right. Now I feel retarded ;p

Nameci
Mar 30, 2012, 07:16 PM
Before you think of any upgrades you like to do, please refer to the link on post #23...

ccross13126
Mar 30, 2012, 09:57 PM
My next door neighbor just gave me a copy of OSX Tiger. I swapped the HDD and DVD rom and it is installing with no issues so far :) I'm sure it will be a bit laggy but i can upgrade as needed. Thanks for all your help. I'm sure I'll be back with a ton of other questions!

DrakkenWar
Mar 30, 2012, 11:54 PM
Wow! Does this bring back some memories! I had the same Sawtooth, actually started out with the same amount of ram.

At the time it all I had to get out of the os9 world was 10.3, which even 6 years ago now posed it's own issues to get through, being this was my main college machine at home. Bugs, crashes, KP's where an almost weekly issue. ( Turned out to be a dodgy harddrive.) Then I scored a new hd, Tiger of off the local MUG and a bump to 512mbs of ram! I was flyin baby! That machine was a beast out of nowhere.

That and my iBook G3/900 where my stables of college computer needs. Until one of my professors found a Digital Audio Dual/533 laying around that was going to be binned. Hands down one of the best ppc macs I have ever owned. It damn near bested my single core G5 1.8 in many tasks.

Sorry for the long winded post. That is a great mac, worth doing a bit of tweaking with and learning the fun of the mac world. While most of my PPC's are gone now. I have to admit I use my PPC G4/1.5/15 powerbook more than my 2011 mini.

Tiger is still great, after a few tweaks here and there. It is still a very viable os and fast as a whip on most G4's.

YMMV,

Just thought I would chime in a random thought.

~Drake

ccross13126
Mar 31, 2012, 08:07 AM
Wow! Does this bring back some memories! I had the same Sawtooth, actually started out with the same amount of ram.

At the time it all I had to get out of the os9 world was 10.3, which even 6 years ago now posed it's own issues to get through, being this was my main college machine at home. Bugs, crashes, KP's where an almost weekly issue. ( Turned out to be a dodgy harddrive.) Then I scored a new hd, Tiger of off the local MUG and a bump to 512mbs of ram! I was flyin baby! That machine was a beast out of nowhere.

That and my iBook G3/900 where my stables of college computer needs. Until one of my professors found a Digital Audio Dual/533 laying around that was going to be binned. Hands down one of the best ppc macs I have ever owned. It damn near bested my single core G5 1.8 in many tasks.

Sorry for the long winded post. That is a great mac, worth doing a bit of tweaking with and learning the fun of the mac world. While most of my PPC's are gone now. I have to admit I use my PPC G4/1.5/15 powerbook more than my 2011 mini.

Tiger is still great, after a few tweaks here and there. It is still a very viable os and fast as a whip on most G4's.

YMMV,

Just thought I would chime in a random thought.

~Drake

I'm amazed at how fast this 400mhz machine runs Tiger with so little ram. Not even a hiccup. Only problem I have is since I loaded Tiger on it, I get no display during boot until the OS is full loaded. Other than that, I was able to import music and video and play it with no issues and that is mainly what I want to use it for. Was a little disappointed that it only has 2 USB ports total. I have a USB 2.0 PCI card that is plug and play in a PC, any chance it would work in the Mac to give me more USB's?

Nameci
Mar 31, 2012, 09:44 AM
For PCI USB card compatibility, stay away from cards that has a VIA chipset, look for the ones with NEC on them.

When a mac boots there are no gibberish text or grpahics appearing on your display, you will be hearing the "bong" boot chime and seeing just the apple logo and a spinning wheel and then the desktop.

Come to think of it, who cares about those lines of text anyway? Only the tech cares about them not the common user.

Enjoy your powermac.

ccross13126
Mar 31, 2012, 09:48 AM
For PCI USB card compatibility, stay away from cards that has a VIA chipset, look for the ones with NEC on them.

When a mac boots there are no gibberish text or grpahics appearing on your display, you will be hearing the "bong" boot chime and seeing just the apple logo and a spinning wheel and then the desktop.

Come to think of it, who cares about those lines of text anyway? Only the tech cares about them not the common user.

Enjoy your powermac.

So if my USB 2.0 card has an NEC chipset, can I just instal it and be good to go? I have both VIA and NEC cards.

As for the bootup, I dont even get the apple logo and the pinwheel, lol. I get nothing until the background and dock are fully loaded :)

Nameci
Mar 31, 2012, 09:51 AM
Just plug the NEC card in, it doesn't need a driver.

ccross13126
Mar 31, 2012, 10:06 AM
Just plug the NEC card in, it doesn't need a driver.

Thanks! I need to get my USB wifi adapter set up :)

ccross13126
Mar 31, 2012, 10:33 AM
Looks like I spoke too soon. I ran the software updates and now it wont boot. My monitor just sits there saying no signal :(

Intell
Mar 31, 2012, 10:37 AM
Try holding shift right after you hear the startup noise or you push the power button. This is Safe Boot and it may work. Did you happen to see what video card it had in it?

ccross13126
Mar 31, 2012, 10:40 AM
Try holding shift right after you hear the startup noise or you push the power button. This is Safe Boot and it may work. Did you happen to see what video card it had in it?


Its an ATi Video card.

I will try the shift thing :)
Thanks again!

Intell
Mar 31, 2012, 10:47 AM
Sounds like you still have the original ATI Rage card. If the shift thing doesn't work, you may have to reinstall Tiger.

ccross13126
Mar 31, 2012, 10:49 AM
Sounds like you still have the original ATI Rage card. If the shift thing doesn't work, you may have to reinstall Tiger.

I have a Geforce MX440 AGP card, any chance that will work with this Mac?

Intell
Mar 31, 2012, 10:51 AM
Macs take special Mac video cards. Some PC ones can be flashed to a Mac ROM. The GeForce 4 series cannot be flashed for Mac.

ccross13126
Mar 31, 2012, 10:53 AM
Macs take special Mac video cards. Some PC ones can be flashed to a Mac ROM. The GeForce 4 series cannot be flashed for Mac.

I have tiger reinstalling. Should I not do an update this time?

Intell
Mar 31, 2012, 10:54 AM
I suggest doing the updates one at a time to pinpoint which one is causing the no boot problem.

ccross13126
Mar 31, 2012, 10:55 AM
I suggest doing the updates one at a time to pinpoint which one is causing the no boot problem.


Gotcha! Thanks.

Nameci
Mar 31, 2012, 12:10 PM
Have fun, take note that powermacs are a different animal from its intel siblings as well compared to PC's... :D

ccross13126
Mar 31, 2012, 12:22 PM
Have fun, take note that powermacs are a different animal from its intel siblings as well compared to PC's... :D

Its all up and running again. Did the updates without a hitch this time. Still surprised at the speed for being only 400mhz. Now I have to find some compatible software that I;ll actually use :)

Nameci
Mar 31, 2012, 12:44 PM
try this

http://mac.oldapps.com/

for starters...

ccross13126
Mar 31, 2012, 01:14 PM
try this

http://mac.oldapps.com/

for starters...

Thanks!

DrakkenWar
Apr 1, 2012, 01:47 AM
Old apps is a great place to start. Along with this forum. However, I might violate a rule that I do not know about to detract you elsewhere. :)

Lowendmac.com is a resource among few like this forum that I have found incredibly useful over the years. Along with the years of resources and help there, there are some very dedicated users on the G3-5 list with a wealth of software to make 10.4 and 10.5 absolutely fly!

The internet in all respects is a vast wealth of knowledge, learning where to filter the great from the meh? Is half the battle.

Again, congrats on your find! Great mac that will serve ya well.

~Drake

ccross13126
Apr 1, 2012, 08:42 AM
Old apps is a great place to start. Along with this forum. However, I might violate a rule that I do not know about to detract you elsewhere. :)

Lowendmac.com is a resource among few like this forum that I have found incredibly useful over the years. Along with the years of resources and help there, there are some very dedicated users on the G3-5 list with a wealth of software to make 10.4 and 10.5 absolutely fly!

The internet in all respects is a vast wealth of knowledge, learning where to filter the great from the meh? Is half the battle.

Again, congrats on your find! Great mac that will serve ya well.

~Drake

Thanks.
My neighbor gave me a copy of Photoshop CS2 and amazingly this G4 runs it smooth. Loading times are a little slow but once open, everything has worked flawless. I was even able to play DVD's on it without a hiccup. I have Leopard loaded on my PC along side windows and, i gotta say this G4 runs applications almost as smooth.

Nameci
Apr 1, 2012, 10:36 AM
This is my wish list for you;

1. cpu - a dual 7448 upgrade
2. ethernet card - Gigabit Ethernet Card - http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet%20Technology/GE1000LA/
3. bootable SATA card - http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet%20Technology/TSATA/
4. Video Card - http://www.ebay.com/itm/FANLESS-nVidia-Geforce-6200-256mb-AGP-Video-For-Mac-G4-/260739245696?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item3cb5452680

And then you can upgrade to Leopard.

If you have the dual 7448, it would run circles around zen's single sawtooth 7448.

zen.state
Apr 1, 2012, 10:48 AM
This is my wish list for you;

1. cpu - a dual 7448 upgrade
2. ethernet card - Gigabit Ethernet Card - http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet%20Technology/GE1000LA/
3. bootable SATA card - http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet%20Technology/TSATA/

And then you can upgrade to Leopard.

All great recommendations but if running 10.5.2 or higher there is a much cheaper PCI gigabit ethernet option.

I made this (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1102097) thread a while back about a Trendnet gigabit card that works plug and play on 10.5.2+. I bought two on ebay for 12 each.

Nameci
Apr 1, 2012, 10:52 AM
I am still drooling for the sawtooth on which I can hardly find a good one on ebay.

Don't mind shelling out cash for the upgrades. I find satisfaction in putting more life on old and dated machines than buying new ones.

Still waiting for that chance on my local CL to pounce on that $20 sawtooth.

Read your thread about the ethernet card. Is aggregated link supported if for example you put two ethernet cards?

On my G5 right now, I am using the two ports for aggregated link. My router support it and file transfer over network is fast on aggregate is feels faster than on a single.

zen.state
Apr 1, 2012, 11:17 AM
I don't use both in one machine. I have one in each of the 2x Sawtooth in my sig.

ccross13126
Apr 1, 2012, 12:04 PM
This is my wish list for you;

1. cpu - a dual 7448 upgrade
2. ethernet card - Gigabit Ethernet Card - http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet%20Technology/GE1000LA/
3. bootable SATA card - http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet%20Technology/TSATA/
4. Video Card - http://www.ebay.com/itm/FANLESS-nVidia-Geforce-6200-256mb-AGP-Video-For-Mac-G4-/260739245696?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item3cb5452680

And then you can upgrade to Leopard.

If you have the dual 7448, it would run circles around zen's single sawtooth 7448.

Thats a nice little wish list :) Agree 110% on all but the Ethernet card. I was able to make a USB wireless adapter I had lying around work. Works great actually :)