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View Full Version : Installing OSX on a 1st generation iMac?


Hodapp
Jun 20, 2004, 02:56 PM
I inherited a 1st generation iMac. I'm not sure how fast the processor is, but it has 64MB of RAM, a 4GB Hard Drive, and a CD drive that isn't slot loading, rather, it's a tray that looks very similar to a PC laptop. I believe this is the 1st generation iMac.

Is there any way I could install OSX on this? What I'd like to do is install a bigger hard drive, and use it to run iTunes with the party shuffle, kind of like a jukebox kind of thing, nothing more.

Is that possible with this computer? Or is it just too old?

Duff-Man
Jun 20, 2004, 03:07 PM
Duff-Man says....sure, for what you want to do that old iMac will work okay....but in addition to a bigger drive you *must* increase the RAM by as much as you can....oh yeah!

fuzzie
Jun 20, 2004, 03:22 PM
I have a 1st generation iMac with 192mb of RAM in it (which works, despite the fact the box says 128mb max). It runs Panther and Safari/iTunes/iChat fine when my iBook is away for its many logic board replacements (which it is now, grr), once I'd installed the firmware update so the install CDs would boot.

grabberslasher
Jun 20, 2004, 04:43 PM
Yeah you can put any version of OS X on it but beware - I've heard that you might have to update the firmware before you install OS X v10.3 (Panther) or it might stop your machine from working. I don't know if this applies to the earlier iMacs but it was a problem with the later ones.

Horrortaxi
Jun 20, 2004, 06:06 PM
Update the firmware, add at least 256MB of RAM, and you will have to partition the hard drive. On that model OS X has to be on a partition of 8GB. It's odd sounding but it's true.

Macky-Mac
Jun 20, 2004, 07:28 PM
......On that model OS X has to be on a partition of 8GB. It's odd sounding but it's true.


Are you sure about this??? how is he going to do that with a 4GB drive???

I'm remembering vaguely, and perhaps incorrectly (?), that for OS 10.2 the requirement was that it had to be installed on a partition that wasn't BIGGER than 8GB......so an iMac with a drive smaller than 8GB wouldn't require setting up a separate partition at all in order to install OS 10.

In any event, Apple's site does list the original iMac as being compatible with Panther. It says you need a minimum of 128MB of ram and 3 GB of free space on your hard drive........I don't see any mention of the 8GB partiton requirement though. Does Panther require that?

mklos
Jun 20, 2004, 09:19 PM
I inherited a 1st generation iMac. I'm not sure how fast the processor is, but it has 64MB of RAM, a 4GB Hard Drive, and a CD drive that isn't slot loading, rather, it's a tray that looks very similar to a PC laptop. I believe this is the 1st generation iMac.

Is there any way I could install OSX on this? What I'd like to do is install a bigger hard drive, and use it to run iTunes with the party shuffle, kind of like a jukebox kind of thing, nothing more.

Is that possible with this computer? Or is it just too old?

ANY Mac running a native G3 or higher processor will run Mac OS X-OS X.3. My mom as my old iMac which is a 233 MHz iMac (the original Bondi Blue) with 256 MB of RAM and it works beautifully! I did however upgrade the HD to a 6GB HD. Its not necessary as long as you don't have a ton of apps, music, movies, etc...you put on this iMac. Changing the HD in it is really easy too. You just need to take the CDROM drive out and its right under that. You DO NOT need to take the logicboard (aka motherboard) off the assembly like some manuals say. You do however have to take the whole assembly out of the iMac which is really easy as only 2 screws hold it in after you unplug all of the cables.

Duff-Man
Jun 20, 2004, 09:41 PM
Are you sure about this??? how is he going to do that with a 4GB drive???

I'm remembering vaguely, and perhaps incorrectly (?), that for OS 10.2 the requirement was that it had to be installed on a partition that wasn't BIGGER than 8GB......so an iMac with a drive smaller than 8GB wouldn't require setting up a separate partition at all in order to install OS 10.

In any event, Apple's site does list the original iMac as being compatible with Panther. It says you need a minimum of 128MB of ram and 3 GB of free space on your hard drive........I don't see any mention of the 8GB partiton requirement though. Does Panther require that?Duff-Man says...yes, the iMac 233 does require that OS X be on a partition that is *less than 8GB* and that partition must be the first partition. It is a limitation of the hardware and has nothing to do with which version of OS X you are trying to install...read a bit more for instructions if you need to: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106235 ....oh yeah!

jsw
Jun 20, 2004, 09:43 PM
Are you sure about this??? how is he going to do that with a 4GB drive???

I'm remembering vaguely, and perhaps incorrectly (?), that for OS 10.2 the requirement was that it had to be installed on a partition that wasn't BIGGER than 8GB......so an iMac with a drive smaller than 8GB wouldn't require setting up a separate partition at all in order to install OS 10.

In any event, Apple's site does list the original iMac as being compatible with Panther. It says you need a minimum of 128MB of ram and 3 GB of free space on your hard drive........I don't see any mention of the 8GB partiton requirement though. Does Panther require that?

A smaller drive will accomodate the Panther install. However, you'd be nuts to put it on a 4GB drive if there was any possibility whatsoever of getting a new drive. 4GB will leave you with no room for anything, really.

And I've run Panther on 128MB RAM before I decided to pay myself for a RAM upgrade to an old work Lombard G3 than they might or might not forget I have. It ran, but it wasn't pretty. At 320MB (had to dump one of the 64MB sticks when I added a 256) it runs much better. Not stunning. But more than adequate. 128MB barely allowed it to run. I can't imagine what 64MB would be like.

7on
Jun 20, 2004, 10:07 PM
I can't imagine what 64MB would be like.

I can. It wouldn't run.

Macky-Mac
Jun 20, 2004, 10:23 PM
Duff-Man says...yes, the iMac 233 does require that OS X be on a partition that is *less than 8GB* and that partition must be the first partition. It is a limitation of the hardware and has nothing to do with which version of OS X you are trying to install...read a bit more for instructions if you need to: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106235 ....oh yeah!


so with only a 4GB drive he wont need to worry about partitioning the drive, right?

Duff-Man
Jun 20, 2004, 11:19 PM
so with only a 4GB drive he wont need to worry about partitioning the drive, right?Duff-Man says...that is correct...however, once the system is installed (even stripping out a lot of the extra stuff) there may not be much drive space left over to load all the mp3's...which is why a bigger drive is a good idea - it can be partitioned to a bit under 8GB for the system and the other partition can just be the mp3 library....oh yeah!

applemacdude
Jun 20, 2004, 11:33 PM
Just out Os 9.2.2 or 8.6. dont mess puttin X on it

Horrortaxi
Jun 21, 2004, 01:05 AM
so with only a 4GB drive he wont need to worry about partitioning the drive, right?
Right, but he said he wanted a bigger hard drive. Besides, OS X would take up most of the space and he wants it for iTunes. The library can go on the second, larger, partition.

applemacdude, he needs OS X to do what he wants and it will acctually do it quite well. He should get speakers though--those iMac speakers aren't exactly a pleasure to listen through.

Macky-Mac
Jun 21, 2004, 01:27 AM
Right, but he said he wanted a bigger hard drive. Besides, OS X would take up most of the space and he wants it for iTunes. The library can go on the second, larger, partition.



gotcha

is he only able to install an ATA hard drive in that machine? or can he install something that wont require the partition??

or maybe there might be an external drive he could use for the iTunes stuff so that when he finally gives up on the old iMac he can continue to use it with whatever new machine he buys?

Horrortaxi
Jun 21, 2004, 10:40 AM
Why would he give up when all he wants to do is run iTunes? It will do that perfectly well.

Anything external would have to be USB. Workable, but not the best.

And no, he has to partition the drive. It's really not that big a deal.

Macky-Mac
Jun 21, 2004, 08:50 PM
Why would he give up when all he wants to do is run iTunes? It will do that perfectly well.

Anything external would have to be USB. Workable, but not the best.

And no, he has to partition the drive. It's really not that big a deal.


Oh, I was just speculating on possible options.....I've found the cost of upgrades often leads people to "give up" on an older machine sooner than they might for technical issues.

In this case, if he has to buy Panther, buy 256MB of RAM and buy a new hard drive, it might cost $300 to $400....and unless he installs the drive himself, there could be a bit more for labor. For some people that would be fine.....for others that would be too much to spend for a machine that's only going to be an itunes juke box.

so I was speculating that an external drive might be an answer given that he could use it later with another machine - or even right now with another machine when he isnt using the itunes iMac - just a way to stretch the cash outlay a little

a stand alone iMac juke box would be cool if the money issue works out ok for him

Koree
Jun 21, 2004, 10:55 PM
Just get some ram (i think macos 10 needs 256) and upgrade firmware etc. and bigger hard for music.