How do I install OS 9 on a G4 iMac?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Grimsrud, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #1
    I was able to install OS X Tiger on my 15", 700 MHz G4 iMac without any trouble, but I have no idea how to get OS 9 running (either inside OS X with Classic or in a partition). When I try some of the OS 9 disks I've burned, I just get a mouse cursor and the folder with the flashing question mark. Which version of OS 9 do I need to get it to run? Or is it possible that I'm just missing some crucial step in the setup process? I blanked my drive with the Tiger installer's Disk Utility to free space in hopes that may help, but it did nothing.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    havokalien

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Kelso, Wa
    #2
    Bootable disk

    If you did not burn the disk correctly and in options create bootable it will never work. Good luck.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #3
  4. Grimsrud, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012

    thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #4
    All of the file links on that site are either dead, or they want me to pay money (MediaFire). Any other links?

    EDIT: I managed to download the first half of that Systen folder image, but the second is unavailable. That makes it even worse really.
     
  5. cocacolakid, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012

    macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #5
    Havokalien is right, when you format your HD to install Tiger you need to check off a box that says something about installing OS 9 drivers, etc. or Classic won't work. You could still partition your drive and install OS 9 on a separate partition, but you'll need the OS proper discs.

    Lowendmac periodically updates their page of deals on old Apple OS discs here:

    http://lowendmac.com/deals/best-classic-mac-os-prices.html

    And they have a link to YourMacStore which shows 9.2.2 in stock on CD for $9.99. I have no idea if they ship outside the U.S. if necessary.

    http://www.yourmacstore.com/products/Mac-OS-9.2.2-Install-CD-%28Early-2002-Version%29.html
     
  6. Grimsrud, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2012

    thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #6
    Looks like I finally got it to work. I used this link: [MOD NOTE: Link removed] to get a working system folder and it is now installing OS 9 with the help of a retail 9.2.1 install CD I downloaded elsewhere. Thanks for the help everyone provided. The idea to use a ready made System Folder got me on the right track.
     
  7. crewkid89, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 30, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #7
    I don't think this is quite right. You need the drivers to boot os 9. The tiger installer won't even let you install the drivers unless the system is capable of booting os 9 even if it can use classic (e.g. al PowerBooks and g5s).
     
  8. macrumors G3

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    #8
    Tiger does not support Classic (officially). Steve was very gleeful when he announced this "fact" a few years back. There is no way to install OS9 on a Mac that won't boot it. So, copying over a prepared OS9 System folder is the only way.

    Tiger does run Classic, but a lot of people took Steve for gospel when he said this and so didn't bother to check on their own. If you want to keep running Classic though, you'll need to either have it on it's own partition (and therefore have a Mac capable of booting into OS9) or never upgrade to Leopard.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    #9
    Some correct, some not, some misleading. Tiger supports classic "Officially" and there is plenty of documentation for it.

    "Tiger is the last version of Mac OS X to support a Mac OS 9 compatibility layer called Classic Environment. However, Classic Environment will not work on Intel Macs." Wikipedia Reference

    It is true that Leopard does not support Classic but I think we need to be specific here. There are macs that will boot Mac OS 9: Classic/OS 9 Boot

    There are also macs which will boot os 9 while also being capable of booting Leopard (any of the previous list with an * after it).

    All other PPC Macs are capable of running the Classic environment in Tiger or below.

    If your mac is capable of booting OS 9, the method for achieving both is to partition and install OS 9 first and then install leopard in the remaining space on the hard drive.

    If you want to use the classic environment and still need leopard, simply install tiger to a separate partition (less than 10GB would do) and boot to it when you need it.
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    #10
    I have just used this method to put OS 9 on my imac G4 without a rebuild. It will start in both versions of OS now OSX and 9.2 but may need drivers adding as I suspect it is not detecting my hardware correctly (network card).

    When I get some time I will see if I can update the 9.2 OS to work with my network card.

    here are the instructions I used

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-10331436-263.html
     
  11. Grimsrud, Nov 30, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012

    thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #11
    I made a 5GB HFS+ (non journaled) partition when formatting my blank drive into 2 partitions with Disk Utility (made sure that the OS 9 driver box was checked) and then dragged that folder from the torrent link I linked to above into the 5GB drive once I finished installing OS X. The next step was to simply start up Classic, it then gave me a message saying the drive needed to be "rebuilt", so it did a clean install of 9.2.1 over that 9.2.2 folder with the 9.2.1 retail disc I had. I was able to run OS 9 programs on my OS X partition immediately, and after updating to 9.2.2 with a file I downloaded, I was able to boot into the full OS. Before updating to 9.2.2, the OS would hang with just a desktop background and the grey menu bar at the top with nothing on it. Now everything works perfectly. I've wanted a PPC Mac for years to play around with, and when I was able to get this iMac G4 for $20, I jumped on it. SheepShaver is an interesting tool, but it really just doesn't cut it for serious use. It hasn't even been updated in over six years.
     

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