Installing Mac OS on Powerbook 1400

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by Cameront9, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a

    Cameront9

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #1
    I recently got a Powerbook 1400 for free. It boots up, but takes me to a grey screen with a floppy disc and a question mark icon. As I understand it, that means there is no OS installed, right?

    So how can I install the OS? I do not have access to another Older Mac. I know you can download 7.5.1 (or something like that) from Apple, but it's in 19 parts and I have no idea how to go about getting that onto a CD. I do not have a floppy drive for this Powerbook--only the CD-Rom.

    Is there anyway I can install the OS, preferably for free? (Note: No illegal methods here...I'm talking about what you can legally download from Apple).

    Thanks for your help.

    Edit: I just read this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=211689 Which offers some help, but I still can't figure out exactly what to do. Is there an easy way to download the OS, burn a CD in OS X disc utility, and have the Powerbook 1400 boot with it? Can anyone provide step-by-step instructions?

    Sorry for all the questions...not really well-versed in Macs before OS X.
     
  2. apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a

    apunkrockmonk

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #2
    According to MacTracker the 1400 orignally came with System 7.5.2 with the Powerbook 1400 enabler.

    Sadly, this means that you cannot download 7.5 from apple because the Powerbook will not run 7.5.1.

    You'll either have to buy 7.5.3 or higher on a disk, or better yet, buy a better OS. Also, you could buy original 1400 boot discs on eBay.

    The 1400 supports up to 9.1. but it will run slowly.

    It is recommended per system 7 today, that you run 7.6.1.

    You could buy it on eBay cheaply most likely.

    Good luck.
     
  3. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #3
    The web site apunkrockmonk is referring to is located here.

    The 19 disk images from Apple are actually 7.5.3. They are intended to be used as floppy disks. You will have a very difficult (if not impossible) time burning them to a CD that you can boot from, especially from OS X or Windows. All of that would be a lot of effort to run 7.5.3 (upgradeable to 7.5.5), which isn't even close to being as stable or feature-rich as 7.6.1. Sadly, Mac OS 7.6.1 is not free and would have to be purchased. Same with Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9.
     
  4. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #4
    I'll third the recommendation.

    Buy a 7.6 or OS 8 CD. You'll be much happier. (And, I don't believe it is possible to 'create' a 7.5.3 bootable CD from the download disk images.)
     
  5. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Vulcan
    #5
    If the CD has a valid system folder and disk copy you could boot and mount the disks and install. And if I recall the first disk image has a system folder on it
     
  6. FullmetalZ26 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #6
    Unfortunately the 7.5.3 install images available on Apple's site are "parts" of a single large image, which will mount to the desktop as one single image. In order to use them, you have to copy each of the 19 files (decompress them first) over to the Mac's hard drive, then run the "Part 1 of 19.smi" executable, which will mount all of the pieces as an install image on the desktop. Unfortunately, extracting all the files from the resultant image and just throwing them onto a disk (CD, hard drive, zip disk, etc.) doesn't seem to work, either. Putting the parts themselves on a CD and then running the SMI file should be just fine, though.

    So far as getting the laptop booted so the install can be done, Apple also has a system 7.5.5 "Network Access Boot Disk" image on their site, which should boot on the 1400 without any problems.
     
  7. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #7
    Older Macs don't just need a valid system folder... they require a "blessed" system folder for the CD to be bootable.

    This generally requires either building the CD image with the help of a pre-Mac OS X Finder (which can be tricky and doesn't always work) or using software like Toast which has the option of making bootable CDs (this is how I've made all mine as it works 100% of the time).
     
  8. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Vulcan
    #8
    Sorry oh great one,by valid i meant blessed
    I think the 133 and 166MhZ need at least OS 7.6.1 anyway so it would be best to get a CD off eBay
     
  9. maxrobertson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Location:
    Jakarta
    #9
    I have a PowerBook 1400, and I strongly recommend using Mac OS 8.6. Just buy the CDs from eBay, and it'll install. You could use 7, but you can't run any Carbon (or even modern) apps, and any OS 9 would be WAY to slow.
     
  10. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #10
    You are forgiven... just try to be more complete in your posts in the future. :D


    To most people a valid system folder means a working one. But copying a working system folder from one place to another in the Finder doesn't preserve the blessing even though all the original files were copied completely.

    When talking to someone who has little or no experience with early Macs, using the correct terminology is very important. If they have no idea what a blessed system folder is, then at that point they'll ask what you mean. But when you say valid, it can be assumed that this means "working" and they will not understand why the CD doesn't work.

    When they come back asking why it failed.. they'll say but I used a valid system folder, and unless one of us asks if it was actually blessed, we'll be looking for other issues (like was the CD HFS, etc.).


    I know you think I'm coming down on you... but I'm really not. The number of posts on this forum that I know the answers to are far greater than the number of posts I make. Why? Because knowing what I can do and being able to walk someone through the steps so that they can do it themselves are two totally different things. If I don't think I can safely help someone, then I won't post rather than give an incomplete response.

    :rolleyes:

    ... or (as often happens) by the time I've finished composing a (long) response someone else has already answered the question. :eek:
     
  11. Cameront9 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cameront9

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #11
    Thanks for all the responses. A friend of mine says he might have an OS 9 Install CD, so I'm going to try that first, since I really don't want to spend any money on this. I figured using a CD to install files that were meant to be on a floppy would be pretty difficult! Anyway, thanks for the help.
     
  12. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #12
    Make sure it's a 9.0 or 9.1 disc, not a 9.2 disc. 9.2 will not run on that Mac. (It only runs on Macs that are officially capable of running OS X, i.e. G3s or newer.)

    And I have 9.1 running just fine on my 1400cs. Although mine does have maxed RAM and a 216 MHz G3 upgrade.
     
  13. Cameront9 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cameront9

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #13
    Well, I got my friend's install disc. It's for 9.0.4, but it's actually an iMac HD restore disc. So when I try to install it using the restore software, it says the configuration is not supported on the machine. So there doesn't seem to be anything I can do, unless someone has any ideas.

    I was able to find out that the machine has 64 MB of RAM and a 1 gig Hard Drive, so at least I know that. Looks like I'll just have to bite the bullet and buy a 7.6.1 or later disc...
     

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