Is Mac OS 9 "hot swappable" like Mac OS X?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ITASOR, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #1
    This is a strange question, but it's really important. If you install Mac OS X (Tiger we'll say) onto a HD, you are able to put it into various Macs and they will boot from it just fine.

    Does Mac OS 9 work like this? I was helping someone with an old 8600 (with G3 processor upgrade) that had a 4GB SCSI HD with Mac OS 9.1 installed. I removed this HD, hooked it up inside a Power Mac G4 (Quicksilver 933) and cloned it to a 60GB ATA HD. I used Disk Utilities "restore" feature to clone the drive (while booted into Tiger located on another 80GB HD), which worked just fine.

    However, the computer WILL NOT boot from this Mac OS 9 drive. The classic feature works just fine inside OS X (except it suggests I update it to 9.2), but it won't boot from the 9 drive for anything. Mac OS 9.1 shows up in the startup disk preference pane, but if you select it and restart, it boots back up in OS X. Holding down OPTION on reboot, only shows the Tiger OS X HD.

    Anyone have any ideas? I have to help this person again and would like to resolve the issue.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    The answer to your question is "Yes." If your computer can boot MacOS 9, then it will boot from virtually any installation of the OS.
     
  3. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #3
    That is if you do a complete install.

    If however, you do an install for a specific Mac it will not boot on another Mac.
     
  4. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #4
    You can create a universal install of Mac OS 8/9 that should work on most systems that can boot them. But if you are trying to take an installation from an 8600 to a late model G4, it won't work.

    Of the number of hurdles you face, the most significant is the fact that the Quicksilver G4 came with a version of Mac OS 9.2 designed for that hardware... no generic version of Mac OS 9 will work on that system.
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #5
    Yeah 10.4 will be a universal PowerPC installation. OS 9 on that Quicksilver is more then likely limited to only working on that revision of Quicksilver Power Mac G4's.

    You're going to need to get a universal 9.2.1 installer CD. (I have one. :p)
     
  6. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #6
    The Quicksilvers shipped after the last master of Mac OS 9.2 retail was made as I recall, so there is a chance (actually I have a client with one of these systems, so it's more than just a chance) that the ROM file included on that CD won't work with it.

    The best way to get a bootable version of 9 back on those G4s is to work from the CD set that came with them. I made sure that all my clients that bought the last generation of Mac OS 9 bootable systems understood just how important their restore media was going to be in the future.
     
  7. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #7
    I know that the Quicksilver 2002 shipped after the last 9.2 master. I can't use my disc 9.2.1 disc on those machines. I can only use their machine specific ones. What about the original Quicksilver? Supposedly that's just plain 9.2.

    The 9.2.1 would be useful for that 8600 w/G3 upgrade though.
     
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Back in the day, a universal installation was not the default. The default installation of MacOS 9.1 on my beige G3 at work works perfectly fine on my PM 9500/132 at home. MacOS 9.2 boots the older machine only via a hack. I would not expect MacOS 9.2 to boot the older machine because it is not supposed to.
     
  9. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #9
    Yeah, both the original Quicksilver and Mac OS 9.2 shipped at the same time, so a generic/retail version of 9.2.1 or 9.2.2 should support that hardware.

    It is easier to hack Mac OS 9 to work on older systems (as in old world ROM based systems) because you don't need to have a specific ROM file for those systems (that info is on the logic board). Moving forward is the hard part, as the ROM files for newer systems were only added to the generic/retail versions of Mac OS 9 with the next release after what shipped with the hardware itself.

    Some exceptions have been made for booting from CDs on most Mac OS 9 bootable hardware... mainly for the use of utility CDs. There were even reports of early Mac OS X only systems still being able to boot from some Mac OS 9 based CDs, though the system wouldn't boot if trying Mac OS 9 from the hard drive.

    But yeah, you're right... to make a universal install you need to do a custom install.
     

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