Can I turn an PowerMac G4 into a Windows PC?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by rt241, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. rt241 macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2009

    At work we have acquired a fluorescence microscope which should run off of a windows PC but it has died and going to cost a fair bit to get working again...In storage we have an unused G4 which I've been told can be used.

    My question is...can I take out the HDD and the PCI cards which are needed (camera acquisition cards etc) from the old windows PC and put these in the G4? Will it simply just boot up windows from the HDD and all be easy (I doubt it) or is there something I can do or is it near on impossible?

    Any help greatly received!

  2. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    Unfortunately, no. The Power Mac G4 used a PowerPC processor, which Windows doesn't support. If it were an Intel Mac (made within the past five years), then it'd work just fine.

    But on older Macs that use PowerPC chips, that won't work. About the only thing you could is buy a Windows emulator, install it on the Mac, and see if that works. However, that's probably more trouble than its worth,
  3. rt241 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2009
    Thanks for the quick reply, looks like my day of playing with parts of computers is over before it started!


  4. MacintoshMaster macrumors 6502


    Jan 16, 2010

    You can emulate windows on your computer with a program called iEmulator V but I have never got it to work - you could try?
  5. VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    mate, its a no go, esp with any strange pci cards that you have will properly never work on PPC/intel mac. unless you can get drivers for them. Depending on how old that equipment that uses those pci cards are, you may find that even late windows are a deal breaker...

    have a look at the manufacturers (of your equipment) website and see if you can get drivers for said equipment.
  6. opeter macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    Actually there were Windows NT 3.x and Windows NT 4 for PowerPC and Dec/Digital/Compaq Alpha CPUs.

    But, there will be problem to finds programs for these platform, since almost all Windows programs were written for x86 only.

    However, you could physically change your G4 - mod into a PC. Buy an motherboard, Intel or AMD CPU etc.
    But you must make some changes to the case.

    Something like this:
  7. Giuly macrumors 68040


    If you need just a plain simple video capture card hooked up to your microscope, you can get one for Macs, too. Connected via USB, $25.

    What about Ubuntu instead of Windows?
    Ubuntu will most likely work fine if the card you already have is a regular video capture card. Just install the card, download and burn the CD, put it in the drive, hold "C"-key on the keyboard while booting. Then install "TVTime" via the Package Manager in the Menu. Launch it, you should see an image of your microscope now. If it works, you can install Ubuntu to the hard drive via the icon on the desktop.

    If you however need additional software, you can run Windows 98/2000/XP through VirtualBox on it. Make sure you install at least 1GB RAM to virtualize Windows.

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