Installing an OS on Power Mac G4 MDD

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Panzerfaust101, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Panzerfaust101 macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2011
    Recently got my Power Mac G4 and it's got issues with the PSU (which I'm currently fixing). It didn't come with a hard drive but I do have a hard drive which is currently empty. This thread is on my questions on installing an OS onto the MDD
    1. How do you partition the hard drive with the Mac's BIOS?
    2. How do you install OS X and which version do you recommend? I have the model with the dual 1.42 GHz CPUs (not sure about RAM, but it's stock plus I can probably upgrade it to 1GB)
    3. Can it run Windows and if so, how do you install Windows on it?
    4. How do you install Linux on it?
    It's my first Mac so I don't know a lot about how to do any of these things, but I am really keen on getting this G4 up and working again on multiple platforms after I fix up the power supply. Thanks guys :D
  2. lgwells1 macrumors regular


    Aug 27, 2011
    As far as I know, the only way you will ever run Windows on a PowerPC Mac is through a virtualization program and runs Windows in its own window.

    Your G4 should be able to handle 10.5 Leopard, though I would suggest upgrading your RAM. These machines are picky about RAM, so I suggest buying from Other World Computing.

    You can partition a drive very easily if you have OSX install disk. Just pop in the disk, boot and hold down C. Then on the top menu bar find Disk Utility, and find your HDD, and partition. Then install OSX.
  3. Panzerfaust101, Dec 19, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011

    Panzerfaust101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2011
    So this works even if I don't have anything on the hard drive? Brilliant. Thanks ^.^
    Also, would a standard DDR333 RAM work? The RAM installed seems to be DDR333 so it would fit...z
    EDIT: Where can I get a Leopard DVD? Can I download one off a website or do I have to get one off the internet or from an Apple store? And would Snow Leopard or Lion work? If not, why not? Thanks XP
  4. mike457 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2010
    I think you'll find running Windows on a G4 using the programme VirtualPC to be a very painful experience. I used to do this, but only with things that I absolutely had to do in Windows. Even simple operations, such as mouse clicks, are slow to execute. If you are used to running Windows on a modern PC, you will be frustrated.

    Snow Leopard and Lion will not work as they are Intel-only. The most advanced OS you could use would be Leopard. It would be improper here to give you advice on illegally downloading operating systems. You can certainly find a copy on eBay. Apple's on-line store does not show Leopard.

    You need to tell us which model of G4 you're using before anyone could give advice on RAM. Everymac and OWC are good sources for information.

    Good luck!
  5. Nameci macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2010
    The Philippines...
    Well to answer some of your questions;
    1. The latest operating system you can install is Leopard. Look for on ebay. Get the "black" retail disk. Grey disks are machine specific and you have to find for the one that matches your powermac.
    2. By installing Leopard it is recommended that you should have a QE/CI or Quartz Extreme/Core Image capable card to run it. If you don't have this card I recommend that you install Tiger.
    3. Your Mac can take a maximum of 2GB. Max it out. It takes PC2700 DDR, and yes it 333MHz.
    4. You can run Windows thru vitalization but it is painfully slow.
    5. About Linux, I have no experience. They are designed to run Mac OSX so I recommend for you to run OSX on it rather than any other OS.
    6. If you have the install disks already, put in the drive, and run open disk utility from the installer. On the disk utility, look for partition tab, and click options, select Apple Partition Map.
  6. Panzerfaust101 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2011
    Trying to install OS X by placing the disc in the drive (10.3 "Panther') and then turning the computer on while holding down C, but it seems to come up with a grey screen and then ejects the disc and reboots to the ? screen of an empty hard drive. What am I doing wrong?

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