Just got an iMac G4 17inch and need some help

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by chibiterasu, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. chibiterasu macrumors 6502

    chibiterasu

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    #1
    Hi there all
    My new to me iMac G4 17inch 1.25Ghz has just arrived from ebay anyway I picked it up for a good price because it boot to the flashing folder with the question mark (we all know what that means) so I go and get a apple hardware test disc (I downloaded and burned it from here http://www.info.apple.com/support/aht.html I downloaded the iMac/emac one) Right I can't get it to boot by holding c so I test that my keyboard is working by holding option and up comes a screen with a refresh button, an arrow button and a watch for the mouse and no other icons after a time the mouse will jam and won't move any more. So I'm thinking is it the HDD which I'm not to bothered about as I was going to upgrade it from 80gb anyway or is it the disc drive I know they have a habit of going in these iMacs or is it both. If it is both could I just get a new HDD and a firewire cable 800 to 400 and use my macbook pro to install, tiger (which I have) or Leopard which I need to buy, in target discs mode (the iMac does boot into target disc mode).

    Many Thanks.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    The hardware test discs on Apple's site are not all of them and your model is one of the missing ones. You cannot use your Macbook's Tiger disc as it is Intell only. The hard drive in those older G4 iMacs makes a bit of noise. The seller could have simply wiped the drive. Are you able to discern any hard drive noise coming from the dome?
     
  3. chibiterasu, Jul 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012

    chibiterasu thread starter macrumors 6502

    chibiterasu

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    #3
    Oh great just wasted a disc.

    I have a retail copy I have browed from a friend to install on to this iMac its the four CD one. Humm with the noise of the fan I'm not sure if its the disc drive warming up or the HD but it does sound more like the Disc drive more than an old HD (I have a very old Toshiba 460CDT and its 2GB HD makes a quite a noise). My macbook is the one in my sig.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    You have a retail Tiger CD set of four discs? That should be able to boot on the iMac.
     
  5. chibiterasu thread starter macrumors 6502

    chibiterasu

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    #5
    It should but it won't boot that why I thought it was the disc drive as well as the AHT disc not booting. Would a DVD copy maybe work??

    Edit just shoved disc 1 into my MacBook and it shows up fine.
     
  6. Aameiel macrumors regular

    Aameiel

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    #6
    i got a imac g4 off ebay not that long ago with the flashing question mark i did a target disk mode with my macbook and did a fresh install and all is good now
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #7
    The CD-DVD version difference of Tiger retail should not matter for your iMac.
     
  8. chibiterasu thread starter macrumors 6502

    chibiterasu

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    #8
    If the HD showed up when I press option then I would of gone and brought a cable (I still may do this though) I may just upgrade the HD first though.

    Yes but I was thinking that it may boot it (you know sometimes disc drives lose their ability to read certain types of discs.)
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #9
    The hard drive would only show up when pressing option at boot if it has a bootable OS on it. If it is blank, but still working it won't show up at all. Some of the G4 era DVD drives stop reading DVDs as they age.
     
  10. chibiterasu thread starter macrumors 6502

    chibiterasu

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    #10
    Oh I so no drive means its blank or doesn't work great :) well then I think getting a firewire 800 to 400 cable is the first plan of action to see if it can see the HD and then install tiger (hopefuly). It normally is the DVD bit that goes so I guess your right. Thanks for everyones help I will probably post back here if I need some more help or even if Its going just to say thanks again :)
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    Your Macbook won't be able to boot from the retail Tiger discs you have. They are PPC only discs.
     
  12. chibiterasu thread starter macrumors 6502

    chibiterasu

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    #12
    Oh right does that mean I've got to go and get leopard as well then ??
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #13
    You won't be able to directly install Leopard on to the G4's hard drive using your Macbook. The Leopard installer will force you to format the iMac's hard drive as GUID instead of the needed APM. This will make the drive not bootable on PPC Macs. You'll have to install it onto the iMac, clone the iMac's hard drive to a disc image on your Macbook, reformat the iMac's drive correctly with APM, then clone the Leopard image back onto the iMac's hard drive. It will then boot into Leopard for you.
     
  14. chibiterasu, Jul 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012

    chibiterasu thread starter macrumors 6502

    chibiterasu

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    #14
    This sounds fun. So what hardware and software to I need to do that. Is there a guide which explains how to do this in a little more detail or is there a simpler way?
     
  15. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #15
    You need a FireWire 400 cable and maybe a FireWire 400/800 adapter, a Leopard retail disc, and CarbonCopyCloner.
     
  16. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #16
    Yes he will. But only using MB's optical drive in Target disk mode and booting iMac off it. Tiger CDs should also work this way - but I'm not sure if he will be able to put CD2, 3 and 4 when needed in TDM.

    OP: You'll need Firewire 800 to Firewire 400 cable (MBP 2012 has FW800 port only) and do the following:

    – put Tiger/Leo CD/DVD in MB, then shut it down
    – connect iMac and MB together using FW cable
    – boot MB with "T" pressed on kbd (you'll see yellow FW icon floating over MB screen)
    – boot iMac with "alt" pressed and choose Tiger/Leo disc in boot menu then run Disk Utility to see if iMac has any HDD installed. If it has HDD - install OS.
     
  17. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #17
    I choose the wording of my post to show that the iMac would be in Target Disc Mode. While the Macbook in Target Disc Mode installing on the iMac would work, it won't give up the first disc in let the others in.
     
  18. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #18
    That's what I was afraid of. But with DVD version of Tiger (or Leo) it will work as it should.
     
  19. chibiterasu, Jul 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012

    chibiterasu thread starter macrumors 6502

    chibiterasu

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    #19
    Right so if i got a DVD of leopard or tiger and a firewire 800 to 400 cable I could install it in target disc mode by following the steps below.

    Edit I do have a usb 2.0 external disc drive is that any use??
     
  20. Zeke D macrumors 6502a

    Zeke D

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    #20
    There are tutorials online to transfer the disc image to a thumb drive or usb external HDD. I have done this, but it depends on the unit, I wouldn't expect a non-old world rom to have a problem.
     
  21. chibiterasu, Jul 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2012

    chibiterasu thread starter macrumors 6502

    chibiterasu

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    #21
    I said external disc drive but I have got some old 8gb usb drives so I could get a dvd or leopard or tiger create a dmg and "burn" that to a usb stick.

    Edit: What way is best everyone??
     
  22. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #22
    Best is Firewire way IMO, because it works on every Mac with this port. People do have problems with booting PPC Macs from USB drives. I've used thumb drive to boot iMac G5 and PM G5 succesfully but my PB refused to boot from it. I was doing it only out of curiosity so I didn't bother to test PB + USB drive further.
     
  23. chibiterasu, Jul 21, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012

    chibiterasu thread starter macrumors 6502

    chibiterasu

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    #23
    Yes I think so as well I have ordered a firewire 800 to 400 (6pin) Should be here on monday. I had a go at the usb method and I couldn't get anything to come up. I created a dmg of the tiger DVD (when I try to boot from the DVD it tries to read it and then spits it out something it wouldn't do with the version CD), that I have now got, I formatted the usb stick into Mac OS Extended (Journaled), I then used super duper to get the dmg onto the usb. After I plugged this into the iMac I held down option, nothing came up. I went into the open firmware and used devalias (I think) to give me the device list but no usb drive showed up so I gave up there as I couldn't re assign the boot drive to be the usb stick.

    On another note I reset my nvram and pmu (the date was still right at the top of the open firmware and the time was only a little off) Now after I reset the nvram, I did it for two chimes, the iMac now chimes and shows a grey screen with no flashing folder, this makes me think that it now can't even find the HDD any more because doesn't the flashing folder mean it can't find its file to boot from but now it probably can't find the HDD even. I can still get to firewire and open firmware and the boot option menu.
     
  24. chibiterasu thread starter macrumors 6502

    chibiterasu

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    #24
    Update: I got target disc mode to work it took about 3-5 mins to get the tiger DVD on the iMac to show up so patience with these old machines is best. Anyway the 80gb HDD showed up I formatted it and everything else went smooth it looks like its just the disc drive that has given up. I now need to just accessorise it with a airport extreme card, apple keyboard and mouse, pro speakers, 2gb ram, osx leopard, a firewire isight camera and maybe a replacement disc drive (in that order lol)

    I just want to say a big thanks to you guys and that I sure I will be on the PPC area more often the community in this sub forum is great and its more active and helpful than other place I've seen on the web :)
     

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