Mac G4 - OS x 10.4 Upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Hungryjoey, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. Hungryjoey macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2006
    Hello, I'm new here. I just have a few questions.

    First of all I am a complete Mac Noob so bear with me. I recently aquired a Mac G4 (PCI version ) with 512MB PC 133 and 500Mhz CPU ( i think ) It runs very smoothly and is in tip top condition.

    I figure I am willing to upgrade the version of mac ( currently running old 9.2 ) To something like OS x 10.4 If possible. If this isn't possible I am open to suggestions how I can go about upgrading this, But unfortunetly 9.2 Is just feeling far too Old.

    Any suggestions. I really have no clue when it comes to macs.



    Edit : I also hope I posted this in the correct section, There really is so many sections I didn't know. Appologies if Inncorrect.
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Yeah 10.4 will run ok on that G4, but if you want it to be better then you better upgrade the amount of RAM that is in that machine. Otherwise I say go ahead and do it.
  3. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    You shouldn't have any problems with running Tiger on that Mac, although if you can stretch to adding some more RAM it certainly wouldn't hurt. You might not get the fancy Core Image effects (like the Dashboard ripples) but this is eye candy that isn't going to affect functionality.
  4. Hungryjoey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2006
    Well I guess that is good to hear.

    Ok so when I get the discs how exactly do I go about installing ? Reason why I am asking is I was trying earlier with friends discs just to see would i be able to do it when I purchase the software... but to no avail. Couldn't get anything out of it, But its probably me doing something wrong.

    Can somebody explain to me how to typically install fresh a copy of 10.4 on this G4 ? Before I buy it, Will order a copy tonight.

  5. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Do you have a DVD-ROM or a CD-ROM that will be a big part of it. To install it you just put the disk in an run the installer. What exactly wasn't working?
  6. jtown macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    You'll need a DVD-ROM drive to read the 10.4 installation DVD. And double the memory. 512 megs will work but it's on the low side.
  7. Hungryjoey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2006
    What about using the CD version ? That is what I have been trying, And I get an error when trying to Set disc to the boot disc. For eg.. I open the disc up fine on 9.2, I click on the Installer and I press " restart " and it hits me with an error something like " Cannot set boot disc " IE It cant tell MAC to boot from the disc.

    If I try the " C " key nothing happens. From what I can tell so I guessed mabe the C key thing is for more modern mac's. Really I don't know what to do.

    Help !! Once I can get this installation going I won't continue it, I'd rather use my own discs. But until then i'd like to get it going.

    Any help ? Thanks.

  8. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    The C key thing has been around for YEARS. It goes way back, before G4s.

    Is your install disc a retail copy or a machine-specific copy? That might be your problem.

    So, you should:

    1. Obtain a retail box copy of OS X (DVD is the standard format, but Apple has CD versions available--you'd have to ask them how to get them).

    2. Put CD in drive, reboot and hold down the C key the whole time.

    3. Upon startup, install OS X (it is self-explanatory).

    4. Reboot into OS X and set up computer with automatic set up assistants.

    5. Done.
  9. Hungryjoey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2006
    Ok thanks, Sounds straight forward enough, I'm guessing the issue is to do with the type of disc I tried with. I have no idea what discs they are, I guess I'll just have to wait till mine arrive.

    How fast / Slow are G4's anyway, Are they fairly capable of doing alot of things. I guess If I get use to it I will use it for audio / mixing / creating. I do alot of that on Windows based machines and really am willing to try it on a Mac. Will the G4 be capable of doing this ? Is there special Mac soundcard I need or can I use most PCI Soundcards once there is Mac drivers availible ?

  10. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    A 500MHz G4? Sllllooooowwww.....

    If it is a PCI graphics or "Yikes!" PowerMac then it's around 7 years old and came in either 350MHz or 400MHz. Which do you have?

    The first 500MHz PowerMac G4 was the AGP graphics (Sawtooth) one that quickly replaced the Yikes! PMs - they were a fair bit quicker but are still 6 - 7 years old.

    Try to imagine doing what you want to do on a 7 year old Windows-PC... nasty eh? The Mac would be better at it but it's not going to win any awards in the speed department.
  11. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    If you have a PCI G4, you have a very slow G4, however they can be upgraded pretty cheaply. In fact, the AGP G4s can be processor upgraded fairly cheaply too.
  12. ThunderLounge macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2006
    Agreed with the two above, but at the same time it would be perfectly fine to learn with and start out on.

    It will be fairly slow, but still acceptable as a learning tool. Once you get more familiar with OS X, then you'll probably find yourself saving your pennies and scraping up every ounce of cash you can for a newer machine.

  13. edcrosay macrumors member


    Oct 27, 2005
    I'd upgrade to 10.4 if I were you. You aren't really getting the full mac experiance running OS9.
    I would't wait for Leopard (10.5). It may not run very well on your mac, but you never know.
  14. Hungryjoey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 12, 2006
    WIll leopard even run on my Mac ? Isn't leopard 64-bit or something ?

  15. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    It is 64bit. It's also 32bit so it will run on your Mac just fine so long as it's within the specifications for processor speed, RAM and built-in I/O ports.

    I don't know where this idea that Leopard is only for 64bit Macs came from? That would limit Leopard to G5 or Core 2 Duo Macs only. Not. Bloody. Likely.

    It was announced in no uncertain terms that 10.5 will run natively on both 64bit and 32bit Macs at WWDC this year. Somehow the "chinese whispers" have corrupted that message - get out and spread the truth.

    EDIT: Leopard will probably run a bit better than Vista would on a 7-year-old PC but I wouldn't expect it to be much chop. You'd probably have a better experience with 10.3 or 10.4 on such an old Mac. Get as much RAM as you can in there, you'll need to buy a PCI IDE card if you want to put more than 120GB worth of hard drive space in it and be aware that such a machine isn't going to be able to churn through the stuff anywhere nearly as quickly as the stuff today. It would make a decent media server or a second computer for simple applications or apps that don't need any human input but for a primary system you're going to find it really starting to feel old.
  16. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    To the original poster:

    I run a lot of G3s and G4s. So far I run mostly on Panther (10.3), which is a huge improvement over Jaguar in usability and speed. I recently purchased Tiger (10.4), so I'll repost when it arrives and let you know if it is an improvement; I'm not expecting the same jump from 10.2-->10.3, so I'd say if you can save a few bucks on 10.3, go for it. Definitely don't go lower than 10.3; 10.2 is pretty slow and really only beneficial if you have 128mb-256mb of RAM.

    For the core images, you just need to upgrade your graphics card. There are a couple PCI cards that will do core image, but I'm not sure which ones as I've never bothered upgrading my G3 (also a PCi graphics machine).

    I too suggest upping the RAM by at least 512; I think that machine can go to 2gigs, so another stick of 512 or two of 256 are a good idea (ESPECIALLY if you decide to install 10.4). There's someone in the marketplace currently selling a PC133 512mb stick, search around the posts from the last couple of days (it's one of the multiple items posts)...

    If you need a dvd-ROM drive, feel free to PM me. I have a stock DVD-Rom/CD-Rom from my Sawtooth, as well as a Sony DVD-ROM/CDr/rw drive available. I'll sell you either for pretty cheap.

    Welcome to Mac, btw! I love my G4 tower, though it's near the ceiling as far as upgrades go...

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