Mac OS 9 on MacMini

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mryingster, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. mryingster macrumors regular

    mryingster

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #1
    I have a MacMini G4 in the mail headed to me. I've always wanted a PPC MacMini for running old software because of the small footprint yet being pretty fast (compared to my G4 DA Tower). The problem is that the MacMini does not support booting to OS 9 natively.

    http://macos9lives.com/smforum/inde...ml?PHPSESSID=ac63005ea64b5ab930fd313bd7301441

    I came across this thread in another forum, and it looks like tey (recently) created an OS9 Installer that has been patched to allow booting on a MacMini. I'm curious is anyone here has tried it, and if so, if it actually works. I'll try it as soon as I get my Mini, but that will still be a few days.
     
  2. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #2
    I have managed to get Mac OS 9.2.2 booting on my Mac Mini via the awesome work they did :) I used the Custom ROM on its own and applied to my own Mac OS 9.2.2 image (it IDs as a cube due to the Custom Mac OS ROM containing a OpenFirmware script which changes the Model identifier to PowerMac5,1 as well as a bunch of other things) I Have to say although the Mac mini G4 gets a lot of sh*t, it runs Mac OS 9.2.2 very nicely I think once they fix the remaining quirks it would be an Awesome little OS 9 Box :) (they even got GPU acceleration working)
    upload_2018-3-28_0-16-10.png
     
  3. mryingster thread starter macrumors regular

    mryingster

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #3
    That's awesome to hear. I can't wait to try it out! What sort of quirks are there? I know sleeping doesn't work. Is it generally stable, or do you get lots of crashes/reboots? Hoping to be able to use it for retro gaming, like Marathon, Battle Chess, Warcraft, etc.
     
  4. swamprock macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    I wonder how/if virtual gamestation runs on a mini with OS 9...
     
  5. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #5
    in my rather brief testing.

    once it booted to the Desktop it pretty stable :) I played a good few minutes of Quake 3 on it with no issues (using Darthnvaders modded ATI drivers to get the GPU working in 9.2.2)

    the only Major issue I have currently is with the monitor I use, DVI does not seem to work in 9.2.2 it goes black part way through boot up so I have to use VGA (and due to some quirkiness with this monitor and Mac OS 9.2.2 via VGA, under any system I cant get the full 1920x1080 of this monitor I guess ill have to use SwitchRez2 but the resolution bug is one of 9.2.2 and not the Mac mini with DVI I can get full 1080p, but as said above DVI on the Mac mini is not working properly in 9.2.2 it seems)
     
  6. mryingster thread starter macrumors regular

    mryingster

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Interesting. I wonder if I have a DVI to VGA adapter... My target monitor is native 1920 x 1200. I'll let you know how it works out for me.
     
  7. smirking macrumors 68000

    smirking

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #7
    I have an original bondi blue iMac in the closet. One of these days when I have time, I'm pulling that baby out ...and probably spend the next two weeks playing Strategic Conquest without any breaks.
     
  8. DearthnVader, Mar 29, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018

    DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #8
    I have't been able to get 1080p to work at all with the G4 Mini on my HDTV via DVI to HDMI.

    Even under OS X.

    If I set the Mini to 720p via another HDTV, then reboot with my 1080p HDTV, I can see the boot screen at 720p, but when OS X loads the desktop, the screen goes blank.

    No trouble with my Quicksilver and a GeForce 4 Ti and this HDTV under OS 9.

    Even if I connect the Mini to the 1080p TV and zap the PRam, so it will search the EDID of the display, I just get no display at all from the Mini.



    Haven't tried to VNC into the Mini under OS X and set the proper display.

    With the Mini, I had to use the 'NDRV' from 10.3.7 for the OS 9 drivers, and it's not perfect.

    @LightBulbFun Do you think you could bake a 7448 CPU onto the Mini's Logic Board?
     
  9. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Speaking of the G4 mini... When I first got mine last year, I tried hooking it up to a 19”’ display with a resolution of 1280x1024 @ 60hz (or 75). At this resolution, the screen gets cut in half and the GPU throws glitchy rubbish around, so I assumed it was failing, however I dropped it down to 1024x768 and it was fine. I then plugged it into another display at 1600x900 @ 60hz and it was perfect. I now have it at 1366 x 768 on a little LCD TV over HDMI and it works flawlessly. But I tried connected it to my 55” 4K TV over HDMI and got the weird glitching again, even when I dropped it down to 720p.

    Is this normal for the mini? It seems to only like certain displays... or is it possibly a faulty GPU?
     
  10. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #10
    I can get it via VGA using the computer-in port on the back of the TV but I have found that TVs are very finicky with this. Another, better TV I tried refuses to play ball with any PC/Mac except via HDMI.

    I sort of had a similar issue with my Sun Ultra 5. I think it is down to substandard drivers at the end of the day.
     
  11. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #11
    interesting to read of the issues that you are all having since they sound quite close to issues I have had

    in OS X my Mac mini will glitch out at 1920x1080@60Hz after a few minutes (initially it will boot up fine but getting more and more unstable with fuzzy diffrent couloured dots showing around UI elements until I just get a black screen) but 1920x1080@59Hz (im guessing NTSC) works Perfectly. I wonder if in Mac OS 9 its trying to do 60Hz instead of 59.9Hz ill have to drag out another DVI monitor and test. :)

    I also remember having the same issues pushing 2048x1152 when it was hooked up to my main monitor dropping it to 1080P solved the issue, I suspect its a Problem to do with the TMDS transmitter built into the Radeon 9200 chip. the GeForce FX 5200 has a similar issue with a subpar built in TMDS transmitter (its why for example the GeForce FX 5200 for G5s have 2 ext TMDS transmitter chips) I do remember reading on the Forums that the Retail 9200 PCI one of its ROM updates was to fix some issues with DVI. it might be the Mac mini G4 never got this fix?

    @DearthnVader as for soldering on a 7448 onto Mac mini G4s, your not the first Person to ask this question :) im working on it with @dosdude1 and ill let you know how it goes when it gets done :)

    (IMHO the best Mac to try and slap a 7448 on would be a DLSD as they where designed for the 7448 in mind apple just never used the 7448 in the end)
     
  12. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #12
    I remember the internal TMDS issue with the 5200, back when we were flashing this cards they had trouble running high res LCD's. I read an article where they took a scope to the 5200's internal TMDS and it did indeed have a very weak waveform.

    Seemed to be fixed in Geforce 6xxx chips.

    I don't know if other 5xxx chips had the same flaw, as only Arti ever flashed one other than the 5200, and he found that it had subpar performance in 3D, so we never really looked into it.

    At least for me, the Mini has trouble with Mini 1080p HDTV, so something is not right with the FCode Option ROM. The trouble is, it's in the 1 MB Boot ROM, so editing it, and flashing it, isn't really advisable, so maybe we can address the issue with a custom 'NDRV'.



    Love to see how that 7448 turns out.:D
     
  13. coconutshrimp, Mar 30, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018

    coconutshrimp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    #13
    I think a couple of you already touched on this, but my mac mini g4 also has trouble outputting to 1080p. Following the advice of this thread fixed things up for me:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/1292343

    Apparently it's an issue with the pixel clock? no idea, but whatever it's doing, it solves the issue.
     

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