No luck installing OS on G4 iMac

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by minifridge1138, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. minifridge1138 macrumors 65816

    Jun 26, 2010
    Hello everyone,

    I'm trying to get an OS installed on a G4 iMac. It's a 15" 800 mhz. It was working fine before I put in a new hard drive.

    Now, when I boot off of a retail install disc, it gets to the apple logo with the spinning wheel (not cursor) and then freezes.

    I've tried 10.3, 10.4, and 10.5 (with Leopard Assist).

    Using an OS 9.1 disc it booted and I was able to initialize and partition the hard drive. But this iMac needs OS 9.2 or later, so I couldn't install the OS.

    Any suggestions?
  2. robertdsc macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2014
    Did you set the jumper for the IDE drive to Master? Sometimes that can cause issues if the jumper is not set right.
  3. comda macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2011
    That and make sure that after you put the thing back together the ribbon cable going to the board wasn't slightly pulled.

    never had a G4 imac even though i wish, but worked on a few and that got me once. Re-seat RAM and dont forget to re-apply thermal paste on the heat sink as it may be over heating by the time to computer loads into the installation.. Good luck.
  4. havokalien macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2006
    Kelso, Wa

    Well the only reason that mac os X should freeze on the iMac most likely is ram.

    That being said the posts before on cleaning and thermal paste, and ram reseating are great starts. If 9.1 let you initialize and partition (did you check the block to make it OS 9 bootable?) then all you need do is find a 9.2 retail disk and that should get you up and running.
  5. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    This is either due to a hard drive that has cables that are not properly seated, an inappropriate or lack of jumper setting, or overheating due to lack of new thermal paste on the contact points. You must reapply fresh paste when you take apart an iMac G4 to the contact points.
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 604


    May 3, 2014
    Was your "new" hard drive truly new? Don't rule out the possibility of an HDD giving up the ghost after installation, particularly if you were dealing with a used/pulled hard drive.

    I've had this happen to me more than once-a seemingly good HDD that either completely gave up the ghost while I was trying to install an OS on it, or else would act "funny" and cause lock-ups and other problems during an OS install.

    As IDE drives are now out of production and only increasing in age, such problems are going to become increasingly more common. I've squirreled away probably 75 drives from computers headed for the dumpster over the past year-folks laugh at me but as long as I plan to keep my PPC computers running, I figure one can never have enough spare parts around.
  7. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    I have those large bins you can get at Wal-Mart full of old video cards, optical drives, and hard drives. Those parts do come in handy.
  8. 556fmjoe macrumors 68000


    Apr 19, 2014
    Yup. I could probably construct my own datacenter with all the spare computer junk I've accumulated in the basement.
  9. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Maybe you should and offer to help host MacRumors off it.
  10. CYB3RBYTE macrumors regular


    Sep 2, 2014
    I have a 3.0GHZ Pentium D Machine that was my powerhouse server until 2011, should we host it off that? :D
  11. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    I know the feeling well.

    Then again, my basement has a 9U rack containing:
    4U quad Itanium server with 32 GB redundant RAM, 400 GB RAID-1 boot array, 2 TB RAID-5 data array, and quad 1 Gb NICs. (Running Debian Linux)
    2 x 1U dual Pentium III servers for "router" duty (each with dual 1 Gb NIC)
    1 x 2U Pentium 4 "storage server" with Disk-on-Module boot drive and 12 TB storage array.
    1U 24-port Gigabit switch
    1U power distribution unit. (Switch mounted at the front, PDU mounted at the back, sharing the same vertical space, since neither is very deep.)

    Plus a dual Xeon (roughly equivalent to a 2009 Mac Pro) server/workstation.

    No, I don't leave them running 24/7. In fact, most of them are rarely on at all. I keep meaning to bring my personal domains hosted in-house, and not getting around to it. Mostly when I'm reminded about how often my power goes out, and how I can't afford a decent 220V UPS...
  12. minifridge1138 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 26, 2010
    When I put it back together I was 100% sure the jumpers were in the right position, but I'm beginning to doubt that.

    The iMac was working just fine before I swapped the hard drive, so I doubt the ram is seated incorrectly. But I'll reseat it when I double-check the jumper positions.

    Thermal paste... I knew I forgot something. :eek:

    I'll update this when I get a chance to take it apart again. I also have boxes of parts. I may not be able to build a datacenter, but I can anger a spouse :D

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11 October 26, 2014