Slowly assembling parts for another project...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bunnspecial, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    After Intell mentioned doing this a while back, I've really been itching to try something similar.

    I recently acquired both an 8600 and a 9600, the last of the grand old days of "big" beige box Macs. With some work, these can be made to run Leopard.

    I debated about which computer I would use. The 9600 really is the better choice due to its 6 PCI slots and greater RAM capacity, but my 9600 is dual processor and I really want to keep it that way.

    In any case, I already either already have or have on the way the following parts:

    1. G4 upgrade card. This is an absolute necessity, as Leopard must run on a G4. Gamer9430 is very generously giving this to me, and I'm awaiting its arrival.

    2. Radeon 9200 PCI Mac edition video card. This is the best video card that will work in OWR Macs, and is actually not a bad performer in Leopard. It lacks Core Image support, which really makes Leopard sing, but will allow me to continue booting into OS 9 with full hardware acceleration(something a Core Image card can not do). I have this on hand-it was in my G4-upgrade B&W, but I'm now using an FX5200(full core image support) in that.

    3. Acard AEC-6280M. I'm waiting on this from China. This is a firmware compatible, bootable IDE card that is ATA-133 compliant with big drive support and has two separate IDE buses. I need this for a couple of reasons. 1. Having a DVD drive in a modern version of OSX borders on being a necessity, and there are few, if any, SCSI DVD drives. 2. Leopard is a space hog, and 20gb+ SCSI hard drives can be difficult find and pricey. They are also generally enterprise class 15K drives, which are noisy. The speed advantage is lost on the built-in 10mb/s SCSI bus. Being able to throw in a big IDE hard drive makes things a lot easier.

    4. Plenty of IDE hard drives and DVD drives to make all of the above happen.

    My "shopping list(in due course) includes the following

    1. A large amount of RAM. The system has 8 RAM slots, and each can hold a 128mb stick. The 128mb sticks are available for about $10 each. I'll probably also order a few for my 9600.

    2. A combo USB 2.0/Firewire card. This is probably not strictly necessary, but will make life a lot easier and should be inexpensive. I need to use a combo card as the computer has 3 PCI slots, and two are already populated with the above components. I'll likely test the one currently in my Quicksilver, and just find the same one if it works okay in the 9600.

    3. Both pre-release versions of Leopard. I might have a lead on these, although they are proving to be very elusive. This is unsurprising, as I think there were only a few thousand copies of each made. I need these to extract kexts to make Leopard work.

    The real work won't get done until after my thesis defense(11 days and counting) and realistically not until after I get it turned into the graduate school(15 days and counting) but should be a fun and relaxing project once I have that monkey off my back.
     
  2. robertdsc macrumors regular

    robertdsc

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    #2
    Couldn't you dupe an existing Leopard install and try it as is without the G4 upgrade?

    That was how I was able to get Leopard to run, briefly, on my now-retired DA 466.
     
  3. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #3
    Leopard will not run without a G4. No way around that requirement.
     
  4. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
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    Kentucky
    #4
    No, all PCI Powermacs require kexts to run Leopard that aren't present in the retail version. A G4 processor is also an absolute necessity for the retail version-it can be made to run on most any G4, but not anything lower.

    I've been trying on and off for a few months to get it running on a B&W with a G4 upgrade. It also doesn't run on my G4 Yikes!, which internally is basically a B&W G3 with a G4 processor and no ADB port. It can be done, I've just needed the DP disks to do it. Somewhere out on the web is a download with a bunch of the kexts, but it's still missing some.

    Only minimal effort is required to get it running on AGP-based Macs. Cloning, using TDM, or using Leopard assist will get it to install(and bypass the 867mhz check), and the computer will work fine. Once it's optimized, it will even run great on some pretty low spec systems. I have it several "unsupported" systems, including a couple of Digital Audio G4s, one of my Cubes(the others will get it installed when I get around to it), my Gigabit Ethernet with every public PPC version of OS X installed, and my Sawtooth. Doing things like using the black, glassy dock and toning down the GUI "eye candy"(including a lot of the animations) speeds it up a whole lot on graphics card without Core Image support(Leopard relies heavily on Core Image). Fortunately, at least for the DA and later, Core Image cards are relatively easy to find. There are few Core Image capable cards that will work in the 2x AGP slot on the Sawtooth, GigE, and Cube. As far as I'm aware, the retail Radeon 9800 and a flashed PC nVidia 6200 are the only ones that work. I have an 6200 that I need to flash and put in one of my Cubes(graphics card options are even more limited there due to space constraints).
     
  5. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #5

    XD, and yes I will be sending it out over the course of the upcoming week. By then, I'll be back in school to have them mail it, and the shipping label fee will clear
     
  6. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
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    Kentucky
    #6
    I had a few nice surprises waiting for me. The G4 arrived over the weekend, although I didn't get around to opening it until today. The IDE card arrived from China also.

    If I'm reading the sticker on the G4 card correctly, it's 700mhz with 1mb of L3. It's almost as fast as the official system requirement speed for Leopard!

    I just need to get a whole bunch of ram-probably after next payday-and find the time. Hopefully then I'll be on the road with this project.
     

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  7. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #7
    Slowly assembling parts for another project...

    Gee, that G4 box and card look very familiar... :D And yes, you are reading the sticker correctly.
     
  8. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #8
    To my knowledge, only a limited number of Leopard developer previews contained support for the G3 processor before dropping support in the name of using AltiVec technology in the OS. That being said, I do recall reading about a guy who got 10.5 DP running on an iMac G3, however the authenticity of the images was questioned.
     
  9. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
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    #9
    The WWDC Preview will run on something like a B&W G3. I'm not sure what else they supported, but it would surprise me if a FW iMac G3 would run the preview.

    Later versions did require a G4 in some form or fashion, but installation is a bit more complicated on older computers than simply installing a G4 upgrade. The kexts to support pre-AGP logic boards were missing from the retail version. This means that to get it running on pre-AGP Macs you have to first find the kexts, then manually install them and manually set the permissions.

    This is why certain factory G4 computer like the Yikes! also can't run Leopard without additional work.

    Intell has a lot more information on this than I do-he's my inspiration for this project, since he's done exactly what I'm doing before.

    I'm still fighting with getting Leopard running on my G4-upgraded B&W.
     
  10. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    Sounds like quite an interesting project. Hope you get it to work out. I never realized you could update such an old computer.
     
  11. ptdebate macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    Location:
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    #11
    Just out of curiosity bunnspecial, where did you find your beige Power Macs? I never see those on craigslist in my area.
     
  12. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #12
    There are still a lot stashed away. I rescued a few from surplus. I picked up a few more off the Low End Mac swap.
     
  13. ptdebate macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #13
    Hmm. I imagine that there are a lot of people who throw them away thinking they're valueless. I'd love to get my hands on a higher-end model in good condition :rolleyes:.
     
  14. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #14
    The first stage(of many) of the project is getting underway.

    I just spent some time removing the SCSI CD-ROM and hard drive. I then installed the IDE card, removed the SCSI ribbon cable, and routed an IDE cable up through the computer.

    I ended up using the IDE optical drive cable from a Quicksilver I parted out-the "standard" IDE cable isn't anywhere near long enough to do this. I have an MDD on the chopping block, and am hoping that the optical drive cable from it will be long enough.

    As it is now, I have both the hard drive and the DVD drive on the same bus, and I'd really like to have them on separate busses. For one thing, the spacing is such that I can't mount the hard drive correctly, and for another I still like having a ZIP drive. I have enough IDE ZIP drives that I could easily install one.

    Routing the cables was fun, as the PSU needed to be removed(fortunately it could be left with everything connected-I just needed to move it a few inches out of the way).

    Of course, once all the software installation is done, I could always go back to running the CD-ROM drive and ZIP drive on the SCSI bus-I just need a DVD drive to do the initial installation.

    I'll now need to install OS 9 and install the software for the Sonnet and for the Radeon 9200. The CPU upgrade can then go in. I can then-as per Sonnet-go back and re-install OS 9 to enable Altivec support.

    Once all of that is done, Xpostfacto should let me jump directly to Tiger.

    With Tiger installed, I the need to transplant the drive to another Mac, install Leopard, and then install the missing kexts. Once that's done, I need to do some "magic" to get the permissions set correctly, and hopefully Leopard will boot on the 8600.

    I'm probably a few days away from that, though. I'll be doing well if I get the G4 upgrade in this evening.

    BTW, I went ahead and stuck a 7200rpm 250gb WD Caviar Black in the computer. That should give me enough space to quadruple boot OS 8.5(really 8.6), OS 9(9.2.2), Tiger, and Leopard.

    I may even stretch things back a bit more and install OS 7.5.5 and OS 8. I need to watch Ebay and try to pick up an OS 7.6 disk. My OS 8.5 disk didn't cost me much(and my OS 8 disk-in full retail packaging-was a freebie), so hopefully the same will be true of 7.6.
     

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  15. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #15
    Well, it looks as though I've hit my first couple of SNAFUs. I couldn't get my OS 9 CD to boot in the IDE drive, so ended up installing the SCSI CD-ROM and HDD again. It booted off the old HDD into OS 9.

    Unfortunately, system profiler recognizes the IDE card as a SCSI card, and doesn't see any connected volumes...

    I may go ahead and just install the G4 upgrade tonight(along with Tiger) and leave the IDE drive for another day.
     
  16. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #16

    Are you using 9.2.2? That may have the proper IDE drivers on it. Also, what size SCSI drive are you using just out of a curiosity. Lastly, what happens if you use a SCSI CD-ROM drive and a IDE hard drive, if that's possible...
     
  17. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #17
    The IDE card is supposed to be firmware compatible with Macs, meaning that it's bootable and shouldn't need a driver.

    The current SCSI drive is 4mb, which I think is about as big as 50pin SCSI drives get.

    There shouldn't be any issues with mixing both SCSI and IDE drive on their respective buses. The beige G3s had both IDE and SCSI on the logic board, and depending on the specific configuration used both.

    OS 9.2.2 isn't a bad idea, but it's probably more of a project than I want to get into tonight.
     
  18. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    Apr 22, 2014
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    #18

    Odd that the card won't work...

    I actually have 2 1GB 50pin SCSI hard drives, Quantum Fireballs to be exact.

    Hopefully if you get the IDE card working, you can use both. I'm thinking it would be better to have the CD Drive on SCSI being that it is built in, and will work from boot.

    I would look into 9.2.2. I think that may help with that card. Too bad it really is a project with old beige boxes to get it up and running.
     
  19. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #19
    I've at least made some progress. The Sonnet is in, but only reporting at 450mhz.

    I'm hoping that if I reinstall OS 9(as the Sonnet manual suggests), the computer will report it correctly as a G4 and at the full speed.

    Even just doubling the clock speed makes the computer feel a lot "peppier" however.

    And, yes, it a shame that it's such a struggle to get 9.2.2 on these computer. I know my 9600 ran a whole lot better after I installed 9.2.2-I almost wonder if Apple intentionally disabled some later OSs on these late generation beige boxes because they were embarrased about how well they worked next to the G3/G4 series.
     

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