Story: Power Mac G4 (DA 733) and OS 9 booting

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by headsh0t95, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. headsh0t95 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #1
    Hello folks,

    My powermac g4 started acting up last night. I tried to install OS 9 for classic using the Netboot dmg guide found here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/macos9/nR2QQCKaCFA
    This worked great and I read that my machine could also boot natively into OS9 (since it shipped with 9.1, 9.2.2 should always work).

    Then I happily changed my startup disk using System Preferences and rebooted.

    About then the mess begun :(

    0198152586b0c1a2c0821c61774ebfca15f591fa81.jpg

    Upon reboot, the machine showed a greyscale screen with a floppy with a blinking question mark inside it (like those 80s / 90s macs show when no floppy disk is inserted).
    I tried to boot using the Option key but since the OSes are installed on the same partition this was of no use - It listed my HDD and that was it.
    Then i thought: "Let's burn a OS 9.2.2 CD on my CD-RW to re-set the boot drive". The burning succeeded but the disk appeared un-bootable.
    What did I do wrong? I was too hurried. On the next attempt I left the machine alone for 15 minutes. Then OS 9 had booted.
    I opened the Startup Disk panel - but the hard drive was not detected.

    I then searched the Internet and realized what was going wrong: The hard disk has no OS9 drivers installed.
    Since I bought the machine with Tiger on it - and never reinstalled it since then - I didn't knew this and am not willing to reformat it.

    Third attempt: Burn the first install disk from the 4 CD-version of Tiger to my CD-RW (Sorry, this cd / dvd drive does not support burned DVDs, only original aka pressed ones).
    Then tried to boot it but it froze and auto-booted into something called "Open Firmware" - Yes it did that on its own.
    I then searched at Apple and found out I needed to reset NVRAM and PRAM by typing commands in this Open Firmware screen. The machine restarted and now showed the Finder folder blinking - More in OS9 style and -thank god- in color.

    01a012f91d75b530fdced4d824a1df55367685ec9c.jpg
    Then I inserted the CD with 10.4, waited and waited and: it booted!

    01a141cff8671cadb23b41fa25036cce421ea5552b.jpg

    I chose Apple System Profiler and there it said it: Mac OS 9 drivers installed: NO

    013b199cf4313ae1936890edbc79bbb2b4bbb21202.jpg

    Knowing for 100% sure what the issue was, i clicked on Startup Disk and selected my 10.4.11 installation.
    I crossed my fingers, rebooted and my machine was back to life again :) :) :)

    I'll be looking for a new PRAM battery in the near future since i also found out that my machine consumes nearly 10 watts of power when completely shut down.
    I fear that leaving the power cord unplugged for too long will cause my system to lose date / time and its boot configuration..

    Final note: During all these boots, the system did not always play its startup sound. Can Startupsound.prefpane cause this misbehaviour?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #2
    I think that it's possible to boot OS 9.2.2 off a CD, then run the installer program from within OS 9 and it will install the OS 9 drivers onto the disk without messing anything else up(you will need to select the "clean install" option during install). I did this just last evening on my Cube, which also lacked the OS 9 drivers, and it did not at all mess with my 10.4.11 install.

    Also, FWIW, a DA G4 can't install off a retail OS 9 disk. I have done many OS 9.2.2 installs on DAs(three different computers, and in some cases multiple installs) using the 9.2.2 disk that came with my Quicksilver 2002. I was also able to get this disk to work with my Cube.

    One last thing-if you are burning a disk, try a CD-R rather than a CD-RW. Sometimes, these older drives handle CD-Rs better than RWs.
     
  3. headsh0t95 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #3
    Yes, that 9.2.2 image booted fine(it was from macos9lives and was packed in 2013 / 2014!). I didn't install it though as i only wanted to choose a Startup Disk for my system. If I install one, i want to have a Dutch version since that is my native language.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #4
    SMH. This is the third "I booted into OS9 and lost the ability to boot into OS X" thread in the last few days.

    OP, I'm glad you recovered, but I am SO glad I ditched OS9 years ago.
     
  5. headsh0t95 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #5
    Should I worry about the missing / muted start-up sound or is it normal that a messed up boot drive disrupts the chime (temporarily)?
     
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6
    If you reset the PRAM at some point that's pretty typical. One of the things(among others) this does is reset the stored volume information.

    Once the computer boots, if you use the volume keys on the keyboard or the volume slider(in the control strip in OS 9) it should be at normal volume the next time you start.
     
  7. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    I actually probably use OS 9 more now than I did 6 months ago.

    There's a lot to dislike about it-in particular the lack of protected memory so that one program crashing brings down the system. There's also the fact that it can't deal with an HFS+ formatted flash drive, while newer versions of OS X won't write to an HFS standard formatted drive. I ran into that earlier today, when I downloaded a bunch of files for my Cube(running OS 9 at the moment) on my MBP(10.9), and found that I couldn't copy them over to my HFS Standard flash drive. I ended up having to copy them to an HFS+ formatted drive, and then using my Quicksilver(with 10.5) to copy the files to the HFS standard drive. I'm just glad that I have a USB 2.0 card in my Quicksilver, as it takes about a minute to copy a 250mb file as compared to several minutes with USB 1.1(which is what it will take to when I finally get the files on the Cube).

    There's also, however, the fact that it has a much smaller resource footprint and with the right productivity apps, I can get more done on borderline systems than I can with the same computer under OS X. I have several programs that will run under OS X and OS 9 both(a lot of it specialized software like Chemdraw 7) but find that it simply works better under OS 9 and OS X.

    I'm
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #8
    Having worked in OS9 in a production/design environment from 1999 to 2004 I'm familiar with a lot of the problems.

    Protected ram as you say was one issue. Conflicts with extensions and control panels was another for me. Trying to get Suitcase and ATM to work together by forcing the load of one control panel before another was a tricky thing. Stuff like that.

    It actually took me some time to appreciate OS X because as an example of where Apple was headed 10.1 and below were sorely lacking. I used to harangue Steve Jobs over the lack of labels in 10.2.x when OS9 had them.

    However, with 10.3 and above my use of OS9 came down to using one program once a week because of our Classifieds. I had ditched OS9 on my personal Macs in 2003 as everything I needed then ran on OS X.

    We dumped that particular OS9 program about three or four years ago so I was able to finally get our last Mac here at work on OS X only. Over time I had learned to appreciate OS X more as well and what it could do over OS9 caused me to like OS9 less.

    OS9 had a hard time integrating with our Windows SBS 2003 server. I was forced to use DAVE 5 in order to connect the damn thing to the network. Even then, we were often limited to 32 character filenames (including the three character filename extension) when using SFM (Services for Macintosh) shares on our server. SFM, and this is the fault of Microsoft not Apple or OS9, uses an outdated version of AFP that only allows 32 character filenames.

    With all those issues I was finally glad to see OS9 gone. Of course, I had other issues with Tiger and our network, but you know about those.
     
  9. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #9
    I was not around for the "dark days" of OS X, and before 2014 had not used any version prior to 10.7.

    With the experience I've picked up in playing with PPC Macs, I consider anything earlier than 10.2 basically useless and a curiosity(although I do have an iMac with 10.0 and 10.1 installed, in addition to 10.4) and really don't have much use personally for anything older than 10.4.

    I'm speaking from a modern perspective, though, where 10.4 really is the oldest version with any support and of course 10.5 is many times better in this regard.

    I'm not a big fan of Classic mode, though, so when I'm running an OS 9 program(whether a game or a productivity program), it's OS 9 all the way.
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #10
    Jaguar was really the first useable version of OS X. Anything before that was a crapshoot as to if it would work or not.

    10.1.5 introduced SMB and allowed connecting to PC platforms, but Jaguar made it possible to connect and work with Windows Servers.

    Panther was absolutely the most stable version I've yet networked with a Windows server, with the exception of Leopard.

    Sidenote, I was only around during the early years because at the time my chosen profession was using Macs in the places I was employed. It wasn't until 2003 that I became a switcher and rejected PC altogether.

    One thing I did like about OS9 was the ability to decide for yourself just how much ram you wanted to allocate to an app. You can't do that in OS X and there's a whole bunch of people out there that claim that it's better that way.

    I tend to disagree as there are certain apps I have no problem shorting on ram and giving to others that I'd really rather have as much as I can give. Unfortunately, Apple removed that feature.
     
  11. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #11
    No arguments on that as a whole, however some programs(like Adobe CS programs) do at least give you that ability to some extent.

    With that said, I hate having 10gb in one of my G5s(that are not even close to fully utilized) and not being able to give apps like CS4 more than 3gb.

    For the rare time I use Windows XP in Virtual PC, it kills me that I can't give it more than 512mb.

    Of course, those are app limitations and not OS limitations...
     
  12. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #12
    +1 for macos9lives
    is always a great point to start to getting a hazzle-free OS9 install.

    For the localized version, you could search macintosh garden. Also, on macos9lives and cubeuser.de I posted a thread, where one can find the localized updates from apple (they cut the link, but the site still exists). You have to have one localized OS9 version beforehand, though. You can use english OS 9 and update it with another langauge's update.
     

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