Upgrades for eMac

samusaran240

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2010
12
0
MESQUITE, TX
Ok, I have a 1.25Ghz G4 eMac (USB 2.0) and I want to do some upgrades on it.

Currently, it has 1GB of DDR SDRAM clocked at 400MHz, 40GB ATA/100 Hard Drive and Combo CD/DVD-ROM Drive. I want to upgrade it to 2GB of the same type of ram clocked at 400MHz, a larger hard drive and either a second hard drive and a external DVD Burner or a internal DVD Burner and a external hard drive. Any suggestions would be appreciated and links to trusted sites that sell compatible parts would be very helpful. I have found some stuff that appears to be compatible on Newegg but since Apple computers are a bit 'special' I've been reluctant to buy there.

Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Ram 1GB DDR SDRAM 184-pin 400MHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226081
Seagate DB35 Series 7200RPM 160GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5AD1T69209
Samsung slim external DVD Writer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151262
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
eMacs only work with low density memory. That memory appears to be low density. That hard drive will work fine in your eMac. Just know that replacing an eMac's hard drive is a challenging task. Make sure you read about doing it before you purchase the drive to make sure you are technically skilled enough to do it. That optical drive will work correctly with your eMac as well.
 

samusaran240

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2010
12
0
MESQUITE, TX
Yeah, I know how difficult it is to take apart. I mean, its designed so compact yet its horribly designed for people intending to swap parts out. I had to tear it down to remove some leaking capacitors amd replace them with new ones. Anyways, so that ram should work in the eMac? I'll order it tomorrow if it is. I don't remember, does OS X Tiger support raid, or rather, does the hardware in the eMac support raid?
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,120
432
Cascadia
You'll get best performance with an internal hard drive replacing the optical drive, and make the optical drive external.

You'll want Parallel ATA (also known as "IDE") drives, and for fastest performance, you'll want an SSD. OWC sells SSDs with PATA adapters specifically for pre-SATA Macs.
 

samusaran240

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2010
12
0
MESQUITE, TX
I understand what IDE drives are, I'm not an idiot. I wasn't sure if old PPC macs were capable of raid. I'm pretty sure those SSDs frow OWC are pretty expensive so I think I'll stick with two normal mechanical drives. Thanks for the help everyone.

P.S. What's a good Linux distro for a PPC Mac? I.e. best overall performance and ease of use.
 

556fmjoe

macrumors 68000
Apr 19, 2014
1,604
903
I understand what IDE drives are, I'm not an idiot. I wasn't sure if old PPC macs were capable of raid. I'm pretty sure those SSDs frow OWC are pretty expensive so I think I'll stick with two normal mechanical drives. Thanks for the help everyone.

P.S. What's a good Linux distro for a PPC Mac? I.e. best overall performance and ease of use.
Debian is probably your best bet for a 32 bit PPC.
 
I understand what IDE drives are, I'm not an idiot.
It was a reasonable assumption that you may not know what IDE drives are, a good portion of people that visit this part of the forum do not know what they are or that they of course differ from SATA.

P.S. What's a good Linux distro for a PPC Mac? I.e. best overall performance and ease of use.
I like MintPPC. It can run on anything down to a G3 beige or 333mhz PPC G3 Powerbook so it should be quite snappy on your machine.

Good luck and have fun, that is a nice machine!
 
Last edited:

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,120
432
Cascadia
It was a reasonable assumption that you may not know what IDE drives are, a good portion of people that visit this part of the forum do not know what they are or that they of course differ from SATA.
As Steve implied, I meant no disrespect. SATA has been around for long enough now that people who just started getting in to upgrading old computers likely don't know that there are internal differences. I always feel it safer to over-communicate these, and explain my reasoning, than to just assume that people know.

Now, one big difference: you posted in the "PowerPC Macs" group - had you posted in the "Apple Collectors" group instead, I would have assumed you knew, since people who make a point of going to "Collectors" groups can generally be assumed to be more knowledgeable than "average users."

I like MintPPC. It can run on anything down to a G3 beige or 333mhz PPC G3 Powerbook so it should be quite snappy on your machine.
I second MintPPC. Great on older/slower machines. (I have Mint on a first-generation, single-core Atom hard-locked at 512 MB RAM; and MintPPC on a PowerBook G4 - runs like a charm on both.)
 

samusaran240

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2010
12
0
MESQUITE, TX
It was a reasonable assumption that you may not know what IDE drives are, a good portion of people that visit this part of the forum do not know what they are or that they of course differ from SATA.
I've been working on computers for four years now and I'm in school to get a associates in computer maintenance. I've two certificates, A+ and Network +. I'm pretty sure that I know most basic interfaces on modern computer hardware.

Now, one big difference: you posted in the "PowerPC Macs" group - had you posted in the "Apple Collectors" group instead, I would have assumed you knew, since people who make a point of going to "Collectors" groups can generally be assumed to be more knowledgeable than "average users."
I posted in the "PowerPC Macs" group because the eMac is a PowerPC mac, unless I'm wrong and its a intel mac. I didn't post in the "Apple Collectors" group because it felt more appropriate to post in PowerPC over Collectors.

Anyways, I've put in all the parts and everything seems to be working fine except I found out that I can't boot from the external dvd burner. How should I go about installing Tiger on this machine?

I'll check the PPC version of Mint, we've been working with that distro of linux in class along with openSUSE and Ubuntu.
 
I've been working on computers for four years now and I'm in school to get a associates in computer maintenance. I've two certificates, A+ and Network +. I'm pretty sure that I know most basic interfaces on modern computer hardware.
Great!:D However, since we do not know you, how would we know that you already knew?

People are just trying to help, and it is always better to give more information than not enough, and to assume one does not know something than to assume that the information is known and then have further questions later on.
 

samusaran240

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2010
12
0
MESQUITE, TX
Great!:D However, since we do not know you, how would we know that you already knew?

People are just trying to help, and it is always better to give more information than not enough, and to assume one does not know something than to assume that the information is known and then have further questions later on.
Suppose you do have a point. I'm sorry for taking that as a rude assumption and for responding so harshly.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
Because you have a USB 2 eMac, you'll have to use OpenFirmware commands to be able to boot from a USB device.
 

samusaran240

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2010
12
0
MESQUITE, TX
Because you have a USB 2 eMac, you'll have to use OpenFirmware commands to be able to boot from a USB device.
What commands do I use?

----------

Also, I do have an old Lacie Firewire 400 External hard drive that uses IDE. Would it work if I used the Combo drive I took out of the eMac and tried to run it via firewire?
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
This is starting to get somewhat off topic. ^^;

How do I get my eMac to boot from an external device?
Hold down the OPTION key when you are booting. Give the computer a minute and it will see your external drive if it has bootable media in it. Once it sees it click on it then the right arrow. Off you go.

I've got plenty of eMacs. Since I install Leopard on them, I use an external DVD drive. The internal drives are single layer, Leopard is on a DL disk. I did a 1.25 GHz model just today.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
Hold down the OPTION key when you are booting. Give the computer a minute and it will see your external drive if it has bootable media in it. Once it sees it click on it then the right arrow. Off you go.

I've got plenty of eMacs. Since I install Leopard on them, I use an external DVD drive. The internal drives are single layer, Leopard is on a DL disk. I did a 1.25 GHz model just today.
Holding Option at boot to select a USB device doesn't work on USB 2 machines like samusaran240's eMac. Nearly every DVD drive made since 1998 can read dual layer discs without a problem. If they can't, the lens is dirty or the laser is becoming weak. DVD-ROM equipped eMacs are no exception to this and can read dual later DVDs without a problem.
 

crammedberry

macrumors regular
Jan 5, 2011
176
38
The Golden State
As far as Linux on PPC is concerned, I've had the best luck with Debian. Canonical discontinued official PPC releases of Ubuntu some time back, so the PPC versions are ported separately and therefore the bugs take ages to get fixed if ever. I've installed Ubuntu/lubuntu and it is slow on PPC. Everything lags, this is by far the worst PPC Linux distro I've tried.

Debian PPC is an official Debian release so it is as rock solid as all their other architectures. Everything is snappy... It takes some tweaking but it's nothing you can't handle. Should be fairly simple especially seeing you've worked with Linux before.

Ironically mintPPC is supposed to be easy, but I always ran into trouble with the installer... Gave up and went to Debian.
 

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
Ok, I have a 1.25Ghz G4 eMac (USB 2.0) and I want to do some upgrades on it.

Currently, it has 1GB of DDR SDRAM clocked at 400MHz, 40GB ATA/100 Hard Drive and Combo CD/DVD-ROM Drive. I want to upgrade it to 2GB of the same type of ram clocked at 400MHz, a larger hard drive and either a second hard drive and a external DVD Burner or a internal DVD Burner and a external hard drive. Any suggestions would be appreciated and links to trusted sites that sell compatible parts would be very helpful. I have found some stuff that appears to be compatible on Newegg but since Apple computers are a bit 'special' I've been reluctant to buy there.

Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Ram 1GB DDR SDRAM 184-pin 400MHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226081
Seagate DB35 Series 7200RPM 160GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5AD1T69209
Samsung slim external DVD Writer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151262
I have been pleased to find out that the box of RAM I got at e-waste, as well as most of the XP Windows machines I got from there, used PC2700 RAM; the same kind that the eMac uses. My 2004 1Ghz eMac was able to handle 2x 1GB sticks and runs fine. I wonder if it would be cheaper to get a trashy Windows PC and take its RAM. xD BTW, I wouldn't search for "eMac RAM". I am sure it's more expensive if you search it under that name. As I said, PC2700 RAM is what it takes, so finding some that's meant for a Windows PC will probably be cheaper. P.S. I would also advise against Seagate, as they are some of the worst hard drives out there. I have seen many spontaneous failures with Seagate drives. Hitachi is the best, but if you can't get one, I would go with a Western Digital drive. The fans in eMacs are pretty loud too. I am wondering if there is a good replacement kit...
 

weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,665
1,656
What commands do I use?

----------

Also, I do have an old Lacie Firewire 400 External hard drive that uses IDE. Would it work if I used the Combo drive I took out of the eMac and tried to run it via firewire?
To boot from a usb device, assuming your eMac recognises it as a bootable device, boot to Open Firmware and type

boot ud:,\\:tbxi

at the prompt.

As for Firewire devices, those are a bit tricky to swap around. I have a VST Firewire slimline CD writer connected via an ATAPI port inside. I tried to upgrade the CD writer with an ATAPI DVD writer but I could not make either Leopard or Tiger recognise the new device. Not even Toast could see it. I think either Apple or VST added a bit of firmware to its optical devices to make them work as external devices over Firewire with PPC machines. External hard drives are less of an issue.
 

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
It was a reasonable assumption that you may not know what IDE drives are, a good portion of people that visit this part of the forum do not know what they are or that they of course differ from SATA.



I like MintPPC. It can run on anything down to a G3 beige or 333mhz PPC G3 Powerbook so it should be quite snappy on your machine.

Good luck and have fun, that is a nice machine!
How did you get MintPPC installed? It has a pretty annoying installer. Isn't it sketchy as well? I sorta want to try it though... hopefully it doesn't have driver issues with Airport cards, etc.
 

samusaran240

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 20, 2010
12
0
MESQUITE, TX
To boot from a usb device, assuming your eMac recognises it as a bootable device, boot to Open Firmware and type

boot ud:,\\:tbxi

at the prompt.

As for Firewire devices, those are a bit tricky to swap around. I have a VST Firewire slimline CD writer connected via an ATAPI port inside. I tried to upgrade the CD writer with an ATAPI DVD writer but I could not make either Leopard or Tiger recognise the new device. Not even Toast could see it. I think either Apple or VST added a bit of firmware to its optical devices to make them work as external devices over Firewire with PPC machines. External hard drives are less of an issue.
Ok, I ran the command and is said...

can't OPEN: pci2/ata-6@D/@0:3,\\:tbxi
can't open device or file

I think that means its trying to find a internal optical drive. When I use the dev / ls command, it says that the usb dvd burner is under...

/usb@1b,1
/disk@1​
 

weckart

macrumors 601
Nov 7, 2004
4,665
1,656
Ok, I ran the command and is said...

can't OPEN: pci2/ata-6@D/@0:3,\\:tbxi
can't open device or file

I think that means its trying to find a internal optical drive. When I use the dev / ls command, it says that the usb dvd burner is under...

/usb@1b,1
/disk@1​

Forget the usb burner. Restore the OS to a USB pen and try that. Even if you got the optical drive to boot it will be horrendously slow.