Upgrading a G4 by a Windoze guy

Fred64

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2013
3
0
UK
I have spent many years working on PCs and am A+ qualified but I have never used a Mac and have had no experience of them at all, so recently I bought an old G4 Quicksilver 733 with a 17" Cinema screen and keyboard etc. and Tiger, I would have liked a higher specc'd one but my pension wouldn't run to it.
I then researched as much as I could (online) about the G4 so that I wouldn't blow it up at some point. Then when I had garnered a little knowledge about it I decided to open it and look inside, WOW really really tidy and so well engineered, I was impressed.

I now looked to enhance this lovely machine and so investigated my options, first I added RAM to take it to the max. The CD drive was replaced with a DVD Dual writer which was recognised by my G4 after a restart ( I was later to find out that, that is not the same as fully working) I find that it will mount okay and I can access it but I cannot boot from it to install or updates etc. Any one know how to fix this?

I managed to get hold of a Dual 1Ghz CPU board and cooler which I swapped for my733mhz one and also added a USB 2 PCI card, again, it was recognized and worked correctly so far so good. So I now started to look at hard drives only to find the 128Mb limit in the firmware Boot ROM 4.2.1f2a with little searching I found reference to a BootROM 4.33.f2 which would enable the use of LBA and bigger HDDs.

This brings me to my stopping point how and where can I get this BootROM 4.33.f2, I can find nothing on the Apple site to help me so can any of you guys help me to get hold of it and thus further my adventure into the world of Mac?
My future upgrades plans ( as my pension allows) are to install SATA hard drives which may be exciting and will require a fair bit of research to accomplish economically.
Look forward to hearing from all you Power-Mac wizards.
 

seveej

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2009
822
50
Helsinki, Finland
So I now started to look at hard drives only to find the 128Mb limit in the firmware Boot ROM 4.2.1f2a with little searching I found reference to a BootROM 4.33.f2 which would enable the use of LBA and bigger HDDs.

This brings me to my stopping point how and where can I get this BootROM 4.33.f2, I can find nothing on the Apple site to help me so can any of you guys help me to get hold of it and thus further my adventure into the world of Mac?
My future upgrades plans ( as my pension allows) are to install SATA hard drives which may be exciting and will require a fair bit of research to accomplish economically.
Look forward to hearing from all you Power-Mac wizards.
Welcome Fred,

First off, I'd recommend you keep your eyes open, in case you stumble upon one of the latest generation PM G4's, especially the FW800 models or the MDD2003 - these, if they can be had at a good price are really a very good find. These also do not suffer that LBA limitation.

Also, the LBA limitation is (if I'm not totally off base here) only limited to the onboard IDE channels, so any Firewire drive will not be limited by it and neither will any SATA drives you connect to a SATA controller.

I know the SATA controllers which OWC (www.macsales.com) sells are far from cheap, but they work and are reliable. I have a Sonnet Tempo in my MDD and am quite happy. If you feel lucky, you can also try one of the many SATA cards available on eBay. Unless you intend to one day plug in some SSD's the SATA I speed is quite sufficient.

RGDS,
 

MisterKeeks

macrumors 68000
Nov 15, 2012
1,832
25
To get around the LBA issue, you can use this driver, or use this Open Firmware hack:

Type in the following, exactly. Please note that the Underscore “_” is used to indicate a space.
nvedit
dev_hd
dev_..
"_"_"_lba-48"_property
device-end
Press Ctrl+C to exit from nvedit.
nvstore
setenv_use-nvramrc?_true
reset-all
That’s it. Now boot up and go to “About My Mac” to confirm the disk size.

If your disk was already formatted, it will have its original 128Gb partition and a region of inaccessible space at the end. It’s probably easiest to reformat the disk with a new partition scheme, unless you have some terminal disk utility or related tricks up your sleeve.

This hack will last until you reset the NV RAM (P RAM).
Similarly, if you hose your open firmware settings, use this fact to your advantage, perform a PRAM reset and start again.
If you do repartition the disk, it’s probably wise not to cross the 128Gb boundary with a partition, in case you ever have to reset the NV RAM, in which case you’ll only be able to access the first 128Gb of the the hard-disk. By splitting the disk at 128Gb, you’ll ensure that only whole partitions are visible and any partition after the 128Gb will be entirely invisible.
--Source

Once you get all the hardware ironed out, you might want to check out the recommendations on this board for optimization, and different browsers, etc.
 

Nameci

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2010
1,944
8
The Philippines...
About the optical drive, you must have an apple superdrive or apple branded ODD in order for you mac to boot from it, afaik. It must be an "apple shipping drive".
 

Lil Chillbil

macrumors 65816
Jan 30, 2012
1,322
95
California
I have spent many years working on PCs and am A+ qualified but I have never used a Mac and have had no experience of them at all, so recently I bought an old G4 Quicksilver 733 with a 17" Cinema screen and keyboard etc. and Tiger, I would have liked a higher specc'd one but my pension wouldn't run to it.
I then researched as much as I could (online) about the G4 so that I wouldn't blow it up at some point. Then when I had garnered a little knowledge about it I decided to open it and look inside, WOW really really tidy and so well engineered, I was impressed.

I now looked to enhance this lovely machine and so investigated my options, first I added RAM to take it to the max. The CD drive was replaced with a DVD Dual writer which was recognised by my G4 after a restart ( I was later to find out that, that is not the same as fully working) I find that it will mount okay and I can access it but I cannot boot from it to install or updates etc. Any one know how to fix this?

I managed to get hold of a Dual 1Ghz CPU board and cooler which I swapped for my733mhz one and also added a USB 2 PCI card, again, it was recognized and worked correctly so far so good. So I now started to look at hard drives only to find the 128Mb limit in the firmware Boot ROM 4.2.1f2a with little searching I found reference to a BootROM 4.33.f2 which would enable the use of LBA and bigger HDDs.

This brings me to my stopping point how and where can I get this BootROM 4.33.f2, I can find nothing on the Apple site to help me so can any of you guys help me to get hold of it and thus further my adventure into the world of Mac?
My future upgrades plans ( as my pension allows) are to install SATA hard drives which may be exciting and will require a fair bit of research to accomplish economically.
Look forward to hearing from all you Power-Mac wizards.

As far as software packages for this beast

Final Cut Pro Studio 2 (PM Me if you want it)
Appleworks 6 http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/appleworks-6
Handbrake http://www.oldapps.com/mac/handbrake.php
Stainless http://www.stainlessapp.com/
MacTubes https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/28608/mactubes
Adobe CS2 Photoshop and lightroom (PM me if you want it)
Mountain Lion Update http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1410493
 

Nameci

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2010
1,944
8
The Philippines...
As far as software packages for this beast

Final Cut Pro Studio 2 (PM Me if you want it)
Appleworks 6 http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/appleworks-6
Handbrake http://www.oldapps.com/mac/handbrake.php
Stainless http://www.stainlessapp.com/
MacTubes https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/28608/mactubes
Adobe CS2 Photoshop and lightroom (PM me if you want it)
Mountain Lion Update http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1410493
You should label it as Mountain Lion Theme, not Mountain Lion Update. It will be mistaken that a G4 such as his could run Mountain Lion.
 

skinniezinho

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2009
1,022
44
Portugal
About the optical drive, you must have an apple superdrive or apple branded ODD in order for you mac to boot from it, afaik. It must be an "apple shipping drive".
That is not true.
I have a TDK 880N (NEC 2500A) drive on it and it boots fine.
The only thing that I am aware for it is this http://www.patchburn.de/
As for the sata card, I have one for sale, search for my nickname and ebay you will find it.
 

Fred64

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2013
3
0
UK
Thank you all very much for your replies they are very helpful.

Excuse my ignorance but what is "reset the NV RAM (P RAM)" and how do I do it?
Thank you all again I will let you know how I get on.
 

GermanyChris

macrumors 601
Jul 3, 2011
4,185
2
Here
Thank you all very much for your replies they are very helpful.

Excuse my ignorance but what is "reset the NV RAM (P RAM)" and how do I do it?
Thank you all again I will let you know how I get on.

The PRAM is in essence a cache of where everything is located and preferences. When you reset you dump this cache so the Mac reset to bog standard..

In my opinion the best way to do this is in Open Firmware (think bios)

turn the computer on and hold the apple key+Option+O+F

this will get you to what looks like a DOS prompt

type reset-nvram then hit enter

then type

reset-all then hit enter

it will reboot at that point

There are a couple guides out there that list all OF commands just google it..
 

Nameci

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2010
1,944
8
The Philippines...
That is not true.
I have a TDK 880N (NEC 2500A) drive on it and it boots fine.
The only thing that I am aware for it is this http://www.patchburn.de/
As for the sata card, I have one for sale, search for my nickname and ebay you will find it.
That is why, I said "afaik". I have put a generic cd/dvd drive on my PMG4 PCI gfx and it would not boot from it. I put it on my MDD and again it would not boot from it, but those apple shipping superdrives boot fine.

The generic ODD is not bad at all since it can be used once the OS is loaded.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,881
368
Inside
That is why, I said "afaik". I have put a generic cd/dvd drive on my PMG4 PCI gfx and it would not boot from it. I put it on my MDD and again it would not boot from it, but those apple shipping superdrives boot fine.

The generic ODD is not bad at all since it can be used once the OS is loaded.
The C at boot to start from an optical disc requires an Apple drive. That's one of the reasons why I never use it or suggest it to other people. Always use Alt/Option at boot.
 

Nameci

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2010
1,944
8
The Philippines...
The C at boot to start from an optical disc requires an Apple drive. That's one of the reasons why I never use it or suggest it to other people. Always use Alt/Option at boot.
I am overseas right now so I cannot revisit my PMG4 PCI gfx and confirm that it would boot from the generic CD/DVD using the option key.

I left it with a cloned Tiger install from an DP 1.42FW800. I was trying hard to install OS9 on it since the original HDD hit the ditched and was not able to backup the OS9 installed on it.

The PMG4 PCI cannot boot into target mode. Other than moving the superdrive from the MDD I cannot find any other solution to install OS9 on it.