What can I do with this PowerMac?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by solinari6, May 11, 2018.

  1. solinari6 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #1
    A friend of mine recently dug a powermac pro out of the dumpster behind his apartment. (seriously! lol)

    He gave it to me to mess around with, so I plugged it in, and surprisingly it boots up fine. Of course, it boots right into a log in screen, and there's no "guest" option, and I have no clue if there's any way to get into this thing.

    I can't even tell what year it is, but it looks a lot like this:
    https://skozfilms.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/macpro-case-mock2.jpg
    except the ports in the back are in a different order, only has 1 cd drive, and the power plugs in near the bottom of the back panel, not the top.

    Is there any way to bypass the log in screen? Do I need to somehow install a new version of (power) OS X? is that even available anymore?

    Should I just return this thing to the trash heap?
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    #2
    Just to get this out of the way, there is no such thing.

    PowerMac G5. Motorola or IBM PowerPC Processor. Max OS is Leopard, OS X 10.5.8

    [​IMG]

    Mac Pro. Intel Processor. Max OS can be current, depending on model.

    [​IMG]

    You will notice that the G5 has only ONE drive door in front. Your pic has two. Therefore you have a Mac Pro. Apple never made a "powerpc pro" because no PowerPC Mac ever had an Intel chip and no Mac Pro ever had a PowerPC chip. The Intel transition away from PowerPC occured in 2006.

    Two entirely different architectures.

    Pop the panel on the side and find the tech specifications. If your MP was made within the last five years or so you're going to want to have this thread moved to the Intel Mac forums.

    However a lot of us PowerPC users own early Intel Macs (which make us pariahs in the Intel Mac forums) so if your model is 2006-2008 or so we can help. But we'll need to know for sure.

    As to bypassing the login screen, you can boot from an OS X disk or the recovery partition. And therein is your issue. You need to identify what kind of Mac Pro you actually have so you know which version of OS X you can use.
     
  3. solinari6 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #3
    Thanks, but I think you missed the part where I said "only has 1 cd drive". :) And it definitely says Power Mac (or something like that on the login screen).

    Sorry, I should have posted some actual pics!

    Here's the back:
    [​IMG]

    Here's the login:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #4
    OH, gotcha!

    Totally missed that, I'm sorry.

    Then you do have a G5. But again, no such thing as a powermac pro.

    If you can get a hold of an OS X disk (Tiger or Leopard) you can boot from the disk and wipe the drive.

    Pop the side panel though. There are specs listed towards the bottom that will tell you what you have.
     
  5. solinari6 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 13, 2008
    #6
  6. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #7
    Depending on model, UK prices vary from £20 - £100. Read off the spec label for a better idea on value.
     
  7. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #8
    We do.

    And they are worth what we use them for. I use my PowerPC Macs as servers, Graphic Design platforms, email, web browsing and word processing.

    Are they worth a lot of money? No. Honestly, you'd get far more productive use out of an early Intel Mac Pro than a G5. While there are plenty of PowerPC users in this forum who have well over 30-50 PowerPC Macs, unless it's a rare model then the most you could expect would be in the range of $50 to $200 depending on the model and condition.

    We don't use these models because they are collectible and increase in value. They don't.

    These are not modern systems, but they are capable of doing modern things if you are willing to work at it. If you want something that "just works", can run the latest software and OS and generally doesn't ask much from you then PowerPC is not for you.

    But if you are willing to work to bend one of these systems to modern usage then we can help.
     
  8. solinari6 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 13, 2008
  9. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #10
    Yay! You've got a dual processor - not too shabby :)
     
  10. solinari6 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #11
    Well shoot, it doesn't have WIFI, and I tried 2 of my USB wifi adapters and neither worked :(

    It shows up in About this Mac as "USB WLAN" but doesn't appear to be any way to configure it.
     
  11. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #12
    Try the manufacturers website - there might be PPC OSX 10.5.8 drivers
     
  12. dbdjre0143 macrumors regular

    dbdjre0143

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    Nov 11, 2017
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    West Virginia
    #13
    Just had to chime in with utmost jealousy. ;) I constantly crawl my local craigslist and others from larger surrounding metro areas, and I have yet to even have an opportunity to buy a decent G5 for a price I was willing to pay, let alone get a dual-processor one for free! You are one lucky individual!
     
  13. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #14
    The only native option is Airport Extreme. Not sure about your system but you may need a runway card. In any case, Airport Extreme will limit you to wireless n speeds.

    With PowerPC the max security your router can have is WPA2 with TKIP/AES (not AES alone).

    Assuming you go down the native route…
     
  14. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #15
    There are a few Ralink based USB WiFi dongles that work but you would need to install the correct driver and control software. None of those works out of the box. None works as a native Airport card.
     
  15. solinari6 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 13, 2008
    #16
    I'm not really sure what this means .. I'm using the big Apple Tower thing as a router. It's set as WPA2 Personal. Will that work?
     
  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #17
    FWIW, I use a dual 2.7 to do a lot of photo work. Most of that is for scanning, and Nikon never bothered to write an Intel-native version of the software for my workhorse 35mm Nikon Coolscan V. I've toyed with changing it out for a Quad, but of the software I run only Photoshop(CS4) is multi-threaded and the 2.7 is faster at single-threaded tasks than the Quad 2.5. Also, I'm currently "SCSI-less" on the computer(finding a G5 and Leopard compatible SCSI card is a nightmare) but there's hope whereas it's nearly impossible to find a PCIe one that will work in a Quad.

    I've toyed with replacing it with a Mac Pro 5,1, but I'm having some issues at the moment with my 5,1(I upgraded it to dual hex core 3.46ghz processors, but they're not playing nicely) and also introduces some compatibility problems. If I do that, I'll park my dual 1.42 MDD next to it for use with the SCSI scanner...or maybe the 2ghz DA G4 instead.
    --- Post Merged, May 11, 2018 ---
    OS X works almost mindlessly easily with WiFi cards that shipped in their computers. There are several know PCI, PCIe, and PCMCIA/Cardbus cards that use the same chipsets as the Apple-branded cards, and they can be used to add WiFi to a computer that didn't have a factory provision for it. Most of us prefer that route because they really are just plug and play-OS X doesn't really even treat them as a non-Apple card.

    I actually run a Motorola PCI card in my dual 2.7 because the built-in G5 antennas are terrible and WiFi reception is terrible where my computer is located. I use the Motorola card and connect a purpose-made "big" antenna to it.

    I can look up the p/n of the Motorola card if you're interested. I have a bunch of them because they're an easy way to add WPA2-compatible 802.11g WiFi to G3 and G4 towers(the Apple card that fits MOST G4 towers is 802.11b and at best WPA compatible).
     
  17. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #18
    In order to use WiFi natively on a PowerPC Mac you must have either an Airport Extreme card installed or a suitable alternative.

    This is an Airport Extreme card. It came installed in most PowerBooks and PowerMacs from 2003 to 2006.

    [​IMG]

    This is a Airport Extreme/Bluetooth Combo card that is installed on later model G5s.

    [​IMG]

    This is the Runway Card that the above named Combo Card for late model G5s must fit on.

    [​IMG]

    And this is the runway card and combo card installed on a late model G5.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, if you are missing any of this you do not have native WiFi.
     
  18. solinari6 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    #20
    Awesome, I actually had that! just couldn't find the driver. Got the wireless up and working now!

    Now, the main issue is the OS. I downloaded the Tiger 10.5 install from the Apple Developer Center, but when I try to run it, it says "hit restart to begin the installation" but the mac just reboots back to a login screen. No install :(
     
  19. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

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    Jun 2, 2017
    #21
    You have to burn it to disc and boot off of that. If it's Tiger 10.4, it can probably be burnt to a CD, or a single-layer DVD if I'm wrong. If it's Leopard 10.5, you'll need a dual-layer DVD.
     
  20. solinari6 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 13, 2008
    #22
    Well that stinks. No way to do it from a USB drive?
     
  21. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #23
    It's possible if you're willing to restore the image to the drive, then input a command into Open Firmware, which is the BIOS command line, to boot into it.
     
  22. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #24
    You need to format an 8GB or larger USB flash drive as Apple Partition Map and HFS+ Journaled. Restore the .dmg file of Tiger or Leopard to it via Disk Utility and then boot with the flash drive inserted into Open Firmware by holding Cmd+Opt+O+F at the chime. Under no circumstances should you mount the .dmg before restoring. That will make your flash drive restore unbootable.

    Once the OK prompt comes up type this:

    ud:,\\:tbxi then Enter

    and it should start the install process. If not, things get a little trickier but it can still usually be done.
     
  23. TC_GoldRush macrumors 6502

    TC_GoldRush

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    Location:
    Nevada, USA
    #25
    NOT at all!
    boot ud:Partition#,\\:tbxi
    To find the partition# right click (or control+click if on a laptop) and click on "Get Info"
    [​IMG]
    Under "Disk Identifier" The partition is the last digit (in my case it was "2").
    You could always look at the "Partition Number".
    [​IMG]
    For example, in order to boot from a USB in my case I would put "boot ud:2,\\:tbxi"
    Good luck! I wish I had that G5!
    --- Post Merged, May 11, 2018 ---
    VERY simple! You just need the .dmg file of OS X 10.5 Leopard (PM me for link), a Mac Computer with disk utilities, and A LOT OF TIME AND PATIENCE! Oh yeah, also a thumb drive with at least 8gbs of storage!
     

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