Mac OS 9 Setup Suggestions

Unfortunately, there has always been a heated debate on which Mac OS 9 version to install. In general, many users have favored the very last revision, Mac OS 9.2.2 as the most stable and preferred version. However, I can tell you from personal experience that it is best to do some research after you decide upon your favorite application(s). The best place to check is the user forum (if it still exists) or web search of a particular application before you make a final decision of which OS 9 revision to load. You can probably rule out V9.0, V9.02, V9.03, and V9.04 for stability issues and the lack of enhancements. So, you are half way there, with only V9.1, V9.2, V9.2.1, and V9.2.2 to consider. If your Mac system restore leaves you in the V9.0 realm, it can be patched as follows:
MacOS 9.1 Update,
MacOS 9.2.1 Update,
MacOS 9.2.2 Update
If you intend to use hard drives larger than 128GB under OS 9, then be aware that you will need a Mac with an IDE controller that is 48-bit LBA compliant. What the hell is that, you ask? Well, it is the ability of the Mac to see the total number of heads, cylinders, and sectors of large hard drives. We have tested the following Macs and they can see hard drives of up to 500GB within Mac OS 9.2.2: Power Mac G4 QuickSilver 733, 800, Dual 800, 867, 933, and Dual 1 GHz with logic board 820-1342-B (QS logic board 820-1276-A will NOT work and peak out at 128 GB), and all Power Mac G4 MDD models are a go (except for the FW800 models since they will NOT boot to OS 9 directly). Also, Titanium PowerBooks of 800, 867 and 1 Ghz will work nicely. As far as the Mac OS revision, you will be stuck with Mac OS 9.2.2 only, as it contains Apple Drive Setup V2.1 that will be needed to format and partition drives greater than 128GB. We also recommend that you keep your partitions to sizes of 190GB or less or OS 9 will not boot and Norton Speed Disk V6.03 will not be able to defrag it. To clarify, if you are putting a 500GB in you Mac, simply break it into 3 partitions of 120GB for the OS, 190GB, and 190GB (format all volumes Mac OS Extended).

· Do you like your hard drive Super-sized ?


· Installing 9.2.1 from Scratch

Step one is to acquire a Mac OS 9.2.1 Universal Install CD (White CD with Orange 9) from eBay for about $30 to $40. This retail CD is not Mac specific and will work on dozens of models, hence the “universal” reference. Install the CD and reboot. Optionally, you can now install the 9.2.2 patch (mentioned above). At this point, it is a good idea to archive the entire fresh install of the Applications (Mac OS 9), Documents, and System folders by copying these folders from the root to a new backup sub folder. This “fresh drag” install should be created before installing any user applications. It can be utilized to drag to other volumes (which is useful in the event of a crash or if you occasionally have to defrag your boot volume). Also, it can be used to create an external bootable FireWire drive (avoid external USB drives since they crawl under OS 9 due to the USB 1.0 limitation). To recap, you can drag the original OS 9 installed folders from the subfolder you created to the root of a freshly formatted partition without the need to ever install off CD again. If you are going to have several bootable partitions (or external hard drives) you can select which one you want by holding the alt (option) key at power up to scan all bootable partitions; it's also a good idea to set a different desktop background for each copy of OS 9 as a subtle indicator of which one is active.
Although this is not an issue when installing Mac OS 9 via the CD or the “drag install” method described above, it may be necessary at times to re-bless a copied System folder. A Mac OS 9 System folder must be 'blessed' in order for it to be recognized as a bootable OS (this “blessed” status is indicated by the System folder icon displaying an added glyph of the Mac OS logo). Re-blessing a system Folder is simple; first, drag the two files “Finder” and “System” out of the System Folder and close it. Now, drop these two files back onto the closed System folder. The closed System folder should display the Mac OS logo indicating it is blessed.
Even if you decide against using Mac OS 9.2.2, it is still an excellent idea to update both the FireWire Enabler and FireWire Support extensions to version 2.8.6 or 2.8.7. These extensions included performance enhancements and a built-in driver for many FireWire hard disk drives (this driver will be used automatically if the disk vendor's driver extension cannot be found).