Author Topic: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)  (Read 477019 times)

Offline chatulim

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1425 on: November 17, 2023, 03:34:15 AM »

How fast did you "burn" the CD? Sometimes older devices work better with optical disks that are burned at a slower speed. I didn't have a problem with my G4 Mini burning at full speed, but I did on an old PC with a DVD drive when I was installing Ubuntu. At 16x burn speed, it would not boot, two different discs. Burned at 4x, it booted right away.

The drive won't read any disc -- even factory-pressed original Apple Install discs.

Offline gregbuchner

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1426 on: November 17, 2023, 04:49:59 AM »
The drive won't read any disc -- even factory-pressed original Apple Install discs.

Yea, I'd say the drive was bad. The optical drive needs to be ATAPI if I remember correctly. OWC sells some for the early Intel Mini's, but I don't know if they would work in a G4 mini. Placement of connectors might be off. You might have to find a donor G4 Mini or see if an external optical drive would work.

I think I'm in a different predicament. I don't think the Ethernet port on my G4 Mini works.

Offline DieHard

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1427 on: November 17, 2023, 09:33:04 AM »
Quote
i´ve never tried it but i think any flat optical drive will fit into the mini, no need to buy outdated apple stuff.

1) Anything modern will have the wrong interface connector

2) anything that is not a "slot loading" drive will not work

3) Anything too WIDE, will not work

So, not that many options I am afraid, if anyone one here has every found info about a 3rd party drive that works in the G4 mini OR has changed it themselves with a non-apple drive, please post models here...let's not leave out speculation since this thread is for reference

Offline ssp3

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1428 on: November 17, 2023, 09:42:51 AM »
Geez.. If one is not a cheepskate, what's the problem with posting WTB post in the appropriate section of the forum?
I am sure there are many members here with spare CD/DVD drives.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Offline FBz

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1429 on: November 17, 2023, 11:19:50 AM »
The original in the 1.25 GHz Mac mini was likely the Model CW-8124-C (678-0508B) aka: the “Combo 8124A” manufactured early in 2005. Some other (later/ newer) models will also work. Like the faster, dual-layer read 8X DVD RW/CD-RW “SuperDrive” that was offered as an option for a mere $100 increase in the mini’s original base price. That would be the Super 845CA (678-0503G) also known as the UJ-845-C.

At least the above two are what’s in the G4 Mac minis here. And maybe ssp3 has one of the above, not being used at present?

Quote
external is an option, too (maybe anyone can comment if you can also boot from fw drives into OSX installer DVDs on the mini?)

Tested external last night with this ramshackle thrown-together abberation and it all worked connected to a mini… using a properly burned disc. Option-key booted with the v.9 disc inside and the FW optical drive powered up, before boot attempt. BINGO.

*

ALSO: Attempted dragging the contents of the properly burned v.9 disc to a partition on a 128 GB drive, located inside one of those FW400 enclosures offered by mustagcoupe and that option-key booted TOO (for installation from that) connected to a mini. http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,6861.msg52552.html#msg52552 (Don't forget to format and partition drives in such FW400 enclosures with Drive Setup 1.92 for use with OS 9!)

So, various Firewire routes are also possible.  ;)
« Last Edit: November 17, 2023, 11:51:18 AM by FBz »

Offline ssp3

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1430 on: November 17, 2023, 01:07:30 PM »
If Mini can boot from USB, one can always try the method I outlined here:
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,6742.msg51333.html

I am really surprised that nobody have picked it up.
Same trick works with FireWire drives, by the way.
There's no need to deal with burning discs, half-dead, full of dust slimline DVD drives and all that cr**. Unless you're a retro collector and want everything stock, of course.
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Offline IIO

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1431 on: November 17, 2023, 01:34:09 PM »
if there are any important limits we should really collect them, write them down, and find weird workarounds, like we did for the "SSD" topic.

Quote
1) Anything modern will have the wrong interface connector

IDE drives more modern than ATA133 and newer than 2005? :) in dont think so.

there are some with 44 pin connectors though, probably rare, but possible to run into one if someone does not know what to look for.

there is a bunch of reasons for having a working internal drive, but there are also 20 dollar drives in the "slim external DVD burner" category.

haven´t yet seen one in a proper macmini design, but there are white or silver ones. :)

on the pro side you can add a second SSD if you remove that noisy, stinky combo apparatus.
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Offline DieHard

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1432 on: November 17, 2023, 02:52:45 PM »
What I was saying was that any "modern" CD/DVD will NOT work in the mini, I was also stating that obviously a "slot loading" drive is needed since it has to work with the mini casing, so IMO pickings are very slim (no pun intended)...

You inferred that there were a lot of options for drives and that one did not have to stick with the ancient apple stuff, in this case I disagree and asked if you knew of any 3rd party drives (that work internally) and if so, to please enlighten us.  I wanted to clarify before someone bought a POS off ebay thinking it was a "no brainer" and "get almost anything laptop size" it is not easily swapped with non-apple drives.

On the bright side the correct drive is very easy to replace will only cost between 10 to 15 US dollars on ebay.

Of course there are external boot options as mentioned, but having a working optical drive is real nice in the mini to install/authorize disks, etc.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2023, 03:15:22 PM by DieHard »

Offline chatulim

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1433 on: November 18, 2023, 09:00:50 AM »
Geez.. If one is not a cheepskate, what's the problem with posting WTB post in the appropriate section of the forum?
I am sure there are many members here with spare CD/DVD drives.

I am not in the USA. After adding international shipping fees this kind of purchase can become a think-twice kind of thing.

Offline chrisNova777

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1434 on: November 18, 2023, 12:35:05 PM »
while it sucks the original drive doesnt work this is an easy problem to bypass, you can share a cd/dvd drive from another mac on your local network very easily.. or you can simpl just plug in LITERALLY ANY USB DVD DRIVE will be compatible, the same way USB FLOPPY DRIVES are very compatible + easy to find.

Offline ssp3

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1435 on: November 18, 2023, 12:39:13 PM »
I am not in the USA. After adding international shipping fees this kind of purchase can become a think-twice kind of thing.

You can always find them on ebone in Europe and UK. 20 to 30 EUR/UKP in most cases.

(If you don't find any, feel free to PM).
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Offline jackoverfull

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1436 on: November 18, 2023, 12:39:44 PM »
The G4 Mac Mini won’t boot from USB without some open firmware gimmicks.
It will from FireWire, but good luck in finding a FireWire dvd drive in this day and age.

Offline chrisNova777

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Offline ssp3

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1438 on: November 18, 2023, 03:00:13 PM »
The G4 Mac Mini won’t boot from USB without some open firmware gimmicks.

Indeed. I just tried to boot mine from USB stick and from SSD drive on generic SATA to USB adapter. No go. I didn't try the OF route, though. What are the commands?

Quote
It will from FireWire, but good luck in finding a FireWire dvd drive in this day and age.

If one has bootable FireWire enclosure, there's always the "Fake CD" trick I mentioned a few posts back. Than one works.
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Offline gregbuchner

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1439 on: November 18, 2023, 03:09:32 PM »
Indeed. I just tried to boot mine from USB stick and from SSD drive on generic SATA to USB adapter. No go. I didn't try the OF route, though. What are the commands?

I don't know the commands, but I do remember why it won't boot from USB. Mac OS 9 resets the USB bus during boot up, so that messes up any attempt to boot from USB.

I think I still have a FireWire case with a CD burner in it. Just haven't used it in long, long time.

Offline chatulim

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1440 on: November 19, 2023, 05:54:17 AM »
external is an option, too (maybe anyone can comment if you can also boot from fw drives into OSX installer DVDs on the mini?)

I do not have access to a FW optical drive. As I mentioned in my original post, I have an external OWC FW800/USB3 drive with several partitions. One of the partitions is the "Ross's Mac mini OS 9 CD v9". The G4 Mini won't boot from that partition -- it gives a flashing question mark disk.

I do have a working optical drive in a PowerBook G4. My next attempt will be to boot the PB into FW-target-disk-mode and see if the Mini (as host) can recognize the disc in the optical drive. Only problem is that I don't have any FW 400-400 cables (only 400-800 and 800-800). I have a local source for a 400-400 cable but it may take a few days until I can pick it up.

Stay tuned...

In the meantime, I am trying ssp3's method from http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,6742.msg51333.html

Wish me luck!

Offline chatulim

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1441 on: November 20, 2023, 01:28:55 AM »
If Mini can boot from USB, one can always try the method I outlined here:
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,6742.msg51333.html

I am really surprised that nobody have picked it up.
Same trick works with FireWire drives, by the way.
There's no need to deal with burning discs, half-dead, full of dust slimline DVD drives and all that cr**. Unless you're a retro collector and want everything stock, of course.

I tried the above solution. It did get me further along than any previous attempts, but I still hit a wall:

I used iBored to clone the OS9 install CD to a bare drive connected to an Intel Mac Mini with a NewerTech USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter. I then tried connecting the NewerTech adapter to the G4 Mini and rebooted holding down the option key... It did not show up in the boot selector.

I then tried booting from a bunch of different USB drives -- including the aforementioned OWC drive (it has USB & FW interfaces) -- and the Mini would not boot off of any of them. So I guess the G4 Mini can't boot from USB and therefore this solution is not relevant.

For my next attempt, I cracked the Mini open and replaced the stock drive with the iBored-cloned drive and it booted into OS9(!!!). Then I tried connecting the stock drive to the NewerTech adapter, intending to install OS9 over USB, but the Mac did not recognize the drive.  :(

After that letdown I switched everything back to the way it was and went to sleep.

Now I am wondering if the problem might have been that the bare drive with the NewerTech adapter is bus-powered, and an AC-powered drive might be recognized. Or maybe I needed to reformat to drive first (OS9 drivers?). Or maybe I should have tried installing onto a FW drive instead of USB.

In any event, that's the latest update. I am currently still waiting for delivery of a FW 400-400 cable, and I am also looking into a local source for a compatible CD drive.

Offline chatulim

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1442 on: November 28, 2023, 01:08:47 AM »
OP Update...

Background info: I want to install OS 9 on a Mac Mini G4 w/o working optical drive. I also have a PowerBook G4 w/ working optical drive, and an external FireWire 800 hard drive. I have a FW400-800 cable and was waiting for a FW400-400 cable.

I finally got the FW400-400 cable. I connected the Mini G4 to the PB G4 with the FW cable, put Ross's Mac Mini OS 9 install CD into the PB and booted it into target-disk-mode. Then I booted the Mini with the option key down and was able to start-up from the CD. FWIW, I'm shocked that this worked.

I initialized the Mini's internal drive, partitioned it into 2 volumes and installed OS 9 on one of them. The installation went smoothly and after it was done I was able to shut down the PB and boot the Mini from the internal OS 9 partition without a hitch.

So the moral of the story is, you can't boot OS 9 on a G4 Mini from a USB drive or a FW800 drive, but you can from a CD in another computer in target-disk-mode if it's connected with FW400.

That seems to be the end of my OS 9 installation ordeal. I then tried installing OS X on the other internal partition of the Mini, but that doesn't seem to be working for some reason... I connected an external FW800 drive with a Tiger Install DVD partition to the Mini and booted from it. After installing Tiger onto the second partition on the Mini's internal drive, it would not boot up -- giving me the "do not enter" sign. I could still boot from the internal OS 9 partition, or from the OS X partitions on the FW drive, but not from the internal OS X partition. Any idea why that would happen? (I know this is macos9lives, and not osxlives, but I figured the problem may be related to something I did when installing OS 9).

Offline FBz

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Re: Mac mini G4 Deviation(s)
« Reply #1443 on: November 28, 2023, 08:36:10 PM »
So the moral of the story is... <snip> or a FW800 drive...

Au contraire mon ami.

Well, dunno ‘bout the USB route / haven’t tried that yet (or have I?). :o

Anyway, had exact same problem trying to install Tiger from a FW800 drive.

Same result. Until… from page ten of ye Holy Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger - Installation and Setup Guide
(nah, no iPhone screenshot of that screen). Booted yet again from the FW800 drive and the resident
Tiger installer there and after Selecting a Destination (that partition in the mini) for OS X AGAIN.
Clicked on “Options” to arrive at this, below.



Chose “Erase & Install” and then enjoyed one of the fastest installs of Tiger that I have ever
experienced. Then left the (yes, bus powered) FW800 drive on and connected for the reboot
and when prompted, filled in all of those on-screen requisites (lies mostly) and then the mini
booted into Tiger. Viola! et Voilà!

Hopefully this concludes this major deviation of this thread and if not,
it’s time to open another one elsewhere.

In the meantime, that’s my 666th post as FBz!

Sayonara y’all. ;)

Offline IIO

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1444 on: November 29, 2023, 01:39:44 AM »
i don´t think you can clone an OS9 installer CD onto a HD partition and then boot from it as if it would be a CD.
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Offline DieHard

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1445 on: November 29, 2023, 01:24:10 PM »
Quote
In the meantime, that’s my 666th post as FBz!

Sayonara y’all. ;)

I will say a prayer

Offline ssp3

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1446 on: November 30, 2023, 11:00:28 PM »
i don´t think you can clone an OS9 installer CD onto a HD partition and then boot from it as if it would be a CD.

You can. I posted the results in the thread that I have linked a few posts above.

Here's the proof. Pay attention to device block size of 2048 (CD) as opposed to 512 (HD).

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Offline teroyk

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1447 on: December 04, 2023, 02:01:39 PM »
Pay attention to device block size of 2048 (CD) as opposed to 512 (HD).

MacOS9 support block size up to 65535 on HD, but OSX does not support that.
So in theory MacOS9 support very very very big (huge!) disks, but no one has wrote partition/format application that can detect those big disks.
Silverlining Pro support disk size up to somewhere 2.3 TB.

Offline gregbuchner

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1448 on: December 04, 2023, 03:04:15 PM »
Further updates...

Check networking. And the 10/100 networking on the G3 didn't work either. Has to be something with the switch I'm using that is close by as Gigabit has been working.

OK, connected to a different switch and still no networking. Not sure about the previously mentioned G3 B&W as my ex-roommate actually picked it up this year. Not a killer to not have networking, but I'll really have to figure out some way to test it out. I should have an old 10/100 switch around somewhere. Or was it a 10/100 hub?

Works great with my KVM hooked up with a older Logitech mouse and currently an Apple keyboard. Just need to plug in the sound setup and everything else should be good to go.

Offline gregbuchner

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1449 on: December 08, 2023, 06:07:02 PM »
OK, connected to a different switch and still no networking. Not sure about the previously mentioned G3 B&W as my ex-roommate actually picked it up this year. Not a killer to not have networking, but I'll really have to figure out some way to test it out. I should have an old 10/100 switch around somewhere. Or was it a 10/100 hub?

Found the older networking device. It was a 10/100 hub. It hooks up to my gigabit switch with no issues, but nothing at all when the Mini is hooked up. Looks like I bought a G4 Mini with a dead Ethernet port. I'll take a look around, but if someone knows quick...are Airport cards compatible with Mac OS 9 on this machine? Which card would I need? [Edit: No, found the page, AirPort not supported.]

And maybe I'll have to look into another G4 Mini next year.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2023, 06:17:06 PM by gregbuchner »

Offline ssp3

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1450 on: December 09, 2023, 02:07:30 AM »
Run the Apple Hardware Test. It has built-in Ethernet port tests.
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Offline IIO

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1451 on: December 09, 2023, 06:34:16 AM »
The G4 Mac Mini won’t boot from USB without some open firmware gimmicks.

install via firewire boot mode from another mac: ✓

boot from built-in CD, DVD, HD SSD: ✓
boot from firewire CD, DVD, HD SSD: ✓

boot from USB CD, DVD, HD, SSD: XXX

net boot from built-in ethernet: ?
drag install of miniOS via lean OSX boot volume from USB: ?
drag install of miniOS via morphOS, linux boot volume, telepathy or black magic: ?

(helpful as i am, i will test the black magic attempt until next week)
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Offline aBc

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Mac Mini OS 9 booting from USB?
« Reply #1452 on: December 13, 2023, 09:09:57 AM »
Restored a full copy of Tiger OS 10.4.11 to a USB thumb drive with a Mac Mini and then attempted to boot that same mini from that USB stick. No-go.

Placed same USB stick in a Quicksilver and after quite a long time, it did boot.

And now after some further mining of sailorMH’s site, discovered the following:



So there’s another possibility now for booting a mini from USB?
Try it with a powered USB hub - instead of direct to mini insert.

Worth a try? It'll likely be very slow, so... patience. ;)

Offline gregbuchner

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1453 on: December 13, 2023, 10:10:06 AM »
Run the Apple Hardware Test. It has built-in Ethernet port tests.

I've seen references to a built-in hardware test on some Macs. Is this something I've missed, or did I just read something wrong?

I have download what should be the appropriate Apple Software Diagnostics disk, I just don't think I can force a boot of it through the KVM. Going to have to hook up a keyboard directly.

Offline DieHard

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1454 on: December 13, 2023, 11:27:21 AM »
Quote
I've seen references to a built-in hardware test on some Macs. Is this something I've missed, or did I just read something wrong?

I have download what should be the appropriate Apple Software Diagnostics disk, I just don't think I can force a boot of it through the KVM. Going to have to hook up a keyboard directly.

You read wrong, no built in diags

Also remember that some AHT (Apple hardware Test) will only work with mouse plugged into an apple keyboard... in other words, plugging in a USB keyboard in one USB port and a mouse in another USB port (on many mac desktops) will not show a working mouse in the AHT.  So get a genuine apple keyboard and plug any (non-genuine OK) USB mouse into the keyboard, now AHT has mouse control :)

Offline IIO

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1455 on: December 19, 2023, 12:42:12 PM »
booting by black magic also failed.

(i´ve read in a witches magazine that it might work using a powered ward, but i dont have one. not even under my bed.)
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Offline gregbuchner

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1456 on: December 28, 2023, 09:18:13 PM »
Also remember that some AHT (Apple hardware Test) will only work with mouse plugged into an apple keyboard... in other words, plugging in a USB keyboard in one USB port and a mouse in another USB port (on many mac desktops) will not show a working mouse in the AHT.  So get a genuine apple keyboard and plug any (non-genuine OK) USB mouse into the keyboard, now AHT has mouse control :)

So finally got the right version of the Apple Service Diagnostics and burned it to a CD. Boots up. (Non-Apple keyboard/mouse hooked up through a USB hub worked when I held down on the C key.) Ran the Ethernet test. Everything passes. Ran the entire test set three times. Everything passes. But still no Ethernet. Cable last tried was pulled from a working port on an Intel Mini. The Intel Mini connects via 100 base-T connected through my ancient hub. Same setup does not work for the Mini. The extensions, as I remember them, are installed. Something is wrong with the port that is beyond the ability of the hardware test to determine.

Anyone have any other ideas?

FYI: Download this version of the ASD (ASD-258.dmg).
https://www.macintoshrepository.org/download.php?id=27490

Came from this page.
https://www.macintoshrepository.org/28403-all-apple-hardware-test-aht-apple-service-diagnostic-asd-disks

Offline thorhall

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1457 on: February 08, 2024, 10:11:47 PM »
Has anyone tried playing games that rely on audio CD playback for the soundtrack? I tried Carmageddon and mech warrior 2 and couldn’t get the soundtrack to play. I tried using an M-Audio Transit USB, the internal DVD SuperDrive, and even got an old Sony CRX1600L CD-RW that connects over FireWire and features analog audio outputs. I can’t get Apple CD audio player to play any tracks. The volume seems stuck at 0% and can’t be turned up, like it’s relying on the internal sound which is also stuck at 0% volume. The seconds on the Apple CD audio player advance to 3 and get stuck. I can hear the sony CD drive advance and recede with the track selection and I can tell the drive to start or stop, it just begins reading the track and immediately stops reading the CD. iTunes will play audio fine from the Sony or built in drive but it always bypassed the CD audio API and reads the data directly to facilitate ripping and EQ.

Offline djc6

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Which G4 mac mini configuration should I buy?
« Reply #1458 on: February 15, 2024, 07:02:43 AM »
I'm interested in buying a G4 mac mini off eBay to try this with.  I see the G4 only existed for a year, and there was one model A1103 available with different specs of storage, memory, CPU speed, optical drive capabilities, etc.  There is also a unicorn with 64MB of video RAM.

Is there any reason not to get just the base model 1.25Ghz and upgrade it with SSD and RAM?  I can't imagine a huge speed difference 1.25Ghz vs 1.42Ghz considering the price premium the higher speed ones go for.  Are there any gotchas or things I should take into consideration when deciding on which G4 Mac Mini to purchase?

Offline ssp3

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Re: Which G4 mac mini configuration should I buy?
« Reply #1459 on: February 15, 2024, 07:07:43 AM »
Is there any reason not to get just the base model 1.25Ghz and upgrade it with SSD and RAM?

Unless you intend to participate in dick swinging contest, 1.25GHz will be fine.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Offline Jubadub

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1460 on: February 16, 2024, 09:26:10 AM »
Unless you intend to participate in dick swinging contest, 1.25GHz will be fine.

As a 1.5GHz model owner, I can say that even if you win the "dick swinging contest", you get your dick burnt: part of me regrets prioritizing bringing it with me to my new home instead of the 1.42GHz model I used to have (or technically might still have, if it wasn't stolen) for simply a few small-ish reasons:

- It works slightly better with the Mac OS 9 port for the Mac mini G4 in terms of misc. hardware compatibility (i.e. monitors, resolutions etc., probably also the cause behind issues I had with a PATA SSD from brand "Super Talent"). Thanks to this, I use my DELL monitor at 4:3 aspect ratio (with black stripes on the sides), instead of using its full 16:10 aspect ratio screen as I could with my 1.42GHz model;

- Many settings saved to NVRAM/PRAM do not persist on my machine (many others do, though, such as date and time). For instance, the "Startup Disk" control panel cannot actually change what is my default partition to boot from (at least not when used in conjuction with the rest of my hardware), and if I want to change the default, I have to hardcode it straight from Open Firmware a very, very long string that I obtain by using the little-known "System Disk" utility. Gotta do this each time I switched partitions: this was COMPLETELY unnecessary using a 1.42GHz model with the exact same SSD model, size and IDE-to-mSATA converter (MARVELL-based);

- Related to the previous point, I also cannot create RAM disks anymore, the setting just won't get saved, since you need to reboot when you turn it on, but upon rebooting, the setting is undone. My workaround for that is to use a program called "Make RAM Disk" (much better than i.e. "ramBunctious"), but Apple's RAM disk feature is still slightly missed, because of the ability to save, and load, the contents automatically after shutting down and booting up again;

- Also related to the NVRAM/PRAM issue, some of my settings from the Keyboard control panel do not get saved, and I find myself reapplying them each time I boot up. To remediate this, I added an alias (shortcut) to the control panel to the "Startup Items" folder in the System Folder.

Did I reap benefits for the extra VRAM (32 MB vs. 64 MB)? In practice, NO. And the benefits of the extra 0.08GHz CPU clock speed? Hardly, in practice you won't really feel much. Compressing/decompressing does improve proportionately, but that's barely much of a difference for one to really care. Especially if it means running into the problems I described above.

Oh, and make no mistake, the 1.25GHz model is 100% marvelous and delicious with OS 9, too, I also used that. In terms of noise, even my 1.5GHz version is really damn silent, BUT, IIRC the 1.25GHz did indeed have that ever-so-slightly edge that gave me the impression it was turned off even when it was on. The speed decrease of 0.25GHz is something, but not all that significant, and completely unnoticeable when you are not compressing/decompressing.

However, I do think the 1.33GHz "silent upgrade" model can be deemed a "trap": it supposedly shares the SAME New World ROM revisions that are seen with the 1.5GHz model, meaning all the issues I mentioned I have are bound to also be 100% applicable to that model as well, but without any of the benefits: it is slower than even the 1.42GHz model, is still limited to "just" 32 MB of VRAM like most of its siblings AND may have those issues I described. I never sought that model, but I would not bet on it.

TL;DR Go for the 1.25 or 1.42 GHz models if you can, they are better unless if the Mac heroes that brought Mac OS 9 to the mini come back to address a bunch of issues (don't bet on that happening, they did enough for us, and I don't imagine they will be inspired to fix these). But if all you can get are the other 2 models (1.5 or 1.33 GHz), then that is fine as well, but expect further caveats.

 


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