Author Topic: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn  (Read 3339 times)

Offline carguyty

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Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« on: March 04, 2016, 10:10:09 PM »
I'm sure I'm missing something, but I finally put together the bits and pieces of an iBook for a project and I can't get OS 9 to install. The background is that the machine once had Linux on it because I didn't understand the upgrade path of OSX nor did I appreciate the legacy of 9. When I push the power button, the happy Mac is there and the pinwheel spins for about 10 seconds and then stalls. This will stay for hours before I force shutdown. I snagged the download of the Universal Install of OS 9 from the forums (using Windows 10 since that machine is the only optical media burner in the house) and tried to burn the iso. Windows says the file is not valid.
No worries. I throw the iso on a flash drive and under OSX 10.11 I can extract all the folders and files and whatnot. I move those back to the flash drive then back to the Windows box, burn to a disk. Nothing comes up in the boot chooser. I put the iso and the extracted folders and files on the flash drive (because what the hell) and cram that in the iBook. Still no boot.
What am I missing?!?! :o

Offline nanopico

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Re: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 05:39:17 AM »
I'm sure I'm missing something, but I finally put together the bits and pieces of an iBook for a project and I can't get OS 9 to install. The background is that the machine once had Linux on it because I didn't understand the upgrade path of OSX nor did I appreciate the legacy of 9. When I push the power button, the happy Mac is there and the pinwheel spins for about 10 seconds and then stalls.

This would indicate OS X is trying to boot but failing and hanging.

This will stay for hours before I force shutdown. I snagged the download of the Universal Install of OS 9 from the forums (using Windows 10 since that machine is the only optical media burner in the house) and tried to burn the iso. Windows says the file is not valid.
The iso probably didn't download correctly.  Did windows complain about the iso before burning or did it burn and then complain?  If it complained after burn that might be correct as windows can't natively read the files system inside the iso.

No worries. I throw the iso on a flash drive and under OSX 10.11 I can extract all the folders and files and whatnot. I move those back to the flash drive then back to the Windows box, burn to a disk. Nothing comes up in the boot chooser. I put the iso and the extracted folders and files on the flash drive (because what the hell) and cram that in the iBook. Still no boot.
What am I missing?!?! :o

The iBook can boot from usb but to do so you have to boot into Open Firmware and explicitly tell it to boot from usb and even then it's hit or miss.  The usb drive would have to be formatted HFS+ to be bootable. If you are writing the files from windows then it is likely formatted as fat32 or fat which is not bootable by the ibook.
Copying the files to the usb drive then to the windows machine and burning a disk will also do two things that will cause problems.
1.  the resulting cd will not be formatted with a file system that is bootable by the iBook.
2.  All the resource forks for the files will not be burned.  This will also prevent booting as a large chunk of the operating system code is in resources.

I might suggest trying to download the iso again.

That's where I would start.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, or break it so you can fix it!

Offline carguyty

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Re: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2016, 03:43:53 PM »
Thank you!

I've downloaded about a dozen ISOs 2X each just to make sure I haven't got a server specific issue. I've gotten the universal 9.2.2 hosted here, a few from macintoshgarden.org, and even a couple Linux live CDs. What I am finding is that holding down "C" during boot spins up the disk drive and then tries to boot what looks like X. I say "looks like" because it hangs up on the colored pinwheel. When I hold down the option key, I'm only given two options. The icons are for X and Linux. I guess I had installed Xubuntu at some point in the early 2000s. The distro runs ok, but I can't access the CD tray (from either the original or a slot loading G4 iBook superdrive) or the other 2 partitions on the hard disk.

If I could get the live CD to boot, I could use the disk managers in that to reformat the drive. I'd rather put some distance between me and the Linux kernel for...reasons. Is there an open firmware command to force booting a CD? Is there a Macintosh engineer hardware utility that would work better? Is there anything wrong with trying to write to a CD-RW?


Offline nanopico

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Re: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 11:11:04 AM »
To force boot from CD from open firmware do the following
Turn the iBook on and immediately press and hold
Command + Option + O + F
Once open firmware is loaded and displays type
boot cd:,\\:tbxi
hit enter and it should boot off the CD.  If it doesn't then there is probably some sort of hardware issue going on.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, or break it so you can fix it!

Offline carguyty

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Re: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2016, 07:32:02 PM »
Using the boot cd prompt inside open firmware results in a white screen with an error re: invalid memory access. This occurs when attempting to boot from both the original tray loading drive as well as a slot loading model I have from a G4. This isn't exactly good troubleshooting on my part, I know, but it's what I have. I only have the one PATA hard disk, so I'm starting to wonder if that's the culprit. Is it possible that a corrupted OSX partition could be interrupting the handoff from open firmware to bootx or the CD drive? I'm going to pick up one of those IDE to USB adapters and see if I can't reformat this disk before I drop a load on a NOS disk and try to start fresh. I think for this particular project, I may even need to buy a second iBook for troubleshooting.

Now if I can just convince Mrs. Carguy to allow me to buy more vintage computers...

Offline nanopico

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Re: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2016, 07:57:59 PM »
I've had issues with Linux screwing things up when you try to wipe and reinstall.
It shouldn't effect the cd drive though.
If you have another mac with firewire you can hook the two up and hold the t key down on the iBook as it boots.  Then it acts like an external drive to the other machine and you can reformat from there to wipe out anything that's on the drive.  You could also install OS 9 to the drive from there as well.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, or break it so you can fix it!

Offline carguyty

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Re: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2016, 07:05:46 PM »
I've got another Mac, but it's got Thunderbolt. Is it possible to use this through adapters and use the drag n' drop method? Would I be better off using one of those "Os9 preinstalled '' hard disks I've seen on eBay?

Offline carguyty

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Re: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2016, 07:25:43 PM »
Just in case anybody is tracking this:

The 900mhz G3 iBook is a very special devil in the world of PPC. The version of OS 9 that was installed is machine specific as is the version of 10.2.4 that shipped with it. No retail iso seams to work. Then again trying to burn an iso for OS X 10.3 doesn't work, so perhaps there is something degrading in the file during the transfer from OS X 10.11 to Windows 10 where I've been trying to burn the disks. I did remove the original hard disk and try all CDs with a fresh new hard disk in place. Just got the missing folder icon no matter what. CD in the drive and hold down Opt during boot warranted no bootable image. I've read that formatting a hard disk requires special OS 9 drivers unavailable in X86 versions of OS X.

I'm now looking to buy a USB superdrive to continue troubleshooting. I was hoping the internal version of 9.0.4 would boot if the Universal version wouldn't. but neither garnered any success. I'm no file system expert, but I'm thinking Windows is stripping the resource fork from the embedded folders on the iso.

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Looking for MacOS 9.2.4

Offline carguyty

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Re: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2016, 08:42:31 PM »
Exactly where I started!  ;D

But I figured I was just missing something with all the transferring from one system to the next. It's really too bad I kept missing the bloody ribbon cable! ::) Torn through two leads. I feel pretty silly buying the original software restore disks now.

Back to ebay!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2016, 09:20:15 AM by carguyty »

Offline carguyty

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Re: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2016, 05:54:31 PM »
Well that sure helped! I was able to find a super good deal on a second iBook while I was hunting for a ribbon cable. The ribbon cable back in the old iBook and the new one on standby for possibly using TDM and everything is going quite smoothly.  ;D

It's even booting the universal ISO that was burned on the Windows computer!  ::)

I feel kind of embarrassed for not looking closer...sooner.

Offline GaryN

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Re: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2016, 02:28:09 PM »
Yeah, you should be. That's never happened to any of us…

Offline DesertMac

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Re: Installing OS 9 on iBook G3 900Mhz leads to heartburn
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2017, 08:28:56 PM »
Blind luck or something. I upgraded my 12" G3 900 with a SuperDrive and 120 Seagate 5400. After installing everything I partioned the disc for 9.2.2, a storage, and OS X 10.4.11.

After installing 10.4.11 I used my Grey iMac install disc, CD Vs: 1.1, 691-3638-A to install 9.2.2 and that was that.