Author Topic: The "Holy Grail" Laptop... Fastest Mac OS 9.2.2 - PowerBook G4 17" Aluminum 5,1  (Read 747 times)

Offline DieHard

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The Absolute Best Laptop that will Boot natively to Mac OS 9.2.2
Apple PowerBook G4 1.0 Ghz 17" Aluminum
Model M8793LL/A - PowerBook5,1 - A1013



From wikipedia.org... PROVED FALSE IN 2017
Quote
The 1 GHz 15" version of the Titanium PowerBook G4 is the last, and fastest, PowerBook which could natively run Mac OS 9 (version 9.2.2)
HAHAHA.... NOT !  The 17" Aluminum now wins hands down 14 Years Later

OK... so first we take notice to critical info on the Hardware...

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/powerbook_g4/specs/powerbook_g4_1.0_17.html
Quote
1) The PowerBook G4/1.0 17" (Al) features a 1.0 GHz PowerPC 7455 (G4) processor with the AltiVec "Velocity Engine" vector processing unit, 256k on chip level 2 cache, and 1.0 MB level 3 cache

2) NVIDIA GeForce4 440 graphics with 64 MB of DDR SDRAM in an attractive aluminum alloy case with a 17" widescreen TFT display (1440x900 resolution)

3) System Bus Speed: 167 MHz, Cache Bus Speed: 1.0 GHz (Built-in) 256 L2, 1 MB L3

4) PC2700 DDR SDRAM (Min. RAM Speed: 333 MHz), 2 GB Max

So in Theory, and as previously reported by mrhappy (BB for short), this baby boots with the modified iMic ROM natively to Mac OS 9.2.2 and has some VERY Compatible and lightning fast Mac OS 9 hardware.  In fact, there are only 2 PowerBook G4 Aluminum models with possible full graphics support in Mac OS 9.2.2; the Apple PowerBook G4 867 12" with GeForce4 420 Go (4X AGP) and the PowerBook G4 1.0 Ghz 17" Aluminum with NVIDIA GeForce4 440 Go (4X AGP). We know the models with the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 (4X AGP) will NOT give us full graphics support in Mac OS 9.

So first we buy up 3 on ebay (Approx $60 each, plus $20 Shipping each) so we have enough units to verify results from user mrhappy and also dive a little deeper.

Of course we take out an OWC Legacy SSD 120GB from stock and install it into the PB G4 17 because we hate slow booting G4s

https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/powerbook-g4-aluminum



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Disclaimer: Pics done with iPhone... sorry :(

So we put our first victim in FW (FireWire) target mode connect it to a working TI Powerbook G4, and run the famous "Diehard Instant DAW" Apple recovery (available right here from our site); and in less that 10 minutes we have a restored PowerBook G4...



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But alas it is NOT ready yet, we then copy (before rebooting) the famous iMic ROM into the new system folder



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OK ready to Boot !  I am so excited I can barely take it... WTF, what is this crap.... is this error real or an anomaly from booting to OS 9 ?



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So, We now boot to an external FW hard drive that has OS X and see about the cache memory, remember this is NOT the main system memory, but memory on the logic board that cannot be changed by the user.





Hmmm.... no error pop up, but we notice NO L3 Cache is listed (even in OS X)





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So ebay strikes again... we run a diags and indeed the cache fails diagnostics and we remove the SSD and put it in Unit 2.  Unit 1 boots to OS9, but the bad cache will slow down the DAW speed tests I want to do later :(

Ahh... Unit 2



Now to Boot...





What, another error...Nope.
I expected to see this message and it is not really an error at all :)
User mrhappy said this would pop up... probably the cardbus or something that OS 9 does not recognize. 
After you clear the message, everything runs perfectly...  including graphics acceleration !

Also, the reported sound issue has been verified;  the internal speakers only work if you plug a 1/8" jack in the audio out port. 
FW400 works (I will check FW800 soon).

This unit is Much faster than my TI 1 Ghz in Cubase ! :)

OK, so to summarize:
We have certified that the Apple PowerBook G4 1.0 17" (Identifiers: 17-Inch - M8793LL/A - PowerBook5,1 - A1013)
Boots and runs OS 9 perfectly (using the iMic ROM), no other modifications or open firmware commands are needed !

Reported Notes:
1) "Unsupported USB" error initially on Boot (easily cleared)
2) Internal Speakers will only work if 1/8" adapter or external speaker jack is plugged into headphone jack and then BOTH speakers and Line out work simultaneously
3) On shutdown only... strange LCD flashing and graphic patterns
4) Both USBs Work 100%
5) FW800 works like a FW400 Port, FW400 is "dead"
6) nVidia Graphic Acceleration Works !
7) Ethernet Works ! (see fix)
8) Cardbus Appears "dead"
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 05:28:35 PM by DieHard »

Offline IIO

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awesome, thanks for sharing.

so what about my 1,67 aluminium?
"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline DieHard

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I am guessing, for your unit, the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 (4X AGP) is a real problem, also the 7447a will need OF patch... it also has .5MB cache... so the G4 1.0 17" is by far an easier, almost as fast overall (with slower CPU and more cache); and faster graphics (in OS 9) make it a better choice

Offline IIO

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so, similar issue as with the minis :/
"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline IIO

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how easy is it to remove the monitor? and if you do, how can you control operation mode?
did you check connecting an external monitor? (yeah i know the latter most likely works..)
"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline IIO

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i am thinking of running machines like that headless (think "synthesizer", "effect", "render cluster")

maybe there is a way how to get rid of the GPU components, by deregistering it somehow? or by building a little fake driver which doesnt really do anything eycept pretending it would work?

as we know OS9 wont boot correctly when the GPU isnt supported. but maybe one can deinstall/destroy/ignore it totally and then the OS could boot and operate.

in these days i am playing through various scenarios where i am using Xserves and minis as a standalone-something in both, OSX and OS9.

the two main problems with that are:

 - how to set the accounts for the remote software (in firewire mode)

 - OR: how to get at aleast one useful screen resolution in order to be at least partially able to remote the machine.

 - the possible need of an OSX-reinstall (for OS9-only i could use clone images like you do)

these aluminium powerbooks would be just perfect to rip off the mainboards and put 8 of them in a big rackmount enclosure for the ultimative OS9 server farm.



"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline Fury deBongo

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Oh ya, sure. (Just my Luck.) Recently acquired a near-immaculate Aluminum 5,5 PowerBook G4 17" 1.5GHz (No L3 cache), 2GB RAM. It's really pretty... but so what. And yup, ATI Mobility Radeon 9700. No OS 9... so what indeed is the point of living?

Time to get the cocoanut halves and horsey gallop, in search of a shrubbery. (Enveloped in envy.)
This Must Be The Place - Talking Heads

Offline IIO

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you can use it for something which is OSX PPC exclusive. that is not much... but if you try hard... and the G4 minis and powerbooks have a built-in audio IO.

Spear? Artmatic Voyager? Powercore Firewire with Noveltech Character? (Wolfenstein ET? ;))

"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline Fury deBongo

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Gosh IIO, you've saved me. (Gets down off chair, removes noose from around neck.) IT DOES HAVE WOLFENSTEIN!
This Must Be The Place - Talking Heads

Offline IIO

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"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline Aurora

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I also have one of those beauties and it runs Mac OS 9.2.2 really well!

As a word of advice, you have to first restore your hacked OS9 image to a USB pendrive and format the internal drive from there in order to be able to format drives that are larger than 128GB.

I don't get the USB message on my PowerBook but I have noticed that neither AirPort Extreme (it shouldn't work anyway) or Ethernet are working. Mac OS 9 detects that there's Ethernet connected but you can't access anything on the internet :/ (I'm sure the Ethernet port works as it functions fine on OS X 10.5).

Just wondering, have you found a way to only use external headphones while not having sound being blurted out from the internal speakers too? The best workaround I've found is to lower the volume of the speakers/earphones I use so that I can hear audio from my earphones but not the speakers.

Offline IIO

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no ethernet would be bad news, since its required for some copy protection schemes and OSC.
"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline MacOS Plus

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  The "Unknown" USB device, if present, would most likely be Bluetooth, as this is the same error that appears on the G4 FW800 if the bluetooth module is present.  Internally it is a USB device on a dedicated port.  If the module is disconnected the error goes away.

  I'd be interested in buying one of these laptops if the remaining compatibility issue can be sorted out regarding the audio (and the ethernet if that's true).  Has anyone tried this machine with a Cardbus-to-PCI expander?

Offline Aurora

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I'm ready to do any testing required if someone comes up with a fix for audio/ethernet.

I'll post a picture with what I get with an Ethernet cable attached. OS9 knows there's an Ethernet cable connected but it doesn't do more than that. If you have any suggestions regarding Ethernet, I'll be happy to try them out :)

(Quite mind-blowing how well it works on OS 9.2 and OS X 10.5.8 - on OS X 10.5.8 you could watch 360p YouTube with LWK without any frame drops)

I'm using the Well-tampered with version of 2013 of OS 9.2.2 btw.

EDIT: It also complains about missing software when going to sleep.

My Internet setup works just fine with OS 9.0.4 (or is it 9.1/9.2?) on my PowerMac G4 Sawtooth.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 04:32:24 AM by Aurora »

Offline DieHard

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Performance/Hardware Test (Updates 08/11/2017)

1) OK... as stated by other members, strange Ethernet TCP/IP Issues (No Internet, No Intranet)

Confirmed, Ethernet will show "linked" when TCP/IP is set to DHCP or manual, but local network cannot ping and internet is unreachable

*** UPDATE: Ethernet WORKS!!!!... Go to "Chooser" Make "AppleTalk" Active then Inactive... this stump starts the TCP/IP and it then works 100%... Local Ping Works and Insternet Browsers are all OK





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2) Firewire 400/800 Test...

FW800 Port work 100% as a FW400 Port



FW400 Port is "Dead" and External HD does not show up at all




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3) QuickBench Test Results



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4) CineBench Graphics Acceleration Test Results

CINEBENCH 2003 v1
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Number of CPUs   : 1

Rendering (Single   CPU): 92 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): --- CB-CPU

Shading (CINEMA 4D)                : 120 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Software Lighting) : 374 CB-GFX
Shading (OpenGL Hardware Lighting) : 505 CB-GFX (Impressive)

OpenGL Speedup: 4.21
****************************************************



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5) USB Ports

Work Flawlessly with no issues

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6) Internal Speakers

No Sound unless 1/8" jack is plugged in then BOTH internal Speakers and Line out work simultaneously
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 05:25:33 PM by DieHard »

Offline IIO

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*** UPDATE: Ethernet WORKS!!!!... Go to "Chooser" Make "AppleTalk" Active then Inactive... this stump starts the TCP/IP and it then works 100%... Local Ping Works and Insternet Browsers are all OK

great. :)

this could eventually be included in the next OS release, isnt it? halfautomatic, by an applescript placed on the desktop.

...applescript/apple events anyone?

(it will remain in a working condition after a reboot, right? maybe it is enough to place a modified prefs file for appletalk or networking?)
"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline MacOS Plus

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Wow, that's weird.  Nice to know it works though.  Does this only have to be done the first time or on every boot?

Offline DieHard

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No upon Restart it is "Dead" again :(

Also Stuck at 10mb and Half Duplex" very weird when it works.

CardSlot (Cardbus) also appears to be "Dead"

Offline MacOS Plus

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Lack of CardBus support would kinda kill my interest in this model.  I've made extensive use of CardBus in my TiBooks, including PCI expansion.