Mac OS 9 Discussion > Mac OS 9, Hacks & Upgrades

Mac OS 9 Booting and Installing for Beginers

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To boot a computer with Mac Os 9, we need:

#1- A Mac Os 9 capable computer.
#2- An HFS volume with Mac Os 9 drivers.
#3- A Mac Os 9 System folder.


#1- All g3 and most of G4 are Mac Os 9 capable computers. This can be checked at Furthermore, some of unsupported Macs can be booted via special procedures ...

#2- An HFS volume can be a Hard Disk, a CD-ROM or an external device connected via USB (including pendrives), Firewire or eSATA.
Drive Setup (in Mac Os 9) and Disk Utility (in Os X) can format HFS+ devices with Mac Os 9 drivers. Gparted (Linux) can create HFS volumes but without Mac Os 9 drives, so aren't bootables.

#3- In the Mac Os 9 system folder, the Mac Os ROM, System and Finder files are the ONLY files needed to boot (well, the Finder isn't really necessary to boot, in fact it can be changed for any other app), the remaining files and folders are optionals and can be fully wiped for troubleshooting procedures.
The System and ROM versions should be the same or later versions from the ones that the computer come with.

The Startup folder should be selected in the Startup Disk control panel:

 This settings can be temporary bypassed pressing the option key during startup:

Below you will find some general background info:

What versions of Mac OS can my mac run?

Mac OS Versions vs Release Dates:

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). 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 PATA/IDE hard drives larger than 128GB under OS 9, then be aware that you will need the combination of a Mac with an IDE controller that is 48-bit LBA compliant and operating system version 9.2.2

What the hell is 48-bit LBA compliant, 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: QuickSilver 733, QuickSilver 800, QuickSilver DP 800, QuickSilver 867, QuickSilver 933, QuickSilver Dual 1 GHz with logic board 820-1342-B (QS logic board 820-1276-A will NOT work and peak out at 128 GB), All FW400 MDD models, Titanium PowerBook 800, Titanium PowerBook 867, Titanium PowerBook 1Ghz will work nicely.

With drives over 128GB, 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.  This version of this app is the first version to support larger drives and 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.. exceeding this size has some ramifications .. (2 of them) .. 1st) OS 9 will not boot and 2nd) Norton Speed Disk V6.03 will not be able to defrag it.

To clarify, if you are putting a 500GB IDE drive into your Mac, simply break it into 3 partitions:

* 120GB (os volume)
* 190GB (data volume) --190gb being the highest size while maintaining compatibility with defrag
* 190GB (data volume) --190gb being the highest size while maintaining compatibility with defrag*format all volumes Mac OS Extended

Mac OS 9.2.2 Universal Install - ISO CD Image - Our Most Popular Download

DOWNLOAD LINK:,2109.0.html

1) No Need to Install OS X, No DMG or other image files Needed
2) No Need for any Additional Updates or Patches; this install contains newer versions of the Video extensions and the Mac OS ROM file as compared to the famous "General.dmg" disk image that is floating around the web, so it would be wise to use the Mac OS9 Lives install CD-ROM which has the latest versions.

Details: Full version of 9.2.2 for all Mac G3 and G4 Systems, it contains: Mac OS ROM Version 10.2.1, Mac OS CPU Software 5.9 from 04.2003, Graphics Card Updates from 10.2002

Simply Download the Image, Burn to a CD-ROM, Boot to the CD-ROM and follow the included on-screen instructions

Network related extensions:
Apple Enet 2.4.5, AppleShare 3.9.4, Open Transport 2.8.3, Open Transport ASLM Modules 2.8.3, Shared Library Manager PPC 2.0.2, Internet Config Extension 2.0.7

USB/FireWire related extensions:
FireWire Enabler 2.8.7, FireWire Support 2.8.7, HID Library 1.5.9, USB Device Extension 1.5.9

QuickTime And Sound Manager related extensions:
Apple Audio Extension 2.4, Sound Manager 3.7.1, QuickTime Extensions, QuickTime 6.0.3, QuickTime Musical Instruments 6.0.2, QuickTime  PowerPlug 6.0.3

OpenG related extensions:
OpenGLEngine 1.2.4, OpenGLLibrary 1.2.5, OpenGLMemory 1.2.4, OpenGLRenderer 1.2.4, OpenGLUtility 1.2.4

Video card related extensions:
NVIDIA 2D Acceleration 3.5.2, NVIDIA Drive 3.5.2, NVIDIA DVD Accelerator 3.5.2, NVIDIA Engine 3.5.2, NVIDIA OpenGL 3.5.2, NVIDIA Video Accelerator 3.5.2

Other Extensions:
DrawSprocketLib 1.7.8, InputSprocket Extension 1.7.3, Time Synchronizer 8.3.3, Contextual Menu Extension 1.0.2, Joliet Volume Access 2.1b5,
Text Encoding Converter 1.6, Apple CD/DVD Driver 1.4.8, DVD Region Manager 1.1, CarbonLib 1.6.1, Multiprocessing

Control Panels:
Joliet Control 2.1b5,USB Overdrive 1.4,Appearance 1.1.4,Date & Time 8.3.3, Energy Saver 3.0.5,File Exchange 3.0.5, General Controls 8.0.3, Internet 1.0.3, Keyboard 8.6.2,Memory 8.1.3,Monitors 7.5.6, Numbers7.1,QuickTime Settings 6.0.2, Sound      8.5.8, Startup Disk 9.2.6,TCP/IP 2.5,Text  8.0

I will not explain the function of every control panel and extension here, you can google something if you are curious or use this as a quick start guide and take the advice on pure faith...


- Memory ControlPanel
From the Apple Menu, choose the “Control Panels” pop-up, and click MEMORY
Turn Virtual Memory OFF
Be Sure RAM DISK is OFF.

- Energy Saver Control Panel
From the Apple Menu, choose the “Control Panels” pop-up, and click ENERGY SAVER
In the SLEEP SETUP page, set “Put the system to sleep” at NEVER.
(It is also recommended that the SLEEP command not be used from the "Special" menu)

- Disable Appletalk
From the Apple Menu, click CHOOSER
Click INACTIVE in next to the Appletalk option at the bottom right corner of the window.

- Disable Font Smoothing
From the Apple Menu, choose the “Control Panels” pop-up, and click APPEARANCE
Click the FONTS tab inside the Appearance window.
Disable the option “SMOOTH ALL FONTS”

2) VIDEO CARD INFORMATION (needed for later on)
From the Apple Menu, click "Apple System Profiler"
Select the Second Tab at the top "Devices and Volumes"
Under the PCI, Slot-1, AGP section, click the blue triangle to the left of "Display Card" to open the Video card info. write down the card Manufacturer

Trim your Extensions & Controls Panels to help performance and prevent possible extension conflicts; if you are a Newbie to OS 9, when in doubt, don't turn off an extension unless you are sure you don't need it, the amount of RAM saved is not worth the headache you are going to have if you inadvertently turned off something you need and don't realize it...if you want to experiment, you can use this guide first as a baseline and then pick "Duplicate Set" and try variations of your initial modified setup, that way, you can easily switch back if you make a mistake

From the Apple Menu, choose the “Control Panels” pop-up, and click EXTENSIONS MANAGER..
Click “Duplicate Set” at the bottom right corner of the Extensions Manager window. Name the duplicate set when prompted… something like "Recording Studio Mac" or your name as an Artist or Production Company

Sort First... it will make the below list much easier !
Click on the word "Package" at the top of the Package column to immediate sort the Control Panels and Extensions, this will immediately give you a bird's eye view of which packages belong together

- Control Panels to turn off

If you don't intend on using a dial-up telephone modem..
Remove the X from
     Remote Access

Also, Remove the X from
     Location Manager
     Multiple Users (assuming you are the only user, you better be, don'y let anyone use your Music Mac)
     Software Update
     USB Printer Sharing (who likes to share anyway)
     Web Sharing

- Extensions to turn off

If you don't have an Airport Wireless Card Installed...
Remove the X from
     Airport AP
     Airport AP Support
     Airport Driver

If you don't access your Mac remotely...
Remove the X from
     OpenTpt Remote Access
     OpenTpt Serial Arbitrator
     Remote Only

If you don't Voice Control your Mac...
Remove the X from
     Speech Recognition

If you use iTunes, but don't own a Nomad, SoundSpace, or Rio (I don't think you own any of these)...
Remove the X from
     Nomad II USB Driver
     Nomad MG USB Driver
     Nomad USB shim
     NomadJukeboxLib Driver
     USBSoundSpace2 Driver

To turn off hard drive file indexing (trust me, you want it off)
Remove the X from
     FBC Indexing Scheduler

No Zip or Jaz drive ?
Remove the X from
     Iomega Drive

Some to trust me on... unless you know otherwise
Remove the X from
     Location Manager Extension
     Multi-User Startup
     Serial Tool
     Software Update Engine
     Software Update Scheduler
     Voice Verification
     VT102 Tool
     XMODEM Tool
     Web Sharing Extension
     Setup Assistant API
     Setup Assistant Launcher
     Setup Info Dispatcher
     Setup Internet Support
     Setup Modem Selector

To turn off un-needed video extensions (remember you found out your video card in Step 2
If you have an nVidia Card
Remove the X from
     All Extensions with "ATI" in them

If you have an ATI Card
Remove the X from
     All Extensions with "nVidia" in them

After an Initial Mac OS 9 Install navigate to the Extensions folder in the System Folder, select all the files (hold down Command/Apple and press 'A'), and label them with a color. This way, any third-party extensions added subsequently are easy to spot since they will appear with a different color to the original set and these colours will be visible in Extensions Manager!. 

The disc images you guys made here helped me install OS9 on my dual 1,25GHz MDD without any work. The only thing i have to do now is install all my emulators and stuff since i now can take advantage of my 250+GB ide drives i had saved before getting this bad boy and the Radeon 9000 card with ADB. So thank you guys!

PS: can anyone help with some pre-OS8 things?


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