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Author Topic: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)  (Read 655999 times)

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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yaffle

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1461 on: March 18, 2024, 06:47:35 AM »

If the mini can't boot from a USB cd drive, but it can boot from a firewire cd drive, has anyone tried a USB to firewire cable/adaptor to boot from a USB external cd drive connected to the firewire port?
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Knezzen

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1462 on: March 18, 2024, 07:44:22 AM »

If the mini can't boot from a USB cd drive, but it can boot from a firewire cd drive, has anyone tried a USB to firewire cable/adaptor to boot from a USB external cd drive connected to the firewire port?

I have tried on a MDD and a Aluminium PowerBook with bad results.

Wouldn't boot :(
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swamprock

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1463 on: March 19, 2024, 05:30:46 PM »

Re: Cloning a Mini G4 OS 9 install- it can be done by using Carbon Copy Cloner to clone your OS 9 install to another disk via Firewire (I copied my install from a spinning drive to an mSATA SSD in an IDE adapter, that I installed in my TiBook for this process), then running an old version of DiskWarrior on the clone. DW will bless, then fix any directory issues your install may have. I partitioned my SSD into two partitions; the first one being for OS 9, and the second for Tiger. I cloned both partitions from my spinner drive (which had the partitions in reverse, i.e. Tiger was the first/OS 9 the second) and had DW already installed in Tiger. A quick rebuild of the desktop after the DW repair and I was in business. Now my OS 9 partition boots without me having to select the boot drive from OF.
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aBc

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4
« Reply #1464 on: March 19, 2024, 05:56:57 PM »

Now my OS 9 partition boots without me having to select the boot drive from OF.
Consider the complete post above as "Liked"...
as it describes a pathway to negate the old OF boot process.

Well done! ;)
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bamdad

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1465 on: March 27, 2024, 08:05:12 PM »

jumping in to make sure that some things aren’t forgotten.

The issue that sometimes prevents the cursor from moving but allows it to click the Apple menu: in my experience, this only happens when a widely circulated archive of “patched” ATI drivers is installed. Long post a couple of years ago. Use the vanilla drivers.

A blinking question mark usually means that the boot disk hasn’t been formatted with the “Mac OS 9 Drivers”. I wrote a patch to fix it, but honestly the easiest fix is just to wipe your disk with Drive Setup. Another cause is a hardware fault, namely a hard drive that returns a lot of read errors.
i'm trying to use your script to patch my ROM but there's ssome python error that i'm really not good enough at the language to debug (see attachment)..
could you point me in the right direction?
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Jubadub

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1466 on: April 01, 2024, 04:33:46 AM »

I think we will need the v8 image of RossDarker back: the unmodified ATI drivers used in v9 often either do not work or cause serious video issues when used with the "silent upgrade" minis. Which of the two depends on the monitor being plugged in.

I think just too many assumptions were made about the "silent upgrade" minis (1.33GHz, 1.5GHz) with regards to them being the same as the "original" models (1.25GHz, 1.42GHz). While hardware-wise this is true, the FIRMWARE is unfortunately not. Even before v9, we also have huge headaches with regards to NVRAM in such models.

We might want an entirely separate thread for all this. This one is understandably just way too massive for most people to care to look at, at this point.
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RossDarker

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1467 on: April 01, 2024, 03:54:54 PM »

If there are some problems with the unmodified drivers on the revised minis, I can link v8 in a ‘Previous Versions’ section for now.

As for future versions of the disc, it’d be pretty simple to create a Post Action for ASR to install the best drivers / ROM for the Mac being used. That way everyone can keep all of the additional patches.

A specific thread is a good idea. Great to see how much discussion there has been and continues to be though, just from the growing number of pages.
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ssp3

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1468 on: April 02, 2024, 12:59:47 AM »

Yes, please do. And v7, v6 too, if possible.
I am also hitting the wall with certain Mini and display combinations.
Logical step in troubleshooting is to step one or several revisions back and go from there.

My understanding is that RockHopper driver was moved from extension to ROM file in v9. Is that correct?
« Last Edit: April 02, 2024, 03:01:20 AM by ssp3 »
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RossDarker

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1469 on: April 02, 2024, 03:26:17 AM »

My understanding is that RockHopper driver was moved from extension to ROM file in v9. Is that correct?

Further detailed here: https://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?topic=2408.msg37482#msg37482
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ssp3

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1470 on: April 02, 2024, 03:44:51 AM »

My understanding is that RockHopper driver was moved from extension to ROM file in v9. Is that correct?

Further detailed here: https://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?topic=2408.msg37482#msg37482

Thanks!

Interestingly, ELN says that frozen mouse bug has been fixed with that release, but I still get frozen mouse more often than I'd like to.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2024, 03:57:22 AM by ssp3 »
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Jubadub

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1471 on: April 02, 2024, 03:58:08 AM »

If there are some problems with the unmodified drivers on the revised minis, I can link v8 in a ‘Previous Versions’ section for now.

That would be a great service for the "revised mini" users, thank you @RossDarker. I personally have v8 since back then, but I'm sure others can also benefit from it.

As for future versions of the disc, it’d be pretty simple to create a Post Action for ASR to install the best drivers / ROM for the Mac being used. That way everyone can keep all of the additional patches.

Oh, this would be the way to go! If we can detect it somehow, I mean. Because the machine model is spoofed when we are booted, I'm not sure how we could detect it programmatically, but the "silent upgrade" / "revised" minis all have the model as PowerMac10,2, whereas the original models are PowerMac10,1. This is part of their firmware code.

One part of me is still not 100% sure if this is an overall "revised" mini issue, OR a specific 1.5GHz "Super mini" issue. In other words, I don't know for sure if the 1.33GHz mini is also affected or not. I highly suspect it is, BUT... Only someone with a 1.33GHz mini can tell us for sure.

In my case, I have a DELL U2412M, it's a 16:10 aspect ratio, 24", 1920x1200 @60Hz monitor. Used with the 1.5GHz Mac mini G4 (AKA "Super mini") model.

After using these ATI Extensions, which are different from what's on both v8 and v9, I got it to recognize a lot of resolutions and frequencies, via DVI. Even 1920x1200, but only @ a frequency higher than 60Hz. But my monitor is limited to 60Hz maximum. I get a black screen if I try such higher frequencies. However, at 60Hz, I do have the option to use 1600x1200 still, which is 4:3, and it just adds some black borders to the side, but otherwise it's a pixel-native resolution that works well, as long as I configure my monitor to display everything with a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Some full-screen games automatically try to switch it to 1920x1200, though, which my Mac OS 9 can only recognize at a frequency higher than 60Hz, and so I get a black screen with them, despite what I set the resolution to. So even my manual fix is not perfect.

Using an old mid '90s CRT monitor I have, though, those ATI Extensions I mentioned lead me to get no picture.
Switching to v9's unmodified ATI drivers instead, then it "works", but only at 800 x 600 resolution, and only at 256 Colors. Some games crash when I play them like this.
Now, when I switch to v8's unmodified drivers, then it works perfectly for (almost) every resolution option it gives me, which is a lot of them! Then the same games that crashed before don't crash anymore, and I can use Millions of Colors.

I hope this helps us keep track of this issue. As you can see, short of using a 1.25GHz and 1.42GHz mini, graphics and monitors can be messy and complicated. Using precisely these 2 mini models, the issue just disappears. @ssp3 also shares his own experiences here.

Interesting that ELN says that frozen mouse bug has been fixed with that release, but I still get frozen mouse more often than I'd like to.

IIRC I tested this on v9 quite a bit on the 1.25GHz and 1.42GHz minis with my CRT circa 2021. The frequency of mouse freezes remained unchanged for me, meaning it still freezes once every while, for which a "Restart" script is hotkeyed on F12 for me, to ease that hurdle.
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ssp3

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1472 on: April 02, 2024, 04:14:56 AM »

@Jubadub, I suggest we move discussion regarding Mini and display issues to the thread that I started for that purpose.
Please, repost your findings there as well. We both have U2412 Dells  ;)

I am willing do dive deeper into boot scripts and patching stuff (to the limits of my knowledge), but if we do it here, it will be lost among the general chatter.
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RossDarker

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1473 on: April 02, 2024, 08:29:14 AM »

Oh, this would be the way to go! If we can detect it somehow, I mean. Because the machine model is spoofed when we are booted, I'm not sure how we could detect it programmatically, but the "silent upgrade" / "revised" minis all have the model as PowerMac10,2, whereas the original models are PowerMac10,1. This is part of their firmware code.

I've done some testing and I'm able to distinguish between models automatically either by reading in the Processor Speed or Video Memory. In all cases the Model Identifier is set to that of the G4 Cube's, so not too helpful here. VRAM may be the better option, since some people overclock the CPU. One thing to consider is the 1.25, 1.33 and 1.42 models all have 32 MB VRAM, whilst the 1.5 GHz model has 64 MB.

Of course, I only have my 1.42 to test things on, but the different combinations can all be covered.


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ssp3

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1474 on: April 02, 2024, 10:14:03 AM »

Model Identifier PowerMac5,1 (Cube) is set in the boot script. BUT!

G4 Cube has one VGA port and one ADC port.
Mac Mini G4 has DVI port.

Maybe this is what confuses Mini?
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RossDarker

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1475 on: April 02, 2024, 11:34:50 AM »

Model Identifier PowerMac5,1 (Cube) is set in the boot script. BUT!

G4 Cube has one VGA port and one ADC port.
Mac Mini G4 has DVI port.

Maybe this is what confuses Mini?

You could give this older ‘Quicksilver’ ROM a try on your 1.5 GHz model. There’s a little problem with the sound being loud and distorted (line out), but it’d be worth seeing if anything with the graphics changes when different combinations of the ATI drivers are used. https://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2408.0;attach=5049
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ssp3

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1476 on: April 02, 2024, 03:06:45 PM »

Thanks, I'll take a look.

Btw, does anyone remember where does the 'ATI Via Driver', that everyone uses for their mods, originate from?
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Jubadub

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1477 on: April 03, 2024, 01:57:46 AM »

Oh, this would be the way to go! If we can detect it somehow, I mean. Because the machine model is spoofed when we are booted, I'm not sure how we could detect it programmatically, but the "silent upgrade" / "revised" minis all have the model as PowerMac10,2, whereas the original models are PowerMac10,1. This is part of their firmware code.

I've done some testing and I'm able to distinguish between models automatically either by reading in the Processor Speed or Video Memory. In all cases the Model Identifier is set to that of the G4 Cube's, so not too helpful here. VRAM may be the better option, since some people overclock the CPU. One thing to consider is the 1.25, 1.33 and 1.42 models all have 32 MB VRAM, whilst the 1.5 GHz model has 64 MB.

Of course, I only have my 1.42 to test things on, but the different combinations can all be covered.

Nice. You're right about the VRAM for the 1.5GHz mini model, that's probably THE best way to detect it.

For the 1.33GHz mini, we will have to see... Like you pointed out, the clock frequency alone is not too great, since people both overclock, and underclock, their minis, some even resolder a new CPU in (like the 7448, done in MacRumors PPC subforum). But as a last resort, a check to see if clock = 1.33GHz can definitely help the vast majority of 1.33GHz mini owners (assuming they are indeed affected by all this).

I think we should just focus on the 1.5GHz mini for now, until someone with a 1.33GHz mini can chime in and confirm to us whether or not those issues also apply to it, or if it is just a "Super mini" issue.

Model Identifier PowerMac5,1 (Cube) is set in the boot script. BUT!

G4 Cube has one VGA port and one ADC port.
Mac Mini G4 has DVI port.

Maybe this is what confuses Mini?

You could give this older ‘Quicksilver’ ROM a try on your 1.5 GHz model. There’s a little problem with the sound being loud and distorted (line out), but it’d be worth seeing if anything with the graphics changes when different combinations of the ATI drivers are used. https://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2408.0;attach=5049

I will give this a go myself, as well. Thanks @Ross!
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NineLives

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1478 on: April 04, 2024, 02:08:02 PM »

Hi everyone, I got myself a mac mini g4 1.42 to try to use with os 9. However, I ran into some problems. I burned the iso of v9, however I couldn't get the computer to boot from it. So I burned the v8 iso instead (the version linked in the first post.) This time it booted up just fine! I then reformatted the internal hard drive to be os 9 compatible. However, when I get to Apple Software Restore, I get the following error message: "This image has a missing or outdated checksum resource. Select another configuration." I did have the bright idea of using my G4 tower running os 9 to open the v9 iso disk, copy the "Macintosh HD" file onto a usb stick and try to use that version of the file. However, my tower which I haven't turned on in at least a year has chosen this moment to roll over and die! So I am unable to test that possible solution.

Has anyone else had this problem?

This thread is rather long and while I have read several pages and used the search function, I didn't find anything relevant to my problem up until now. So please forgive me if the solution is hidden somewhere on a past page  :-[
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NineLives

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Re: Mac OS 9 booting on: Mac mini G4 (Detailed Posts)
« Reply #1479 on: April 04, 2024, 02:13:47 PM »

I should maybe add that the "Mac OS 9.2.2 Read Me" file is blank when opened. Perhaps this is an additional clue.
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