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themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26
Booting OS 9.2.x on unsupported Macs?!

I know there is a program (XPostFacto?) that fools the firmware into thinking the Mac is another Mac, allowing you to install OS X 10.4 Tiger onto unsupported machines.

I was wondering if this would work with "similar" macs to those still supporting native OS9 boot. As an example, I have a 1.25GHz G4 eMac, which DOES NOT support booting from OS9. The 800MHz G4 eMac DOES support booting from OS9. If I was able to fool the OS Installer into thinking my machine was the 800MHz eMac, then it might be possible to run OS9 on it (and save some money on RAM).

I know there has been some limited success booting unsupported machines from USB - so I am crossing my fingers and hoping with this one.

I am also fairly sure there are INIT/CDEVs that perform a similar function from within the OS. Not much use at all under OS X tho.

Any thoughts?!

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rpangrazio's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 27

The big thing standing in you way is the Mac OS Rom file in the System Folder. As I understand it, it contains low level drivers that are machine specific. It also contains the machine checking software.

It is a CHRP script. It contains 2 regions. The first is the script that checks everything and loads the os. The second is the Macintosh Toolbox.

If this can be done, it could mean opening up a way to make a PPC Macintosh.

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

hmmm, was CHRP an IBM project?

Yes, my eMac has USB 2.0 ports, and the 800MHz one probably doesn't. I don't mind losing USB 2.0/Firewire if it means getting OS9 running... Mine has the 32MB Radeon 9200. The older one probably has NVidia GeForce graphics. Apart from those (not so small) differences, they are identical machines. The fact that Slackintosh 12.1 supports every feature of my eMac and my G3 iBook gives me great hope.

xy's picture
xy
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Joined: 2009 Aug 7

If you make it happen that one can run Mac OS 9 natively on Macs and Powerbooks after the Titanium you are King of Cool. I have a feeling that Apple had to kill Mac OS 9 on purpose by not writing drivers for it any more because nobody wanted Mac OS X in these days.

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

because nobody wanted Mac OS X in these days.

I think we had a good discussion about this before in another thread. Was it not all to do with Photoshop and XPress ?I remember reading that a major release of each was not OSX native, just when Apple was trying to get us all on to OSX 10.1 or 10.2. This meant the MDDs were released to boot OS9 with the advertising slogan "the last Macs to boot OS9", even 18 months later, just after the PMG5 release, the G4 MDDs were re-released as OS9 booting.

So definitely down to these two software packages not being ready for OSX - understandable if you think they probably needed a complete re-write to get the best out of them. Well, that and OSX 10.0 and 10.1 being awful to use.

rpangrazio's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 27

CHRP Common Hardware Refernce Platform was a joint project between a lot of people. IBM and Apple were in there, and I think Motorola.

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

Straight from Apple's knowledgebase:

"Note: eMac (ATI Graphics) models with CD-ROM or Combo drives can boot into Mac OS 9"

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2321

I have an eMac with ATI Graphics and a combo drive!!!

I believe the 1GHz model was the last to boot OS9, and not all model numbers would allow it.

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

From a forum post:

"The last eMacs to be able to boot to OS9 were discontinued in Oct 2003 and were order numbers M9150LL/A (800 MHz) and M8950LL/A (1.0 GHz)."

I believe my computer was Jan 2002 (last build of the series). Then there was a 1.42GHz model released.

If I can write to OpenFirmware that my model is M8950LL/A, then I "should" be able to start an install of OS9, whether it boots again after a restart is another matter. I know that this is how XPostFacto works, by writing some necessary data to OpenFirmware, which is only read once on the next boot.

If it is an easy process, I would not mind using OpenFirmware each boot to get into native OS9. I believe the commands in OF can not be batched, and must be run sequentially. I also recall that OF is not very fast.

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

Late update: Another forum post states that if your computer does not support OS9, then you cannot install OS9 drivers from within Disk Utility. I am certain that my Disk Utility had the Install OS9 Drivers option active last time I used it...?!

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

if your computer does not support OS9, then you cannot install OS9 drivers from within Disk Utility

Correctomundo.

If you have it then you can boot OS9.
If you don't then it's not an issue as you would do this while booted from the OS9 install CD.

Sotomura's picture
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Joined: 2010 Oct 22

Not exactly. Disk Utility simply won't give you an option for installing OS 9 Disk Drivers if the drive doesn't support it. I haven't researched the exact condition (ATA version? I've seen ATA drives that won't do it and drives that will, on a Mac that doesn't even support OS 9) that the option appears in, but it's definitely not the OS version (it's still in Leopard, though not in Snow Leopard) nor the computer's ability to support OS 9.

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

Checked my 6 Macs at hand,
G5 / intel don't have it. G4s all have it. All running OSX 10.3.9 except Intel on OSX 10.5.

BUT, if you check the command line 'diskutil', it allows you to partition and install "OS9Drivers" no matter which Mac I use it on. OSX 10.3.9 checked. Intel not checked.

themacmeister's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 26

I believe Sotomura has the answer. My Mac definitely does not support OS9 (does support Classic mode) but does ALLOW ME to format a disk with OS9 drivers. I guess this is for a little backward compatibility. I assume that to use disks in Classic mode, the drive needs OS9 drivers too?!?!

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

I assume that to use disks in Classic mode, the drive needs OS9 drivers too?!?

No.

http://support.apple.com/kb/TA26834

Is it an external drive that you can format with OS9 drivers on your (unidentified) non-OS9 booting Mac ?