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ristar's picture
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Joined: 2016 May 27
OS 9 Drive Not Visible In Boot Menu

I posted this in another thread recently, but the question didn't get answered, and it has changed slightly, so I'm making a new thread.

I have been following this guide to dual-boot my 10.4 PowerMac G4 MDD (Not sure how to tell what Firewire version it is):http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,1859.0.html

However, whever I alt-boot into the boot menu, only the OS X drive shows up. When I alternatively try and restore the frshDrg.img image to the hard drive from the Disk Utility, it DOES show the drive in the boot menu, but it gives me the "Question Mark Disk" error when trying to boot it.

Any ideas?

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MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Not sure how to tell what Firewire version it is

If its a FW800 model: Looking at the MDD's rear, left-side row of cable ports starting from the top;

  • 2 x USB
  • 2 x FW400
  • 1 x FW800
  • 1 x Ethernet + Modem port to right of this (some models)
  • 1 x Audio Line In + 1x Audio Line Out (to right of Audio Line In)
  • 1 x Apple Speaker Mini-Jack

The single FW800 port is smaller (than the two FW400 ports) and is located between the FW400 and the Ethernet ports. If that port is missing you'd have a FW400 model which should be bootable into Mac OS 9.2.2 - if it does include the smaller FW800 port, then its not OS 9 bootable unless you try certain unofficial modifications, of which I'm sure you've read about by now.

I can't help further with your attempts to get a FW800 MDD to boot into OS 9 tho', as I've only read that it is "do-able", not actually done it, myself.

ristar's picture
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Joined: 2016 May 27

Ah, okay, mine is a FW400, then, since it only has 2 FW ports. Still can't get the drive to be read as bootable, though. Sad

MikeTomTom's picture
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Are you able to boot up from an OS 9.2.2 bootable CD (such as this System Install disc)?

ristar's picture
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Joined: 2016 May 27

I burned a 9.2.1 disk that does let me boot into it, but it gave me an error saying "This program cannot be installed on your computer" when trying to start the installer.

MikeTomTom's picture
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That is simply not going to work. You have boot from a 9.2.2 system on the MDD. As above: "Are you able to boot up from an OS 9.2.2 bootable CD?"

ristar's picture
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Joined: 2016 May 27

Huh? No, I'm trying to INSTALL OS 9 on its own hard drive - I don't already have it installed to the point where I can boot it. I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Are you saying that 9.2.2 is the only OS 9 version that works on the FW400?

MikeTomTom's picture
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Yes. The MDD is from the final period of classic OS bootable Macs ever made which were bootable 9.2.2/OS X only. I included a link to a universal bootable 9.2.2 install disc in my 2nd post, above.

You can find more info on your model - check "About This mac" under the Apple menu, top left of your OS X screen. Also visit everymac.com for specs (scroll down page). There are only 4 MDD models that "officially" boot up to 9.2.2 - 3 x DP model's from 2002 and 1 single processor model from 2003, listed at the very bottom of that page.

ristar's picture
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Okay, I tried booting into the 9.2.2 disk your provided, but it STILL gives me the "This program cannot run on your computer" error when trying to install it. Any ideas on what could be going on here? Sad

MacTouch's picture
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Joined: 2016 Mar 19

Have you tried to copy the files from the image to your partition drive ? And again see if you can boot directly with ? Well, if nothing works, you can try this link image :

http://www.maccaps.com/MacCaps/DIY_Information_files/MacOS-9.22-mdd400.dmg

Also, you can look at the serial number of your G4 and search on Apple site to identify the model you have exactly... You can also look at this image for that :

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-sT8GO2EXnLL2a4fC...

From the bottom, the second port is a Firewire 800. Also, you can find the serial number in this zone. The third character is 2 or 3 which is the first introduction year on the market of your model. These order number models are not bootable in os 9 : M8839LL/A, M8840LL/A and
M8841LL/A (you can find this number on the packaging box if you have keep it). All others models must be bootable in normal time. And you can find more informations on everymac.com or apple-history.com like MDD Firewire 800 introduce Airport Extreme instead of precedents models for example...

ristar's picture
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Joined: 2016 May 27

Like I said, that was one of the first things I tried. :/ And yes, like I said just a few posts above, my MDD is indeed a FW400.

sfp1954's picture
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As far as I know you cannot "boot" a 9.2.2 CD on the MDD. I had the first MDD when I was at Brown University and was never able to do it. The only way to get OS 9 running (assuming you have set up the hard drive with OS 9 drivers) is to copy the pre-built OS9 System file and Applications (OS9) folder onto the hard drive.
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/mac-os-922-powermac-g4-mdd
To install OS 9 you download and mount this DMG and then copy the enclosed folders to your hard drive. The DMG is also on one of the original disks that came with the system.

ristar's picture
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Joined: 2016 May 27

Like I said, this was one of the first things I tried. The drive is just not read as bootable by the computer when I do this. Also, the computer CAN boot into the OS 9 CD - it just refused to install.

Only when I format the drive in the OS 9 CD is it read as bootable by the computer - formatting it or modifying it in any way in OS X causes it to be no longer bootable. I have even tried formatting it in the OS 9 CD, booting back into OS X, running the OS 9 installed under classic mode within OS X, targeting the drive, and then installing there, but attempting to boot into the drive that way gives me an error when booting into the disk saying something like "This system folder can only be used on the target device and will not work if copied to another device" or something. But, after doing that and booting into the OS 9 CD again, the installed OS 9 apps show up on the desktop, so I KNOW that it's there - it just refuses to boot.

MikeTomTom's picture
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The steps you should undertake are:

  1. Boot up the MDD from the Universal 9.2.2 CD
  2. Open the "Utilities" folder on the boot CD and run "Drive Setup"
  3. With Drive Setup: Format the drive you want to install OS 9.2.2 onto. Make sure that you choose HFS+. This also ensures the correct OS 9 drivers go onto the drive.
  4. When Drive Setup has finished, quit it, close the Utilities folder and double-click the "Mac OS Install" icon to launch the install process.
  5. When asked by the installer, choose the drive that you formatted and follow the prompts from that point on.
  6. Once the install finishes, click onto the Apple Menu (top left corner) and choose Control Panel, Startup Disk.
  7. In Startup Disk, choose the drive that you have just installed the fresh Mac OS 9.2.2 onto and then restart your MDD.

Hopefully, this will work for you.

ristar's picture
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Like I said a few times before, opening the installer gives me the error "This program cannot be run on this computer." when launching the installer. I cannot run the installer. I am positive this is a FW400 machine. I am positive I used the disk image provided.

I keep hearing that the FW400 requires a special version of OS 9.2.2 in order to function - are you sure there isn't an installer disk of that floating around? I have seen drive images, but as I mentioned earlier, those don't appear as bootable when copied or restored.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

For the above to work, you need to boot up to Mac OS 9.2.2 using the Universal 9.2.2 CD to boot up with. Then, when launching the CD's installer, make sure it isn't targeting the Mac OS X HD (to get that error message). In the installer, switch to the correct drive manually if you need to. Are you sure you're not doing something different?

I don't know otherwise.

You could ask our regular poster Scott Praed directly for some advice. He owns one of the last OS 9 bootable MDD ever made. He's also dual boots his MDD to either OS X or 9.2.2, he may have some pointers. Drop him a note in his guestbook.

sfp1954's picture
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Joined: 2013 Dec 29

Here's how I would do this (not that the other suggested methods are wrong).

Download and burn the Tiger DVD (10.4.6) using Apple Disk Utility.
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/mac-osx-mac-os-10-ppc
Boot the Tiger DVD.
Erase/Initialize/Partition the internal HD with the "Install OS9 Drivers" box checked.
Install Tiger.
Boot Tiger on the HD and eject the installation DVD.
Download the MDD .dmg
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/mac-os-922-powermac-g4-mdd
Mount the .dmg
Drag the Applications (Mac OS 9), Documents and System Folder to the hard drive.
Eject/Dismount the .dmg
Toss the .dmg in the trash
Reboot the machine in Tiger.

Question 1: Can you start OS 9 in Classic Mode from the System Preferences Panel?
Question 2: Does it show up as a choice in the Startup Disk panel?

If you can do 1 but not 2 I would wonder if your motherboard is not original.
In this time period Apple was trying to force people to OSX. That's one reason there was not OS9 installer, no bootable OS9 CD just a set of hidden folders in a .dmg.

sfp1954's picture
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What size is your hard drive?
OS9 has partition size limit.
Somewhere around 160GB - I forget the exact size.