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OS 9 Helper

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
os9helper.sit (690.09 KB)
MD5: aac5562f9699c461ffccd5c4a616e7a9
For Mac OS 9
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
3400KangaExtras.sit (263.67 KB)
MD5: 7ba179d34e2e8cf1b4935dd99ffe90c3
For Mac OS 9
Guides on emulating older applications

First Download: The OS 9 Helper application
Second Download: Extras needed if you have a PowerBook 2400, 3400 or Kanga

Mac OS 9.1 can be found here.
Mac OS 9.2.1 and 9.2.2 updates here.

Text below taken from the "ReadMe" file:

What does OS 9 Helper do?

OS 9 Helper allows you to install 9.2.1 or 9.2.2 on certain "Old World" Macs that Apple has decided to drop support for. OS 9.1 is the final version that Apple allows to install on anything previous to the Beige G3.

What are the benefits of installing 9.2.x?

Apple touted 9.2.1 as a minor update to 9.1 that added "better classic compatibility". However, the performance improvements that were added in 9.2.x are clearly noticeable once you install it. In particular, the Finder is incredibly responsive, and Open Transport networking is vastly more stable. However, the four most important reasons for installing 9.2.x are:

1. Compatibility with ATI's latest drivers. ATI dropped support for OpenGL versions lower than 1.2.2. (9.1 has 1.2.1). See these notes on ATI's drivers for some more hints.

2. You can't run DVD Studio Pro 1.5 or 1.2.1 without 9.2.2. See my Pro page for more info.

3. You can't run Final Cut Pro 3 without 9.2.2. See my Pro page for more info.

4. Full compatibility with first and second generation iPods.

What OldWorld machines does OS 9 Helper work with?

See the compatibility matrix (screenshot).
The second download (3400KangaExtras.sit) is the Apple Sound Manager extension from Mac OS 9.1.
It's needed to enable sound on the PowerBook 2400, 3400 and G3 "Kanga" after updating to 9.2.1 and 9.2.2.

How do I install 9.2.x?

1. Download OS 9 Helper.

2. To be safe, back up your 9.1 System Folder before proceeding with the update just in case something goes wrong.

3. Have a copy of the Mac OS 9.2.1 Updater.smi , and Mac OS 9.2.2 Updater.smi files downloaded. If you put them on your desktop, OS 9 Helper will automatically recognize them, otherwise you will be prompted to locate them. There are links to download these files from within OS 9 Helper.
4. Unstuff the .sit if it isn't already unstuffed and open the application.

5. Select your localization from the language popup list.

6. From the Installation Settings box, select the "Install Mac OS 9.2.1", or the "Install Mac OS 9.2.2" radio button. You can't skip straight to 9.2.2, you must install 9.2.1 first.
7. Press the "Begin Installation" button. OS 9 Helper will automatically mount your .smi file (if it isn't already), and make a copy of it on your desktop. It will then patch the necessary resources and the Mac OS installation program will automatically start. Install as normal.


I keep getting "Big System Morsels" errors when I try to run the updater, what's going on? This is random and unexplainable. It occurs as well with supported installations and Apple is aware of the issue. The solution just seems to be to try again.

My computer locks up during the boot process/showing the desktop, what do I do? If you have a G4 upgrade card installed, make sure you install your G4 Upgrade software onto your test disk before restarting with it. Your machine will hang when displaying the desktop otherwise. G3 cards are not affected. Note that it is normal for your machine to automatically reboot twice if you install XLR8's software, this is because it needs to load its Virtual Firmware into NVRAM.

I keeping having random lockups, what is going on? Using OS 9 Helper while booted into 9.2.x, select the 'Install OldWorld FireWire Support' option. This patches your FireWire Support extension with a fix that applies to a timing issue that OldWorld machines have. Super-genious kby's explanation (for the tech-savvy) can be found here.

A bit of history...

On the day that Apple released the 9.2.1 update, I posted a messaged to a Macfixit Forum thread asking for anybody who was willing to help work on a crack for this. Scott emailed me back and we stayed up most of the night hacking away with ResEdit and MacsBug. After exchanging 15 or so emails, we had it mostly narrowed down to 3 resources that needed to be added/modified for 9.2.1 to work. Scott nailed the breakthrough the next morning, and we were finally able to get 9.2.1 to boot on our Powersurge machines. Hastily, we posted the patch with little testing. It soon became apparent that more work was needed, as drag and drop support was not enabled. A few days later Scott and I narrowed it down to an obscure line of hex that was in a different physical address location than it was in 9.1, and the problem was solved. Soon thereafter I returned to college, and Scott faded away as well. But faithful forum posters kby, kenny, and the Toz took up the slack and began making more and more improvements to the patch. They have pretty much done the bulk of the patch work since 9.2.2 was released, and an excellent job they have done. After a while, I got sick of the patch method and decided to make this a little bit more commercially viable and easier to understand. Thus OS 9 Helper was born. Over the next year or so I hope to evolve the utility to have more and more functionality.

Architecture: PPC


Raptor007's picture
by Raptor007 - 2017, December 20 - 5:25am

Worked great on my 9600 with G3 upgrade! But it only seems to let you target a disk with 9.1 or 9.2.1 installed, which means you can't apply the OldWorld Firewire Support patch after updating to 9.2.2. I guess the proper install order is 9.2.1, then the FireWire patch, then 9.2.2?