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noway's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 14
Mac Mini G4 questions

I just aquired a second hand Mac Mini G4, one of the last ones with the silent upgrade.
The Mini seems to work fine (1GB RAM) and is running 10.4.11.

I would like to install OS9.2.2 from the Ross CD V9 for Mac Mini G4 additionally.
Is there a way to partition the hard disk for an additional OS9 partition without trashing OSX?

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Oldyoungmac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Nov 3

Maybe you can try to repartition it with the Drive Genius repartition Option.
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/drive-genius-1x
Tell us if it works.

noway's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 14

Thanks for the pointer! Drive Genius does look like a must have.
So far, the included serial for 1.2 does not seem to work and the app crashes when I´m trying to resize the 10.4.11 System partition.
Likely I´ll have to use another version and I will have to boot from a Drive Genius CD.

mrdav's picture
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Joined: 2011 Dec 3

----->the included serial for 1.2 does not seem to work<---

This is the serial number of my personal copy of the software, so I checked it. The number in the download is wrong. It should be:

77C65E96 91F64A4C 10A07AAD BFE1F470

NOT

77C65E96 91F64A4C 19A07AAD BFE1F470

So many digits on a very faded bit of paper stuck on the inside of the CD case that I transcribed a 0 as a 9.

Please let me know if the SN now works. I may have misread other characters. I will correct the upload on the Drive Genius 1.x page

EDIT: I have checked that the corrected SN works and have included it in the archive for v. 1.2 on the Drive Genius 1.x page

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Thanks a bunch mrdav!
As typo is easily done with long numbers making no sense.
I´ll give it a go later.
There is another 1,25 GHz G4 mini bound to arrive today, (lets hope wife won´t kill me Wink ) so I might as well use that one for OS9.2.2 - if it has no hardware issues.

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

Mac OS X 10.5.x Leopard's version of Drive Setup can do that. You can use a Leopard Install image to do so without actually installing Leopard. I'm not sure, but IIRC you can also use the command-line-only diskutil in your version of Tiger (10.4.11) to do so, but for that you will have to know the exact commands (which I long forgot, but they can be easily found looking them up).

Good luck with the mini! Epic purchase.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Thanks Jatoba! I seem to recall such a feature in Disk Utility Leopard too, but never would have thought of using a more recent OSX installer DVD. Either way, for tinkering with partition tables, another system volume will be needed to unmount the internal hard disk.

The G4 Mac mini are both in good shape, nothing broken, nothing messed up.
Really great machines for their age. Both came with 10.4.11. Funny thing, the 1.25GHz with 512MB without Airport Extreme and BT felt snappier than its 1.5GHz sibling with 1GB RAM and the bells and whistles.

I did not proceed with DriveGenious, as I was too curious to see OS 9.2.2 installing on the 1.25 GHz machine. Easy as eating cake with the Ross V9 CD and everything working except for the internal speaker - a known feature and not a big thing as the headphone jack is working.

noway's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 14

The serial for Drive Genius is working now as advertised. Smile

Both minis are running fine, the 1.25 one with Panther and OS 9.2.2, the 1.5Gz one with Tiger.
What do you guys think, should I better have Tiger on the 1.25 with 512MB RAM?
Thanks to MTT`s Mac Mini installer disks it should be easy enough.

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

Tiger is the greatest, my favorite computer is Tiger and I'm a Computer Scientist. Tiger instead of introducing an order of magnitude of new bloat like most Apple upgrades, Tiger is really a highly optimized evolution of Panther. Ignoring foreign languages and printer drivers, Tiger (pre-Universal) is hardly any larger in size than Panther, and Tiger has smoother and faster animation capability than Panther, more software compatibility too.

I would shoot for having Jaguar on there also. Jaguar for old-school gaming for many titles which Tiger can't. Jag plus Tig, could and/or couldn't care less about Pan.

I had to place Tiger Server edition on my PowerMac G4 MDD2003, because the Client editions 10.4.9-10.4.11 would kernelpanic several hours after playing a VIDEO_TS folder in Apple DVD Player. Don't know if it's only my hardware model or others. Anyway, Tiger goes down in history as the "XP" equivalent in Mac world.

noway's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 14

Thanks SkyCapt, so Tiger it shall be.
I´m not too tempted trying Jaguar, OS 9.2.2 and 10.4 should suffice.

Do you know how to create localized 9.2.2 installers for the Mac Mini by chance?
Usually I wont mind English, but when OSX is running in German it would be nice to have just one language on the Mini.

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

No I don't, the others here are better with language installers and installing on Macmini G4s.

Jag mostly for retrogaming, but also a genuine Classicmode that can animate graphics, Tiger's classicmode is only good for "business" software without animations. I recommended Jaguar because you're intent on using OS 9.2 - so do you know if your mini's GPU is useable in OS9 or will you end up in perma-video-safe mode (like me, my GPU requires Jag or higher). If you won't have OS9 with a GPU, then you should reconsider having Jag Classic and GPU. This situation, for me, lets Jaguar run many software which my OS9 and Tiger cannot.

rbshep's picture
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Joined: 2020 Mar 5

Do you know how to create localized 9.2.2 installers for the Mac Mini by chance?

In theory - you could find a German system, extract the language resources from that, and insert these resources into the Modified system for the Mini.

You'd probably need to make sure the version of the "Mac OS Rom" file matches - although it doesn't seem likely resource ID's would have changed significantly between versions i'd "play it safe" on this front. You would probably need to change (at least) the System and Finder files too.

Using Resedit for this would be a pain, however you can use the Rez and DeRez Developer tools in OSX to extract and integrate resources, perhaps some bash or other scripting around these tools would help here

One particular bugbear I have about this and all other Macintosh sites is that usually the SSW is the US version, not the British English (pre-OS9) or International English (OS9) versions. I've actually bought and imaged OS 9.2.1 International and uploaded it here for this reason!

So at some point, on the ever-growing to-do list I would wish to create a Mini International English for myself, the same way you'd like Deutsch!

Also - I know it's being pedantic - but it's not actually an installer, it's just an ASR image which is restored to the mini's hard drive Wink

Anyone know why the OS9 Forever forum keeps being changed so only logged-in users can read threads? Sad

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Thanks rbshep!
At least it looks possible with some serious work.
MacOS9 lives also has updaters for V9 and lower which are supposed to turn a OS9 CD image into a bootable one for the Mini.
Maybe worth a try, even with the GPU and USB hacks staying English.
I´ll download the package, as soon as I can log in. Error 403 atm.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

The Mini`s GPU looks usable in 9.2, Ross CD V9 has ATI drivers included. QE is supported, but not Core Image.
The Mac Mini is seen as G4 Cube in system profiler.
Is there a GPU test suite for OS9?
Never heard about ATI Rockhopper, sounds like a mountain biker did choose that.

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Mac Mini MacOS 9.2

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

One other thing.
Is there any Tiger app that can read the voltage of the Mini´s 3V Li coin cell?
I would rather not crack open the Mini just for measuring the voltage.
If the coin cell wasn´t replaced by the previous owner(s) a new battery will be on schedule.

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

Doubtful if the computer has access to that parameter. Does the mini's CPU core voltage monitor even work? Apple let mine fall into disrepair on my MirrorDoor2003. It says 1.55 like how they shipped it, but when I change volts up or down, it still says 1.55

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Could somebody kindly recommend a Linux Live CD/DVD for the Mac Mini?
A llive distro including "hwinfo" would be grreat.
There are some PPC disk images hosted at archive.org, but descriptions are missing.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Hi 24bit, I have a couple of oldies that boot up live on G4 Mac mini's. One a Linux recovery disk from 2004 and a Ubuntu v6.06 Live disk for PPC Macs from 2006 or 7... neither have hwinfo on board.

But the Ubuntu disk has Device Manager which I think is fairly comprehensive.

Ubuntu 6.06 PPC Device Manager
PPC Ubuntu 6.06 Device Manager

I think you should still be able to download this one from somewhere if you think it may be useful.
Probably from here. I think have the standard live desktop CD version (2nd from top). There are others which may be suitable.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Thanks for the link Mike!
Maybe hwinfo came later or was a X86 gadget. I saw a similar device manager with Ubuntu Live 5.10.
Seems PPC was phased out after Ubuntu 6.10?
I´m tempted to try Yellow Dog 6 or Debian 8, none of them Live CDs, but little can go wrong with your 10.4.0 DVD 1+2.

Is there a trick to access the Mini´s HDD via FW?
Booted the 1.5GHz into FW mode and the display showed the yellow FW symbol,
but I could not get access from the 1.25 Mac Mini. Both are on 10.4.11, in case that matters.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Now that is one thing that I've never done before, to date. I know the theory behind it but is something I have no experience with.

My question is, where can I find Ross CD V9 ? Is running OS 9.x on the Mac mini a usable option? Stable?

I'd love to have 9.2.2 running on my Mac mini, if only to be able to retire my room absorbing eMac for good Wink

Currently with my Mac mini, I have 10.3.9 and 10.5.8 on a firewire external drive and 10.4.11 as the main OS on the internal drive.

BTW, that Ubuntu 6.06 live CD boots my Mac mini really easily and is fast. The mini seems faster than if running from the HD, but I guess Ubuntu loading into RAM has a lot to do with that.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Hi Mike! The RossDarker V9 CD should be available for free on OS9Lives.com.
However I´m getting a 403 when trying to log in the last days.
I stored the CD locally of course and will upload tonight.

Installation is easy as eating cake. Booting via "alt" and selecting the OS9 CD thats all.
Except for the internal speaker everything seems to work, I did not try BT and Airport Extreme though.
LAN is working.
The only obstacle I met was my Logitech mouse being unusable during installation.
Time to dig up one of the hockey puck mice in storage. Wink
I still have to find a good sound output for OS9. The 17" monitor speakers are crap (as usual).

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Awesome ! And thank you.

I'll look forward to trying that out. Is it suitable for the mini only ? I have an iBook G4 which could recieve the same treatment Wink

I have a couple of smallish Dell speakers if you're interested. I only use headphones these days. I'll see if they work on my mini.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Hey 24bit; great to see you've joined me in the dual G4 Mini world Smile

I have one set up as 10.4.11 with 9.2.2 Classic, and one set up to dual boot Ross CD v9 and the hacked 10.6 DR. It spends most of its time in 9.2.2, running headless with VNC. That way I can connect to it from my laptop or my phone to test run most old software when I've got spare cycles.

The annoying bit is that even though the boot loader works, you can't switch OS and reboot from within the OS, you need to have a keyboard physically connected and switch partitions during boot.

For live CDs, I think your only option is the original Knoppix PPC live CD. Other than that, you've got the options of YDL and Debian (can't remember which version) and then you're in to NetBSD land.

I was helping someone locate the KnoppixPPC CD in some other thread a couple of months back; after a few false starts, I think they eventually found it.

24bit's picture
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Thanks adespoton!
The G4 Mini is a really nice machine. You may know that I skipped the whole Mac story after my iMac Bondi blue until Snow Leo X86. With the Mac Mini booting OS9 its fun to restore all the old stuff on a tiny machine. Whether there still is a practical use for it after all those years is another question. Smile

dr.zeissler's picture
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You have to find a solution for the audio in OS9 on G4 though.
Beside that the G4Mini is a really great machine for OS9.
I normally use my g4-cube 450/rage128 for OS9 but even
the smallest G4-Mini is MUCH more powerful then the stylish Smile cube.

Here is the G4-Mini OS9 CD v.9
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,4365.0.html
https://files.secureserver.net/0foyliu5QOHb1z

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Thanks for the heads up!
I´m using a mediocre USB sound card and mediocre monitor speakers for OS9 on the 1.5 Mini and the internal Mac speaker for OSX right now.

From what I read the silent upgrade Minis would need another patched ROM than the original ones.
There is an almost not audible sound output with my 1.5 Mini, so sound output via headphones seems possible with different settings. Lets hope someone will pick up sticks again for another patched Mac Mini ROM.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Is there a way to partition the hard disk for an additional OS9 partition without trashing OSX?

A bit late in responding here, sorry. I've had great success repartitioning a couple of G4 drives now, using iPartition.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Thanks! I´ll look into it when need arises.
The FW 400 drive was delivered and Leopard is running from it.

There was a bag of FW 400 cables included.
Anybody in need of F400 cables 6-pin to 4-pin?

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Excellent. I have Leopard and Panther on the mini G4 via FW, too Wink

I've not booted them up since installing 9 on the mini's main HD ... I'm reluctant to see all of those OS X droppings arrive on my clean system.

No need for 6 to 4-pin cables here, thanks, but someone is likely to have a need for them.

soudesune's picture
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Do you know how to create localized 9.2.2 installers for the Mac Mini by chance?

For the Mac OS 9 drive, I simply swapped the Finder for the German equivalent of the Finder from 9.2.2 and it worked fine. It is by no means perfect, but all of the menus were in German.

dr.zeissler's picture
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I would love to get control over the GPU in OS9 but that is not possible until 10.3
and the "ati-displays-driver" that let's you make v-sync and 16AF as standard.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

You mean more than you do with the ATi Displays system extension for OS 9 that's on the MacOS9Lives G4Mini CD image?

dr.zeissler's picture
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What can you do with ATI-Displays under OS9 on MacminiG4 ? nothing Sad

soudesune's picture
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I know, I would love if it the DVI output could be tweaked to display nicely at resolutions above 1280x960 so that I could use it in my DVI KVM. Thankfully the 1600x1200 monitor (LaCie 320) also has a VGA port.

24bit's picture
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Garbled boot screen in OS9, did anybody else see such a thing?
Nothing changed or tinkered with, but my boot screens have a vertical pixel displacement.
The Mini is connected with a 1280x1024 display via DVD-I single link.
The screen is fine with 10.4 or OS9, just the OS9 booting is looking awkward.

I´ll see whether a photo can be added.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Not for me, 24bit. The boot screen is steady here. Also a 1280x1024 @60Hz display. I'm going through a KVM box being a difference maybe? Not another "silent mini" issue, I hope?

When I first installed this 9 on the mini I noticed some flickering and strobe like effects when booting up.

I disabled all of the (added by the builder of this install) "ATI Multimedia Component" packaged files, with the sole exception of the OpenGLRendererATI extension (no idea why I left this one in). Leaving installed, all of the "Mac OS CPU Software 5.9" and "Mac OS 9.22" (1 item only) packaged ATI files in place.

Perhaps there was a conflict here as this did have a major affect on the display. It just looked better.

I also disabled the 3rd party "Sleeper" shareware Control Panel as it was inferior to Apple's "Energy Saver" CP, which I had to grab from a standard 9.2.2 Install CD. "Sleeper" was not able to give a true black screen when putting the display to sleep, instead it gave me a dirty gray screen which looked awful. Replacing it with Apple's "Energy Saver" fixed that issue.

24bit's picture
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Thanks for the input. I´m now again using the same cables and peripherals as during setup, where no optical glitches did occur.
The Mini has moved in a corner and I had tried a wide screen monitor in the meantime, which could not synchronise the OS9 video signal.
Guess I´ll delete all suspicious Preferences settings to see how I fare.

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Mac Mini boot screen

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Yeeks ! That is just awful. No, I don't see anything like that. This is only during boot up?

Can it be hidden with a custom pict resource (startup screen) ?

MacTouch's picture
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Joined: 2016 Mar 19

Hello

I've already seen this kind of issue on one of my old machines. So, it's not from the mini, nor also from the ATI Radeon GPU. The system software switches to a frequency not fully supported by the monitor for displaying the startup picture, then switches back to your preferred resolution for the Finder. For trying to solve this problem, you should change the frequency (75Hz to 60Hz for example), or even the resolution, then restart the system, and finally switch to a similar preferred resolution with different frequency. If you choose exactly the same as before, it could not work at all. You should try many resolutions. Also, it could be interesting to perform a zap-pram first (2 or 3 chimes or 20 seconds at least after the 1st reboot) as it will reset screen resolution settings especially. But, you should have to resize manually the monitor's resolution you wanna use.

Franky (ATS)

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

Good call. I've got the same thing happening on OS X and Intel, and pram reset corrects it. When I was running Tiger and Leopard, there wasn't a problem. Now I'm running Tiger and Leopard and Snow Leopard, every so often I boot to Leopard and find a mangled screen persists to the login and to the desktop and the only way back I know of is pram reset. Snow Leopard itself is working but it manages to corrupt the Leopard. Tiger unaffected.

Computers: it's always somethin.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

I've had this same situation between Snow Leopard and 9.2.2; after fixing the PRAM, changing the screen refresh kept it from happening again.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Thanks fellows!
Resetting PRAM was what had had to be done.
Default boot volume was OS9 after reset, maybe a feature to remember.
I did not need any further screen settings, maybe something was stored faulty when I tried OS9 with a widescreen monitor which could not synchronize the video signal.

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

If ever in doubt, just make a DMG of the old partition. It is SO EASY in OSX compared any other system. You can always unfold it back onto the drive (Carbon Copy Cloner rocks for this if the new partition is smaller).

24bit's picture
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Booted from the MacOS9 G4 installer CD, only to get presented the same glitch.
With this in mind, a software issue may be excluded, methinks.
Next will be swapping the Mini and the monitor, the DVI cable as well, but I doubt its that.
First I have to look which of my monitors offers DVI and Mac compatibility.

24bit's picture
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Back to square one.
After the Mini´s rest for two days, disconnected from mains, the garbled boot screen is back.
The default boot is set to OS9 too. Seems I´m missing a lot. Smile

Unrelated, another FW400 device arrived, its a WD MyBook 1TB, only 200 hours in use.
Formatted it APM with five partitions, four small ones (110MB) and the rest.
Restored Tiger to partition three for a trial, but can´t seem to boot from the WD 1TB.
Any thoughts on that, please?

MikeTomTom's picture
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Back again? Not so good. Does the clock battery have a full charge? Is this the "silent mini"?

Re the WD MyBook; What happens if you boot up holding the Alt or Option key down. Do you get any choice of OS on the FW400 device to startup from?

24bit's picture
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The clock battery is a new one, but I may have tortured the coin cell holder quite a bit.
The Mini´s coin cell holder is the worst I ever saw so far.
Yes, it´s the silent Mini, but everything was fine except for sound a little while ago.

The restored partition with 10.4.11 is selectable via "Startup Volume" but prefers not to boot in spite of that.
It is unseen on the Open Firmware screen too.
No idea what WD did with the controller, is a USB-2 FW combined one. Maybe a fake FW routed via USB?
The default volume on the OF screen is MacOS 9.2 again, yet another mystery to me.

SwedeBear's picture
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Joined: 2009 Apr 18

Sorry to butt in, but wasn't early OSX picky about which partition residing in to be bootable ie wanted to be on the first?

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Could be SwedeBear, your input is very welcome btw.
I did not join the OSX caravan until Apple switched to Intel, so I missed many bugs and features.
OS9 is indeed the first system partition on the internal hard disk.
Installation was Tiger first, then the patched OS9. For some time the Mini behaved as expected.
Booting Tiger by default and OS9 via selecting it on the Open Firmware screen.

SkyCapt's picture
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Joined: 2017 Jan 11

"restored Tiger to partition..."

Gotta bless that shi. After restore, select it with Startup Disk, then immediately Restart and hold option and it should appear, choose it. Now you won't need to use option specifically again. When you first try only Startup Disk and then not Option, it goes sour.

Or you could use an OS X Install Disc to write/install directly where you want it to go and then the bless happens automatic.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Thanks SkyCapt!
The problem with the WD MyBook "1TB" 932MB device is, that its not showing up when booting via option like it should.
Partitions are mounted as FW devices and the 10.4 volume is selectable with StartupDisk - it just wont work.
Another even older external FW HDD enclosure has no issues and booted after restoring 10.4. onto it.
The FW400/USB2/eSATA to SATA adapter does have its own way seemingly.