imac Tray Loader and Xpostfacto-do I still need the 8gb limit?

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MaxTek's picture
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When installing XPOSTFACTO and 10.4, do I still need to partition the boot drive to a partition under 8gb like you had to when installing OS X normally? I read the XPF site and it was pretty vague on this topic. I think they mentioned something called "fixes mis-application of the 8gb limit".

Thanks.

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cwsmith's picture
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I *did* have success ...

I did have some success using XPostFacto to install 10.4 on a Grape trayloader with a 30GB drive (1 big partition). But it was slow, clunky and unreliable, so I backgraded to 10.3. The Grape is much happier now.

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MaxTek's picture
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Re: I *did* have success ...

cwsmith wrote:

I did have some success using XPostFacto to install 10.4 on a Grape trayloader with a 30GB drive (1 big partition). But it was slow, clunky and unreliable, so I backgraded to 10.3. The Grape is much happier now.

Thanks I will keep that in mind. The tray loader I have has a G4 400mhz upgrade in it. Should be interesting.

coius's picture
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if it's newer than the bondi

If it's newer than the Bondi, it's based off of the new open-firmware. You don't need to worry about the 8GB Limit. The only reason you have to do it with the Bondi, was that the Bondi iMac board was based off the G3 (Beige) PowerMac. So if it's a multi-colored iMac, don't worry.

The newer iMacs use a new firmware (Flashable) that allows for newer OS's and takes away the 8GB Partition limit completely.

After installing a 100GB HDD into an iMac Blueberry that we had a couple years ago, we booted 10.2 and 10.3 as well as OS 9. three partitions and all three were bootable (first one was 20GB (OS 9), second was 40GB (10.2) and third was the rest of the disc (10.3).
All three were bootable and worked great.

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MaxTek's picture
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Re: if it's newer than the bondi

coius wrote:

If it's newer than the Bondi, it's based off of the new open-firmware. You don't need to worry about the 8GB Limit. The only reason you have to do it with the Bondi, was that the Bondi iMac board was based off the G3 (Beige) PowerMac. So if it's a multi-colored iMac, don't worry.

The newer iMacs use a new firmware (Flashable) that allows for newer OS's and takes away the 8GB Partition limit completely.

After installing a 100GB HDD into an iMac Blueberry that we had a couple years ago, we booted 10.2 and 10.3 as well as OS 9. three partitions and all three were bootable (first one was 20GB (OS 9), second was 40GB (10.2) and third was the rest of the disc (10.3).
All three were bootable and worked great.

Coius, I am confused on your statement. Were you explaining it with Xpostfacto installed or not?

Because all iMacs with a less than 350mhz processor fall into the 8gb limit category. You probably were referring to a Blueberry 350mhz. See here:

If you upgrade your Macintosh computer from its original hard drive to a new hard drive that is larger than 8 GB, you may see some odd symptoms, such as one of these:
Products Affected
iBook, Power Mac, iMac, PowerBook G3
When the computer starts up, it displays a gray screen. The desktop never appears.
When the computer starts up, it shows a white screen, with text that includes the phrases, "Open Firmware" and "default catch".
When the computer starts up, you may see an alert message such as "unimplemented trap" or "segment loader error".
When you try to install Mac OS X on the computer, the hard disk is dim and can't be selected in the installer.

This only happens with certain Macintosh computers that originally had a hard drive smaller than 8 GB, and that have now been upgraded with a hard drive larger than 8 GB. These computers include:
iMac 233 MHz
iMac 266 MHz
iMac 333 MHz
Power Macintosh G3 Desktop
Power Macintosh G3 Mini Tower
Power Macintosh G3 All-In-One
iBook
iBook (FireWire)
PowerBook G3 Series

If you have just upgraded the hard drive on one of the computers listed above and you see this issue occurring, here's how to get everything running smoothly again:
Back up all your data. (This is a good thing to do regularly, not just now!)
Start up from your Mac OS installation or restore disc.
Use Drive Setup (in Mac OS 8 or 9) or Disk Utility (Mac OS X) to partition the drive. Make the first partition smaller than 8 GB, and any other partitions can be any size you want.
Install the Mac OS in the first drive partition.

Thanks.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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OS 9 too?

This question of the 8GB limit seems to remain slippery. I was recently handed a few 333mhz REV. D trayloading G3 iMacs with 20GB hard drives so the question is of interest to me again. If you go to any of the original iMac pages at Lowendmac you'll see that there's a paragraph BEFORE the topic of installing X that says you should make multiple partitions on larger drives and place your system on a first 8GB or less partition. Since the paragraph comes before the X topic, then it must be referring to OS 8 and 9, as well! Is that true? It would be near impossible to fill 8GB's with system 8 or 9, so what exactly would that mean? What would a system entail? If I've got OS 9, including iTunes 2, installed on a single partitioned 20GB hard drive, and my iTunes folder has 10GB of mp3 files in it, then that would be breaking the limit? If I put the mp3's into a separate folder outside the iTunes folder which I then designate in iTunes preferences as the iTunes mp3 storage, do I somehow then avoid the 8GB limit?

I thought I remembered once reading that Jaguar or Panther override the 8GB limit--although maybe that was only with the Beige G3.

Of course, simply partitioning with an 8GB first and forgetting about it is the easiest solution, but sometimes you'd rather not have to go through the tedious act of copying your entire OS 9 system and software off of the iMac's hard drive to a USB flash drive or some other holding device first so you can then reformat and then copy it all back to an 8GB partition, and then also have to deal with the problems all that copying back and forth can sometimes create.

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Re: OS 9 too?

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

... Since the paragraph comes before the X topic, then it must be referring to OS 8 and 9, as well! Is that true? It would be near impossible to fill 8GB's with system 8 or 9, so what exactly would that mean? What would a system entail?

I'm sure you've seen this discussion linked off the Lowendmac page. Basically what it seems to boil down to is that up to some point in the boot process (exactly where is unclear) the buggy/limited/whatever Open Firmware disk driver, rather then an OS-based driver, is handling disk I/O, and that if prior to a large-disk-supporting driver taking control a required system file lies outside the 8GB limit things go pear-shaped.

I remember installing OS 9 on unpartitioned disks as large as 30GB in my trayloader with no sign of trouble, but I never used the machine for much of anything. My guess is that where you might run into trouble is if you installed, say, OS 9.1 (which of course will fit pretty comfortably into the first 200-300MB), used the machine long enough to fill up the disk with more then 8GB worth of stuff, and then installed the 9.2 upgrade. Installing the update would land some low-level system files outside the 8GB ceiling and, boom, unhappy Mac.

If you really wanted to spend the time futzing with it you could see if that theory's correct, anyway. Just wipe a drive, install some upgradeable version of OS 9, copy a shedload of files over, apply updates, and see if it breaks. Of course, I could probably think of a better way to spend a few hours. From a practical standpoint the problem may never show up. Since OS 9 is completely dead and buried, if you start with a fully-updated 9.2.2 install before loading on files you might never run into any problems, since there *will* be no future updates which might move a system file into no-man's land.

--Peace

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the walking dead

Nope, I hadn't read that page. Thanks for linking to it. It pretty much sums up the situation. I learned a couple other things too. A must read for anyone with any of the CRT iMacs.

Your logic in regards to not worrying with an already installed 9.2.2 system because there will not be any future updates of 9 makes sense. I guess the door has been locked shut on 9 already and there's no conceivable reason for Apple to ever create another update. If asked, they'd probably deny the existence of anyone still using 9, or at least their existence on the present astral plane.

tmtomh's picture
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The bottom line is:

The bottom line is:

OS 9 - use whatever HD size you want (up to 120GB - I don't think any iMac G3's IDE controller supports "large disks," i.e. 137GB or larger in size)

OS X - Tray loading iMacs need to be partitioned to less than 8GB in size. If you don't do that, the installation will usually work, and the machine will usually work fine for awhile. But as was mentioned earlier in this thread, when the HD becomes fragmented enough that some part of a System-related file lies outside the first 8GB of the drive, the computer will become unstable and eventually unusable.

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: The bottom line is:

tmtomh wrote:

The bottom line is:

OS 9 - use whatever HD size you want (up to 120GB - I don't think any iMac G3's IDE controller supports "large disks," i.e. 137GB or larger in size)

OS X - Tray loading iMacs need to be partitioned to less than 8GB in size. If you don't do that, the installation will usually work, and the machine will usually work fine for awhile. But as was mentioned earlier in this thread, when the HD becomes fragmented enough that some part of a System-related file lies outside the first 8GB of the drive, the computer will become unstable and eventually unusable.

Actually, according to the anecdotal evidence in the Apple thread/strict reading of the Knowledge base article problems stemming from the 8GB size limit apply to both OS 9 and X. The real difference is that OS 9 doesn't warn you and will let you install on a big partition from which it may eventually fail.

Quote:

If you don't do that, the installation will usually work, and the machine will usually work fine for awhile.

On a trayloader X's installer so far as I know *always* shows partitions bigger then/outside the 8GB boundary as invalid install targets. Have you seen different?

--Peace

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Re: The bottom line is:

Eudimorphodon wrote:
tmtomh wrote:

The bottom line is:

OS 9 - use whatever HD size you want (up to 120GB - I don't think any iMac G3's IDE controller supports "large disks," i.e. 137GB or larger in size)

OS X - Tray loading iMacs need to be partitioned to less than 8GB in size. If you don't do that, the installation will usually work, and the machine will usually work fine for awhile. But as was mentioned earlier in this thread, when the HD becomes fragmented enough that some part of a System-related file lies outside the first 8GB of the drive, the computer will become unstable and eventually unusable.

Actually, according to the anecdotal evidence in the Apple thread/strict reading of the Knowledge base article problems stemming from the 8GB size limit apply to both OS 9 and X. The real difference is that OS 9 doesn't warn you and will let you install on a big partition from which it may eventually fail.

I didn't know that - and to tell the truth I've never experienced it, but I haven't used OS 9 very intensively on machines with drives larger than 8GB.

Quote:

On a trayloader X's installer so far as I know *always* shows partitions bigger then/outside the 8GB boundary as invalid install targets. Have you seen different?

Good point - I've often put HDs with OS X already installed on it (via another machine) into iMacs, so I hadn't thought about what the installer would say.