OS9 running on machines that dont support it

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Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 700

I have a powerbook g4 1.67 ghz as well as a B&W. I would like to know what causes OS9 to not boot on a newer system, is it the OS itself that has a block installed or the machine that sees the OS as being too old? basically i have no need for OSX on the powerbook g4, and im running sheepshaver. while it works, its a little slow for graphics. so why dont i use the B&W? its too unstable, slow, and its one more tower computer to try and cram onto a desk. my other alternative is to get an older powerbook, but im trying to do this on the cheap. If im crazy, just tell me so..

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-Justin
(dead) PB100, Q650, PB Wallstreet, beige G3, Imac snow 600, Ibook g4, SE30, (dead) IIsi, TiBook 667VGA, PBg4 1.5, MDD dual 1.25ghz, 1.8ghz g5 tower.
OS7.5 to 10.3.9. I LOVE CLASSIC MACS!

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cwsmith's picture
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Joined: Oct 13 2005
Posts: 699
firmware block

Machines built after a certain date (I believe January 2003) have a firmware block on any OS older than the version current at the time of the build.

Most Macs have a similar block: you can't run System 7 on a Bondi iMac, for example. But machines built in the early days of OS X had a special exception for Mac OS 9. This exception went away in 2003.

Late PPC Macs that can't boot to 9 can still run older applications under Classic mode under Panther and Tiger. WriteNow 3, written for System 6, still ran perfectly well for me in the Classic environment under Tiger 10.4.11. YMMV.

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Dozens of Macs; a handful of PCs; Apple ][e, ][c and ][gs; a few iPods; lots of parts
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Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 700
classic mode

it works, but its a little quirky and sometimes my programs straight up crash. looks like ill be needing to get an older 'book or deal with my B&W.

BTW, last time i did a clean install of Tiger on my book, classic mode didnt even show up in the system prefs. i know i have to install os9 on my tower and then copy it over to boot it like i have in the past, but why this time classic doesnt show up? wierd... as far as i know, i did a complete install.

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-Justin
(dead) PB100, Q650, PB Wallstreet, beige G3, Imac snow 600, Ibook g4, SE30, (dead) IIsi, TiBook 667VGA, PBg4 1.5, MDD dual 1.25ghz, 1.8ghz g5 tower.
OS7.5 to 10.3.9. I LOVE CLASSIC MACS!

cwsmith's picture
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Joined: Oct 13 2005
Posts: 699
optional install

By the time Tiger came around, Classic was considered an optional install, and the installation file (running under Mac OS X) was on the Applications disc that came with the machine.

Hook up an empty HD to the B&W via Firewire and install a fresh copy of Mac OS 9.2 on it. Run all available updates. Hook up the HD to the PowerBook, and drag the appropriate folders ("System Folder" and "Applications (Mac OS 9)") to the root of the PB's hard drive. Reboot the PB and the Classic preference pane should be available.

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Dozens of Macs; a handful of PCs; Apple ][e, ][c and ][gs; a few iPods; lots of parts
17 guitars, 2 baritone guitars, alto guitar, 6 bass guitars, bajo sexto, 3 ukuleles, mandolin, banjo, sitar
3/4 scale upright bass, 4pc drum kit, congas, travel congas, bongos, cajon, cabasa, 12 harmonicas
http://www.cwsmith.fmhttp://www.facebook.com/cwsmith2620

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
ROM and DDR

The MDD G4 tower with Firewire 400 was the last Mac that could boot to OS 9, and not just any OS 9. It had to be the OS 9.2 that was on the MDD machine-specific installation discs. Someone here at AF suggested to me once that the difference is due to the DDR RAM used by the MDD--which was the first Mac to use DDR. Your Powerbook uses DDR RAM. You'll find that some have booted 9 on MDD's by replacing the ROM for OS 9:
http://forums.macosxhints.com/showthread.php?t=88321

Here's a page that might be of interest:
http://lowendmac.com/misc/08mr/compleat-guide-to-mac-os-9.html

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Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 700
thanks for the links!

thanks for the links!

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-Justin
(dead) PB100, Q650, PB Wallstreet, beige G3, Imac snow 600, Ibook g4, SE30, (dead) IIsi, TiBook 667VGA, PBg4 1.5, MDD dual 1.25ghz, 1.8ghz g5 tower.
OS7.5 to 10.3.9. I LOVE CLASSIC MACS!

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Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 700
well after sufficient messing

well after sufficient messing around, i got classic running fairly well inside of tiger. im not sure what was causing it to be so bad before but doesnt seem to be the same now. has anyone ever had just horrible performance on a machine this fast?

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-Justin
(dead) PB100, Q650, PB Wallstreet, beige G3, Imac snow 600, Ibook g4, SE30, (dead) IIsi, TiBook 667VGA, PBg4 1.5, MDD dual 1.25ghz, 1.8ghz g5 tower.
OS7.5 to 10.3.9. I LOVE CLASSIC MACS!