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how to update to tiger on Power Mac G4

by hazel70 / September 12, 2008 12:03 PM PDT

I was given a Power Mac G4 model 8493 733 MHZ Machine ID 406 with a 9.2 os. I upgrade the ram to 1.1 GB of ram from the original 128 MB. the hd is 40g. What I like to know is how to proceed and where to obtain a newer OS.Without involving to much money.This unit is just like new.I already own a Macbook and Imac24" that are less than a year old. The Power Mac is more like a chalenge to me and something to keep me busy. I would appreciate any help and advise that can be given.
Thank you

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RE: Tiger on Power Mac G4
by tleMega / September 12, 2008 2:20 PM PDT

If you want to upgrade this machine to OS X, you will of course need to secure a set of install disks. Apple used to sell Tiger disks along with Leopard for a little while, but they no longer offer that on their online store. I suggest ordering some on Amazon or eBay, etc. Tiger should work fine on this machine. When you get a copy of OS X, you can either: completely wipe the drive and install a clean system, or create a partition on the drive and have the option of dual-booting OS 9 and OS X. If you don't need or want OS 9, you could go ahead and wipe I suppose; Classic should work well enough for anything you may need it for.

You may want to just buy a larger hard drive and turn the 40GB HD into extra storage. Power Mac G4s have at least two drive bays if I remember right. Once you have OS X disks, all you need to decide is how you want to upgrade and use the machine. Good luck.


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Slightly confusing answer!
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 12, 2008 11:46 PM PDT

I felt that your initial advice was sound but your installation advice less so.

Rather than muddy the waters with the "create a partition" advice, be aware that OS X (Tiger) can be installed onto the same drive as OS 9 without the need for any partitioning. This was the method used by Apple when they shipped OS X and System 9 on the same computer for a while.

"If you don't need or want OS 9, you could go ahead and wipe I suppose; Classic should work well enough for anything you may need it for." is also very misleading.

If hazel70 follows this advice she will not have the ability to use Classic in any way, shape or form. Classic is the name of the environment created by running System 9 under the OS X operating system.

Wipe the drive and there is no System 9 left to run as it is not included on the Tiger installation disk.

However, given that hazel70 has two Intel Macs, she has probably moved beyond the use of System 9 or the Classic environment.


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Ah my mistake
by tleMega / September 13, 2008 7:11 AM PDT

I haven't worked with Classic in a long time. Sorry about that.
That's interesting... I thought they used different partitions. Well now I know. And yes, she probably does not need OS 9 given that she is probably running Tiger or Leopard on these Intel Macs.
Course I was typing at midnight or around that time last night... while working around some bugs in my iTunes library. Oh well, my mistake regardless. Sad

Still, if this machine is going to see a lot of use in the future, wiping the drive or throwing in a new one may be a good choice to consider. If it were me, I'd put in a 120GB drive and upgrade the CPU, if it was worth it. Those G4 and G3 upgrades can cost several hundreds of dollars, and quite frankly, it would be pointless to do when there are some newer Intel Macs right next to it. Now that I think of it, you would need OS 9 to upgrade some firmware in order to install a newer G4 chip, correct? A friend of mine told me this when he put a 1Ghz chip in an old Power Mac he got earlier this year.
Doesn't matter if it's going to act as a server or casual use machine though. Again, sorry about my misleading response.


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Not to worry,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 13, 2008 7:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Ah my mistake

The firmware update for these machines was to be able to run OS X. Unfortunately it could only be installed under System 9.
If the previous owner was keeping up with updates, this will have been done. However.......
Best to check before wiping System 9 off but the installer will be very quick to point out that the firmware needs updating.

There is still plenty of life left in these machines, I have one, AGP Graphics, with a dual 1.25Ghz and 1.5GB RAM.
The really annoying thing about them is that they could only address 127GB of hard drive!
A PCI IDE controller will take care of that though.

All your other advice was spot on.


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Thanks for the help
by hazel70 / September 18, 2008 5:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Not to worry,

I did get a version of Tiger, once I change my CD rom to a CD/DVD RW I was able to do a full install. Thanks

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