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Thread: upgraded G4 won't boot into OS 9

  1. #1
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    Default upgraded G4 won't boot into OS 9

    I have a Gigabit Ethernet G4 upgraded with a Mercury Extreme G4 900 mhz processor card from OWC. It's running 10.3.9 and has performed flawlessly for over a year. I recently had cause to boot into OS 9 to run a program that won't run in Classic mode. For some reason, it won't boot into OS 9. When I try to boot from the OS 9 system on one of my internal drives, I am shortly confronted with a flashing floppy disk icon with a question mark in it. Trying to boot from a cd doesn't even get that far. The machine just seems to ignore the cd and boots back into OS X.

    The only suggestion coming from OWC tech support was to make sure the ROM in the OS 9 system didn't exceed v. 8.7. Version 8.7 is exactly what's there. I tried reinstalling an OS 9 system from scratch with the same result.

    Since I am getting the flashing disk icon, I was wondering if there were something about the way my 2 internal ATA drives are set up that could be causing the problem. Could I possibly have them installed in such a way that OS X would accept but OS 9 wouldn't? (Perhaps a master/slave issue?) This wouldn't explain why it won't boot from CD, however.

    Here are the specs on the system:
    OS X 10.3.9/OS 9.2.2
    Firmware: 4.2.8f1
    Processor: OWC Mercury Extreme @ 900 mhz
    Memory: 832 MB
    DIMM0: 128 MB PC133-333
    DIMM1: 64 MB PC100-222
    DIMM2: 128 MB PC100-222
    DIMM3: 512 MB PC133-333
    AGP: Radeon 9000 128 MB
    Storage: stock 20 Gig hard drive + 3rd party 60 gig ATA 100 hard drive
    PCI: Adaptsec SCSI card 2930

    Any thoughts on solutions much appreciated!

    Brian Marks

  2. #2
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    Is the OS9 system on your internal disk blessed?

  3. #3
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    The flashing disk icon (if it's the same, I don't exactly remember) could be signaling that this particular HD has gone South... Before U settle for that, U might first make sure that all connections fit & work properly.

    A simple way of finding out would be to disconnect all plugs (even the juice) from Ur main HD. If the one with OS 9 still won't boot, then U would unfortunately have to consider the above...

    Long live OS 9...

  4. #4
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    You have a real mix-mash of memory. Get rid of the 64MB PC100 - it is too slow for your machine! and is even slowing it down. Those are 10 ns DRAMs. In fact, I would try with just the PC133 sticks. Does your system have 133 MHz bus? if so it should have just PC133 RAM. I don't know Gigabit G4 off hand to remember.

    Have you tried cold boot and reset nvram and pram?

    Disconnect the drive other than the one with OS 9 (you'll need to make it master). Master should be on the end of the IDE bus, slave in the middle. The stock 20GB drive is probably getting old, and lazy. Half the performance of what ATA is capable of.

    Don't use the same OS 9 for Classic and booting, and be sure that you have your boot OS 9 on its own partition. If it has been a year, hard to say why. But updating in Classic has been known to cause side effects.

    CDs also have to look for bootable drives and can be stopped by a directory problem.

    At some point, you want to burn your own emergency CD with 10.3.9 and all your disk utilities etc on it using BootCD. Can you boot from Panther CD or OS X to repair the classic 9 partition? You have to change OS X's Classic preference to not use that partition or it won't unmount or verify/repair.

  5. #5
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    Wink

    Mashed Ram, indeed... Shouldn't be a problem though. My former 400MHz GigE, now with a Sonnet Encore 1GB, runs with a mix of PC100 & 133 sticks as well. Absolutely no conflict from that.

    Dr. TZ & I agree in that U should try to make the HD with OS 9 Ur master. It'll probably boot just fine.

    (Then forget about X... Nothing but trouble!)

  6. #6
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    It should work with mixed. But not if they are 'far apart' in timing and speed (they do vary from batch to batch and from different vendors), but 64MB SDRAM only came out in 10 nansecond (100MHz) which is too slow for a G4, including B&W G3s. That is why - even if it "works" it is slowing your system down, and should be noticeable when removed. (and then shift RAM chips down).

  7. #7
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    Angry

    Herr Professor had the (correct) last word again...

    Indeed, I run said G4 with 3x 512 of PC 133 + one PC 100/256mb of Ram. The PC 100/64, that originally came with the unit, went to 'charity' (Cheapo mio) long time ago.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.Brane
    Is the OS9 system on your internal disk blessed?
    I'm honestly not sure. How would I know?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfpweb
    The flashing disk icon (if it's the same, I don't exactly remember) could be signaling that this particular HD has gone South... Before U settle for that, U might first make sure that all connections fit & work properly.
    I'm sure the disk is fine. I have booted OS X from it recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfpweb
    Long live OS 9...
    Actually, I'm quite happy with OS X. It took a while to get used to the way things are organized (User folders, Home, Computer), but once I grasped the logic behind it and learned what to ignore, I really quite like it. I especially like the multiple column view for files/folders and I love the stability.

  10. #10
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    Default Fyi

    To answer an earlier question... This machine has the 100MHz system bus. - Randy

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TZ
    You have a real mix-mash of memory. Get rid of the 64MB PC100 - it is too slow for your machine! and is even slowing it down. Those are 10 ns DRAMs. In fact, I would try with just the PC133 sticks. Does your system have 133 MHz bus? if so it should have just PC133 RAM. I don't know Gigabit G4 off hand to remember.
    The gigabit G4 has 100 Mhz bus. The 64 MB RAM is original with the machine. I've thought of pulling it, so I think I'll go ahead and do so.

    Have you tried cold boot and reset nvram and pram?
    No, but I will.


    Disconnect the drive other than the one with OS 9 (you'll need to make it master). Master should be on the end of the IDE bus, slave in the middle.
    Do I need to worry about jumpers on the drives to make sure they're properly set?

    The stock 20GB drive is probably getting old, and lazy. Half the performance of what ATA is capable of.
    Granted, but I don't need this as a high-performance machine--just a reliable one. So I'll probably just stick with my current combination of drives.


    Don't use the same OS 9 for Classic and booting, and be sure that you have your boot OS 9 on its own partition. If it has been a year, hard to say why. But updating in Classic has been known to cause side effects.
    How important is the separate partition? I'd have to reinitialize one of the drives (for backup reasons, the smaller older one) to repartition.


    CDs also have to look for bootable drives and can be stopped by a directory problem.
    Ah, so the drive *could* be the problem!

    At some point, you want to burn your own emergency CD with 10.3.9 and all your disk utilities etc on it using BootCD.
    I've used BootCD to make a backup system on the 2nd drive, so I should be able to do so for a CD.

    Can you boot from Panther CD or OS X to repair the classic 9 partition? You have to change OS X's Classic preference to not use that partition or it won't unmount or verify/repair.
    I've never had any problems booting from OS X on either drive, so that's no problem. But OS 9 doesn't have it's own partition (yet?).

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfpweb
    Dr. TZ & I agree in that U should try to make the HD with OS 9 Ur master. It'll probably boot just fine.
    OK, I'll give that a try.


    (Then forget about X... Nothing but trouble!)
    hahahah! Nope, sorry, no can do on that one. I'm an OS X convert now!

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    All of the original OEM 64MB SDRAM was 10 ns (all that was being made at the time). And they are nothing if not trouble.

    ATA drives fail. And OS X makes a lot of use of drive. Even if you don't need "performance" you are still running on bald tires, and can't stop or break well. ATA is capable of 55MB/sec and that drive is more in the 25MB/sec category.

    If OS 9 was on its own partition, it is easier to use as a startup drive and use for emergencies, etc. and would be blessed. It doesn't seem to be and could need some Disk Warrior on it. If we wanted performance it would be SATA or something. Or a new machine.

    If you do have only one drive, and it does vary with different makes, you have to set jumper to master if it wasn't.

    BootCD emergency CD is helpful so you have the latest Disk Utility and Disk Warrior, Rember and other tools when you need to repair drives and having trouble booting.

  14. #14
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    Just wanted to offer an update on my progress:

    Quote Originally Posted by TZ
    All of the original OEM 64MB SDRAM was 10 ns (all that was being made at the time). And they are nothing if not trouble.
    I removed the 64 MB RAM and shifted the other sticks up into the open slot. I noticed that some video artifacts that appeared in one game I play are now gone. I always thought that had something to do with the video card, but it turned out to be the slow memory. Thanks for that tip!

    ATA drives fail. And OS X makes a lot of use of drive. Even if you don't need "performance" you are still running on bald tires, and can't stop or break well. ATA is capable of 55MB/sec and that drive is more in the 25MB/sec category.
    I bought a Seagate 80 GB ATA100 drive, partitioned it into 3 partitions: one for OS X system and related files, one for OS 9, and one for data. It is now the master, my WD 120 GB is slave, and the stock 20 GB is history.

    Even though I freshly installed OS 9 onto one of the partitions on the master drive, it still won't boot into OS 9.

    I have OS 9 for Classic use on the slave drive. The folks at OWC have given me an RMA for returning the processor upgrade. I guess they think there may be a fault there. Hopefully a new one will solve the issue.

    But now I at least have a nice drive setup and no bad memory!

    Thanks for all the great advice, TZ and others! Long live MacGurus!

    Brian

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    I know some people wait weeks or longer for cpu returns over there. Let's hope it isn't that long, but still hearing there are high (50%) returns on PL cpus.

    RAM is number one issue whatever is happening. Glad it solved one of the issues.

    And here is hoping that you weren't using an "OEM" OS 9 to do the installs. Places sell them, promise "work" only we've seen OEM disks not work, even OS X with the very system it came from, where retail works fine. Hopefully the need to boot OS 9 is no longer needed. Most programs and firmware can be done in OS X now.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TZ
    I know some people wait weeks or longer for cpu returns over there. Let's hope it isn't that long, but still hearing there are high (50%) returns on PL cpus.
    Well, the cpu is the OWC-branded Mercury Extreme, not PowerLogix. It has worked absolutely trouble-free except for this OS 9 booting issue, if it is indeed the cpu that's actually causing the problem.

    And here is hoping that you weren't using an "OEM" OS 9 to do the installs. Places sell them, promise "work" only we've seen OEM disks not work, even OS X with the very system it came from, where retail works fine.
    It's an original OS 9.0 disk bought from Apple way back when OS 9 just came out. Used it to update the 8.6 system I was using on my trusty B&W tower.

    Hopefully the need to boot OS 9 is no longer needed. Most programs and firmware can be done in OS X now.
    The reason I've had this cpu upgrade for a year and only just now noticed the OS 9 booting problem is that I need to use an older sound editing program for a professional recording I'm making. For some reason, this program doesn't work in Classic mode, just when booted from OS 9.

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