Skip navigation

Version Comparison: Mac models capable of dual-booting into 10.5 and Mac OS 9

Comparing: Revision 4 » Revision 5


 
 
Color Key: Addition Deletion Change
Revision 4   By a brody at 1 year, 3 months ago Revision 5   By a brody at 1 year, 3 months ago

While built-in support for Classic is gone in 10.5:

 

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2253

 

A few Macs officially support both booting into 9 and 10.5 without an additional partition or hard drive with booting via Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Startup Disk in 10.5, and Apple menu -> Control Panels -> Startup Disk in 9 or booting holding the X key on a restart from Mac OS 9 boot.

 

PowerMac G4 867 and faster QuickSilver
PowerMac G4 1 through 1.25 Ghz MDD with no Firewire 800 port * :
eMac 1 Ghz model M8950LL/A
Powerbook G4 867 Mhz and greater with rear USB ports between the hinges under a flap.

 

No iMacs, nor iBooks meet the requirement.
Some CPU upgrade card Macs may support dual booting. Check with the third party manufacturer of the CPU upgrade card if that is possible.

 

While older Macs may work with Leopard with a special Target Disk Mode based install, this is not an officially recognized configuration, meaning any attempt to do so is on your own, with all the risks of maintaining and upgrading that configuration up to you.

 

Backup your data at least twice before attempting any upgrades.

 

It is possible to add an external firewire hard drive, or partition an existing hard drive of a Mac that supported Tiger to have a dual-boot Tiger/Leopard configuration on 867 Mhz G4 and faster PowerPC Macs.  Partitioning will wipe the contents of the hard drive, so backup your data at least twice before proceeding.  Here's how to partition:

 

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61301

 

This will also allow using Classic in the Tiger booting session if installed from the Mac's original restore discs:

 

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1561

 

and/or retail installer for 9 if newer than those discs.
Those discs can typically be obtained by calling AppleCare if you lost them, or asking the original seller of the machine to give you the restore discs. If they lost them, they should call AppleCare on your behalf and give them to you.
AppleCare can be reached here:

 

http://support.apple.com/kb/HE57

 

 

 

* PowerMac G4 MDD rear.jpg

 

The ports on the back of the MDD PowerMac G4 image above show where Firewire 800 is, if it is present. When it is not present in that location, the MDD PowerMac G4 can boot into Mac OS 9, even when Mac OS X 10.5 is installed, via Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Startup Disc. When Firewire 800 is present you must install 10.4.11 or earlier on a second hard drive internally, a partition of the 10.5 or later drive, or an external Firewire hard drive if you wish to use Mac OS 9 in its Classic environment. Booting is not available to Mac OS 9 with Firewire 800 built-in PowerMac G4s. Either way, to get Mac OS 9 on the PowerMac G4 MDD models, you need to use the original PowerMac G4 installer discs that came with it following the restore directions below:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1561

While built-in support for Classic is gone in 10.5:

 

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2253

 

A few Macs officially support both booting into 9 and 10.5 without an additional partition or hard drive with booting via Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Startup Disk in 10.5, and Apple menu -> Control Panels -> Startup Disk in 9 or booting holding the X key on a restart from Mac OS 9 boot.

 

PowerMac G4 867 and faster QuickSilver
PowerMac G4 1 through 1.25 Ghz MDD with no Firewire 800 port * :
eMac 1 Ghz model M8950LL/A
Powerbook G4 867 Mhz and greater with rear USB ports between the hinges under a flap.

 

No iMacs, nor iBooks meet the requirement.
Some CPU upgrade card Macs may support dual booting. Check with the third party manufacturer of the CPU upgrade card if that is possible.

 

While older Macs may work with Leopard with a special Target Disk Mode based install, this is not an officially recognized configuration, meaning any attempt to do so is on your own, with all the risks of maintaining and upgrading that configuration up to you.

 

Backup your data at least twice before attempting any upgrades.

 

It is possible to add an external firewire hard drive, or partition an existing hard drive of a Mac that supported Tiger to have a dual-boot Tiger/Leopard configuration on 867 Mhz G4 and faster PowerPC Macs.  Partitioning will wipe the contents of the hard drive, so backup your data at least twice before proceeding.  Here's how to partition:

 

http://docssupport.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61301kb/TS1600

 

This will also allow using Classic in the Tiger booting session if installed from the Mac's original restore discs:

 

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1561

 

and/or retail installer for 9 if newer than those discs.
Those discs can typically be obtained by calling AppleCare if you lost them, or asking the original seller of the machine to give you the restore discs. If they lost them, they should call AppleCare on your behalf and give them to you.
AppleCare can be reached here:

 

http://support.apple.com/kb/HE57

 

 

 

* PowerMac G4 MDD rear.jpg

 

The ports on the back of the MDD PowerMac G4 image above show where Firewire 800 is, if it is present. When it is not present in that location, the MDD PowerMac G4 can boot into Mac OS 9, even when Mac OS X 10.5 is installed, via Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Startup Disc. When Firewire 800 is present you must install 10.4.11 or earlier on a second hard drive internally, a partition of the 10.5 or later drive, or an external Firewire hard drive if you wish to use Mac OS 9 in its Classic environment. Booting is not available to Mac OS 9 with Firewire 800 built-in PowerMac G4s. Either way, to get Mac OS 9 on the PowerMac G4 MDD models, you need to use the original PowerMac G4 installer discs that came with it following the restore directions below:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1561

This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.