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Mac OS 9.1 to OS X

2203 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: May 25, 2012 3:08 PM by bwslayer RSS
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bwslayer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
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May 24, 2012 9:21 PM

I purchased a G3 iMac running 9.1 and I want to upgrade to Mac os 10. What do I need to buy? What disks?

I also have a g4 iMac that is already running 10.5.8 but didn't come with a disk.

  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,640 points)
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    May 24, 2012 9:28 PM (in response to bwslayer)

    A retail version of Mac OS X 10.3 or 10.4 for best results.

     

    (66675)

  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,160 points)
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    May 25, 2012 12:30 AM (in response to bwslayer)

    A "retail version" is the boxed, retail or universal installer disk that is designed to install on a variety of Apple computers, whereas a model-specific Restore disk contains a software build that supports the model that it shipped with.  While some may have success using a Restore disk, it's not the preferred way to achieve a problem-free installation.  You can search the web or eBay for a retail/universal OS X (Panther or Tiger) installer disk, which will be black and have a large silver "X" across the face of the disk. 

     

    Before you install OS X on the G3 iMac, you must first determine what firmware version the computer has been programmed with.  Depending on whether you have a tray-loading or slot-loading optical drive, the required firmware version differs.  On that chart, you can see that a tray-loader requires firmware version 1.2, but a slot-loader requires version 4.1.9.  If needed, either of these can be downloaded.  With the slot-loading G3 iMacs, you should be running OS 9.1 (which you indicated), in order to run the firmware updater.  Additionally, the specific model G3 iMac that you have determines whether you'll be limited to installing OS 10.3.x (Panther) or OS 10.4.x (Tiger).  The hardware requirement for installing Tiger on a slot-loading optical drive G3 iMac would be FireWire ports.  Be aware that the retail/universal Tiger installer disk is a DVD, so even if you have an iMac with FireWire ports, an internal DVD-ROM drive or an external FireWire-connected DVD drive would be needed.  Some of those iMacs that support Tiger had a CD-RW drive.  You'll also need adequate system memory installed, as well as adequate hard drive capacity.

  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,160 points)
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    May 25, 2012 9:33 AM (in response to bwslayer)

    Your iMac DV would use the version 4.1.9 Firmware Updater, but it may have already been run by a previous owner.  Using the Apple System Profiler in OS 9.1, scroll down the System Info page to the part where the System ROM version is indicated.  If it lists 4.1.9, you're good to go and could install either Panther or Tiger, but I'd want more memory installed - at least 256 MBs, and preferably more.  Your iMac DV can support a maximum of 512 MB DIMMs in the (2) memory slots, for a total of 1 GB of memory.  If the current 128 MBs represents one DIMM, then you could add a 256 or 512 MB DIMM in the other slot.  If there are (2) 64 MB DIMMs installed, then one has to be removed to free up a slot.  I'd be reluctant to mix a 64 MB DIMM with a 256 or 512 MB DIMM, because of the difference in chip densities between the two.  Your hard drive may be 10 GBs, which is a bit small to comfortably run Tiger.  Assuming that the internal DVD-ROM drive is functioning, you should have no problems using the Tiger DVD installer disk.  You can decide if you want to wipe the hard drive, before installing OS X or if you want to keep the OS 9.1 installation.  If you would like to run pre-OS X programs on your iMac, keep OS 9.1 intact and update it to 9.2.2 by downloading/running the OS 9.2.1 and then 9.2.2 Updates.

  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,160 points)
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    May 25, 2012 12:19 PM (in response to bwslayer)

    Sorry - I wasn't specific enough.  You need to check the "BootROM" version that's indicated.  This article describes what to look for and where it's listed.  If you need to update the firmware, the "iMac Firmware Update 4.1.9" and instructions detailing how to run it can be found here.

  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,160 points)
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    May 25, 2012 2:40 PM (in response to bwslayer)

    Now that you've completed that required procedure, you're able to install OS X.  Either Panther (10.3.x) or Tiger (10.4.x) are generally recommended for an iMac of that vintage, while Jaguar (10.2.x) usually isn't because each successive release improved the overall quality of the software.  Check to see how much available hard drive space you have and compare that to the system requirements for each OS version.  Using an Advanced Search, you can look over Apple's articles for both Panther and Tiger.  If you check eBay's Apple software listings, you should be able to find a retail/universal installer disk for either OS version at a reasonable price.

  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,160 points)
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    May 25, 2012 3:01 PM (in response to bwslayer)

    It will work and is very inexpensive to purchase, if you don't already have it.  Because OS 10.1 was very early in the developmental stage, it's comparable to a beta release.  It will give the iMac the look of OS X, without the improvements that came with Panther or Tiger.

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