It sounds like a previous owner tried to install an Intel Mac version of OSX, as would happen if they used the gray system disks from a Mac made in 2006 or later. A PowerPC Mac like the eMac cannot read Intel code.
Did you get any original disks with the computer?
Few 4,4 eMacs will run any higher Mac OS that 10.4 Tiger well. That series has other limitations like a relatively slow system bus, a RAM limit of 1GB and only USB 1.1 ports. The probem is that Retail install Tiger disks are still in demand and can cost more than uded eMac.
You can use this link:
to find the exact specs of your eMac based on the serial number. Please do that and post what eMac series it says you have. That way we can get advice based on exact model details.
Ok Allan, I did the above, and found that the model is "eMac (ATI Graphics)"
Also I removed the panel underneath and checked, there are 2 x 512mb Pc133 strips of SDRAM
The lower cover also had this information on it "Model number : eMac A1002 EMC: 1955"
Unfortunately I know very little about this machine, and as much as I'd love to get her going properly, I guess it is going to take a little time.
If I'm correct in my research, this machine was built with OS 9.2 as standard, upgraded to OS 10.2.5 and will only upgrade further to 10.4.11 ?? not too sure on that last bit, but I think that is what I was told on everymac.com.
Now there is one good thing about my PC, that is that I can download stuff from the internet. I've downloaded OS X 10.2.8 Jaguar (not sure if this will work, as prob whole system messed by previous install)
Will I need to get OS 9.2 load that and then upgrade?
Any help to expedite my return to Mac will be most welcome
Good start. On the sticker where you found the serial number is the processor speed. In this example form that Apple page:
The line below the second bar code shows the example computer to have a 1.25gHz processor. See what yours has. That affects the OS upgrade path.
According to the MacTracker database, that modle shipped with OX 10.2.5 and 9.2.2 installed. I thik it was the last of the "dual-boot" eMacs---you could boot into either OSX or OS9 so you don't have to run OS9 program in Classic emulation. Some OS9 programs don't do well with Classic emulation, such as MS Office Mac 98.
You do not need OS9 to upgrade.
You RAM is maxed out--a good thing. And it's PC133, the "right stuff." THat model has a 100mHz system bus and some people mistaking use PC100 RAM and have trouble. FOr some reason Apple specs the RAM as 133-speed, and that seems to always work.
I've downloaded OS X 10.2.8 Jaguar
I'd not try a downloaded version. All are pirated and illegal, and many of the downloaded MacOS versions won't work at best or contain malware at worst. The are no official downlaods of any Mac OS other than OS10.7 and 10.8 which can be obtained only at the App Store.
OS 10.4.11 will run very well on that computer. If it's a 1Ghz processor it will technially run OS 10.5 Leopard but wil struggle with 1GB RAM, the slow system bus, and limited video hardware capabilities.
If you have a Mac User Group in your area, that is a good place to look for legal retail install versions of Tiger:
Sometimes schools will be willing to part with outdated system disks. Worth checking.
The big issue withTiger install disks is that most are on DVD. Fortunately, it look like all ATI Graphics eMacs had optical drives capable of reading DVDs.
It appears to be one of these...
Actually, either one can run 10.5.8
To use Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, your Macintosh needs:
* A PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor
* Built-in FireWire
* At least 256 MB of RAM (I recommend 1GB minimum)
* DVD drive (DVD-ROM), Combo (CD-RW/DVD-ROM) or SuperDrive (DVD-R) for installation
* At least 3 GB of free disk space; 4 GB if you install the XCode 2 Developer Tools (I recommend 20GB minimum)
See Tom's, (Texas Mac Man), great info on where/how to find/get Tiger...
Or Ali Brown's great info on where/how to find/get Tiger...
* Mac computer with an Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor
minimum system requirements
* 512MB of memory (I say 1.5GB for PPC at least, 2-3GB minimum for IntelMacs)
* DVD drive for installation
* 9GB of available disk space (I say 30GB at least)
Classic/OS9 Apps no longer supported.
May be available from Apple again???...
Trouble is Apple no longer sells it, check eBay & such for the Retail version, not the Gray Discs...
You have to call Apple & likely ask for a Product Specialist to get it, if they still have it! Helps to tell them you have an iPad/iPhone & you can't run 10.6.
There are workarounds if the 867MHz CPU is the only hangup...
Now then Allan. Sir you are a Star, I now know that I have a G4 eMac (ATI Graphics) with a 1ghz processor. As it has a SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) it would distinguish it from the other models, and I can then assume that it has an 80GB Ultra ATA Hdd.
I take on board what you said about downloading, and to that end I had a chat with an ex-work friend of mine, who also has a love for Apple Mac. He has a couple of Mac's but more to the point, he accidentaly dammaged one of them. He has all the original install disks, and believes that one was running OS X Jaguar which will run on my machine. I know that I'd love to get Tiger though, as I've heard loads of real nice things about Tiger.
Well time will tell now, need to wait till next week when my friend calls with the Install Disk
Now all I got to do is work out what the best browser would be for this machine. Probably some kinda hybrid of Firefox.
Here it is:
Runs the best of all the browsers on my various G4s with Tiger. It is a port of not the lstest but a late version of FireFox that would not otherwise run on a PPC Mac. Note: plug-ins are disabled by default for stability. Read the info on the site.