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Creating an OS 9 partition on new hardware System
This hint is for owners of the newest machines, which ship with Jaguar preinstalled. If you're like me, the first thing you want to do (after checking that the factory configuration works OK) is repartition the hard drive and install OS 9 and X on separate partitions. Only problem? The new machines don't include a proper OS 9 install disc, and the Software Restore discs only want to restore your machine to the factory configuration (OS 9 and Jaguar on the same partition). So unlike owners of older machines, you can't just pop in the OS 9 install disc and do a clean install. Here's how to get it done...

[Editor's note: I hope to test this one at some point when the budget allows new hardware!]

The process:
  1. Restart with the Jaguar install CD in the drive and hold down the C key to boot off of it.
  2. When the installer comes up, select Disk Utility from the menu and repartition your hard drive the way you want it. I named my partitions "Mac OS 9" and "Mac OS X" to avoid confusion, but do what you want. Make sure you check the box to install OS 9 drivers or you won't be able to boot it natively on the partition you've selected.
  3. Once the partition is done, quit Disk Utility and continue with the installation. I highly recommend doing a custom installation and deselecting the multilanguage and localization support.
  4. Reboot to your newly installed Jaguar and insert the first Software Restore CD (it may be named differently depending on what machine you got).
  5. Open up Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities) and on the command line type:
     % cd "/Volumes/Software Restore/.images"
    Replace "Software Restore" with the name of your CD as it appears on the desktop (mine had "iBook" at the beginning).
  6. Type ls at the command line and you should see some disk image (.dmg) files, including OS9General.dmg (again yours may be named differently than mine - I don't know).
  7. Mount the disk image from the command line with open ./OS9General.dmg.
  8. Open up the mounted disk image in the Finder. Also open up your empty OS 9 partition. Select all folders in the disk image and copy them to the OS 9 partition.
Once this was done, I could go into the Classic preference pane and it would recognize the system on the OS 9 partition. The Startup Disk pane also recognized the OS 9 system, and I could successfully boot OS 9 this way. But holding down the Option key at bootup only recognized OS X in the firmware, so there was more work to be done: I needed to re-bless the OS 9 System Folder from OS X. According to an article in Apple's knowledge base, here's how to do that:
  1. Open System Preferences and click on Startup Disk.
  2. Choose the OS 9 System Folder.
  3. Click on Show All in the upper left corner of the window. When it asks if you want to change, select Change.
  4. Click on Startup Disk and repeat the procedure a second time.
At this point, I could boot my new iBook into either OS 9 or OS X from the firmware by holding down the Option key.

Follow a similar procedure to restore any other software that came with your machine (AppleWorks, World Book Encyclopedia and a few games came with mine). Just pop in each of the Restore CDs, go to the .images directory of that CD from the Terminal command line, copy the dmg file to the hard disk, mount it, and copy the files you need. Doing it this way, you can selectively restore any software without using the all-or-nothing restore program (which kind of defeats the whole purpose of doing this).
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No good idea
Authored by: deleted_user17 on Oct 14, '02 10:10:06AM

Making an extra partition for OS9 isn't very clever, especially when the day will come where you want get rid of it anyway.

Just install OS9 on the same partition as OSX already is or install OS9 on a disk image which can reside anywhere on your harddisk (see search function to find the how-to).

OS9 and OSX don't hurt each other so there really isn't a point in making partitions.

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Re: No good idea
Authored by: hombre on Oct 14, '02 03:07:12PM

I disagree with the statement that there is no point in having OS X and OS 9 on separate partitions. Moreover, the reasons for doing so don't have anything to do with OS X and OS 9 "hurting" each other, whatever that means. One good reason to do this is that if your only OS 9 system is on the same partition as your only OS X system, you lose the ability to choose your startup system by pressing the option key during restart. This can be a handy maneuver if something has gone awry and can be preferable to having to boot into OS 9 from a CD, which may not always be possible and is frequently inconvenient.

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Re: No good idea
Authored by: skab on Oct 14, '02 06:49:34PM
I always had just a single, big partition, since I really, absolutely hate dividing my HD space without a good reason. Being able to choose with option to boot into X or 9 is great, but seriously, as long as you're not a ProTools power user, how often do you do this? And 99% of the time you'll have to look at this useless OS 9 partition...

If I can't boot into X for some (bad) reason, I'll boot from my first-aid-CD anyway, and if I can boot into X, I do that and switch with system prefs. Takes a minute or two, but saves me from having this additional partition (BTW, tried this for some time, really didn't like it).

Oh, and I use an old Extended KB II (ADB) plugged into an iMate, and it's not recognized at early startup time, so I have to get my Apple USB KB out of the closet anyway to use option-boot ;-)

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Re: No good idea
Authored by: deleted_user18 on Oct 15, '02 01:27:35AM

If you have to repair your system - boot into OS X single user mode.

Therese no need for OS 9 "if something goes wrong".

I think everybody should learn to fix problems using the Unix-side of Macs, because OS 9 is soon gone.

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Re: No good idea
Authored by: Air Mapster on Oct 15, '02 02:20:51PM
As a unix guy, I would fully agree with this if OS X were up to the task. Unfortunately, Darwin's fsck still misses problems that OS 9's Disk First Aid will catch and fix. Plus, Disk Warrior does better than both of them and it's OS 9 only (Apple really should talk to Alsoft about buying the Disk Warrior technology to integrate it into fsck and a graphical OS X tool). So any time OS X panics or crashes (it's only happened to me about 5 times in the last year, but that's enough to warrant extra measures), I boot into OS 9 and check the partition. I like to be paranoid about the integrity of my data. ;-)

Yeah, I could boot off of a CD, but that's not always handy when you're out and about with a notebook. I have other reasons for liking separate partitions too (probably goes back to my unix roots of having separate filesystems for different parts of the system), but perhaps I should have stressed that this hint is only useful if you want to do it. Nobody's saying you should. ;-)

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Good Idea for Emergency Boot
Authored by: leejoramo on Oct 14, '02 10:37:46AM
I agree with the other poster, that OS X and 9 can co-exist nicely. However, I personally always create a small partition ( less than 1GB ) for an Emergency Boot / Utility Disk. Just install a copy of OS 9 on this partition with your favorite utilities. I use Disk Warrior and Norton. Sure you could boot from CD to do this, however, having a secondary Emergency volume provides: * a place for writing recovered files too * the ability to install other useful tools like BBEdit * not worrying about where the utilities CD's are located. Especially useful when the system is a PowerBook. Lee Joramo

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Good Idea for Emergency Boot
Authored by: gxw on Oct 14, '02 08:25:44PM

Great Idea!
A question though...
Are there any non-destructive re-partitioning tools available for Mac? Looking for something similar to Partition Magic. I'd hate to have to re-install everything now.

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Authored by: pwrmacbob on Oct 14, '02 11:14:22AM

Pardon my ingnorance but...If you have the OS 9.2.2 CD, wouldn't this do the same thing?

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Authored by: Spencerian on Oct 14, '02 02:05:49PM

Unfortunately, no. Apple typically "tweaks" the Mac OS when new hardware arrives to make it more compatible with some features or needs of the new box. A retail copy of Mac OS retroactively supports Macs that were produced before the new OS shipped.

The copy of Jaguar that arrived with the new "Windtunnel" G4s, as well as the copy of Mac OS 9.2.2 it came with, have been tweaked. These discs contain the only 'version' of Mac OS 9.2.2 that will function with these systems. Retail copies of Mac OS X 10.2 and OS 9.2.2 (or earlier versions of OS 9) won't cut it. Beginning sometime with new updates to the Windtunnels in 2003, soon there will be Macs that cannot boot Mac OS 9 at all, so this partitioning will go the way of the dodo.

I do point out two advantages to partitioning: Classic feels more responsive residing on its own partition. Second, mixing the various folders of OS X and OS 9 (such as Applications and Applications (Mac OS 9)) confuse a lot of users. Separating the parts helps a lot.

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Authored by: Toc on Dec 10, '02 01:28:32AM

Ok.... where is MacOS ROM v9.5.1? I have a dual 867 MMD and my OS ROM is version 8.7. I can't find 9.5.1 anywhere. I thought Apple was going to start this crap next year. I "need" OS 9 for printing reasons, and Classic does not work. I am starting to get mad at Apple.

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Authored by: barryjaylevine on Oct 14, '02 05:38:27PM

Unfortunately, no. The 9.2.2CD does not accompany the latest dual-G4's; it's a part of the whole "restore" feature. Any 9.2.2CD you own or bought will not show the 100MHz ATA bus-connected devices (no hard drive!), so you need to use the System Folder from the Restore CD set (or an existing System Folder on the hard drive) as the basis for a bootable 9.2 CD for the "mirrored door" G4s. I've posted a hint about a week or so ago about how to do this.


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Authored by: davidcjones on Feb 06, '03 01:49:16PM

Has someone out their gotten a 9.2.2 system install CD? I tried to get one from Apple so I could easily make a 9.2.2 partition (for recovery software) on my mirror-door Powermac. Since I had bought Jaguar a long time ago, I remembered the offer to let you buy a separate mac 9.2 install CD. I had the form to order this, but it didn't saw 9.2.1 or 9.2.2 (though the website page said 9.2.1). Wondering if the website wasn't current, I called the system upgrade phone number and was assured by the woman answering the phone it would be a 9.2.2 CD I received if I ordered. I put my $19.95 in the mail with my upgrade coupon and form, and wasn't completely surprised when a 9.2.1 showed up at my door. Since I already had a 9.2.1 install CD, I called Apple. I was told sorry, I was out of luck because the form said no returns or refunds. That is true I said, but I called you and the woman I spoke to told me it would be 9.2.2. "Do you remember her name?" Well, no, I didn't. I was out of luck. Forwarding it up the chain to management only produced the same answer that I couldn't "prove" anyone told me this, the form said "no returns" and web site page (that I hadn't even looked at since I had downloaded the form so long ago) said 9.2.1. They appreciated that I had done due diligence, but it wasn't their problem. Going to customer relations didn't produce any better story.

So if you got a 9.2.2 CD, I want to know where it came from!

David C Jones

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Two partitions are a good thing
Authored by: arohlen on Oct 14, '02 06:24:30PM

It is *always* wise to have two separate partitions, especially on a new machine where you can easily afford a few GB for an "emergency" partition, or whatever you want to call it.
On my latest machines (last week, a dual GHz windtunnel) I have a small partition where I have both another install of OSX and an install of 9. OS 9 is used as the Classic environment in X and also as a standalone boot if I should need it.
Why OS X on two partitions? Well, right now I am writing this while Drive 10 is defragmenting my ordinary partition. Error checking is also only possible on non-system partitions, whether you use drive 10 or disk utility.
Besides, i don't want OS 9 files to litter my root volume even if it technically does work...

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Two partitions are a good thing
Authored by: deleted_user18 on Oct 15, '02 01:33:21AM

There is no need to defragment HFS+! The same is true for ext2, NTFS, etc.

If your iMac 15" is too slow, then it is because of the awful slow harddrive and not because of defragmentation.

Defrag is for FAT(32)-users with to much spare time.

You do more harm to your system with buggy "tools" like Drive10 or Norton which make more trouble than they solve!

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Two partitions are a good thing
Authored by: balthisar on Oct 15, '02 07:03:34AM

gaspode, there is a reason to defreg HFS+ and NTFS -- fresh system installs. I defrag my HFS+ and NTFS drives (the NTFS is obviously not any of my Macs), ususally after doing a complete system install (OS, all applications, etc.). It really does "clean up" the organization a bit. Then I forget it for months at a time, because it's not really needed. At work, I find myself having to defrag my FAT32 volume on a regular basis, though.

As for Classic/OS X on separate volumes, we're likely to get into a philosophical war. I'll say that that I've never had a problem having both on the same partition, and I've never had them in separate partitions. There's never a reason for me to boot into System 9 off the hard drive, and the only reason I even keep Classic is for installing things like AppleWorks that install in Mac OS 9 and later upgrade for Mac OS X.

I *do* partition my drive for /Users though (well, the G4 has a second drive and the PowerBook is partitioned). I think it's silly (for me) to waste a partition for Classic/OS9 for no good reason, let alone having it show up on my desktop and never using it! Having a separate system and /Users on the desktop is perfect (for me), and by having /Users on a separate volume, it makes reinstalls exceptionally easy (although since 10.2 came out, I've not had to). It also keeps constantly changing user files from intermingling with systems and application files (probably one of the reasons I don't have to defrag often).

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why not just copy
Authored by: leandro on Oct 14, '02 11:12:55PM

why not just copy your newly restored OS 9 system folder, documents folder and applications (os 9) folder to your newly created partition and then boot into the new 9 partition and delete the previous....why all the hoops to jump thru???

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why not just copy
Authored by: Air Mapster on Oct 15, '02 02:31:56PM

Good point. ;-) My main reason for a few extra hoops is that the Software Restore is all-or-nothing. I wanted to selectively install only what I wanted, making sure that it didn't add some extra stuff I don't want or need. It was also quicker than doing the full restore. But for anyone who doesn't care so much about that, it may be easier to do the restore and copy as you suggest.

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why not just copy
Authored by: leandro on Oct 15, '02 08:27:25PM

Good point as actually, the restore process on the new machines is different and a lot faster then it used to be, just did one recently.

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Something like this....
Authored by: kerouassady on Oct 15, '02 01:57:09PM

Being able to choose your boot disk at startup is the reason to have this on a second partition. I hardly use it on mine but I do use it when I need to run utilities or defrag my drive and I will continue to need it until OS10 bootable versions of Norton and Disk Warrior. And as long as they don't exist and Apple keeps updating the OS in a way that requires me to have newer versions of system and utility software on CD, I'll need it. It just makes like easier when I need to fix stuff.

I've been wrestling with this since I got the new machine in last week. I have two 80GB HDs and the user will be using Pro Tools Free for audio so am partitioning the second drive to have a 5GB OS9 partition. Then, when the OS 10 native version comes out, I can install it and just blow away the second drive completely for storage use. I am intending to install a stripped down Classic on a disk image for use under X.

After hassling back and forth with Apple and visits to the Genius Bar, I was told the ROM on my older OS9 disk wasn't new enough to see the bus. My solution was to install OS 9 from a disk under Classic in 10. I didn't wipe out the machine yet and still have the OS9 install that came on the original drive. In order to get it to boot, I had to copy the Mac OS ROM file to the new partition. The guys at the Apple Store said that the ROM they had for testing was up to 9.5.1. The version on my disk was "Mac OS CPU Software 4.7". The ROM that came with the new one was 5.1. I had a lot of problems booted on the new partition until I went through the system files (Finder, Resources, etc.) and the Extensions folder looking at the version numbers of hardware-type things and copying over newer ones from the OS9 system that came with it.

After talking with AppleCare on the phone, they said they would send me an OS 9 system disk that should work. Well, it came today. It has 9.2.1 on it, an older ROM that any of the ones I've got and is labled "Macintosh Server G4". I tried launching the installer on it and was told it would not work with my machine. I don't really need the disk now but I guess I'll call them back on principle.

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Something like this....
Authored by: kerouassady on Oct 15, '02 02:16:08PM

Just got off the phone with AppleCare and they said that 9.2.2 isn't avaiable on CD in a form that I could boot a new machine off of and work with the new hardware properly. He suggested that I just get the partition how I want it then burn my own CD.

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OS X only boot?
Authored by: skippingrock on Oct 21, '02 04:23:24AM

I wonder how you are going to re-bless the OS 9 system if you are not going to be able to boot the new machines from OS 9, let alone select it from the Startup Disk System Preference.


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OS X only boot?
Authored by: GaelicWizard on Nov 13, '02 07:49:49PM

Use the 'bless' Command-Line-Utility

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Problem with instructions: Access Denied
Authored by: sp8des on Nov 16, '02 12:27:47AM

I tried to follow your directions in the first part up until step 5 where I typed in the terminal:

% cd "/Volumes/Software Restore/.images"

but couldn't get past it. It said "Access denied". Any help?

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Problem with instructions: Access Denied
Authored by: nickv_111 on Nov 22, '03 01:25:29AM

Have you tried "sudo cd /Volumes/Software Restore/.images"? When it asks for a password, enter your password.


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An easier way...
Authored by: robg on Jan 11, '03 10:37:17AM

[The following was submitted as a hint, but really belongs here as a comment ... this was sumbitted by "gmleeii", so the words are his/hers, not mine...]

There is a slightly easier way that does not involve the Terminal. After partitioning the drive and installing OS X on one partition, reboot the computer to the HD partition containing the newly installed OS X. Insert the first Restore disk and go through the restore process, selecting only OS 9. By default it will install OS 9 on the same partition as OS X.

After you complete the restore, move the OS 9 files to the other partition in the Finder. Change the startup disk to OS 9 and reboot. It will boot into OS 9 on the second partition. The only hassle here is the first time you boot to the OS 9 partition, you will not have access to the menus along the top. I guess this is Steve's way of saying do not do this. Force reboot the computer and it will boot into 9 and everything is in place.

I have seen this done twice without any problems. Afterwards the option key works to boot to the Startup Manager and you can select either partition.

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An easier way...
Authored by: chlady on Feb 07, '03 06:19:17PM

This is how I also was told to install 9 on a separate partition by Apple tech support on my new 15" 1GHz TiBook . I just drag copied it before Starting classic in X. I was wondering about the no menu thing happening when I booted off the 9 partition. Kind of freaked me out but all is well now after a reboot .I also removed the classic files on this partition as left 9 on the X partition for classic and I wanted a clean 9 partition for my audio apps. Glad to see I wasn't the only one with the missing menu.


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An easier way...
Authored by: jesseee on May 17, '03 03:24:53AM

Hey thanks for the great idea.
I just bought a new dual boot osX and 9.2 dual 1.25 G4,
and wanted a seperate os9 boot disk to run my Digital Performer music app on. This solution you came up with worked like a charm, and this is a brand new G4 (as of 5/15/03.

Very easy, and no terminal code involved.

Thank you!

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No Separate Partitions
Authored by: bradbomb on Feb 06, '03 01:57:31PM

There is no reason for separate partitions because these new machines, as in the new Power Macs that came out last week CANNOT boot into Mac OS 9 anyways. That partition cannot be used for a emergency boot disk or just normal OS 9 booting. Because of that, the separate partition isnt needed at all. Thats why there is no OS 9 install disc with the computer.

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No Separate Partitions
Authored by: kevbo on Feb 07, '03 05:50:31PM

Bradbomb.. your statement is not correct

I've been trying for a few days to get a mac we have (new one) to startup in OS 9. The step by step directions at the top of this thread work perfectly. By following them as written, you will get the OS ROM needed to access the BUS correctly to boot from the hard drive natively in OS 9.

Worked like a charm and thank you to the person who posted that step by step!

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No Separate Partitions
Authored by: chlady on Feb 08, '03 12:14:14PM

Was this done on one of the new OSX only bootable machines like the new powerbooks?

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No Separate Partitions
Authored by: whitey on Feb 11, '03 10:33:35AM

i am having trouble with step. 5
% cd "/Volumes/Software Restore/.images"
i type this in exactly as above

and get "to many arguments"
if i leave out the " i get
"command not found"
could you help explain what i,am doing wrong

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No Separate Partitions
Authored by: ELegault on Apr 20, '03 12:35:34AM

I'm afraid Brad's statement is correct, more than likely you got the new
software disks but your systems firmware still allows you to boot into OS
9.x because you got an interim system before the full firmware change.

It's just simply not possible on the new Macs to boot into OS9.x at all, I
know, I got one.


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No Separate Partitions
Authored by: davez on Mar 05, '03 05:26:41PM

This is absolutely retarded. Apple needs to make sure developers are ready with OS X software before they require the rest of us to use it. What if you do tech support for products that work on both OS 9 and 10, is Apple's only answer to buy an older/used Mac for OS 9? Forcing OS X compliance this way will not ensure it from developers.

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Creating an OS 9 partition on new hardware
Authored by: farookh on Mar 10, '03 05:26:06AM


It doesn't work on my new Power Mac G4. It doesn't recognize any disks with OS 9.2.2 installed at all! What can I do?


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Creating an OS 9 partition on new hardware
Authored by: harland3 on Mar 16, '03 11:35:02AM

As a follow-up to farookh's question: Is there any way to get the new G4's
(FW 800) to start up in OS 9? I have tried some of the suggestions above
to no avail. Thanks.

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Creating an OS 9 partition on new hardware
Authored by: ELegault on Apr 19, '03 11:36:39PM

Just got a new Dual G4 1.42 ghz, most of the work arounds I've read
don't apply.

For one, the System Restore has been changed, the new cd is titled
PowerMac G4 Software and you can only install OS9.x through the
"Install Applications & Classic Support" package.

I had a 450 mhz G4 with a seperate hard drive with OS 9.2.2 on it. I can
use this disk to run the Classic support but Startup DOES NOT
RECOGNIZE THAT IT EXISTS even though that the drive is set up for
OS9.x and runs successfully on the other G4.

So far it looks like there is no way to boot into OS9.x on the newest
systems. I'll be happy to try any hacks...

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Creating an OS 9 partition on new hardware
Authored by: twotower on May 12, '03 07:25:24PM

Here is some fule for the fire although I really wish Apple would release an OS 9.2.3 update that would allow our new machines to boot into OS 9.

ALERT: Booting Mac OS 9 on 2003 (Mac OS X only) Macs
After months of searching, it seems that we have finally found a solution for booting Mac OS 9 on Macs released after January 1, 2003 - which are designated as exclusively capable of booting Mac OS X by Apple.

Apple recently posted a new file to its private Apple Service Provider web page (accessible only by account-holding Apple technicians and resellers) titled "MacTest Pro for Power Mac G4 (March 2003) Version 7.8.1 supports all iMac (Flat Panel) 15 inch systems only."

The file is a CD image which can be downloaded and burned, then used as a startup disk. Testing in "Mac OS X-only" flat panel iMac system revealed that the image properly booted Mac OS 9.

Users can then copy a stripped-down Mac OS 9 system folder to their hard drive, and select it with the "Startup Disk" System Preferences pane, delivering a Mac OS 9 bootable internal disk.

It appears that a new MacOS ROM file (ver. 9.8.1) allows booting from the image.

Of course, this solution is only readily accessible by Mac service providers, but it shows that Mac OS 9 boots are not impossible on Apple's new machines. Also, please note that Mac OS 9 startup was not tested on any machines other than the 2003 flat-panel iMac.

UPDATE: The iMac tested in this report had a serial number later than xx303xxxxxx. Knowledge Base article #86209 states that these models boot Mac OS X only.

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Creating an OS 9 partition on new hardware
Authored by: hagbard on Jun 05, '03 10:53:36AM

bad news for the 0503 emac superdrive owners, this CD doesn't work.
I dloaded the disk image, burnt it, and tried many differents things, but it never worked.
I now believe that it's a firmware problem, and not a software problem...

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Creating an OS 9 partition on new hardware
Authored by: rampel on Nov 01, '04 09:15:37AM

The latest - and last G4 that can boot into OS9.2.2 is the 1.25 Giga MDD which is an earlier model than the 1.42 Giga
The 1.42 is not able to boot into 9 and I doubt if anyone is working on hacks in that direction. If anyhing - there's a group working on the opposite end - making Pre G3 macs ( 7300 ---> 9600 PCI macs) boot into 10.3.5

How ever, the 1.42 can launch OS9 apps in "classic" and for that you don't have to worry where you put them since they become part of the (OSX) system

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Creating an OS 9 partition on new hardware
Authored by: waltanamera on Jan 31, '06 03:21:56PM

I have a 450 Mhz Power Mac G4, with two separate HDs (19 Gb and 40 Gb). It's running under 9.2.2, but as I tried to upgrade it to OSX (Tiger), it crashed. I tried Panther, and the same... just about to finish the installation, it appears a message that there were some errors on the installation... I've already tried to do this with 4 different installation cd / dvds... I tried as an erase and install, as an upgrade on a partition, think I tried many different options, I also took off som RAM, but the same... any idea?

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Creating an OS 9 partition on new hardware
Authored by: rampel on Nov 01, '04 09:06:57AM

From my (limited) experience I prefer having OS9 and OSX on different hard drives. The main reason being the fact that both OS's have quite a few folders with the same name and that makes managing profiles confusing sometimes. Examples:
Documents, Applications, Downloads, Bookmarks, Preferences, History,
There are probably more

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