The Power Mac G4 MDD (Mirrored Drive Doors) was the last Mac capable of dual-booting into both Mac OS 9 and OS X. The last of the G4 towers, this model was originally introduced in 2002, briefly evolved into an OS X-only configuration with FireWire 800 in 2003, then returned to the original design for another year.
Due to the need for some customers to run Mac OS 9 for several years after the introduction of OS X, Apple continued to sell this configuration online in parallel with the Power Mac G5 for over a year. Apple never pushed this option at the Apple Store, but it was a consistently strong seller.
The OS X BASE extracted from Windows doesn’t include the “Packages” folder that install important files for MAC OSX. BootdiskUtility is a great program that can restore 3.hfs OS X BASE System file with correct aliases, but locks the partition at 1.2GB which is not enough space to copy “Packages” folder (4.5GB) data to.
Note that the only MDD models that can boot OS 9 are ones without FireWire 800. Models with FireWire 800 must use OS X.
Mac Os 10.9 Download
These machines came set from the factory to boot into Mac OS X – with OS 9 also loaded on the hard drive. No OS 9 installer was provided; that was available as part of the Software Restore CDs bundled with the Mac. The MDD uses a model-specific version of Mac OS 9.2.2, newer than what was included on the last retail OS 9 installer. You need the bundled discs if you want to reinstall a bootable OS 9 on this machine.
Recently I was contacted by a client who was looking for just this. He had a dual 1.25 GHz MDD with some older ProTools hardware and preferred to run the software in OS 9 rather than OS X. The problem was that his installation of OS 9 had become unstable, so he was looking for the original installer. Did I have a copy of this rare item?
Off-the-shelf I did not, but fortunately I knew what he meant and where to get one. My last job before running Oakbog full time was as IT Manager for a recording studio, and we ran ProTools hardware and software on these very Mac models. We had about five of those systems at one point, so I suspected there were plenty of CDs still buried deep in drawers. Fortunately there were. I contacted my colleagues at the studio and arranged to get a set of the install discs.
My client didn’t need Mac OS X, nor was he interested in first installing OS X 10.2.1 on his tower before restoring the OS 9 image. He just needed a bootable OS 9 System Folder. I suspected this was included on the set of four CDs somewhere, but it isn’t a Finder-visible file.
A bit of sleuthing in Terminal helped find the mystery location. The OS 9 software is in a hidden directory called .images on the first disc.* Inside there several files including OS9General.dmg – I was able to mount (open) this disk image to the desktop via the following Terminal command:
That takes a few minutes, then mounts a volume called OS 9 Content onto the desktop. Inside it are our old friends Applications (Mac OS 9) and System Folder, just as we know and love.
To test that this worked before sending it to my client, I copied the two folders to an external FireWire drive (formatted with OS 9 drivers), then connected the drive to my MDD running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. The Startup Disk preference pane showed the external drive with Mac OS 9 as a valid boot choice. I restarted – a few screen flickers later, and voilà! Welcome to Mac OS 9.2.2 appeared on the screen.
Mission accomplished. I now have a valid boot system for Mac OS 9 on an MDD, along with the disc image. My client was thrilled to hear the good news, and I sent him a copy on CD the next day.
Note: My install CD is Apple part number 691-4078-A (Power Mac G4 Software Restore, disc 1 of 4). Only MDDs with FireWire 400 ports can boot into OS 9; models with FireWire 800 ports require Mac OS X.
This article was originally published on Adam’s Oakbog website. It has been adapted and reprinted here with his permission.
Keywords: #macos9 #mirroreddrivedoors
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One of the most common mistakes I see among new Mac users is fumbling with how to install new software. The process for installing new applications on your Mac can be confusing at first because it differs greatly from Windows’ software installation process. Nevertheless, the Mac method of installing software is actually quite simple and intuitive once you are accustomed to it. If your desktop is littered with DMG files and white “drive”-looking icons, read on!
What are .DMG Files?
DMG stands for Disk Image, and is a format commonly used to distribute files and applications among Apple computers. A DMG file is like a virtual DVD or hard drive. They can be “mounted” on your Mac in order to work with their contents, or even burned to an actual physical disc.
In order to understand the concept of a DMG disk image, think of a storage volume such as a CD, DVD, hard drive, or external drive. A DMG file is like one of these devices in that it serves as a means to encapsulate documents, images, software, and other files. The difference is that with a DMG, there is no physical storage medium. There is only the DMG file, which can be written to a hard drive, burned to a CD or DVD, or sent over the Internet.
In order to work with the contents of a DMG file, you must mount the the disk image to your system. This may sound daunting, however “mounting” a DMG file with Mac OS X is no more complicated than double-clicking it’ icon. The operating system will load the load image and place a new icon both on your desktop, and in the sidebar of the Finder. The icon will have the same name as the DMG, and you’ll be able to browse through its contents like any other folder.
Once you are done working with the contents of the file, you will want to remove or “unmount” it from your system. Do this by opening the Finder and clicking the eject icon next to the virtual drive’s icon. Or, go to the Desktop, click once on the icon, and press CMD+E.
Software installation with Mac OS X is very different than in the Windows world. On a Windows PC you run an installer, tick off a few checkboxes, and wait for the progress meter to reach completion. There usually is no such “installation wizard” on a Mac &emdash; you simply drag and drop the program into your computer’s “Applications” directory. The trick is that most Mac applications are distributed as images called DMG files, and many new Mac users end up running applications directly from the image instead of installing them to the “Applications” directory.
Enough explanation, here’s how to install an OS X app from a DMG file:
- Find the downloaded file, which usually ends up in your Desktop or Downloads folder.
- Double-click the .DMG file to mount it. A new Finder window showing its contents should appear.
- If the window also contains a shortcut icon to “Applications”, drag and drop the app onto the shortcut.
- If not, double-click the mounted volume on your desktop and drag the app icon from there to the “Applications” icon in the Finder sidebar.
Alright, that was the abridged version. Here’s the long version. I’ve just downloaded the DeskLickr application, and the DeskLickr_1.2.dmg is sitting on my desktop. I double-click it and a new icon labeled “DeskLickr 1.2” appears on my desktop. Here’s what my desktop looks like at this point:
Since most of the time a new Finder window also pops up when the image is ready for use, this one is now sitting on my desktop:
Different applications are going to show you slightly different Finder windows. Each application’s designers like to add their own artwork. Glitter aside, most applications are trying to tell you the same thing. See the arrow pointing from the DeskLickr icon to the “Applications’ shortcut? It’s telling you to drag and drop the icon into that folder. Once you’ve done so, the app will be installed.
If a program doesn’t provide a shortcut to the Applications folder, you’ll need to pop open a new Finder window. Press CMD+N to open a new window, then drag the program over to “Applications” in the left-hand side of the window.
Once the new program is installed it’s time to do some house cleaning. You no longer need the disk image you downloaded, so follow these steps:
- Close any Finder windows that have been left open.
- Eject the disk image (not the .DMG file). Click on its desktop icon, then press CMD+E.
- Delete the .DMG file by dragging it to the trash.
That’s it! Your new Mac application is ready to use. But wait…
Bonus Tip: Add Your New Application to the Dock
I knew you were going to ask, so I figured I would cut you off at the pass. In order to add the new application to the dock, follow these steps:
- Open up a new Finder window.
- Click on “Applications”.
- Locate your new program’s icon.
- Drag the icon to your Dock, and drop it wherever you like.