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iBook G3 with 9.2.2 displays undersized desktop

bigmessowires

Well-known member
Hi everyone, I recently acquired an iBook G3 800 MHz, and Mac OS 9.2.2 won't seem to fill the laptop's entire screen. It works normally under OSX, and also is fine when first booting up 9.2.2. But midway through the 9.2.2 boot process, while it's loading extensions, the screen suddenly shrinks and shows a 640x480 (or maybe 1024x768?) desktop centered on the LCD and surrounded by black. 

In the monitors control panel, there's only one option listed for the resolution, so I can't change it. But strangely, it claims I have two monitors! Maybe there's a hardware problem with the external monitor port, and it detects an external monitor even though one isn't there, which somehow triggers this shrunken desktop behavior.

This is a fresh install onto a newly-formatted hard disk from the Universal 9.2.2 Installer CD. There are many unnecessary extensions installed, but when I boot with extensions disabled I still see the same undersized desktop.

 

nglevin

Well-known member
Sounds like you have a GPU with an OS 9 compatible ROM, but that Mac OS 9 itself doesn't have the right drivers for it.

Then I did a search on MacRumors where this fellow reported a similar issue, and found that installing a new set of drivers fixed some of the issues for them; https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/new-ibook-g3-white-800mhz-32v-ram-ibook-new-problem.2032808/

Let's see... I think that's an ATI GPU, right? The fellow in said thread used the "eMac V2 OS 9.2.2 install" disk from another website, but you could probably find something in the ATI drivers at https://gona.mactar.hu/ATI_Mac/ that would do the trick, just by using one of the most recent packages.

 

nglevin

Well-known member
Granted, looking through that archive of old ATI drivers, I don't see an entry that specifically addresses the "2X AGP ATI Mobility Radeon 7500" found in that iBook.

You might need something closer to OEM drivers, then. I don't know if the referenced eMac disk has everything you need, but I suppose it can't hurt to try.

 

bigmessowires

Well-known member
Thanks a lot, that other thread definitely sounds like the same issue. Perhaps the Universal 9.2.2 installer that I used isn't so universal after all. I'll try the alternate drivers mentioned in the MacRumors thread, or see if I can find an OS9 installer specific to the iBook G3 800MHz.

 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
A recovery disk for that model would probably be your best bet, unfortunately.

If the control panel is showing two displays I do kind of have to wonder if someone might have applied the openfirmware hack to enable dual head, and maybe it's confusing OS 9? Normally those laptops only do mirroring.

 

bigmessowires

Well-known member
I restored the open firmware settings to default, as described in that other thread, but it didn't make any difference. Time to try some drivers.

 

bigmessowires

Well-known member
Wow, installing the iBook G3 version of 9.2.2 is more difficult than I expected! I found the install CD images here: http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/ibook-g3-early-2003-software-media-set-mac-os-v922-mac-os-x1024

The trouble is that the 9.2.2 restore CD isn't a bootable CD. It's actually an OSX application! So unless you already have OSX 10.2 installed and running (I don't), I'm not sure how it's possible to use this to install 9.2.2. Maybe I need to run the 10.2 installer, and *then* the 9.2.2 installer? I guess I'll give that a try, even though I really don't want OSX on this computer at all.

Here's the readme file from the first install CD:




[SIZE=14pt]Restoring Your Computer’s Software[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]Software Restore restores your computer’s original contents except Mac OS X. This includes the Mac OS 9 system software and the applications that came with your computer.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]Software Restore does not restore Mac OS X, iPhoto, iTunes, iChat, or iMovie. If you need to reinstall Mac OS X or these applications, use the Mac OS X installation discs that came with your computer. First back up essential software and files, if possible.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]After reinstalling Mac OS X, if you need to restore the rest of your computer’s applications and files, double-click Software Restore.pkg. This will install the Software Restore application into the Utilities folder, inside the Applications folder on your hard disk. When the installation is complete, Software Restore opens.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=14pt]To restore your computer’s original contents:[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]1. Make sure you are using Mac OS X v10.2. If you are using Mac OS 9, restart your computer in Mac OS X. To do this, open the Startup Disk control panel, select Mac OS X and click Restart. You can not start your computer from the Software Restore CDs. 2. Make sure you have all the Software Restore CDs that came with your computer.
3. Double-click Software Restore.pkg.
4. Follow the onscreen instructions.
5. When prompted, select the applications and files you want to restore.[/SIZE]



 

Franklinstein

Well-known member
Oh right, it's a disk image. I forgot they did that with those things. It's just as much of a chore to get OS 9 on a MDD. The image for OS 9 should be on one of those disks, called OS9General.dmg and if it isn't visible under OS X, you should be able to do the show hidden files command in Terminal to get it to appear. I'm not sure how you're supposed to restore it; maybe just mount it and drop the System Folder on your hard drive? I use two separate partitions so I usually use Disk Utility to Restore the image to the (empty) target partition and it does it for me.

 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
Ugh, oh yeah, that incredibly Mickey Mouse setup. Late Titanium G4s used a similar arrangement.

My best suggestion for getting the contents of that hidden disk image onto the hard disk if you *only* want OS 9 on it would probably be to put the machine into target disk mode and restore the contents of said disk image onto the drive from another machine. Another thing that *might* work:

  1. create an OS 9 USB stick using your dysfunctional version of OS 9
  2. boot from that
  3. format your hard disk
  4. navigate to the hidden disk image on the restore CD, mount it
  5. drag the contents onto your cleaned drive
  6. double click on the system folder once it's dragged over, that will bless it
  7. shut down, yank out your USB disk, see if all this ridiculousness succeeded.
I'm 95%-ish sure those machines can boot OS 9 from a USB key, I did it on a Titanium once. And I've done the "just select and drag everything from the restore folder" several times before after booting other ways so... I *think* you should be able to put both things together. But your mileage may vary.

 

bigmessowires

Well-known member
Thanks guys for the tip on the hidden disk images. I was able to confirm you're right, and view the hidden images from a modern Mac running 10.13 High Sierra. It looks like everything I actually needed for 9.2.2 was on disk 1, and all the other disks are just extras like AOL - hehe! 

At this point I'm in the middle of installing 10.2.4 so I can install 9.2.2 using Apple's method. It's not what I had in mind, but it should work. Later I'll look into how I can upgrade the 10.2.4 to 10.4.

Gorgonops, I think I could also burn the OS9General.dmg to a CD and install 9.2.2 that way, if it's a bootable CD. Or try booting from the 9.2.2 Universal CD, and see if I can eject it and insert the OS9General CD and copy the contents. But if a USB stick solution is possible that would be very nice. I never knew OS9 supported USB sticks in any way, that's very cool!

 
Last edited by a moderator:

bigmessowires

Well-known member
Success! I now have a dual-booting 10.2.4 and 9.2.2 machine. Video works normally under 9.2.2 and the desktop is the correct size.

Two final questions that should probably go in a new thread, but I'll ask now:

- What's the simplest way to update from 10.2.4 to 10.4.x? I have a 10.4.9 CD that was bundled with an old Mac Mini - any chance I could use that to upgrade? When these OS versions were current, I don't recall whether 10.4 came from Apple's upgrade servers or from CDs. A quick search of the usual sources didn't turn up any 10.4 upgrade CDs.

- The Airport card in this iBook won't connect to my home wifi - it sees the network, but says the password is incorrect. I'm guessing that's because it can only do WEP and the home network is WPA2. Is there any simple work-around, or should I just go with a wired ethernet connection?

 

Franklinstein

Well-known member
You should be able to find a retail copy of 10.4, which is the only official way to get Tiger on these. There isn't a simple upgrade path for OS X major revisions; pretty much the only option is a full install of a new version to replace the old. OS X may not have as many lock-outs as Classic Mac OS (for example a B&W G3's bundled OS 8.5 disk would not boot or install on anything except a B&W G3). It's worth a try, though. If you have nothing to save I would suggest a clean install vs. an upgrade.

If you want AirPort on OS 9 your only option is to use WEP. I'm pretty sure the WEP restriction is with OS 9, not the card; there was never any support for it in OS 9, but OS X should work (at least in 10.3 or later).

 

bigmessowires

Well-known member
Attempting to install 10.4 from my old Mac Mini install disc resulted in a kernel panic on the iBook when booting from the first DVD. Oh well, I'm going to call this "good enough" for now and just stick with 10.2.4.

Having an OS9 Mac that can use USB sticks for storage is pretty great. With an HFS+ formatted USB stick, it looks like I can transfer files back and forth with my regular modern Mac. The only problem is that OS9's Finder crashed when I unmounted and removed the USB stick, and didn't recognize when it was reinserted until after I rebooted.

 

Franklinstein

Well-known member
You're not trying to use a restore disk from an Intel Mac mini, are you? That could explain why it didn't work. While Tiger was supported by both PPC and Intel chips, the model-specific restore media may have only one set of code or the other to save on disk space. Otherwise, it's possible that the media does have a lock-out for unsupported machines.

I try to use FireWire where I can for large files, and FAT-formatted <8GB USB flash devices for transferring files between Windows, Classic Mac OS, and/or early OS X; sometimes large flash drives confuse and anger older machines. I have a huge mishmosh of floppies, USB flash drives, hard drives, MOs, Zips, CDs, and DVDs scattered around because something invariably won't cooperate with one or the other of those.

 

nglevin

Well-known member
Tiger for OS X Intel was a bit of a weird one, in that Apple forked the OS X kernel for the entirety of the 10.4 cycle until Leopard, when they were able to unify the PowerPC and Intel codebases into a unified kernel.

You can see this on the somewhat forgotten Apple Open Source website, where starting from 10.4.4 there's different branches for x86 and PPC all the way through 10.4.11. Then 10.5 finally gets that mess sorted out once and for all.

 

bigmessowires

Well-known member
You're not trying to use a restore disk from an Intel Mac mini, are you?


Ah, you may be right. But the good news is I was eventually able to install 10.4 from another disc.

Going back to my earlier question about Wifi, are you sure it's expected to work on 10.3 and later? With 10.4 installed, when I select my network in the Airport settings, the only choices for "wireless security" are WEP Password, WEP 40/128-bit hex, WEP 40/128-bit ASCII, and LEAP. Nothing about WPA or WPA2 unless I missed it somewhere.

 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
OS X supported WPA from... Google tells me it's 10.3.3. Tiger definitely should offer it as an option, I'm not sure why you're not seeing it. There are articles saying you need to use "AirPortSoftware 3.3" to upgrade the firmware of the card, but I'm not entirely clear on whether said articles are confusing the built-in card with an update for the Airport basestations to support WPA. (I don't remember ever explicitly updating the firmware on a Titanium's Airport card back in the day, but it's been a long time.) Try running the Airport utility just for laughs and see if it prompts you about a firmware upgrade?

The one big limitation is the original hardware only supports TKIP (which is often referred to as WPA1, but technically not *exactly* the same thing), and TKIP support is often disabled by default on modern routers. You might need to investigate if you can turn it on, depending on what you have.

 

bigmessowires

Well-known member
You have a good memory for this stuff! I'm closer now - I installed the 10.4.11 update, and then I discovered that WPA2 isn't normally listed as an option anyway. You have to click "Other..." from the network list, and then manually type in the network name. From this list, WPA Enterprise and Personal and WPA2 Enterprise and Personal are all available. 

Unfortunately it still doesn't work, and as you said it seems to be a hardware limitation with the Airport card in the iBook G3. I found this on the Apple support forums:

Only the PowerBook G4s with 1 MHz or greater processors use 802.11g AirPort Extreme cards. Versions before then used the original 802.11b AirPort card which does not support WPA2.


I could change my home network to WPA instead of WPA2, but I'd rather not. No great loss, as I can still do a hard-wired ethernet connection or sneaker net with a USB stick, but wifi would have been nice.  :lol:

 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
It's not a *huge* security risk to enable TKIP (there probably isn't any risk *except* when the TKIP-using client is running; as I recall the TL;DR is that if someone camped out within range of your house is in a position to sniff enough traffic from an active TKIP client they'll be in a position to hijack its connection; if you only use the iBook occasionally they'll have to be out to get you at just the right time) but, yeah, don't blame you.

Re:

Gorgonops, I think I could also burn the OS9General.dmg to a CD and install 9.2.2 that way, if it's a bootable CD. Or try booting from the 9.2.2 Universal CD, and see if I can eject it and insert the OS9General CD and copy the contents. But if a USB stick solution is possible that would be very nice. I never knew OS9 supported USB sticks in any way, that's very cool!
I'm curious if you could just dump the contents of OS9General.dmg directly to a USB stick and boot from it. (Didn't even think of that earlier.) When I experimented with booting a Titanium into OS 9 off of USB a 128mb stick was a pretty generous size and it was a squeeze to just get a System folder onto that, but now that 4Gig sticks are basically doorstops it shouldn't be a problem to put a whole working OS 9 restore onto one. I'd try it myself but, alas, my only OS 9 bootable Mac is a B&W, and they won't boot from USB. (From an engineering standpoint they're basically a Beige with a USB card glued to the motherboard, it doesn't count as "built-in USB" even though it is. Gotta love Apple.)

 
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