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Making an OS 9 install as up to date as possible

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I would't like for the OS 9 install on my PB 1400cs to be as up to date as possible. The Software Update control panel doesn't work. Aside from installing the OS 9.0.4 update, what else do I need to install to have my OS 9 install as up to date as it can be? Since the 1400cs is a nubus machine, I can't install the downloadable OS 9.1 update (right?) and only have an OS 9.0 CD. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

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I've heard that some have installed OSX onto a 1400, but only if it has the G3 upgrade card on it. If you can install OSX, then you can install OS 9.22 on your 1400 but only if you have the G3 CPU card in it.


I believe this is possible because there are added ROM Routines in the G3 upgrade card that is not on the 603/603e cpu card the 1400 has. They would have to post and put down their experiences and information.

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That's interesting. Can you install OSX onto it? Some members stated that they have on their G3 Powered 1400s. And since you can install OSX on it, you should be able to install OS 9.22 on it. I doubt it but you should be able to install OSX first and then OS9 and use Start Up Disk to choose OS 9 to boot from it. I believe you should be able to install OS9.22 without installing OSX.


Do you have a OS9 Install CD?

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A 1400 should take 9.1 by default. If the installer is not working you might need to check what the localization is, etc.

You might do a bit of googling about this if you want 9.2.2:




Oh, looks like it might be a bit more work


9.2.1 must be installed on a seperate machine with nubus support enabled under the advanced options, and then copied over to your 1400. The 9.2.2 installer is not effected. Must use Apple Menu Options control panel from 9.1 to avoid crash during startup. Apple System profiler will not work on nubus machines.

So basically, if you want OS 9, just get 9.1 installed and leave it at that.

Edited by MacJunky
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XPostFacto from what I hear can get OSX on older machines like the 1400. But its a major headache do it on a 1400 from what I hear, though I wonder if this is with or without the G3 upgrade. The 1400 is not on their support list, but from looking at the support list, it is using "Stock-Non Modified" machines. So who knows.





https://eshop.macsales.com/OSXCenter/XPostFacto/Framework.cfm?page=XPostFacto3.html    <-- For Download Links and FAQ



OS9 Helper should help get OS 9.22 on a 1400:

https://eshop.macsales.com/OSXCenter/OS9Helper/Framework.cfm?topic=32  (click icon to download)

http://www.os9forever.com/Compatibility.html  <-- compatibility list, though it just hung there and then failed to connect for me.

Edited by Elfen
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XPostFacto from what I hear can get OSX on older machines like the 1400. But its a major headache do it on a 1400 from what I hear, though


If you can find a reliably documented example of someone getting OS X in *any* form to run on a PowerBook 1400 (and by this I mean "pictures or it didn't happen" along with reproducible instructions that don't involve swapping the motherboard for one from another machine) you win the Internet. Otherwise, no, OS X will not run on any "NuBus" Macintosh, and that includes every "numbered" Powerbook other than the 2400 and 3400. (Both of which can run very old versions of OS X with XPostFacto.)

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As I see the problem with OSX on the 1400 is its memory foot print. OSX wants 256Megs of RAM minimum, you could get by with 128 but its slow as a snail stuck in molasses going up hill on a cold day. The 1400's max memory size is 64megs, so from that alone, it is not going to happen without major headaches, as I seen on I think on EveryMac.com. And that is just the start of the headaches. So would it even be worth it to do on a 1400? No. It would not unless you want followers of the Cult of the Dead Cow bowing at your feet chanting "We're Not Worthy..."


But as for it being impossible, I do not think so. My many years as a programmer tells me that it's doable. But with all these headaches, is it worth it. It is not. Years ago (around '05 or so) I remember the PPC BSD Unix branch getting a Nubus Mac to boot its Unix along with the Mac GUI - Evolution (I believe it is), and boot a few PPC OSX Mac applications. OSX is based on BSD, so this is possible then, and it is now. But interest in it fall so the project was set to some side burner to stay warm and forgotten about. I have not heard from this every since '06.

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But as for it being impossible, I do not think so. My many years as a programmer tells me that it's doable.


I never said it was "impossible if you're willing to rewrite the kernel to do it", but you imply in your posts that it's somehow possible with Xpostfacto or whatever, and the point is, no, it's not.


(MkLinux uses an older version of the same Mach microkernel as OS X and runs on a few NuBus Macs... badly. Someone with enough time to waste could undoubtedly start with the Darwin and MkLinux sources and after many, many man-hours of work spit-and-baling wire something together, and if you want to do it have at it. But unless you have a reference demonstrating otherwise so far as the OP is concerned that work has not yet been accomplished and therefore it is "not possible" to install OS X on their 1400..)

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Years ago (around '05 or so) I remember the PPC BSD Unix branch getting a Nubus Mac to boot its Unix along with the Mac GUI - Evolution (I believe it is), and boot a few PPC OSX Mac applications. OSX is based on BSD, so this is possible then, and it is now. But interest in it fall so the project was set to some side burner to stay warm and forgotten about. I have not heard from this every since '06.


Wait, missed this part. By any chance are you thinking of COMPAT_DARWIN? If so, well...


A: That never progressed to the point it would run Quartz. It could run some relatively trivial command line and X11 software, but that's not "OS X" as most people think of it.


B: Running OS X binaries on NetBSD through an API translation layer isn't running OS X, nor is NetBSD "the same" OS as OS X. OS X *does* steal a fair amount of NetBSD userland code (although these days it steals a little more from FreeBSD) but the binary format, driver model, and kernel internals are completely different.


C: PowerPC NetBSD doesn't run on Nubus Macs anyway. (Neither does Open or FreeBSD.)


The one *possible* strategy I can imagine for attempting to run OS X on a NuBus Power Mac using existing code would be to install an old version of Linux with Nubus support (Not MkLinux, real Linux) and maybe, just *maybe*, installing Mac-On-Linux on top of that? (I'm not sure that's technically possible; MOL may have some dependencies on PCI bus/Open Firmware in how it sets up its virtual machine, but... yeah, no idea. Last time I ran MOL was in 2002.) If someone has the hardware to try it it might be a really fun way to waste a weekend.

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While it would be cool to run OS X on my 1400, I really need to be able to run the classic mac os because of what I use the machine for. It is mostly used to make disks for my Macintosh Plus, and I also connect the 1400 and the Macintosh Plus together via Phonenet. I'd love to run OS 9.1, but all I have is a OS 9.0 CD. I've been trying to get my hands on an OS 9.1 CD, but I havn't found one for a resonable price yet.

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I was able to install the OS 9.1 update. The PowerBook froze at 3 minutes remaining, forcing me to do a hard reset. However, it seems to work fine, I havn't notice any ill effects. In fact, it seems to be more stable than it ever was with OS 9.0.4. I never tried to install the OS 9.1 update because Apple says Nubus macs cannot use the update and that OS 9.1 must be installed from CD. The PowerBook 1400 is a nubus machine. I guess they ment only some nubus Macs, they didn't make it very clear.

Edited by sega dude
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  • 2 weeks later...

The PB1400 as well as the PM7200 with Sonnet G3 upgrade are limited to stay with System software versions below 9.2.2, because the necessary Sonnet Extension lacks support for newer Systems than version 9.1. I found no way to work around this except of checking portions of the 9.2.2 installation for compatibility, i.e. swapping and testing each Apple control panel or extension residing in the System Folder one by one. A PM7200/G3 with plenty of RAM installed this way by summer 2008 regularly works in a shop, still (if it wasn't PPC it could nicely do for the retro challenge). BTW: I also included some more recent control panels, drivers and extensions from Mac OS 8.1 into a System 7.1 installation on a PB180. Such installation of »7.1+«, »8.1+« or »9.1+« might be of interest for improved compatibility in combination with more recent software or other Macintosh computers.


However, despite running quite stable the PB1400/G3 I have has been downgraded from 9.1 to Mac OS 8.1+, because it simply is snappier to work with.

Edited by register
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  • 2 weeks later...

And here is some additional information regarding the update procedure of Mac OS 9 on a PPC with Sonnet G3 upgrade (here: PM 7200), I stumbled across the following text clip that was copied from another forum a couple of years ago. I can not confirm the suggested update path to be successful, but probably someone else has the time to follow the instructions. The complete text clip is shown to allow retrieval of the original thread, likely at Dartmouth, where an excellent Mac user community was active in the 1990s:


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Re: Sonnet crescendo (Was Re: curious, fragmented)

Erik Richard Sørensen < [log in to unmask] >

[log in to unmask]

Fri, 14 Feb 2003 01:47:36 +0100



text/plain (72 lines)

Hei Michael

Michael Logue wrote:

> >Someone mentioned a 7200 with a Cresendo PCI card in this thread; must
> >be a mistake here; the 7200 and 440 have the Cresendo card in the cache
> >slot.
> No mistake, William Jurgenson, I  have a PM 7200, and it has the Sonnet
> PCI card in a PCI slot.  The crescendo cache slot card is made for other
> models than the 7200.

Yes, they are made for PM 7300 and up to 9600.

> I am also sorry to report that you cannot at this time run any system
> greater than 9.1 using the Sonnet Crescendo PCI accelerator card.  If
> anyone has, I would (and Sonnet would) be very interested in how you were
> able to accomplish that trick.  I just checked with sonnet tech

Michael. Try to do the following trick. Take out the PCI card again, Make a
clean OS 9.1US install. Use OS 9 Helper and to upgrade to OS 9.2.1. Then
install the Sonnet drivers on the 9.2.1 _before_ mounting the PCI card
again. Still without the card update the system to 9.2.2 again using the OS
9 Helper. Now you have a full working Mac OS 9.2.2. First now put the Sonnet
card back again into the PCI slot. Press the KUDA button and restart the
machine. The card should berecognized and work, but the small changes and
updates specific for G3 are not installed along with the system.

Another method is to try to find the IANow 3.5 or 4.0 (InstallAnywhereNow) -
no later versions support older systems. If you find it, you must be aware
of that there are two versions of IANow - one with Virtual Java Engine and
one without Virtual Java Engine. Select the one without JVE. The size of
this installer is apprx. 34-35mb, and it _must_ be rund with active Finder,
So you have to install it onto your OS 9.1.

Using IANow the Sonnet card must be in the PCI slot and the drivers must be
installed. Open IANow and configure it for installing first 9.2.1 and
afterwards 9.2.2

> assistance, and the said that is still true, no greater system than 9.1.
> I have down loaded and installed the latest Crescendo 7200 Enabler 9.1,
> version 1.1.  You will notice they still call it: the "Crescendo 7200
> Enabler 9.1".

The problem is that you have to make the installer - no matter which
installation program - to believe that it is a real G3. The normal
installers recognize the computer model by it's GESTALT ID. The PM 7200 has
GESTALT ID 108. You'll have to make the installer believe that it fx. is a
G3/233DT. This one has the GESTALT ID 510, so if you can find the place in
IANow, where to change this, change it to 510, then it will follow the
specific G3 advise in the installer and install, what is needed specific for

> Thanks for the help, guys, I never would have discovered version 1.1 of
> the enabler without your comments.  Also being in touch with tech help
> was encouraging.

- it was a simple coincident that I saw the Sonnet update on
versiontracker.com. - I get the daily mail from Versiontracker...:)

Hope you find IANow 3.5 then I'm sure that you can install anything on the

Good luck, Cheers, ERik Richard

K.M.L. Denmark by Erik Richard Sørensen, Member of ADC
E-mail: < [log in to unmask] > < [log in to unmask] >
*Music Recording, Editing & Publishing - Also Smaller Quantities
*Software - For Theological Education - And For Physically Impaired
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The 64MB RAM limit that Elfin mentions is also a good reason to not make the 1400 as current as possible. Later versions of MacOS with more features use a larger memory footprint. I have run OS 9 on a 1400, it was fairly slow and not running within comfortable margins. Installing 8.6 instead made a world of difference. The 1400 is a great machine, but one needs to work within its limitations.

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