Tricks to boot a G4 Mac Mini?
  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    CraigE
    Posts: 22 from 2017/5/28
    Been pulling my hair out trying to get the Morphos install disc to boot - due to a (pretty sure) faulty CD drive in the mac mini.

    It's happily reading real pressed discs, but any CD-R I insert it insists is blank. It's even happily successfully burning CDs it's just not reading them afterwards.

    From what I've read, I don't believe the Mac Mini G4 is compatible with the OF USB boot method (and to be fair, I tried anyway.. :) )

    So I'm pretty sure the optical drive is on its last legs, do I have any options that I'm not thinking of:

    1. New optical drive/New mac
    2. Try and clean the lens (I'm doing this tomorrow when I grab some cleaning kit)
    3. Try a different variety of disc (for instance, I don't have any RW discs, but will get one tomorrow - I know disc drives can be really flaky on the way out and be picky so worth a shot)

    Is there another way? Can I image the hard drive? Does the mini boot from an external CD drive (I read conflicting reports)?

    Do I just say "screw it" and buy a G5 Powermac?
  • »05.06.17 - 21:22
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  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    ernsteiswuerfel
    Posts: 168 from 2015/6/18
    From: Funeralopolis
    Quote:

    Do I just say "screw it" and buy a G5 Powermac?

    Well, I had the same problem on my G5 PowerMac. :-D

    ...and on a PowerBook G4 too. In both cases I tried cleaning the lens first but it didn't work out. So I got new (used) optical drives which have been working happily since. Seems a quite common issue. But there are plenty of compatible drives on ebay, even the slot-in drives for the PowerBooks.
    PMac G5 11,2. PMac G5 7,3. PBook G4 5,8. PBook G4 5,6. [MorphOS 3.9 / Gentoo Linux / Ubuntu MATE 16.10] A1200. ACA-1233/55, Indivision AGA Mk2, 4 GiB CF. [Amiga OS 3.9]
  • »05.06.17 - 22:17
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  • Just looking around
    downsj
    Posts: 4 from 2017/6/5
    On the G5, you can use pretty much any commodity SATA drive with a SATA to IDE adapter.
  • »05.06.17 - 22:43
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  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    TheMagicM
    Posts: 1105 from 2003/6/17
    just get a replacement optical drive
  • »05.06.17 - 22:45
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  • jPV
  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    jPV
    Posts: 1307 from 2003/2/24
    From: po-RNO
    Quote:

    CraigE wrote:
    From what I've read, I don't believe the Mac Mini G4 is compatible with the OF USB boot method

    I don't know where you have got that impression, but I have always booted Mac minis (for example both 1.42GHz and 1.5GHz minis) from USB with the method presented here (you can usually skip the formatting of the USB device, if you have a FAT compatible stick):
    http://www.morphos.de/guide/usb-boot
    I've had some problems with Powermacs (G4 and G5) with this, but never with Mac minis, Powerbooks, or IBooks...


    Quote:

    So I'm pretty sure the optical drive is on its last legs, do I have any options that I'm not thinking of:

    Some people have reported, that if the CD reading part of the drive is defunct, it still can read DVD discs. So, try to burn the MorphOS image to a DVD and try that way. And if it doesn't work with the C key pressed on the boot, can you see the disc when going to Mac's startup menu by pressing the Alt key on the boot?


    Quote:

    Do I just say "screw it" and buy a G5 Powermac?

    I'm still betting we'll find a way to boot it for you :)
  • »06.06.17 - 05:26
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  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    CraigE
    Posts: 22 from 2017/5/28
    Quote:

    jPV wrote:
    I don't know where you have got that impression, but I have always booted Mac minis (for example both 1.42GHz and 1.5GHz minis) from USB with the method presented here (you can usually skip the formatting of the USB device, if you have a FAT compatible stick):
    http://www.morphos.de/guide/usb-boot


    I tried USB booting (from that exact guide) a couple of times, and I can get to the OF boot and it takes the launch command, and I get the "Loading ELF" message, and then the next line goes to "D0-QUIESCE Finished" and just sits there forever (I don't get any lines between these two messages, in the screenshots in the guide it looks like I should see CPU info etc between the two lines?).

    I then was googling around for USB boot options and on a forum I read the line "The mini doesn't support USB boot" - when I'm home I can source that reference :)


    Quote:


    Some people have reported, that if the CD reading part of the drive is defunct, it still can read DVD discs. So, try to burn the MorphOS image to a DVD and try that way. And if it doesn't work with the C key pressed on the boot, can you see the disc when going to Mac's startup menu by pressing the Alt key on the boot?


    Unfortunately the optical drive in my mini is a CD/CD-R/CD-RW drive and not a DVD drive so I don't think that'll work :) And yeh, I've been using the 'hold alt' method too to get to the boot menu, but I'm just offered the OSX system disk to boot from.


    Quote:

    I'm still betting we'll find a way to boot it for you :)


    Well let's get our thinking caps on! :D



    [ Edited by CraigE 06.06.2017 - 08:05 ]
  • »06.06.17 - 07:03
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  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    CraigE
    Posts: 22 from 2017/5/28
    Looking at some other threads, it's maybe worth me trying another USB stick, and a smaller partition size. Which I'll try tonight..
  • »06.06.17 - 07:09
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  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    CraigE
    Posts: 22 from 2017/5/28
    And I've just read this

    Quote:

    So many people have said that booting from USB is impossible, including myself :). In fact it IS possible. USB device needs to have a MAC bootblock and a HFS partition. There were some guides on Morphzone. It works here, boot.img is loaded but MorphOS cannot continue booting for some reason. I guess that I should try some other USB drives :).


    This sounds a bit different than just having a FAT formatted USB stick? Is this accurate?

    Read it here: https://morph.zone/modules/newbb_plus/viewtopic.php?topic_id=7031&forum=11&start=2
  • »06.06.17 - 07:12
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  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    CraigE
    Posts: 22 from 2017/5/28
    Oh, and I've found my source about the mini and usb booting problems:

    https://morph.zone/modules/newbb_plus/viewtopic.php?topic_id=6616&forum=3#67442
  • »06.06.17 - 07:13
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  • jPV
  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    jPV
    Posts: 1307 from 2003/2/24
    From: po-RNO
    Quote:

    CraigE wrote:
    Quote:

    jPV wrote:
    I don't know where you have got that impression, but I have always booted Mac minis (for example both 1.42GHz and 1.5GHz minis) from USB with the method presented here (you can usually skip the formatting of the USB device, if you have a FAT compatible stick):
    http://www.morphos.de/guide/usb-boot


    I tried USB booting (from that exact guide) a couple of times, and I can get to the OF boot and it takes the launch command, and I get the "Loading ELF" message, and then the next line goes to "D0-QUIESCE Finished" and just sits there forever (I don't get any lines between these two messages, in the screenshots in the guide it looks like I should see CPU info etc between the two lines?).

    CPU info is only shown on certain machines/versions, but if it's missing, it doesn't mean anything. When you do get into "DO-QUIESCE Finished" it means the boot.img has been successfully loaded from the USB device, and it should start loading the ISO image and switch the display mode to MorphOS screenmodes, so something doesn't go right with that phase. We now know that you have a working USB device, and I think that even wrong boot.img wouldn't get that far so that is probably correct too. The common mistake has been that user has given wrong name to the ISO image option (even when they have said they had it right), so double check that if you have a morphos.iso file on the USB device, boot it with "bi umsd0:morphos.iso", but if you have for example morphos-3.9.iso then with "bi umsd0:morphos-3.9.iso" and so on :)

    If that doesn't help, maybe the issue could be with the display. When you have been looking the "DO-QUIESCE" line some time and you press the Enter key, do you soon hear a boot jingle? Or if you swap for example from DVI cable to VGA cable, does it help?


    Quote:

    I then was googling around for USB boot options and on a forum I read the line "The mini doesn't support USB boot" - when I'm home I can source that reference :)

    In my experience you can't see and boot a bootable USB device from the Alt menu on Mac mini, but that doesn't stop it being bootable from the OF with the correct commands. And as you already have been able to load the boot.img file from OF, nothing should stop it technically I think.
  • »06.06.17 - 07:29
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  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    CraigE
    Posts: 22 from 2017/5/28
    Awesome. So the most likely issue for me is perhaps USB stick/partition size..

    So tonight I will line up a pile of USB sticks or varying makes/models/sizes and some tiny partitions and see how I get on :)
  • »06.06.17 - 07:42
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  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    CraigE
    Posts: 22 from 2017/5/28
    Quote:

    jPV wrote:
    (even when they have said they had it right), so double check that if you have a morphos.iso file on the USB device, boot it with "bi umsd0:morphos.iso", but if you have for example morphos-3.9.iso then with "bi umsd0:morphos-3.9.iso" and so on :)



    Oh my god.

    I think this is me. :|

    What an idiot, I'm almost positive this is EXACTLY what I've done.

    Oh. My. God. What a muppet. I spent hours last night, and now that you say it out loud - I've done exactly this. Taken the downloaded file name (-3.9.iso) and sitting firing off a command for morphos.iso

    Well at least I know what I'm doing tonight!

    [ Edited by CraigE 06.06.2017 - 08:45 ]
  • »06.06.17 - 07:43
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  • jPV
  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    jPV
    Posts: 1307 from 2003/2/24
    From: po-RNO
    Quote:

    CraigE wrote:
    Awesome. So the most likely issue for me is perhaps USB stick/partition size..

    So tonight I will line up a pile of USB sticks or varying makes/models/sizes and some tiny partitions and see how I get on :)

    No, I think your USB stick is fine, because it already loads the boot.img file from it so why wouldn't it load the ISO file too? It just could be those two other things I told (typo in the command line or monitor issue).
  • »06.06.17 - 07:45
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  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    CraigE
    Posts: 22 from 2017/5/28
    Quote:

    jPV wrote:
    Quote:

    CraigE wrote:
    Awesome. So the most likely issue for me is perhaps USB stick/partition size..

    So tonight I will line up a pile of USB sticks or varying makes/models/sizes and some tiny partitions and see how I get on :)

    No, I think your USB stick is fine, because it already loads the boot.img file from it so why wouldn't it load the ISO file too? It just could be those two other things I told (typo in the command line or monitor issue).


    Sorry I posted twice. You're totally right...
  • »06.06.17 - 07:45
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  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    CraigE
    Posts: 22 from 2017/5/28
    Well...imagine that. When I got home and actually used the correct ISO name, everything worked :)

    Posting from OWB...
  • »06.06.17 - 18:20
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  • Order of the Butterfly
    Order of the Butterfly
    defender
    Posts: 210 from 2011/4/24
    Quote:

    CraigE schrieb:
    Well...imagine that. When I got home and actually used the correct ISO name, everything worked :)

    Posting from OWB...


    Welcome on Board!

    I had some issues with CD-R types from special manufactures - so this could also be one of your problems.
    PowerMac 3.6 - Radeon 9000_64Mb - 1,5Gb Ram - SB Live - MorphOS 3.9
    CD32 - PowerBook 1,67GHz 1GB/100GB - MorphOS 3 reg. 1455
  • »06.06.17 - 19:36
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  • jPV
  • Paladin of the Pegasos
    Paladin of the Pegasos
    jPV
    Posts: 1307 from 2003/2/24
    From: po-RNO
    Quote:

    defender wrote:
    I had some issues with CD-R types from special manufactures - so this could also be one of your problems.

    Little off-topic, but for some reason Verbatims have never worked for me on Amiga or MorphOS burners... I don't know what's about it, but all other brands have been working just fine with MakeCD and Jalapeno etc. But every time I've tried to burn to Verbatim during the last 20 years, it has failed :) And I have mistakenly bought them every few years :P Although they tend to fail already when starting to burn... burns few rounds and then makes a coaster.
  • »07.06.17 - 05:10
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  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    CraigE
    Posts: 22 from 2017/5/28
    That is sort of why I thought I would try and find some CD-RW discs originally, as I know just because one type of CDR doesn't work on one type of drive, that another type is another story.

    Thank heavens for USB boot though :)
  • »07.06.17 - 09:20
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  • Yokemate of Keyboards
    Yokemate of Keyboards
    amigadave
    Posts: 2459 from 2006/3/21
    From: Lake Shastina,...
    Quote:

    CraigE wrote:
    Well...imagine that. When I got home and actually used the correct ISO name, everything worked :)

    Posting from OWB...


    Congrats!

    Don't feel too bad about making that mistake, I have made the same mistake, as have many others here, at one time or another.

    Now that you have MorphOS3.9 installed, you can play around with it thoroughly, for 30 minutes at a time, between re-boots.

    I suggest that if you really like MorphOS, you find yourself a 1.67GHz G4 PowerBook, a 1.5GHz G4 MacMini, or any of the supported G5 PowerMacs, hopefully one over 2GHz clock speed, and register MorphOS on that better system. The mini you have now is fine for trying out MorphOS, but I think that you will eventually run into its limitation of 32mb VRAM, and wish for a MorphOS computer with at least 64mb VRAM.

    Where are you located? Maybe someone here has an extra system like the one of those I listed above, that they are willing to sell? I see a G5 PowerMac being advertised on this forum currently.

    [ Edited by amigadave 07.06.2017 - 09:11 ]
    MorphOS - The best Next Gen Amiga choice.
  • »07.06.17 - 16:04
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  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillar
    CraigE
    Posts: 22 from 2017/5/28
    I'm in Scotland, UK (Aberdeen) if anyone is around and selling a G5 Powermac or G4 Powerbook (I'd probably sooner upgrade to a powerbook for space reasons).

    Not exactly MorphOS related, but I also have an Amiga 500 coming in the next week :)
  • »07.06.17 - 16:44
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  • Yokemate of Keyboards
    Yokemate of Keyboards
    Andreas_Wolf
    Posts: 9331 from 2003/5/22
    From: Germany
    > I see a G5 PowerMac being advertised on this forum currently.

    Yesterday reported as sold, as far as I can see.
  • »07.06.17 - 19:26
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