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samsonlonghair
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Re: Early Intel iMac - Repair it or mod it?

by samsonlonghair Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:24 pm

marurun wrote:Oooo... Now I wonder if I could turn my parents' iMac G3 lamp model into a good OS 9 machine. I can't remember if the boot loader in that model allows booting to Classic.

I looked into that. I think the G4 iMac can run OS/9 if you format the drive correctly and install the right version of OS/9. I tried and failed because I didn't have the right version of OS/9 handy. I've never installed OS/9 so I'm not the best person to ask, but I do believe it's possible.
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Re: Early Intel iMac - Repair it or mod it?

by isiolia Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:30 pm

The early G4 iMacs can boot into OS9, but mid/late models can't, same as MDD G4s. It'd be down to what specific revision it is. In addition, it'd probably mean tracking down either a bundled 9.2.2 disc or the system enabler/other extensions, since the more generic images/discs out there likely don't include them. I had to do that for my Quicksilver.
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Re: Early Intel iMac - Repair it or mod it?

by samsonlonghair Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:57 pm

My G4 is an early one from 2002. I can't say about the one Maru's parents' house. A google search indicates that the G4 iMac needs version 9.2.1, not 9.2.2 (which is the version of OS/9 I tried to install).
Last edited by samsonlonghair on Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Early Intel iMac - Repair it or mod it?

by isiolia Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:26 pm

The flat panel iMacs debuted in 2002, and those are the ones that can boot OS9. The second round of them, introduced in 2003, no longer could. Apple and Low End Mac say 9.2.2, not that it'd really matter a whole lot either way. Point was more that by that finding the variant of the OS with all the little software bits can be a little harder on those later models, at least in my experience.
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Re: Early Intel iMac - Repair it or mod it?

by samsonlonghair Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:06 pm

You're right; 2002, not 2000. I edited my previous post to fix that.
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Re: Early Intel iMac - Repair it or mod it?

by CRTGAMER Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:31 pm

samsonlonghair wrote:My G4 is an early one from 2002. I can't say about the one Maru's parents' house. A google search indicates that the G4 iMac needs version 9.2.1, not 9.2.2 (which is the version of OS/9 I tried to install).

My iMac G3 500mhz CRT has dual boot OS 9.22 and OSX 10.4 after I updated the Firmware while in OS9. I had read years ago it was the last official iMac that fully supported both systems. I think this due to only some of the newer G4s and G5s having OS9 compatibility.

@ marurun - The dual boot install the best option, you gain the best of both operating systems. The OS9 games can run Classic Mode when booted in OSX by the auto load of OS9 system files. OS9 Desktop is not that pretty compared to OSX, nice to leave the newer OSX as default. I set favorite OS9 games in a drop box at the top right of the OSX desktop. If a marathon run of OS9 games, I can reboot direct into OS9.

http://lowendmac.com/2013/low-end-macs-compleat-guide-to-mac-os-9/
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Re: Early Intel iMac - Repair it or mod it?

by samsonlonghair Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:52 pm

Alright, I took some time to tear open my Early Intel iMac. Tons of pictures here. I seriously hope you're not trying to load this page on 56K.

I start by laying the iMac face down on a soft cloth. Come to think of it... my screen is already busted. Why am I treating it so delicately? Must be force of habit. I removed the RAM module, which is basically the only user-accessible part of the iMac.
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Now I bust out my Torx driver and start unscrewing all the little star screws along the bottom edge. The one on the far right is longer than the rest.

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Here I'm using a gift card to pry open the hidden latch inside the iMac. There's one in each of the two top corners.

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Apple provides a convenient way to disconnect the cable to the microphone cable, but is the facetime camera cable permanently glued in place. Go figure! :?

Avert your eyes! Naked iMac!
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I can see that some of the EM Shielding is torn here. I guess the person who removed the hard drive was in a rush? :roll:

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A peak under the shielding reveals the speakers, the fan, the wi-fi module, the heat sink, the infrared port, the RAM slot, the clock battery, the LVDS connector, and a big power harness.

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I believe CRT requested a look at the speakers. This doesn't look like anything special to me. I wouldn't bet on Harmon Kardon having designed this one, brother.

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Close up on my wi-fi module

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Close up of the heat sink, the infrared port, and the RAM slot

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A peek under the LCD

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Here is where the hard drive was removed. Looks like there was a full-size desktop hard drive here and a bracket to hold it in place. I'm probably going to jerry rig an SSD in this place with foam tape. The wires on the bottom are standard SATA connections. The wires on the left side connect the inverter to the lamps that backlight the LCD.

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The LVDS cable seems to be clamped down under these two teensy tiny torx screws. This is the moment of truth for me, because I need to utilize the LVDS connection to connect my donor monitor to the iMac right here. Now technically, the LVDS standard only defines the signal and the serial communications; it doesn't define a specific physical connector. That said, the LCD industry has gravitated to a few de facto standards for the form factor of this connector. Let's find out if Apple is going to respect de facto standards, or use a proprietary connector...

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And this little son of a such-n-such is the board-to-board connector that Apple uses to connect the LVDS signal to the logic board. So far as I can tell this is a proprietary component. Darn it, Apple! :twisted: This is not the first time that a proprietary connection has made an apple project more trouble than it needs to be.

I'm not completely dead in the water, but this is a significant hurdle. Despite my negative tone, I'm actually having a lot of fun on this project. Let's see if I can figure out a way forward. :mrgreen:
Last edited by samsonlonghair on Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Early Intel iMac - Repair it or mod it?

by samsonlonghair Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:50 pm

Quick update: I looked up the wi-fi module by googling "bcm94311MCAG". Looks like a standard broadcom mini-PCIe 802.11g wi-fi card to me.
https://www.amazon.com/Broadcom-BCM9431 ... B009FULAZU

Google also seems to indicate that Dell used the exact same part (without the Apple logo) as a wi-fi card in some computers around 2008~ish.

Just in case this restoration doesn't pan out, I can re-use that wi-fi card in one of my Mac Pro towers. I don't really need it for that, since I don't currently have an internet connection at home anyway. I'm just keeping that as an option in the back of my mind.
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Re: Early Intel iMac - Repair it or mod it?

by marurun Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:31 pm

[quote="CRTGAMER"]@ marurun - The dual boot install the best option, you gain the best of both operating systems. The OS9 games can run Classic Mode when booted in OSX by the auto load of OS9 system files. OS9 Desktop is not that pretty compared to OSX, nice to leave the newer OSX as default. I set favorite OS9 games in a drop box at the top right of the OSX desktop. If a marathon run of OS9 games, I can reboot direct into OS9./quote]

I like OSX, but an older version of OSX is going to have security issues that OS9 might actually be too old to have. Also, I actually like the OS 9 desktop. I love some of the fun stuff I can do with it that I can't do in OSX. I don't need a gimped OSX machine that I can't do much with. If I were going to do some OS 9 gaming I would just go full OS9 and skip X altogether.
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samsonlonghair
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Re: Early Intel iMac - Repair it or mod it?

by samsonlonghair Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:00 pm

marurun wrote:I like OSX, but an older version of OSX is going to have security issues that OS9 might actually be too old to have. Also, I actually like the OS 9 desktop. I love some of the fun stuff I can do with it that I can't do in OSX. I don't need a gimped OSX machine that I can't do much with. If I were going to do some OS 9 gaming I would just go full OS9 and skip X altogether.

More power to you, Maru!

My G4 iMac is basically a gimped OSX machine, and you know what? It doesn't do much except look cool. If you want to play OS9 games, then go for it whole hog!
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