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Thread: G4 Quicksilver trying to install OSX - missing HD?

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Oct 04, 2008
    G4 Quicksilver trying to install OSX - missing HD?
    Hey everyone,

    I picked up an old G4 quicksilver without a hard drive this weekend. I am a complete newbie with macs and went out and bought a new 160GB Western Digital Caviar Blue EIDE drive (the smallest one Fry's had) and went ahead and plugged it in to the slot (ribbon cable, power cable etc).

    I opened the optical drive manually, inserted the Mac OS X CD and booted the machine (holding down C). So far, so good.

    Now, I get as far as agreeing to the license and confirming what language I want it to speak, then when asked for a destination, I cannot see my new hard drive.

    Can you guys help me - I see no way to format the drive. I have tried multiple jumper settings on the HD (master, dual master, no jumper) to no avail.

    I realize that some G4s have an issue recognizing drives larger than 128GB but surely the install should recognize the drive as a 128GB drive? Maybe?

    Any help much appreciated - and yes, I KNOW it's an ancient machine, but the price was right


  2. #2

    Member Since
    Jun 19, 2008
    Sounds like you need to initialize. Open utilities in your install disc's folders. First, initialize, then set 2 partitions so that you get your 128 plus the balance.

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Oct 04, 2008
    John! THanks for the answer, but I need a little clarification...

    Once I insert the Mac OS X install disk, I can only do the OS install, I do not see anywhere I can do anything other than try and install the OS. I canot access any folders or anything a far as I can see.

    How do I 'open utilities in your install disc's folders'?

    I am familiar with the procedure in pcs where I can do hardware checks and play with the BIOS but am not familiar with this process with MACs.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    once the install screen appears, you should still have some options in the top menu bar, one of these is Utilities or something similar

    You can access disk Utility from the menu bar, reformat the drive and then continue with the installation
    Member of the Month September 2008 & August 2012 | Found advice useful? use the rep system

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Oct 04, 2008
    OK now I think I really screwed it.
    I have an OS 9 install disc also and inserted that - and hey, presto, I found a utilties folder which allowed me to initialize the HD.

    I split the disk into two approx 60GB partitions and then shut down the computer.

    I inserted the Mac OS X CD (once again having to use a paperclip to manually open the CD drawer) and started up again (pressing C) and now the machine just boots into the open firmware.

    I can use my VERY rudimentary command line guesses to find the contents of the OS X CD that is in the optical drive, but however many times I try, I canot boot from the CD like I could before.

    Did I break it?



  6. #6

    Member Since
    Oct 04, 2008
    Just to clarify the above, I cannot even get to the mac OS X install procedure like I was able to before.

    I hold down C with the OS X install disc insterted and the machine hangs for 2-3 minutes before going to the open firmware prompt.

    I can use dir HD and dir CD to find the contents of the HD and the CD but do not know where to go from here.

    It seems like I have taken one step forward (at least I can see the HD now) but two steps back (cannot get to OS X install procedure).

    There's probably something simple, but for the life of me I can't figure it out.


  7. #7

    Member Since
    Oct 14, 2008
    Until you get OS X sorted out, use Ubuntu Live CD 6.06

    I picked up a G4 and have been trying to learn more about Macs, but until I score OS X, I installed OpenSuse PPC 11.0. I first added 1 gig of RAM and a 60 gig hard drive I had.

    I'm curious why you had to use a paper clip, doesn't the CD/DVD open with the button?

    From what I gather reading here or on Mac-Help you may need to redo the PRAM, or the computer in the computer. I'll let others clear this up, as I'm confused with keyboard strokes and chip-like devices on the motherboard. I have a lot of printing and study to do.

    Thank goodness Linux is a friendly face, too bad Mac-Pup is x86 and not PPC...
    ChiJoan in Reno

  8. #8
    Try installing OS 9 first and see if that helps.

  9. #9

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    First check it is definately a Quicksilber as Digital Audio models ran up as far as 733MHz models and they require the installation of Firmware Update 4.2.8 from the Apple web site prior top attempting to install any version of OS X.

    As Alexis suggested, if you have OS 9.2.1/9.2.2 discs, boot from them, format the drive and see if you can get an install to take.

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