OS X and the iMac 266
After solving some significant install problems, OS X
runs very nicely.
I had tried the OS X Preview on my Rev
C iMac 266 and was less than overwhelmed. It was as cute as a Steve
Jobs keynote demonstration, but too unlike anything that this Mac user
was used to for me to feel comfortable, and too many of the changes
seemed change for change's sake -- the blue Apple icon in the middle of
the menu bar which did nothing, for example.
- by Alan Zisman
(c) 2001. First
online by Low End Mac, 31
Still, I was willing to try again with the release
version. Still, when
the installer greyed out my hard drive, I hesitated. The reason was
discovered -- my hard drive was formatted with the older HFS file
rather than the new HFS+ system, a quick peek into the System Profiler
verified. Who knew?
Of course, changing that meant reinitializing the
drive and starting
over with a clean install of OS 9.1. That took some thought.
a few days, however, I bit the bullet. That's when the real fun began!
I booted to the OS 9.1 CD, ran Drive Setup, and
initialized the disk.
Then I installed OS 9.1 and my most vital applications. Then I
OS X. Everything seemed fine -- I had been able to set up the 9.1
the way I liked, and I was able to start playing with and customizing
At the end of the day, I shut down.
In the morning, when I restarted, the bootup got as
far as the icon
of a disk with a question mark -- while the computer made the sounds of
a hard drive crash: ka-chunk, ka-chunk, ka-chunk. Definitely not good.
I didn't want to say that OS X had eaten my hard drive; it could
just be a coincidence.
So I took the computer to my local Mac dealer; they
agreed that it sounded
like a crashed drive, and convinced me to purchase a new 30 GB drive to
replace the iMac's original 6 GB model. They installed it; I took it
and started over.
The OS X CD has a ReadMe file -- it suggested that if
(among other models), a Rev A through D iMac, "and the hard disk is
than 8 GB with more than one partition, be sure to select a destination
partition for Mac OS X that is completely within the first 8 GB of the
I did read that, and thought, "Okay, so if I leave it
with a single
partition, I shouldn't have a problem." I repeated all the steps:
OS 9.1, start up and set up, install applications, install OS X.
Same problem as previous -- again, the '?' icon at bootup, again, the
Too much of a coincidence to think of two drive
crashes in a row, but
my vendor confirmed that if that was the case, they would replace the
He suggested that I try to boot to the 9.1 CD and reinitialize the
That worked. (Why didn't they suggest that with my original 6 GB drive
and save me the cost of a new drive with more space than I needed? In
I later discovered that the original drive would work after being
This time I partitioned the drive, making a slightly
smaller than 8
GB first partition, with everything else as the second partition. As
ReadMe suggested, I installed OS X into the first partition, along with
OS 9.1 -- and the same problems repeated themselves.
This time I phoned Apple. After a pleasantly short
time on hold, I got
a support technician who agreed that the ReadMe file was too vague. She
said that on older systems at Apple, they were installing OS 9.1 onto
partition and OS X onto the first (less than 8 GB) partition. It seems
that on those systems, the boot process was confused at finding both
systems in the same partition, resulting in the inability to start up.
I followed their advice, and everything worked as
Thanks, Apple, for offering clear instructions in the
ReadMe -- not!
It probably would have worked on my original (6 GB) drive if I had
the drive and installed the two operating systems into a different
than OS X.
Postscript: When the OS X 10.1 update was released, it
OS 9.2.1. That version somehow installed itself into the first
(where OS X resided). The system booted anyway. So it seems like
the problem was with my older system, OS 9.1 and the original OS X, it
was fixed in the update.
As always with computers, your mileage may vary.