In this case unplugging and replugging the mouse always worked for me. The firmware is the software that initializes the hardware components and acts as a first stage of the boot loader. Open Firmware is based on Forth and includes a shell that can be used for some fancy manipulation of the booting process and for hardware investigation. Of course all this is intended for trouble-shooting rather than the end-user. All Mac mini G4s use Open Firmware 3. In the simplest case your optical drive still works and you either have the original gray install disk for this machine or a black retail disk of Tiger or Leopard.
Mac mini (1.33GHz G4, Late 2005) – Full information
However, you can not buy it new, it is abandon ware. If you don't have the disks you can try to buy one 2nd hand, however keep in mind that the grey install disks are model-specific and cannot be used on a different Mac model, so better get a black retail disk. Downloading a copy off the net is against Apple's Terms of Service and considered ethically wrong by some.
A defunct optical drive is unfortunately a common case in an old G4. The easiest way requires that you have a 2nd Mac that can be connected with the G4's FireWire port. This can be accomplished with any Mac that has a FireWire or Thunderbolt port via appropriate cables or adapters. You boot the G4 in target disk mode, copy or install the OS from the 2nd Mac, reboot and you're done. Another easy way is to simply use an external boot disk that connects to the FireWire port.
Again, set the disk up on a different machine many FireWire disks have USB connectors , connect it to the G4 and boot. The G4 should automatically boot from the external disk. A more involved way is to take out the internal hard disk, somehow mount it on a different Mac you will need some kind of enclosure or disk dock , copy or install the OS and put the hard drive back in.
A somewhat tedious and error-prone way is to try to boot from an external USB drive - be it optical or a memory stick or a disk. You have to boot into Open Firmware and enter some commands to find the correct USB device and boot into it from the Open Firmware shell. Not all USB devices seem to work.
I had mixed results. For details on how to do this google around. Careful however, some descriptions are erroneous. If you copy the contents of an Apple install or retail CD image ISO to a hard disk and try to boot and install from it, you may see a message that this is not possible. Look on the net for a work around. If you feel comfortable setting up a 2nd machine as a boot server with the required files this may be a good option for you, otherwise don't bother.
I tried 2 different modern USB3 optical drives.
No automatic booting though and no burning unless you have access to the right drivers. Apple moved older support articles to the archive section of their support site. Try googling the title or go the Apple support site and enter a search term, then go to advanced search and select "Include Archive" in one of the menus.
Macrumors has a nice, fairly non-technical G4 FAQ. It is also probably the best place to ask hardware or Mac OS questions. OWC has very good info on hardware replacements. Any additional information or reasonable comment is welcome. Please contact me via email. My address is heja at gmx dot de. Of course I will give credit to any additions or corrections.
Glad you asked ;- My own G4 is a 1. I got it for free because the hard disk was broken and the optical drive did not work either.
It seems the broken hard disk had prevented the optical drive from working properly. I call it "zombie". Zombie triple-boots Leopard, Tiger with Classic and Xubuntu Copyright c by Herbert Janssen. This work is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.
Herbert Janssen, version: 1. How can a Mac mini G4 be useful in ? What hardware variants do exist, what are current replacements? What is target disk mode and why is FireWire so important? Which non-Apple OSes does it run? What can I expect if I run a current version of Linux?
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Any tips for installing Ubuntu? How does dual or multi-booting work? Which startup keys can you use at boot time? What are my options to install Mac OS X? I found a link to an Apple support document, but I get redirected. What are some good sources for information about the G4?
I have a correction or addition to the FAQ, what can I do? Anything else? What kind of machine is a Mac mini G4? Honestly, it's very limited. Of course you can also just tinker with it or dwell in nostalgia. The audio port is output only, but can be modified to provide audio-in as well. Here are the latest versions available: Mac OS X Safari 5. Java plugin But the rear has twice as many USB 2.
Bluetooth 2. New are an audio-in jack and Serial ATA, a faster data bus for the hard drive.
Operating System Upgrade
The 1. Standard hard drives were so-so rpm 2. That should be enough for most users.
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There was also a 2. Other hardware changes include a fifth USB port on the back, That means the Early Mac mini can support two displays. It is not supports in macOS Sierra.
Snow leopard specs
It was also the last Mini to use the original form factor — 2. This is a great machine for those who want a more modern version than OS X The Early shipped with OS X The October update has the same logic board and model identifier, making it just a speed bump — or maybe I should say jump. The Late Mini came in three speeds — 2. OS X For those who want a Mac mini with a built-in optical drive, this was the last model to include it.
Mac Mini G4 1.25ghz - worth upgrading?
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