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Bobby Ogata

Can anything be done

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I am currently using a 1st gen G4 Mac Mini 1.25Ghz. Now that it's over 4 years old and a G4, it has gotten very slow. I've upgraded the hardware as much as it will allow, and I'm really not in a position to buy a new Mac. My question is, will an OS upgrade help speed things up? I know Snow Leopard is Intel only, but would Leopard do me any good?

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I wouldn't bother. I don't usually bother installing it on anything less than a 1.5 G4.

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Leopard might help, but sometimes something as simple as a clean install of your current OS (I'm assuming that's Tiger) can clean things up a bit and get you back to a nice speed. If you haven't done a clean install since you got the machine over four years ago, then this will definitely speed up your system.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Apple Geek

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I recently installed Leopard on my 1st gen G4 Mac mini 1.25Ghz and while it is a tad snappier, I agree with both Graham and Apple Geek. I think a clean install would speed things up and am not sure it's worth the money to put Leopard on. Maybe do a clean install of Tiger and then if you're not happy you could try Leopard? :unsure:

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I recently took delivery of Leopard Family Pack (just £69.99 from Play in Dear Old Blighty) and will be putting it onto the following...

 

iBook G4 (Late 2004)

 

Base Model... M9623LL/A

Processor... PowerPC G4 1.2 GHz

Memory... 256 MB PC2100 (266MHz) Built-in + 256 MB DDR333 SDRAM PC2700 (?)

Drive... Fujitsu MHT2080AT (ATA/100 - 4200 RPM - 8 MB Cache / 74.41 GB)

 

-

 

Mac mini (Late 2005)

 

Base Model... M9686B/B

Processor... PowerPC G4 1.33 GHz

Memory... 512 MB DDR400 SDRAM PC3200 (Running as PC2700)

Drive... Seagate ST9402115A (Ultra ATA/100 - 5400 RPM - 2 MB Cache / 37.14 GB)

 

-

 

Mac mini (Late 2005)

 

Base Model... M9971B/B

Processor... PowerPC G4 1.5 GHz

Memory... 1 GB DDR400 SDRAM PC3200 Running as PC2700)

Drive... Seagate ST9808211A (Ultra ATA/100 - 5400 RPM - 8 MB Cache / 74.41 GB)

 

-

 

Mac mini (Late 2006)

 

Base Model... MA608xx/A

Processor... Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz

Memory... 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM PC2-5300

Drive... Seagate ST98823AS (SATA 1 - 5400 RPM - 8 MB Cache / 74.09 GB)

 

-

 

Mac mini (Mid 2007)

 

Base Model... MB139xx/A

Processor... Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz

Memory... 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM PC2-5300

Drive... Hitachi HTS541616J9SA00 (SATA 1 - 5400 RPM - 8 MB Cache / 148.73 GB)

 

...sometime between now and the end of the year. (There's nothing like avoiding being an early adopter - as this proves.) I've yet to choose a strategy - i.e. install Panther or Tiger, as appropriate, plus included applications such as iLife from the relevant system disks then adding Leopard or just putting Leopard on a clean drive - then, of course, adding post-purchase applications and data plus setting things up as needed. Whatever the case I'll be doing some before and after benchmarking - quite how I've yet to decide - and try to report back.

 

By the way... Leopard may be a challenge to find as time passes given that it's no longer made.

Edited by Harry_The_Bustard

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Thanks guys, I am going to try a clean install. First I have to find a firewire DVD burner, since my super drive is no longer working.

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I know the problem - one of my Superdrives fails to read "-R" media (and, I think, write) whilst another fails to write to "-RW" media - something which wasn't a problem when they were new as far as I know. (I hardly burn media but it's it's annoying that they don't do what they're supposed to do though it's never been a big issue given my big Mac family - and I don't mean one which eats junk from a dreadful chain.) When looking into a problem with a friend's iBook my local Apple Store told me it's possible to do a clean install from a FireWire hard drive with an image of the install disk on a volume on there but I didn't need to try that and so never did. So, perhaps someone could advise whether or not it is. N.B. Not all FireWire drives work as boot devices, as would be needed here, so beware if you follow that option - my only experience with such being that LaCie "Porsche" portable drives don't work whilst Formac ones do.

Edited by Harry_The_Bustard

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Yes, it definitely possible to install from an appropriately imaged drive - I do it quite often.

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That's good to know. I've test-read the Leopard disc on all four Mac minis and the two with dodgy optical drives (the ones in the middle of my list) failed to even read it. (I may replace them one day.) Still, I managed to image it to the hard drive on the others and will be burning my (one allowed) backup copy shortly using Toast - something I'll use to do the installs once I've verified it by imaging that rather than trusting the verify stage. (Better safe than sorry.) Of course I'm still stuffed in respect of upgrading the two Macs with dodgy optical drives so I'll have to try using a FireWire drive with an image of the disk on it. (Yes, yes, I know I shouldn't - terms of use and all that - but I claim fair use!) I think I know what to do - i.e. create a suitably-sized volume via partitioning in Disk Utility and then putting the Leopard disk image in there - after which I choose it after booting from the drive. Still, if anyone can confirm this it will save me messing about - my local Apple Store being closed for refurbishment until the end of the month - though I'm not sure I'll do it before then as I need to get a Formac drive first and Amazon (which has them cheap) take an age to deliver for free.

Edited by Harry_The_Bustard

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Thanks. I'll probably follow that procedure for all five Mac updates - i.e. using the same drive image on an external hard drive - maybe even using my iPod.

 

By the way... when testing one of the flaky Superdrives with a software CD (which it read after a struggle) some fluff came out when I ejected it - a sign, no doubt, of the mini's five years of almost daily use. So, I'm going to have to give it (and the other) a clean - i.e. with a suitable disc and maybe an air jet - the insides of the Mac minis too for the first time ever. (I want to double the memory in the one with just 512 MB anyway and, besides, I'm curious to see the insides for myself.) Opening such up is scary to some but I've seen it done "live" as well as via the rather excellent guide videos found here and I'm sure I'll manage. (I watched a mate do it for someone who wanted his mini's memory doubling - he managing it with a credit card on his own mini - this time, however, he having to use a butter knife!) Besides, when you've replaced the hard drive in an iBook and an eMac as I have then popping open a mini is a doddle.

Edited by Harry_The_Bustard

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I have a putty knife that's had the edges sanded down that will have to last me until I get the official tool errrm, liberated from a genius bar.

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So I found a combo drive on ebay for $25. An 8123A. The mini is not detecting it and I managed to get a dvd stuck in there while trying to see if it would work. I've tried resetting the PRAM to see if that would help the mini recognize it. Also I've tried the mouse/restart trick to eject it and nothing. The combo drive lights up (red), but it's not showing in the system profiler.

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