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Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8622
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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I am trying to install OS 9.2 on a old eMac so that I can run

Resolved Question:

I am trying to install OS 9.2 on a old eMac so that I can run a old program that requires classic mode. The emac has 10.4.1 installed but there is no OS9 system folder. I have a 9.2 install disk but it won't run on the emac. It starts to boot from the CD ( i get a happy face mac) but when the next screen comes up the "CD" screen it is distorted and as it loads the screen goes blank and the process stops. I don't get a desktop. Is there something unique about the emac that would cause this. The guy that gave me the disk says he has used it many times to install OS 9 on many different kinds of Macs. Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike replied 6 years ago.
It is a little complicated here is a good tutorial:
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The tutorial you linked talks of using a OS9 restore CD. I do not have a restore CD I have a 9.2 system install CD. The tips in the tutorial do not apply.
I don't need to launch OS9. I only need to run it in classic. Unfortunately, the tutorial is very close but does not help.

I can open the install CD and see its contents I just can't boot from it on the eMac for some reason. When it gets to the "CD" screen it seems to be distorted and when it loads extensions it stops. Is there something different about the emac that would cause this? Is there something that I could turn off/on that might help me boot from the cd
Expert:  Mike replied 6 years ago.
It does apply, you don‘t need to boot from the OS 9 disk this is the part you need to do, see in bold at bottom.

However, if you don't need to boot Mac OS 9 but only need to run the Classic environment, you can work around having to do a clean install via the following process:

  1. You will need to temporarily make all folders visible -- this can be accomplished with a utility like TinkerTool or via the Terminal command: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE (You will need to re-launch the Finder after toggling this option by logging out and back in)
  2. Next, insert your Mac OS 9 restore CD. You will see a folder called ".images" on it. Open that folder.
  3. Double-click on the file "OS9General.dmg." This will mount a Mac OS 9 system disk image.
  4. Inside of this disk image will be a folder titled "System Folder." Copy this folder to the root level of your Mac OS X startup drive.
  5. Re-launch TinkerTool and make hidden folders invisible again, or use this Terminal command: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles -bool FALSE
  6. Log out then back in again. You should now be able to start Classic from its pane in System Preferences.

If not, you may need to re-bless the Mac OS 9 System Folder per this Knowledge Base article.

Second, if you have a non-bootable Software Restore CD which includes Mac OS 9.2.2, you can simply insert the dic, open Software Restore, and select to restore only Mac OS 9.

If you have a standalone Mac OS 9 retail CD, you can try the same steps listed for the restoration disc, though you may run into issues depending on how new your Mac model is.

Edited by Mike the MacMedic on 5/1/2010 at 5:54 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Ok. I understand I have to install tinkertools to see the files. I downloaded TinkerTools and installed it on the emac. I toggled "show hidden files" . I re-launched the finder. I logged off and back on again. I inserted the OS9 install disk but I do not see a folder called ".images" anywhere as is described in number 2. Therefore I can't find the "OS9General.dmg file.

On the install disk I the following files showing
Install mac os 9 .pdf
Before you instal.txt
late breaking news.txt
Mac OS install icon
Install Mac OS 9.2.1 icon
Application, CD extras, Utilities, Software installers, System folder, folders

That is what I have on the instal disk
Expert:  Mike replied 6 years ago.
Try here:

Also what program are you trying to run in Classic?

Edited by Mike the MacMedic on 5/1/2010 at 7:12 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You are killing me. A little explanation would be helpful. I went to the apple download page and downloaded the 9.2.1 update. I not sure if that is what I want because as I said earlier there is no OS 9 on the emac. Anyway i did the download and opened it. Again there is no ".images" folder in the Mac OS 9.2.1 folder that I can finder per the instruction 2 in the tutorial
Expert:  Mike replied 6 years ago.
Sorry I thought that was a disk image. What program are you trying to run in Classic?
Expert:  Mike replied 6 years ago.
The reason I ask is you probably have to reformat the drive to install os 9. When formatting the drive you have to select install OS 9 drivers. I may have a workaround depending on what app you are trying to run.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The program I am trying to run is Helix Rade by QSA toolworks. It is a relational database application development program. Helix has not finished re-writing all of its code after Apple went to Intel based chips. They have re-written the Client , Server and Single user apps but not the Programing app which is called RADE(Rapid Application Development Environment). I have to get into the guts of my database to make some changes but this can , alteast until they finish, only be done on a powerpc mac in classic mode. I bought the emac because it could run classic but when I got it there was no OS9 on it for classic mode. Once I update the database the database can be launched by Helix engine on my imac and run in OSX 10.5.8
That is my situation in a nutshell. I need classic.
Expert:  Mike replied 6 years ago.
OK I’m getting a version that you can load I’ll let you know when ready to download.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
ok standing by thx for the help
Expert:  Mike replied 6 years ago.
Go here with any web browser and sign in.

username: justanswer
password: macmedic

and download Classic.dmg, double click to mount. For Macs that can't boot into OS 9 (excluding Intel-based Macs which can't even use Classic). This is the image that your software restore would copy to your hard drive to give you access to OS 9 apps. Just mount it and copy the folders out to your hard drive. Then go to System Preferences and choose Classic to configure.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The classic.dmg is downloading now. So if I understand you. I should download this file to the emac. Then double click on it and when it opens copy all of the files to the hardrive . Do they need to go anywhere in particular? Once I have them on the hard drive then I go to system preferences and choose classic to get classic to turn on? Is that correct?
I will give that a try. If I have a problem are you available tomorrow? Can I contact you again if I just bookmark this page?
Expert:  Mike replied 6 years ago.
Yes I’ll be here tomorrow.
Mike and 3 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I was able to get Classic to launch! When I opened the Classic.dmg file there were other files in there besides the system. Namely desktop db, desktop df, desktop folder, trash, and Applications. I assumed they were not needed so I did not copy them. The system recognized it and classic opened. Hurray! One more bridge crossed! Thank you for your assistance. I will definitely bookmark Justanswer for future reference.

Thanks again for sticking with me and for the software fix. Cheers