Saturday, April 2, 2011

Download: Restore Image for Titanium PowerBooks

By request, I have created a custom restore disc for Titanium PowerBooks. Though this image is built with PowerBooks in mind, it should also work with any Mac older than the FW800 MDD Power Mac G4 and newer than the original PowerBook G3.

Current version: 1.1, 18 March 2012.

Installation instructions (from the readme):
To install these files, you have two options: the preferred method is burning this image to a disc. To do this, you MUST use Toast (included) inside OS 9 to burn a bootable image. If using the included Toast 5 Titanium, click and hold on the Other tab at the main menu until a menu pops up. Select ‘Mac Volume’ from the list. With this disc mounted, click the select button and select Titanium Restore Disc. Uncheck all options except ‘Bootable’ and click on Record. Insert a CD or DVD (CDs are faster) and click on Record. Note that this image is already optimized. There is no need for Toast to do it for you.

When the image is done burning, put it into your computer’s CD drive and turn it on. Press and hold C until you see a Happy Mac, then wait for it to boot. When it does, copy all files to your hard disk. Before you reboot again, check your new System Folder’s icon. If it doesn’t have a Happy Mac on top of the folder, open it, drag the file labeled “Finder” to the desktop, put it back and close it. If another folder has a Happy Mac instead of this one, open the offending item and drag the file labeled “Finder” to the desktop. Open and close the new folder again until the icon appears, then put the file back in the old folder. Use Apple Menu->Control Panels->Startup Disk to select your new folder and reboot (it may seem unresponsive for a few seconds at first. This is normal.)

The second way to install is to copy all folders except perhaps the “Read Us” folder (your choice) to the top level of your hard disk. In a copy of Mac OS X running on the same machine, open Terminal from /Applications/Utilities/ and type (or copy-paste) “sudo bless --folder9 /System\ Folder/”, press return, type your password when asked and press return again. Note that it will appear as if you aren’t typing your password, but it will still accept it. Reboot.

If any of this fails, create a bootable disc if you haven’t already, boot from it and use :Applications (Mac OS 9):Utilities:Drive Setup ƒ:Drive Setup to update the disc driver. If this fails for any reason, try backing up your hard drive and reformatting using either Drive Setup on this disc or using Mac OS X’s Disk Utility with the “Install Mac OS 9 disk drivers” option checked.

(You can also clone this image to a USB drive >600 MB in size if you must. PowerPC Macs can boot OS 9 from USB, but not OS X.)

About this disc:
This disc is based off of the MDD Mac OS 9 image available available on Macintosh Garden based on the instructions on my blog. This disc is not factory: I have updated a few outdated components, removed Netscape Communicator 4, Internet Explorer 5, the FaxSTF installer and the Earthlink installer, installed A-Dock 3.0.1 (disableable by unchecking the “A-Dock Control” control panel and the “A-Dock” extension in Extensions Manager), Classilla 9.2.2 (web browser), ResEdit, Acuity (RSS reader), ClassicStumbler, Disenfectant, Tex-Edit Plus, AppleWorks 6, MacLink Plus 11, Toast 5 Titanium, the Virtual DVD-ROM/CD Utility, Disk Copy 6.5b13 (reads uncompressed .dmg files).

Known issues:
1. When booting off a read only copy of this image, some applications may default to standard settings. They will behave normally if the disc is writable. [Should be fixed with v1.1]
2. MacLink Plus reports that it has not been registered even though it should have been. The registration number is 5089376-9057. The License key is Q0A8-4D00C8549500. This will be fixed in the next version. These codes are available in an archive here. [MacLinkPlus removed in v1.1]
3. The disc image inside the Stuffit archive is read only under OS 9 but read-write under OS X. I will attempt to make it read only under OS X in the next version. In the mean time, selecting the disk in the Finder, choosing File->Get Info and checking the "Locked" checkbox before mounting it will make it read only. Note that you only need to do this if you intend to burn it to a disc.
4. Burning with ANY application besides Toast natively under Mac OS 9 will result in a non-bootable image. This cannot be corrected. Please read the third paragraph under Installation Instructions above to install using OS X and Terminal instead if you cannot burn an image in OS 9.

Version history:
1.1: Released on 18 March 2012. Updated Classilla, removed A-Dock and MacLink Plus in addition to several minor tweaks.
1.0: Initial release on 2 April 2011

Some of these files are considered Abandonware, meaning that the application is no longer sold and the only way to obtain it is through certain websites such as Macintosh Garden. Though I have used my discretion to avoid illegal distribution of these old apps, if you own the rights for any of these apps or act on behalf of somebody who does, you may feel free to contact me and ask me to remove the offending item(s).

Download here or here
297 MB download, 600 MB uncompressed. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a comment and I will do what I can to help.

Posted from a Titanium PowerBook G4: 1 GHz PowerPC G4, 1 GB of RAM, 250 GB HDD, TenFourFox 7450 4.0s, Mac OS 10.5.8. Alternate bootable partitions: Mac OS 10.4.11, Mac OS 9.2.2, Linux MintPPC 9.2.

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Blogger George said...

Hi Gavin

Just wanted to say an enormous thank you for this! I couldn't get the image to boot directly as the Mac OS 9 drivers weren't already installed on the hard drive and I didn't already have a working copy of the OS... But by booting from a Mac OS X install disc and using the included Disc Utility to restore the files from a USB version of your image directly to the hard disc, it worked just fine! I now have a working copy of Mac OS 9.2.2 after literally days of effort, so thank you.


April 9, 2011 at 3:15 PM 
Blogger Gavin said...

You are quite welcome. I'm glad to hear that it helped somebody.

April 11, 2011 at 5:54 PM 
Blogger Commander VoRTeX said...

Gavin, I have here a Titanium 1Ghz powerbook and it is running 10.4.11 .

I burned your TitaniumRestore.img with toast and I never mounted the image to my computer before burning it.

When I hold down C to boot from CD, it spins up the cd and then boots 10.4.11 again. I can't install Mac OS 9. What could be causing this?

April 17, 2011 at 9:24 AM 
Blogger Gavin said...

A few possibilities come to mind: when you burned the image, did you do in Toast under OS 9 or under OS X? The image will not be bootable under Toast under OS X. Second, the image type in Toast should be set to Mac Volume. In the options panel, 'Bootable' should be checked. Third, you might have put just the .img file on a disc instead of the contents of said file. You can check this by looking at the contents of the CD under OS X. Instead, you need to click and hold on the "Other" tab in Toast and select "Mac Volume." Mount the image (lock the original file if necessary) and drag its icon from the desktop into the Toast window. Click on Select, make sure that only the Bootable box is checked, press OK and click Record. Does all of this match your procedure?

If none of this applies, there is also a small chance that you have a defective disc. In my experience, one in every fifty or so CD-Rs are defective these days.

April 17, 2011 at 10:30 AM 
Blogger sand fly said...

gavin, are you still around --- i'm looking for a ti boot disk
to bring back my old memories.


March 12, 2012 at 10:51 PM 
Blogger Gavin said...

I'm still around. I'll update a few components, fix a few bugs and post a link as soon as I can.

R.I.P. Megaupload.

March 13, 2012 at 7:52 PM 
Blogger Gavin said...

The post has been updated.

March 18, 2012 at 7:47 PM 
Blogger maybe_irb_bug!! said...

Here's how I installed OS9 without installing OSX:
1. Copy the files from the OS9 install CD to a USB key.
2. Boot an OSX PPC install CD.
3. Erase the destination OS9 system drive, making sure that the OS9 disk drivers are included.
4. Plug in the USB key and in a Terminal copy all the files from it to your newly erased volume.
5. In terminal, cd to your new volume after the files are copied and do:
# find . -type d -print0 | xargs -I{} -0 chmod 0777 "{}"
# find . -type f -print0 | xargs -I{} -0 chmod 0666 "{}"
# bless --folder9 /Volumes/{YOUR VOLUME}/System\ Folder/
6. Select the OS9 disk as the startup disk from the OSX installer menus.
7. Reboot.

Finally after a day of screw with it, it booted. Good luck.

March 25, 2012 at 6:10 PM 
Blogger TheRealAnubis said...


Great tutorial!

It looks like Macintosh Garden doesn't have your image anymore. Any links to where I could get it?

I'm trying to get my 800Mhz eMac USB 1 to install 9.2.2, and so far no luck.


July 10, 2012 at 8:34 AM 
Blogger Gavin said...

The download link now point directly to the image hosted at It seems that the original page at Macintosh Garden was merged with many other pages about a month ago here. That page includes an image built for an 800 MHz eMac with ATI graphics, which will probably run better on your hardware than my image will. For whatever it's worth, the very first version of my Titanium restore image was a modified version of that eMac image. If that is indeed the same image, the process I used to convert it to a more normal OS 9 install disc is detailed here.

July 10, 2012 at 12:11 PM 
Blogger TheRealAnubis said...


I'll try it out and let you know.

Thanks for the info!

July 10, 2012 at 1:42 PM 
Blogger skinnie said...

Well first of all thanks for this great image!
I have a Powermac G4 (gigabit) with 2Gb Ram,Flashed GeForce 6200 (from what I've read it works on os9 but without 3d acceleration),A-Card 6290M PCI Sata (os9 compatible too),PCI Wifi Card (Ralink based - no os9 drivers),Sonnet 1.2GHz processor (I've updated the powermac firmware to the one on sonnet webpage, and from what I've read it is compatible with os9 too).
The machine runs fine 10.4 and 10.5 but I never managed to boot any cd of os9 (I have the ones that came with the computer and others that I've downloaded), ones do boot and give me flash question mark, others don't even boot.
With yours, in osx I first made the image read only and then cloned it to a usb drive using disk utility (the pendrive was format with os9 drivers), it booted,question mark after a while happy mac and the powermac rebooted.After that I never managed to get it too see the happy mac and one of my ide HDDs spin and spin.Althought the partitions and systems are ok there and in the 2nd SATA hdd.
Any suggestion?

July 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM 
Blogger Gavin said...

You are quite welcome. I'm glad the image is helping people.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I understand the problem, you could partially boot from the USB device once and you haven't been able to get it to work at all since then.

It sounds like it might just be an improperly blessed System Folder. In an OS X Terminal window, you can type 'sudo bless --folder9 "/Volumes/(disk name)/System Folder"' without the single quotes and press return to bless the folder. This is case sensitive. After that, hold Option at boot with the USB drive connected and see if it shows up in the menu. You could also check that the USB disk is Mac formatted (HFS or HFS+ instead of FAT32).

If the system won't boot at all, you can try resetting PRAM or using the Startup Disk preference pane on an OS X installation or CD to set a working system folder.

I don't believe OS 9 will boot from a SATA disk if that is what you are trying because the drivers load as extensions halfway through the boot process. I'd recommend you install on an IDE, USB or FireWire drive instead.

I hope this helps. If I misunderstood the problem, let me know.

July 29, 2012 at 3:50 PM 
Blogger skinnie said...

Gavin thanks for your help.
I have tried again (with two pendrives, an OCZ Rally2 1Gb and 2Gb generic pendrive) blessing with your method (before I used an app that I found somewhere) and I got a folder with question mark and my IDE disk clicking (I have both and IDE and a SATA HDD on the machine).
For cloning I even tried 2 methods: method 1 restore from disk utility.method 2 copy the folders from your image to the pendrive (the cloning was made on my macbook with 10.6.8 if that matters).
Any idea?

July 30, 2012 at 12:40 AM 
Blogger Gavin said...

I did all of the OS X commands above with Mac OS 10.5.8 on my PowerBook. I'd recommend that you try blessing it on a PowerPC Mac, if only because Apple might have changed how the bless command works when they dropped support for PowerPC and Open Firmware with Snow Leopard in favor of Intel and EFI. If that doesn't work, I'm not sure what else you can do. Maybe it's a problem with my image on your hardware, or maybe it's some procedural error that we haven't thought of.

However, there is a factory image for Gigabit Ethernet G4s here. Because the GigE G4 shipped with OS 9.0.4, an OS 9.1 or 9.2.x retail CD (images available at the same link) would also probably work. Worst case scenario, a retail Mac OS 9.1 CD usually isn't too hard to find. I found two on eBay for $10 or less after a quick search.

July 30, 2012 at 11:26 AM 
Blogger Philip Sanderson said...

OK got a Ti PowerBook yesterday from ebay already had 10.4 loaded but no sign of OS 9. Also came with 10.4 install disk (looked to be a clone of the Mac one). Tried various things for hours but what worked in the end was.
1. Boot from install disk
2. Go through first couple of stages till it asks you which HD you want to install on
3. Don't install but go up to top left of screen to utilities drop down
4. Pick disk utility and partition
5. Partition drive into small (3GB) OS 9 partition (making sure to have the OS 9 drives checkbox ticked) leaving the rest.
6. Reboot still with OS 10.4 disk in drive, now install 10.4 on the large partition, once installed reboot
7. Put the Ti OS 9 files from Gavin's disk on USB and copy to the OS 9 partition
8. Go to select start up disk and highlight the OS 9 system, reboot and voila

January 25, 2013 at 1:54 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help!! I am desperate to get Mac OS 9 running on my 1GHz Titanium PowerBook G4. I thought I finally found what I needed thanks to you, but it appears that the download is no longer valid.

Is there any way you could re-upload it? If not, is there anything else I can do to make OS 9 install?!

Any help you can give is SO GREATLY appreciated!!

You're amazing Gavin!


April 27, 2013 at 9:58 AM 
Blogger Gavin said...

I updated the download link and added a mirror. Hopefully one or both of those files will remain online for more than a few months.

It seems that Minus now enforces a maximum file size of 15 MB. I would guess that after they implemented this policy, they deleted every file greater than 15 MB in size on their servers, including my disc image. Because they never told me what happened or even that they removed the file, this is just speculation.

Thanks for the kind words.

April 29, 2013 at 2:07 PM 
Blogger superphamicom said...

after a few days of wrestling w my newly purchased 1ghz titanium powerbook (a mint condition one off ebay) trying to get it to boot into os 9 I stumbled upon this post. you, sir, are simply amazing and have provided a great service to us hobbyists and to these machines. They're little snapshots in computing and personal history (the 550 mhz onyx was my first laptop ever) and deserve to be preserved and maintained. I hereby salute you.



June 22, 2013 at 12:46 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just wondering the work around for the cpu plugin. I have tried several images for my 867 ti and not one of them report my cpu properly. Maybe you can help. OS9 says i have a 667 cpu with no L2. Now i know for a fact that mine is an 867 and has in fact L2 cache. How do i fix this?

April 12, 2015 at 5:58 PM 

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