I am having trouble getting Mac OS 9.2.2 installed on my PowerBook G4 Titanium (867mhz).

I am knowledgeable with Windows and Linux but I have no experience on how to setup these older Macs. They seem to have a lot of disparate drivers that are very specific and shipped on install discs with those machines only. This is very foreign to me as I'm used to genetic OS disk/discs and then installing a selection of compatible drivers.

I downloaded this:

Download #4: Mac OS 9.2.2 system folders extracted from the PowerBook G4 Titanium (DVI) A1025 (867MHz/1.0GHz) Software Install and Restore DVD. Unstuffed, this should result in a bootable OS 9 toast image.


Which I extracted from the .sit file using Stuffit Expander on a newer Mac running OSX. I then mounted the .toast file and copied the files by dragging them onto a disk newly formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

I installed the disk I to the PowerBook and achieved only a partial success. I get a little face in a folded that blinks to a question mark. The folder has the appearance of OS 9 but does not boot.

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Simply formatting a disk and then copying files to it is really strange to me. I'm used to having to setup boot partitions or some kind of a bootloader. But from what I've read you just drag and drop the files?

Here are the files as they appear on the disk. Are the folder names right?

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  • 1
    You can't install any Mac OS by 'copy/paste' The system drive must be 'blessed'… though tbh, I have no idea how you used to do that in System 9… too long ago. The upside, once you achieve that, is that the Mac 'system' will boot any Mac that can use that version of the OS; all drivers are included. That's why you could [until modern security] simply swap any boot drive into any Mac & it will work as though nothing changed. Burning the CD using Toast itself may have done that as part of the process. Haven't used Toast in a decade & memory is hazy.
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 26, 2020 at 8:11
  • Do the hinges on the TiBook still work? Be careful and try to open/close the lid as little as possible. Those hinges will eventually break and were the proverbial nail in the coffin of most TiBooks, mine included. Sep 26, 2020 at 9:35
  • Your best bet is to (ahem...) find an .iso of the Mac OS 9 installer CD, burn it to a CD and boot from it. You can then format the drive properly and install a working, bootable operating system. Being the Mac nerd that I am I have that install cd from Apple, but I can't legally send you a copy. Sep 26, 2020 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


Mac OS Extended (Journaled) is an OSX extension to the older HFS+ file system. While it can be read by OS9, the journal block will be ignored. OS9 needs a HFS+ file system without journaling. Also, unstuffing on an OSX file system will not add the resource fork which is essential for OS9. The blinking folder with the question mark tells you that while the file system can be read, no bootable operating system is present.

The original Mac OS held data in two forks, the data fork and the resource fork. That was a clever way of preserving precious disk space because many UI elements could be shared by all programs and read from the operating system files. ResEdit should be included in your OS9 installation and can be used to study and change resource forks once you get the system up and running.

Dragging files on OSX dives will not produce a bootable disk. Better try to burn a DVD directly from the .toast file because this will also copy files that OSX will ignore. Then boot from that DVD and do all file copying from within that OS9 system because only then will the resource files be copied as well.

  • This is not totally correct. OS X can handle resource forks just fine on appropriate filesystems. It won't work on FAT16 or FAT32, and probably will mangle them on NTFS, but on Mac native filesystems they should be fine. Jan 8 at 15:11

You may need an appropriate version of MacOS 9. There are modified versions for some later G4 models on MacOS9Lives.com -- for instance here:


More info here:


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