Resurrecting a 466MHz PMG4 DA

The last time I mentioned this machine was February of 2015 – well over a year ago and figured I should bring it back to life! I shoved it into a shed last summer with my B&W and the 8 or so Dell Optiplex GX620 towers I owned at the same time and over this past weekend I decided to work with it again.

This machine was purchased from a guy I found on Craigslist on April 15,2014 while on vacation in the Santa Cruz, CA area. The guy only wanted $5 which I was more than happy to pay for and so I went to pick it up! He actually lived not even two miles away from the Mystery Spot location in Santa Cruz along the same main road.

What I found was a 466MHz Digital Audio G4. 256MB Ram, 30GB Hard Drive, and a weak Rage 128. The case was super clean with very minimal scratches. I have always ran Tiger on this machine but have considered throwing in a better processor to try Leopard out on.

Jump forward to Saturday evening (June 4) when I pulled it out of the shed. I didn’t mess with it until the next day so when I did, I decided I’d install some nicer stuff.


First upgrade was RAM, and they only have 3 slots with a max of 512MB PC133 per slot (totalling 1.5GB). I of course did not have any 512MB sticks so I was stuck with 256MB. I located every stick of desktop RAM I had and spread them out along my bed (counted 84 sticks, mostly DDR and DDR2) and found three 256MB sticks. The furry friend decided that DDR2 was her favorite ram by sleeping on top of several sticks! So the machine currently has 768MB of RAM.


Next was a SATA hard drive. I had a 320GB WD Blue sitting around and decided I should use that so I grabbed a SATA card. I raised my hopes thinking I had a Molex to SATA power adapter running around which I could not find, so I found a old power supply and cut the SATA end off and mated it to the original Molex adapter (looks pretty factory I think, outside of the heatshrink! Added factory looking zip ties as well). And about half an hour later I found 3 Molex to SATA adapters. Oh well.


Next was a graphics card. I had two to choose between, a G5 Radeon 9600 64MB or a stock MDD Geforce 4MX 64MB. Ultimately I ended going with the MDD card to keep stock ADC port functionality.

Here is where things started to go south. I booted the Tiger installer DVD to find the machine throwing kernel panics whenever I would boot off of it. Even after swapping the RAM, removing PCI cards, CUDA reset, all of the like, the machine still kernel paniced. I was on the edge of gutting the machine out to fit in a Micro ATX board but that changed!


I posted about my struggle on the PowerPC MacRumors thread and one user had the same machine with the same issue and mentioned that after swapping the clock battery it booted fine. Since I was gutting my MDD for a logic board replacement (future post) I took the good battery out and shoved it into the DA, and sure enough it booted the installer!

On my merry way I successfully installed Tiger and set the machine up. Now maybe I can test out some software on the thing!


Future plans for this machine? I wouldn’t mind a processor upgrade, 1.5GB Ram, USB2.0 card, and a 128MB Radeon 9600 from a G5. All it takes is finding one and money! I won’t be throwing any more money into this thing for the meantime as I have other projects I’d like to complete first. Again, we will see!

Stay tuned 🙂

This entry was posted in Customization, G4, Hardware, OS X 10.4 Tiger, Software, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Resurrecting a 466MHz PMG4 DA

  1. Rick says:

    What SATA card did you use? I have a sawtooth too, with the PATA limit of 120GB. It has a Sonnet 1.6GHz G4 in it, so I’d like to use it more. It’s as noisy as a dishwasher tho. It also has a habit of powering itself on randomly, probably the battery.

  2. Robert Stevens says:

    Is there a demand for Apple G4’s? Have one; in good condition; don’t want any money for it– just a good home. Live in Santa Cruz CA.

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