HOWTO: Leopard install with Giga Designs G4 upgrade

One of my Macs is a 2001 vintage G4 733 with a dual 1.8GHz G4 upgrade. This should fit well within Leopard’s minimum system requirements, but the CPU upgrade I’m using presented a complication.

Without a kernel extension from Gigadesigns called ‘Giga-Meter’, MacOS recognizes the upgraded CPU’s as ‘PowerPC 60? 467MHz’ and therefore won’t update due to the new minimum requirement of 867MHz. This extension can’t be loaded from a DVD since you’re booted from the Leopard installation CD at the time you get denied.

I resolved this by doing the following (this is for fairly advanced users):

  1. Click OK to the dialog informing you your Mac isn’t fast enough, NOT RESTART
  2. You’ll be presented with an idle desktop, and will be able to choose ‘Terminal’ from the Utilities menu.
  3. Run ‘kextload /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kext‘. This extension loads into the leopard kernel without difficulty.
  4. Quit Terminal, choose ‘System Profiler’ from the Utilities menu. It should now report your CPU at the proper speed.
  5. Relaunch the MacOS X Installer by choosing Terminal again from the Utilities menu and running the following:/System/Installation/CDIS/Mac\ OS\ X\ Installer.app/Contents/MacOS/Mac\ OS\ X\ Installer /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg

(All on one line)

Leopard install will proceed normally.

Leopard also requires a CoreImage capable graphics card for a lot of its new stuff, so if people don’t have a Radeon 9600 Mac Edition in their upgraded G4’s, now’s the time to get one. This graphics card upgrade works fine under Leopard as well.

18 thoughts on “HOWTO: Leopard install with Giga Designs G4 upgrade”

  1. hi,

    I was glad that I found your tip, but I’m getting this error
    kextload: /Volumes/BOOT HD/System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kext: no such bundle file exists
    can’t add kernel extension /Volume/BOOT HD/System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kext (file access/permissions)

    I changed the name from /Volumes/Macintosh to /Volumes/Boot because my boot disk is named BOOT.

    maybe you know what I did wrong?
    I pray you can…..

    marc

    surely the extension Giga-Meter.kext is in directory /Volumes/BOOT/System/Library/Extensions
    if I do a ‘ls’ there, it is listed.

  2. I notice you’re using ‘/Volumes/BOOT HD/’ – it’s not clear to me whether you’re using ‘BOOT’ or ‘BOOT HD’ as the drive name or not, but if you are, you need to escape the space between BOOT and HD like so:

    /Volumes/BOOT\ HD/System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kext

    Note the backslash.

    Alternately, use the tab key to complete the names of the directories, i.e. /Volumes/BOO/ etc.

    Second alternative, cd to the directory first, then just run ‘kextload Giga-Meter.kext’

    Let me know!

  3. cool, just went into /Volumes/BOOT/System/Library/Extensions and did
    ‘kextload Giga-Meter.kxt’
    and it worked.
    now I’m about to install Leopard, thankyou!

  4. Err, it didn’t render the word ‘tab-key’ evidently because I enclosed it in > and < symbols. that should be:

    /Volumes/BOO’tab-key’/

  5. I need help. I have done the 1-4 steps. now in the system profile the cpu speed is right. but I cant restart the installation. I find OSInstall.mpkg in /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg but when run it a “Permission denied” message was show.

  6. Thank you for the installation help. I was able to install Leopard on my G4-400 upgraded to a Giga Designs G4 1.8 but nothing I try will boot the Leopard OS either on the original ATA bus or my installed Acard sata controller. The computer shuts down everytime I try to boot off the installed hard drive. I have tried going back to the original video card from my current ATI Mac Pro but that didn’t solve the problem either. As well Giga Designs doesn’t answer their tech support email. I wish I had purchased the CPU card from another company. I even tried to manually install the Giga Designs extension for the processor speed but still no luck. Anyone else have this kind of total failure to boot off of a Giga Designs processor card? My G4 PowerMac has 2 gig of ram/ 128 meg ATI video card. All HD partitions are set below 130 gig where Leopard has been installed.

  7. Steve, I’m having the exact same problem. Leopard installs just fine but when I try to reboot it just shuts down after a few seconds. Mine is a sawtooth with a 1ghz upgrade. I’m stumped, did you ever solve your problem?

  8. Steve and Paul –
    Your posts were awhile ago, but just to let you know I solved the problem after having the same exact issue with my Sawtooth shutting down after reboot, immediately after a successful install of Leopard. The problem seems to occur when you upgrade the OS. Once I erased and installed, everything worked perfectly. I suppose archive and install would work as well, in case it’s been awhile since you last archived your data.

  9. Brad, I’m wondering if you can help. I gave a buddy of mine an older G4 mac, with a Gigadesign dual 1.8 installed. He did some kind of firmware update and reverted the computer back to dual 400 hz. or something like that. He also LOST the giga designs 7447 installer.

    Any chance you have it, or can steer me to where I can find it on the net?

    thanks.

    jim

  10. Glad I found this information! I’m planning the jump to Leopard pretty soon myself. I’m currently running a gigadesign’s dual 1.6 ghz card that was sent to me as a free replacement for my dual 1.4 that burned out a while back. I’m a little concerned though as to where I’ll turn if this one burns out too eventually since gigadesigns appears to be out of business now. Any suggestions guys?

  11. Hi Brad, I need your help. I have a Mac Quicksilver, which has been upgraded to a dual processor Giga Design 1.4 mhZ. I have 1.5 gB RAM. I followed your instructions above for loading the Giga-meter.kext from the terminal commands, and that worked great- I was able to get the Leopard install disk to run. In other words, it tricks your system and tells it you hace the correct processor to proceed. However, I keep getting an installation failure from the DVD. Ihave tried it 3 times and get the same message “the base system package could not be verified.”

    I’ve done a bit of research and found some people say this is due to faulty RAM, others say its because the processor is not compatible. Would it help if I put back the native 466 mhz processor for the leopard installation, then switch it out again after the system is installed? Should I get a new DVD (I bought mine on Amazon)?

  12. I am not what you call a “fairly advanced user” but I really need to upgrade to Leopard on my Giga-Designed Mac. It’s fast enough and has enough memory however, I’m not sure about the proper syntax for the Terminal command you posted. After I type ‘kextload, do I enter or space or just continue entering the volume information (/Volumes/Macintosh\HD/ etc. If I do space how many spaces are there?

  13. Happen to have the installation manual for the Gigadesigns
    CPU upgrade laying about anywhere ? I’ve recently run
    across a 5D-1213Q and I’m looking to see if I can get it
    working in an older QuickSilver. Found Jumper settings and
    the files that were posted earlier. Not seen the/a manual
    posted anywhere.

  14. Ok Guys! I got it, on leapard!!!!! OH yeah!!!!

    here is my cut and past of my terminal your welcome!!!
    Please send any thanks to njdnjdnjd@gmail.com
    Nick in Ilderton, Ontario, Canada!

    ok so commands to know
    pwd shows current directory in terminal

    to change directories
    “cd” with the the quotations.

    you need to get http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/22318/show-hide-invisible-files

    to show your invisibles. you need to navigate to /System/Library/Extensions/

    once there then

    sudo su ( to command as root)
    hmod -R 755 giga-meter.kext
    chown -R root:wheel giga-meter.kext
    kextload giga-meter.kext

    nick-donaldsons-power-mac-g4-3:~ nickdonaldson$ kextload /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kext
    you must be running as root to load modules into the kernel
    nick-donaldsons-power-mac-g4-3:~ nickdonaldson$ sudo kextload /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kext

    WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
    or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
    typing when using sudo. Type “man sudo” for more information.

    To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.

    Password:
    kextload: /Volumes/Macintosh HD/System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kext: no such bundle file exists
    can’t add kernel extension /Volumes/Macintosh HD/System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kext (file access/permissions) (run kextload on this kext with -t for diagnostic output)
    nick-donaldsons-power-mac-g4-3:~ nickdonaldson$ cd /System/Library/Extensions
    nick-donaldsons-power-mac-g4-3:Extensions nickdonaldson$ dir
    -bash: dir: command not found
    nick-donaldsons-power-mac-g4-3:Extensions nickdonaldson$ pwd
    /System/Library/Extensions
    nick-donaldsons-power-mac-g4-3:Extensions nickdonaldson$ kextload Giga-Meter.kxtyou must be running as root to load modules into the kernel
    nick-donaldsons-power-mac-g4-3:Extensions nickdonaldson$ sudo kextload Giga-Meter.kxt
    Password:
    kextload: /System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kxt: no such bundle file exists
    can’t add kernel extension Giga-Meter.kxt (file access/permissions) (run kextload on this kext with -t for diagnostic output)
    nick-donaldsons-power-mac-g4-3:Extensions nickdonaldson$ sudo su
    sh-3.2# kextload Giga-Meter.kext
    kextload: extension /System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kext is not authentic (check ownership and permissions; run with -t for details)
    sh-3.2# sudo kextload Giga-Meter.kext
    kextload: extension /System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kext is not authentic (check ownership and permissions; run with -t for details)
    sh-3.2# sudo -t kextload Giga-Meter.kext
    sudo: illegal option `-t’
    usage: sudo -K | -L | -V | -h | -k | -l | -v
    usage: sudo [-HPSb] [-p prompt] [-u username|#uid]
    { -e file […] | -i | -s | }
    sh-3.2# kextload Giga-Meter.kext
    kextload: extension /System/Library/Extensions/Giga-Meter.kext is not authentic (check ownership and permissions; run with -t for details)
    sh-3.2# sudo -s
    sh-3.2# chmod -R 755 giga-meter.kext
    sh-3.2# chown -R root:wheel giga-meter.kext
    sh-3.2# kextload giga-meter.kext
    kextload: giga-meter.kext loaded successfully
    sh-3.2#

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