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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > iMac 400DV upgrade ques...noob

iMac 400DV upgrade ques...noob
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Geezus_Aach
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Oct 14, 2004, 02:55 AM
 
Hi all! This is my first time posting...not to mention first time using a mac. Ive been a lonnnnggggg time PC user/tech and recently rescued a nice tangerine imac 400DV for $50. I LOVE IT! So far, I'm catching on pretty fast. Everythings reversed...No start button, apple icon up top, clock upper left. I'm gettin' it... and I've read up on some info here, but I've got a few questions:

1) I want to upgrade to OSX ...will this completely wipeout and reload everything? I want a clean fresh install and I want to reregister it and all with my info (right now, it has the girl's name as the owner).
I'm aware I have to do a firmware update for OSX but do I need the orginal disks?

2) Can I swap out the video card? I believe it's an ATI Rage pro 128 PCI... what can I upgrade to?

3) Hard drive... this is a SCSI HDD, right? I have a brand new Maxtor 60GB 7200rpm IDE that says it will work for macs...can I use it w/ an ATA133 card or am I stuck w/ SCSI?

4) I've swapped out the ram w/ 2 256mb Infineon brand sticks and it seems to be working ok...wasnt sure if it was ok. What is RAMDISK for? Looks like a utility to allocate memory but not sure what to set it at.

Thanks in advance to anyone who posts..sorry for the "windowish" questions...
     
Geezus_Aach  (op)
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Oct 14, 2004, 03:14 AM
 
also, about the memory... occassionally, I'm getting an error message that closes my aol window saying, "Not enough memory to keep ___ window open" ...any help?! if 2 256mb is not enough, I also have 2 512mb Samsung sticks... will OSX run better or the same with 1GB ram? overkill?

and one more question, any upgrade possibilities for USB 2.0 support?
( Last edited by Geezus_Aach; Oct 14, 2004 at 03:38 AM. )
     
Will C
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Oct 14, 2004, 07:03 AM
 
Hello, I have an iMavDV400 like yours and run OSX on it - It worked well for most things but I would not recommened multitasking real-time apps such as video editing with playback or put another way. If you are using iMovie or sound editing apps, close other apps first or it can become unresponsive.
I now have an eMac so the iMac may be sold or I may reploy it as a fileserver or similar.

Some answers:-

1) You can 'upgrade' to OSX without wiping out OS9. When I first did this I partioned the drive so that OS9 and OSX stuff was not too mixed. There is lots of discussion on partitioning, I will not repeat it here.
You will need firmware 4.1.9f - but have a search on Apple's site and you'll find how to check if you already have it and can download and install it - I'm not sure about needing the original disks - I cannot remember.

2)No video card to swap out I'm afraid, it is built on the motherboard.

3)The drive intereface on your machine is not SCSI (macs used to have SCSI for a period) but IDE or more accurately PATA. That Maxtor drive should work, install it and then use a System Disk to initialise and partition it.

4)RAM swap out should work as long as it is 168-pin PC100 or PC133 RAM - there sre some fussy modules which won't work but I don't know the minute details, sometimes it is the CAS rating which puts them out of spec.
RAMDisk is a way of allocating some RAM to behave like a Disk (like you guessed) It is very nice for scratch files for things like Photoshop work and video editing since it is a lot faster, though newer drives and interfaces are narrowing the gap inperformace to a certain extent.
I never use it so I'm no expert.

HTH - good luck learning the new system.
     
gumby5647
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Oct 14, 2004, 12:08 PM
 
Originally posted by Geezus_Aach:
also, about the memory... occassionally, I'm getting an error message that closes my aol window saying, "Not enough memory to keep ___ window open" ...any help?! if 2 256mb is not enough, I also have 2 512mb Samsung sticks... will OSX run better or the same with 1GB ram? overkill?

and one more question, any upgrade possibilities for USB 2.0 support?

OS 9? *Shudder*

Yes dude, upgrade to OS X as soon as you possibly can.


I "went back" to OS 9 once (for kicks and giggles).......I lasted two hours. I couldn't take it anymore. Crash here...unexpected quit there....not enough memory there. BLEEEH!

If you are doing light tasks all the time like AOL, iTunes and iChat. then 512MB should be enough. I personally have 1GB. I bit the bullet one day and it cost me a whole whopping 100 and some dollars for two 512MB sticks. But then again, i like to do a lot of things at once....Safari, Poisoned, iTunes, iChat, YIM, iPhoto etc.



Now that you are getting used to your new Mac....be sure to check out Team MacNN (team.macnn.com) Crush your enemies!!!!
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MacBook 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
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jrramsey
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Oct 14, 2004, 02:26 PM
 
I have an iMacDV 400 also (along wtih a cube). I run 768MB RAM with a Maxtor 80 Gig along with OSX 10.3.5. Also Office 2004 and a few others. No major graphics apps, though. It all seems to run great albeit a little slow. I do recommend a larger (and faster) hard drive and as much RAM as possible. I have my disk partitioned to keep it clean from the OSX vs. OS9.

I guess it depends on the applications you have. If you have older classic apps, you'll need OS9. You should upgrade as quickly as possible to OSX as they are significantly improved.

Good Luck and enjoy.
     
Geezus_Aach  (op)
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Oct 14, 2004, 03:24 PM
 
thanks guys for replying! i am finding the apple community to be much more friendly than pc users...i guess it's cause pc users are always frustrated from the window crashes. lol!

well, i do not have any use for OS 9, so as i said, I want to completely reload everything. I want a clean brand new install and I want to be able to re-register it with my info. It currently has the girl's name and passwords for the orginal owner. When I get the OS X Panther software (buying new), will I be able to install it on my new HDD straight from the disk? Will I need the orginal disks? The girl cannot find them.

Also when I click Apple System Profiler, I do not see any firmware versions. Thanks again everyone!
     
discotronic
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Oct 14, 2004, 04:42 PM
 
Here is where you can find the firmware update for your iMac:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75430

Just make sure to follow the directions closely. If you do it wrong and it doesn't go through you may have troubles on down the line when you try to install Panther. If the system already has it the program will tell you.

512MB RAM should do you just fine. If you can afford it go with 1GB though. OSX is very RAM hungry. Drop OS 9 as soon as you can unless you have a real need for it.

You don't need anything extra as far as the disks go from the previous owner. You can reformat the drive with the Panther install disks. Just put the CD-ROM in and it will give you the option to restart. If you are going to buy from a third party don't buy the "upgrade" disks. You have to have a previous version of OSX in order to use them. They won't upgrade from OS 9. If you are a student, go to the Apple Store online and use your education discount. Just click on Education at the home page and follow the links.

Congrats on the great deal. I will give you your $50 back if you don't want it
     
Geezus_Aach  (op)
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Oct 14, 2004, 07:35 PM
 
I'm at a computer store right now as we speak... I'm buying OS X!

oh, and the sales guy says the firmware update is on disk 1...so I'll run that first, update the firmware, then I'll install the new drive....OS X, here I come!!

thanks again guys!!
     
Krusty
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Oct 14, 2004, 10:49 PM
 
Assuming there is nothing wrong with the iMac, you got a super-sweet deal, man. For the umpteenth time I will reiterate my position that DV series iMacs are some of the best all around macs ever built. 5 years old yet they still have Firewire, 100bt, USB, audio in/out, modem and a DVD drive which is nice. CD burners can be easily added if necessary. I've had two DV series iMacs: one was given to a friend (and is still running strong) and one is acting as a server on my home network (and still running strong). Here's a link you'll find useful.
     
Geezus_Aach  (op)
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Oct 15, 2004, 02:42 AM
 
AWESOME!! I did the firmware update... no problem opening up the case, installed the new drive but at step 7 of those instuctions, I just removed the 4 screws holding in the drive itself. There is no need to remove the whole carrier for the disk drives...the new drive just slides into place. Thank you to whomever wrote up those instructions, but save yourself the trouble of removing the whole caddy... the hard drive is right there, easy to remove.

BTW, I got this brand new, ultra quiet, Maxtor DiamondMax Plus (#6Y060L0) 60GB 7200rpm 2MB ATA133 drive for $30 (no mail in rebate) from CompUSA.

I guess that makes my mac deal even super-sweeter
     
Krusty
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Oct 15, 2004, 08:19 AM
 
Yeah, removing the whole caddy is completely unnecessary. I've changed HD's twice in my DVs and didn't bother with the carriage at all (becomes obvious when you get to that point, doesn't it). Of course that link is very old ("A 40 GB hard drive can be purchased for $300 or less" )

Hope you have high-speed internet ... there will be LOTS of things to download to make OS X more comfortable (Window Media Player, Real Player, Poisoned, Control Freak, .... too many more to mention).
     
   
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