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Setting up PearPC for Windows

(Updated October 28, 2018)

Introduction

PearPC emulates a PPC Macintosh (G3 or G4) capable of booting Mac OS X versions 10.1 to 10.4 (Tiger).

Setting up the emulator is fun and easy! But before you begin installing, there are a few things that you need to assemble:

  • A copy of Mac OS X. You can use versions 10.1 to 10.4. See below for important notes about issues with specific versions.
  • PearPC 0.5.0. This is the most recent stable release of the emulator.
  • A 6 gb hard disk image to install Mac OS X on. It is best to use this image. If you create your own, note that the size of the image must be a multiple of 516096.

Versions of Mac OS X

There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You can use physical install CDs of Mac OS X 10.1 to 10.4. This is probably the easiest option, but I haven't tested it on a modern system.
  • You cannot use a physical install DVD of 10.4. PearPC doesn't read DVDs.
  • You might be able to use an ISO of a Mac OS X 10.4 install DVD, but this does not work on my system.
  • You cannot use ISO images of Mac OS X 10.4 installation disks, as they must be switched during the installation process, which PearPC does not support.
  • You can use ISO images of Mac OS X 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3 installation disks. This seems to be the best option, and is what this guide mostly reflects.

In Windows, you can create an .ISO from a physical OS X disk using something like MagicISO. If you have downloaded a .TOAST or a .CDR image, just change the extension to .ISO. If you have downloaded a .DMG image, try using dmg2iso to convert it to ISO.

Getting Started

Download all of the above and place in a single directory.

Before you can run the emulator you must first create a PearPC configuration file, as there is no graphical user interface. To do this, copy the following into a text editor and (after revising it) save it as PearPC.cfg

ppc_start_resolution = "800x600x32" 
ppc_start_full_screen = 0
redraw_interval_msec = 50
key_compose_dialog = "F11"
key_change_cd_0 = "none"
key_toggle_mouse_grab = "F12"
key_toggle_full_screen = "Alt+Return"
prom_bootmethod = "select"
prom_env_bootargs = ""
prom_env_machargs = ""
prom_driver_graphic = "video.x"
page_table_pa = 0x00300000
cpu_pvr = 0x00088302
memory_size = 0x10000000
pci_ide0_master_installed = 1
pci_ide0_master_image = "C:\Downloads\macosx_6gb.img"
pci_ide0_master_type = "hd"
pci_ide0_slave_installed = 1
pci_ide0_slave_image = "C:\Downloads\Panther\Panther_Disc1.iso"
pci_ide0_slave_type = "cdrom"
pci_3c90x_installed = 0
pci_3c90x_mac = "DE:AD:CA:FE:12:34"
pci_rtl8139_installed = 0
pci_rtl8139_mac = "PE:AR:PC:58:25:01"
pci_usb_installed = 0
pci_serial_installed = 0
nvram_file = "nvram"

You will obviously need to change the paths to the master image and the slave image. For more notes about what this means consult the PearPC documentation. A few things are worth mentioning here:

  • Lowering “redraw_internal_msec” will make the mouse move more smoothly and will make the emulator feel a lot more responsive. However, it may lead to frequent freezes.
  • The above value in “memory_size” refers to 128 MB. Changing that to “memory_size=0x20000000” will set it to 512 MB. If you experience crashes, leave it at 128 MB.

Note: You can automate this process by creating a config file using PearPC Config File Generator.

Launching the Emulator

You cannot just run “ppc.exe” to get started. Instead, you must open a command prompt and browse to the directory containing the emulator. Run the following:

ppc PearPC.cfg

As an alternative, you can create a shortcut to ppc.exe and modify the “target” to include PearPC.cfg, as follows:

After you have properly launched the emulator, you should see a menu like the following. To install Mac OS X, choose to boot from the cdrom (once you have installed you can boot from the disk).

Installing Mac OS X

Installing OS X is fairly straightforward, but some screenshots follow. When the installation is finished, the emulated system will shut down. Note that for Mac OS X 10.3 and earlier you can install a usable version of the operating system just from the first disk. Just choose to cancel when asked for the second disk If you do wish to install features from the second disk do not boot from it. Instead, add the second disk to your config file, but boot from the hard disk image.

Setting up Networking

Consult this guide from PearPC.net.

Troubleshooting

Q: I launch “ppc.exe” (with my config file) but nothing happens.

A: This will occur if the path to your disk image or ISO is incorrect. Check them. It may also happen if you are using a disk image that has the wrong file size. Use the one in this guide.

-

Q: I get an error that says “we are hanging here”

A: This happens (sometimes) when you try to boot from a DVD image of Mac OS X 10.4. See the comment at the beginning of this guide.

-

Q: I get a black box on a grey screen when I try to boot.

A: Try Removing “prom_env_bootpath = “ from your config file.

-

Q: The mouse sometimes freezes up, and I am forced to restart the emulator.

A: This is a long-standing bug. Sorry.

-

Q: The mouse is way too jerky and unresponsive.

A: Lower the value of redraw_interval_msec in the config file. Lowering that value will make the emulator feel more response (experiment with the number) but it may increase the frequency of cursor freeze-ups (see above)

-

Q: Can I access USB devices?

A: No. Note that the “pci_usb_installed” option in the config file does not provide access to usb devices plugged into the host system.

Conclusion

You're finished! If everything went according to plan, you should be looking at a desktop looking something like figure four. If you need any help, we run a support forum.

pearpc_setup.txt · Last modified: 2018/10/28 06:20 by clockwise
 
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