|Tips for Installing Final Cut Pro on PCI/Pre-G4 Macs|
Last Updated: 12/2/2004 (for FCP 4.5/G3 Mac tips)
Reader Tips on installing/running FCP 4.5/HD on a G3 Mac: (in reply to a reader request from an iMac G3 owner in the 12/2/2004 news page)
This is in response to Jason M.'s inquiry on how to get FCP 4.5 running on his G3 Mac.
I've gotten FCP 4.5 HD to run on several G3 based Macs, and the process
is quite simple. This procedure uses FCP4, but is the same for 4.5.
- Pop in the FCP 4.5 or FCP 4 installer DVD.
- Copy the invisible "Installer" folder to the hard drive.
- Navigate into the "Packages" folder inside of this folder on your
- Open each package (LiveType.pkg, FinalCutPro.mpkg, etc.) and delete
the file "InstallationCheck" inside of the Contents > Resources folders
for each .pkg or .mpkg
- Install as usual with the FinalCutPro4.mpkg from the folder copied
to the hard drive.
Installation should proceed as normal. One more step is required to
get it to run, though.
After installation and before launching any of the programs, open each
application package (Final Cut Pro, Compressor, Soundtrack, etc.) that
was installed inside the Applications folder, and edit the Info.plist
file inside of the Contents folder of the application with TextEdit or
your favorite plain-text editor. Simply delete the lines and tags that
would prevent running on your machine. For example, to get it to run
on a G3/300, you would delete the following lines, or simply change
them to match your system:
...as well as the "AGP" key and value, but I don't know the exact line
since I'm running it on a G4 PCI machine and have deleted that line
Voila! A working FCP installation with all the helper apps.
One last word: to install updates to FCP or any associated application
via Software Update, simply tell Software Update to download the
updates only without installing. Then, repeat the procedures outlined
above for the updater packages (deleting the "InstallationCheck" files
from within the package). After you install the updates, you may need
to edit the actual application's Info.plist file again, as the updaters
will restore the deleted lines to their default values of requiring a
G4 and AGP slot.
I've been doing this since FCP4 came out to get it to run on various
G3s and upgraded G3s. Flawless every time. Yes, we have FCP licenses
for each machine, and I don't think editing those files would
constitute illegal activity.
This procedure should also work for any other application that refuses
to install on your machine because it doesn't meet the installation
requirements or won't run because of some pesky Info.plist entries.
(Previous info on tips for older versions of FCP follow from 2003)
Tweak to install Final Cut Pro 4 on pre-AGP slot older Macs (from the June 26th, 2003 www.xlr8yourmac.com news page)
A reader sent a note on a link with info/workaround for installing Final Cut Pro 4 on an older Mac:
Mike, Found the hack for FCP 4 on a non-AGP Mac. I'm attaching text file but I'm also sending you the 2-pop link where I got the info from. Please don't attribute this to me. #1) I didn't figure it out. #2) I think
Apple doesn't like me sometimes. We're definitely getting a Dual G5,
though. This is the Mac we've all been waiting. In the meantime though, this hack works perfectly. ENJOY!
Here's the 2-pop link."
(Note - that link gets a 404/not found today so here is a copy of the attached info he sent on the patch)
"I didn't see this posted anywhere. I have a Blue and White G3 that I upgraded to a G4 500. I didn't realize that FCP4 didn't work with PCI macs until I launched it and was given the message: no AGP card on your machine.
I was able to get around this and have been editing happily since.
I have 684 mb of ram. My playback is smooth, rendering is pretty fast. I have yet to encounter a scenario where it doesn't work..."
- Control-Click on the Final Cut Pro application and select show package contents.
- Open the contents folder and open info.plist.
- Search for AGP replace it with PCI.
- Save and close the file.
- Open FCP4, and voila it works.
(previous info from July 2002/Final Cut Pro older versions follow)
Yesterday's news page (July 24th, 2002) had a reader request for FCP reports on older macs (and was updated with a tip to fix the type 12 errors he saw). I received a surprising number of mails yesterday from FCP users with pre-G3 older macs.
(The original reader email from Wednesday follows - see below for a reader tip on the Type 12 error and farther down has other FCP user reports with older Macs)
I'm wondering if you could ask your readers what successes/problems they've
had getting Final Cut Pro 1.2.5/2.0.2/3.0 to run on pre-G3 power Macs. As I'm sure you know, it's not supported on these configurations.
I have a Power Mac 8500 with a xlr8 carrier G3/300, 272MB RAM, 36GB HD, and it crashes with a type 12 error. I'm hoping to figure something out, but so far everyone just says give up.
If you or your readers have suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I posted to 2-pop and no one said anything. Obviously they are video editors and not hardware upgraders.
I've gotten more than 10 emails from readers running FCP on older Macs and will post them all tomorrow - but this one contained a tip specific to the Type 12 Error reported by Jason (above):
Regarding your reader who has questions about running FCP on an older mac.
I've run every version of FCP on a G4 upgraded 8600. I can not say I
recommend it as I've had varying degrees of success through time, but it
normally can be done.
From the type 12 error your reader is having sounds like he is running FCP 2
on a Pre G3 mac without the "FCP2Init" available from.
Beyond that I don't know how to help him without getting into more specifics
than he posted like FCP version, QuickTime version, capture source.
Jason later wrote about the FCP2Init solving the Type 12 error (and other issues he's seen with his system)
Thanks for your help. That init did solve the problem of running FCP 2.0.
I'm trying to put an editing system together for my brotherwho's in film
school and is always complaining abou the lack of time and space on the
The project is probably beyond the abilities of the computer (an 8500), but
I took some old parts from my office - media100qx, 6GB IDE boot drive and
two 15.7GB IDE drives and a Promax ATA/33 card, an Orange Micro hotlink
firewire card, a XLR8 mach carrier with a 450mhz G3 pulled from a B&W G3.
All this stuff was a result of my office dumping it due to OSX migration.
I (incorrectly) assumed that the acard a/v utility would solve the ATA
stutter issue, which seemed to go away anyway when I replaced the 40-pin IDE
cables with 80-pin ones. Since I E-mailed Mike and got the FCP2init, I have
upped the RAM to 352MB and upped the processor to 448mhz (which seems to
bring about overheating warnings when I replaced the cover.) I still get
stuttering in both FCP and Premiere 6.0.
I guess the system is just too slow to do all of this. Oh well. Thanks to
both of you. xlr8yourmac is the best mac site out there.
Latest Reports on FCP w/Older Macs: (most recent first)
I have a Power Tower Pro upgraded with a G4/450 ziff. I've
seen the type 12 error under OS 9 when trying to run Final Cut Pro 2.x.
I can't get it to run at all. Final Cut Pro 1.x still works, however,
though it does not recognize my Canon ZR20. I run OS X 10.1.5 as my
primary OS on this computer and was able to use Final Cut Pro 3 under OS
X with no problems until the 10.1.5 update. Since then I get blocky
artifacts on the capture screen during capture, and then capture will
stop with a timecode error. Oddly, that only happens if I am capturing
to an external Firewire drive. My firewire drive is an IBM 60GB 7200rpm
120GXP in an OWC Oxford-911 case.
If I capture to an onboard drive attached to my ACARD ATA-100 card
capture is flawless. Unlike Final Cut Pro, however, iMovie will still
capture to my firewire drive without errors or dropped frames. Again,
this problem with Final Cut Pro only started after the 10.1.5 update. I
am using Final Cut Pro 3.0. I have not upgraded yet to the latest
version because it was working fine for me as it was. I will try the
latest update to see if that restores capture to my Firewire drive this
weekend when I have some time. Here are my specs:
Power Tower Pro 225
XLR8 Mach Carrier MPe G4/450 SSE
768 MB RAM (non-interleaved because the SSE card does not like
[Note - in my Genesis with 512MB of matched 64MB/60ns dimms, I ran
them all interleaved without any problem.-Mike]
Yamaha 8424S CD-RW (SCSI)
20GB Quantum Plus AS 7200rpm ATA-100
30GB Quantum Plus AS 7200rpm ATA-100
Initio INI-9100 UW
ATI Radeon 32MB PCI
3DFX Voodoo 5 5500
I was able to get FCP 1.2.5 to work on a UMAX S900 with XLR8 G3/400
upgrade. I don't think I had overclocked the CPU, it was running at
the stock speed, and I used the XLR8 1.4.6 extension/control panel;
not the 2.x versions. The 1.4.x version was more stable.
The UMAX had
an Adaptec 3940UW SCSI card, a 4 port Belkin USB card, a Orange Micro
Firewire Card, Rage XClaim VR 128 video card, and a MOTU PCI
interface card for the MOTU 1224 rack 12 input 12 output audio 24bit
A/D converter. The machine had 384MB RAM. Ran hybrid System 9.1
(include updated USB/Firewire/OpenGL extensions from 9.2 and the most
recent ATI video drivers). I ran only the extensions needed to run
these A/V apps. Had Quicktime 5 pro installed.
The system was on a
separate drive attached to the internal fast SCSI-2 bus, while my
drives for video capture via firewire were attached to the Adaptec
card. Appletalk was off, as were all network connections. I toggle
them on/off when needed. During capture turn them off. I think I
allocated about 120MB RAM to FCP. This setup worked pretty well, but
sometimes it would get wonky and I'd reboot just to clear some of the
I have used FCP 1.2.5 without any problems. Config: Umax s900, PowerLogix
400/200/1MB, Xclaim 8MB Rage Pro videocard, Aurora Fuse, OS 9.1. I can
capture an entire 2 hour movie in one shot. I was unaware that this was not
supported on PCI Macs. Seems to work OK for me.
I saw the story about the reader with problems getting Final Cut Pro to work on
his 8500. I have a 9600 with G3/500 card (noted in your CPU database) and I am
having no problems running FCP 3 under OS X 10.1.5. My system has 400MB RAM,
PowerLogix G3/500 card, Sonnet Tempo ATA/100 card, some generic USB and
FireWire and 10/100 ethernet cards, and a Rage 128 Pro pulled from a B&W G3. I
have not tried FCP under OS 9, but under OS X it works surprisingly well.
I ran 1.25 FCP on my upgraded (G3/300) PM7500. I was using the Orange
Micro Hotlink Firewire card.
Initially it looked like it was working fine, but then I found that
video that was imported had drop outs/glitches in it. I spent a lot of
time messing with disk configurations before deciding it wasn't the
disks. I proved this to myself with a ram disk capture.
So I upgraded to a G3/400 (Powerlogix) and voila! It worked fine.
I have not gotten a chance to setup a FCP system under OSX on my
unsupported hardware as of yet, mostly because my roommate who had the
Sony VX1000 went away to film school, so I no longer have a DV camera.
Thanks for the super useful site.
PS I never saw any bombs/crashes.
I've been using FCP 1.2.5 on my 9600 with an XLR8 500 G3 for two years now
and I didn't even know that it wasn't supported!
I've had absolutely no problems with firewire or digital camera other than I
can't write back to the camera, but that's the camera's problem, not the
card's or 9600's.
I used to edit on Final Cut Pro on an upgraded 8600/250 with a
powerlogix FW/USB card. It was upgraded with a PowerLogix G3375
overclocked to 400MHz. I later used a Sonnet G4 card. Final Cut pro
would capture fine, but I wa unable to get the video to display on a
monitor via firewire. Also the video stuttered horribly even on draft
mode. I have a 18GB RAID on a Adaptec 2140 card. I doubt that it was the
problem since Intech Speed Tools benched the drives at 12 MB/sec which
is more than enough for DV. I believe that the problem with FCP on my
8600 is either a faulty PowerLogix card or not enough bandwidth to
handle the video.
The stuttering and inability to use firewire video out or print to
video drove me to upurchase a Titanium PB, which resulted in lower
power consumption and no stutters or other problems noted with the 8600.
I still use the 8600 for large renders so that I don't have to tie up my
laptop which at 400Mhz is still faster than the 8600 at rendering.
I have run FCP 1.2 and 1.2.5 on a Mac 7600 with good success. The 7600 had
the following hardware configuration:
CPU: Sonnet Tech G3 375 MHz upgrade card.
Disk Controller: Sonnet Tempo ATA/66
Disk: Seagate Barracuda 30GB 7200 RPM ATA/66
FireWire Card: Aten Tech 3 port
The Aten card (http://www.aten-usa.com/products/product.php?Item=IC1394)
was the only FireWire card that would work without giving me drastic video
artifacts. I tried the Sonnet Tango and a Western Digital card. I noticed
that the Aten card was the only card that did not use an Intel (evil inside)
chipset. It, instead, used a Texas Instruments chipset. The Aten card was
[Note: As noted in my FW PCI card/drive tests a year or so ago the NEC chip based Western Digital retail box card I bought way back (also oem'd/sold under other brands - my WD card had a NEC chip, not Intel) was slower especially at writes than the Ti chip based cards. The Ti chip cards and some owners say the Lucent based cards perform better in general than those based on the NEC chip. I've not used any intel based FW cards though.-Mike]
Overall performance was good (for a G3 based system). I could even digitize
video from the built-in S-Video port! The hard drive and controller worked
great; however, lack of RAM, bus speed, and a Velocity / Alti-Vec unit were
definitely limiting factors. I used a Canon XL-1 and Sony PD150 camera with
this setup; both worked great. I could play back video with out any stutter,
the only time I noticed any effects of the obvious hardware deficiencies was
in terms of rendering times. They were very, very long.
Overall the system was very stable for FCP. I used it, primarily, for
Digital Performer (multi-track audio) though.
While I'm not running it now, I used to own a PM 8500 upgraded with a
Powerlogix G3/300 card, overclocked to 337Mhz. It had 192megs RAM, a 9 gig SCSI HD, a 6 gig SCSI HD, a USB card, and ATI
XclaimVR 128 running Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 without any problems. The latest
system I ran on it was Mac OS 9.0.4. I did not have a Firewire card, as I
grabbed video from the ATI card.
Jason should try looking in the archives of 2-pop.com. Where he would find
FCP2Init by John Brisbin (I think). FCP3 requires builtin USB hardware, as
it will not run on a Beige G3-300 here at my office with an OWC FW card.
Not sure whether or not it will run with a 3rd-party USB card.
"While it is not a DVD SP tool, it does fix the FCP 2 bug where they use a
trap without checking to see if it exists. If your FCP 2 crashes with an
error 12 when you preview, you need this."
[Same link as noted in yesterday's news-Mike]