I have to disagree with Jacob Krall. To paraphrase what the maintainer of one of the big Mac abandonware sites almost constantly finds himself saying in the chat while helping visitors to get their G3s, G4s, and G5s booting, the Open Firmware approach to USB boot is only for macs old enough to not have an Option-key boot menu and there's no reason to use it in this case.
If your USB stick isn't being shown in the boot menu, odds are 99% it's one of the following problems:
- The USB stick is too new (Use a USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 stick, not a USB 3 one. Try a different one. USB 3 never works and Open Firmware is a bit picky in general.)
- You didn't put it in a root port (Often, plugging it into a USB hub instead of directly into the mac will keep it from working. My 2002 G4 Quicksilver's keyboard is an extra complication in that it's so USB 1.1 that, if you plug a USB 2 stick into it while a working OS is running, you'll get a spurious "disabled because it would draw too much power" error.)
- You didn't plug it in before powering on the machine (Apparently there's something in how Open Firmware enumerates devices that means that the wait for things to pop into the Option-key boot screen is all about examining the contents of the drives, not enumerating which drives are available.)
- You wrote the image incorrectly (Among other things, pre-Intel Apple stuff has its own partition table format, so you need to use something like
dd (on Windows, HDD Raw Copy Tool is what he recommends to people asking for help) and write the image directly to the root of the device (i.e.
/dev/sdX1) without alteration.
- The image isn't compatible (Make sure you have either a retail 10.4 disc (the black kind with the big white X on it) or the exact SKU of grey (or, infrequently, some other solid color) disc that came with your mac. The grey discs bundled with macs are extremely model-specific and, if they work on a model not meant for them, it's because you found an oversight in Apple's blacklisting code... and that's not good because they'll be missing drivers or cause mysterious misbehaviours if installed. Also, he recently mentioned while helping someone that some mac models are fine with the 10.4 DVD release but can be problematic if you want to install the release on multiple CDs for some reason. Also, try imaging your disc differently. Maybe the tool you used to make the disc image doesn't produce raw images that can be
dded onto a USB stick.)
- Your virus scanner's boot sector protection may have mangled your attempt to write the image to the USB stick.
As a last resort, another option is to pull the hard drive out, plug it into your modern machine (using a $3 IDE-SATA adapter of the correct type if needed), image the root of that with the install disc, use Option-key boot, and then add a partition to install to in the remaining free space and install as normal.)
maybe the DVI-to-HDMI converter can be blamed for the graphic glitches ?
I've never seen that particular kind of graphical glitching from them (I usually just fail to get sync from a monitor if one of those passive adapters is bad), but I suppose it's possible.
Those buttons look unnaturally low-res, which suggests either the mac isn't getting good EDID or the monitor isn't handling what it's being sent properly. (eg. When I put my G4 behind a simple VGA switch box to share the monitor with my PS/2-based Win98SE retro-PC, the early phase of MacOS 9.2.2 boot dropped to 640x480, the name in the Monitors control panel went generic, and the Mac gained a requirement that the switch box be set correctly during boot to initialize video output, because the switchbox doesn't pass EDID at all.)
If those vertical lines are rapidly changing position, my first test would be to try a different adapter/cable (i.e. I'd suspect the connection is too noisy and those lines correlate to specific conductors in the adapter or cable).
If they're more or less stationary, my intuition would tell me to check for bad capacitors or video RAM.
I don't suppose you still have the Apple Hardware Test disc that was packed in with the grey disc set for your machine? (I'm actually waiting for some new DIMMs I ordered to bump my G4 up to 1.5GiB after I finally diagnosed my AHT disc refusing to boot as "apparently AHT is more sensitive to one of the DIMMs being bad than MacOS 9.2.2 or 10.1 are" and it does run a test for the GPU.)
If not, source one. I'm not sure what specific version number range works on your machine, but my set from 2002 has version 1.2.5, so don't waste your time trying anything less than 1.2.6.
(In case it's helpful for your diagnosis, the "some of the system RAM is bad and AHT is fragile" symptom I experienced is that it does show up in the boot menu, but the loading screen crashes out to an Open Firmware "DEFAULT CATCH! code=300".)