7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 17, 2009 2:14 PM by rccharles
joekster21 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
So let me preface this post by saying that i am relatively new to repairing and maintaining Macs as well as posting on these forums in general. So i posted this question on yahoo answers already and was recommended by a fellow user to come here with my dilemma. He also recommended that i answer these several questions to further clarify my original post.

Did the machine ever run Mac OS X? Yes the machines been running on OS X since i got it like 3 years or so ago from a family friend.

Was the iMac recently updated? Nothing updated recently securitywise except for probably iTunes and that was a while back.

Did anything else change on the computer? --> (New updates or recently added
hardware or new software even) Nothing new.

How much hard drive space is free on the volume? I do not have any idea actually. Sorry

Now here's the origianl post:
I have an iMac 3G that runs on the Mac OS X, and everytime i start it up it seems to start up fine. By starting up i mean it loads up to the login and i am able to log in fine, but as soon as the computer starts to load up my desktop the only thing that loads up is my background, no icons, nothing. The only thing other than the background visible is the search bar magnifying glass icon in the top right corner but nothing else of the top task bar. Everytime i pass the mouse over that icon, however, the mouse switches from normal to loading. Whenever the mouse is over anywhere else though it is normal. Now im not very familiar with macs, i dont know how there anti-virus or security system works, i usually use PC's, but is there a way to unfreeze it or do i have a virus and is there anything i can do short of sending it in to be fixed?

Needless to say i am a wreck. I had a LOT of stuff on that computer so i have a lot invested in this and i know i'm ranting but yeah.

iMac G3
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)
    What version of Mac OS X is it running? Tiger (10.4), Panther (10.3), something earlier.

    Which type of iMac G3 is it, does the optical drive load on a tray or through a slot?

    Have you just let it sit for a few hours, in case there is some process running that takes more than a few minutes to complete?

    Do you have a Mac OS X installation disc for the release of the OS currently being used in that iMac?
  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (6,490 points)
    Startup problems:

    Hold down the shift key when booting into Mac OS X. this will check your file structure and do a repair. This will also leave off some files from being used.

    Your Mac won't start up in Mac OS X (Mac OS X 10.3.9 or earlier). From what I have read, this list is mostly valid for 10.4. (Software problems)


    iMac G3 (CRT)

    Here is what spudnuty wrote on the subject:
    Posted: May 2, 2007 10:24 PM in response to: Eustace Mendis

    OK here are some more comparison charts:
    The 350s don't have FireWire. The 400s and above all do. I have regularly swapped 400 boards and down converters into working 350 boxes.
    ... Richard
  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6 (8,130 points)
    We need to know the HD size and how much stuff you've got on there.

    If you can't get the HD size from the Apple menu because you're not getting a complete start-up, look underneath the computer! there's a label with all the original specifications listed!

    It does sound like you've run out of HD space and OS X can't load properly because there's no space left for swap files and the RAM is overloaded as a result.

    Input needed!
  • joekster21 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    OK so sorry bout the response delay, ive been busy but here's the update. My iMac is a G3 model # M5521 with a 600MHz processor. Power PC 750 Power Mac 4,1.
    It is slot loading and it has a 38.16 GB HD with 16.59 GB available. It also runs on OS X 10.4 Tiger. SO i guess based on the chart from the link i suppose i have a iMac Special Edition from 2001 or so.

    Now mind you im a noob with macs and some of the above i dont get. However, based on your advice i was able to boot up in safe mode (thats how i got all that info). I then restarted the computer in normal mode but it still had the same problem. Where do i go from here?
  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,340 points)
    If you have the Tiger installer disk, boot the computer, immediately insert the disk into the drive, and hold down the "C" key to initiate a startup from the optical drive. Once booted from the installer disk, click on the "Installer" drop-down menu at the top of the screen and select "Open Disk Utility." Select the hard drive/volume listed on the left and choose to Verify and Repair.
  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (6,490 points)
    Now mind you im a noob with macs and some of the above i dont get. However, based on your advice i was able to boot up in safe mode (thats how i got all that info). I then restarted the computer in normal mode but it still had the same problem. Where do i go from here?

    You may want to use the disk utility to repair permissions.

    well, now is a good time to back up your files. Go out and buy a flash drive. when you plug in the USB flash drive it will appear on your desktop. Drag the files you want to save onto the flash drive. Double-Clicked on the flash drive icon to see the files on the drive.

    once you have backed up your important data, you will be in a better position to recover your system. I think one of the preference files has gotten corrupted. You will have to wait and see for someone to advise you on which one.

    You can create a new user and copy over your data. the data copy can be a pain because you have to go and change the permissions.

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (6,490 points)
    This article contains information on what safe startup does. By looking at these items you may be able to determine what the problem is.
    "What is Safe Boot, Safe Mode? (Mac OS X) "

    In addition, I would create a new user and see how this user works.

    You can use the console application to examine Mac OS log files. The logs will contain information on various system processes.

    Macintosh-HD -> Applications -> Utilities -> Console

    File: open console log
    this will display the startup messages

    file: open system log
    once the system is started, messages will go into the system log