10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 9, 2009 6:08 PM by cornelius
rqcrqc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Our iBook G3 can't install any downloaded files including any current web browser or flash player. It has a PowerPC processor and is running OSX 10.1.5. Has only 384MB RAM, if that might matter.

Firefox download gives the following error:

Image name: Firefox
Image format: UDIF read-only checksum: CRC32 SE883425C
unable to verify Firefox invalid dmg

Flash player download gives:
Mount Image
could not mount

Other, already installed software runs okay -- that is, no error messages.

Any suggestions?

I'm also wondering if I should upgrade the OS, or if I even can with the PowerPC processor. And, how can I tell what speed the processor is?

iBook G3 PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.1.x)
  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (11,260 points)
    The choice of old OS X system is the bottleneck in the process.
    Little or nothing is available for OS X 10.1.x. In fact, it is getting
    harder to find web browsers and applications to run in 10.3.9;
    and that is only three systems back from the current 10.6.x.

    The system in your computer is too old for the series of browser
    and the adobe flash player plugin; and for most OS X use past
    that antique 10.1.x system, you would need all the RAM that
    computer can support to be installed. The "System Profiler"
    should be available, from the main menu bar, below the Apple
    icon, perhaps in a second button from "about this Mac." That
    should be able to tell you the processor, hard drive size, etc.

    And if the internal hard disk drive is not very large, that may also
    need to be replaced with a larger capacity drive. If your iBook G3
    is a white plastic model with a 500MHz processor or larger, the
    possibilities of what OS could be installed will be limited by the
    RAM available, hard disk drive capacity, type of optical drive
    since later OS X versions shipped on DVD while older Macs did
    not usually have a DVD drive. And then, graphics processor or
    VRAM, bus speeds and processor speeds rule out later OS X.

    You may be able to install Tiger 10.4.11 if the computer has an
    optical drive capable of supporting DVD media; or if you have
    a second computer with that drive and then use FireWire cable
    and Target Disk Mode, you could get past the media type issue.
    Few Tiger installer CD disc sets were available; so that may be
    an issue for older computers without a built-in DVD drive.

    Downloads for later OS X-intended systems should not be able
    to install; and to be sure about what may, you would have to read
    in the support pages for documentation on what kinds of systems
    and associated hardware the software was intended to run on.

    {You can look up your computer and see where it stands among
    others, newer and older, with a nice free download database from
    http://mactracker.ca if you have a computer new enough to see it.}

    The computer sounds like a good one to run OS 9.2.2 on.

    Good luck & happy computing!
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)

    Welcome to Apple Discussions.
    Our iBook G3 can't install any downloaded files including any current web browser or flash player.

    The issue is not your iBook G3 but your Operating System. OS X 10.0 and 10.1 were essentially Beta and are not very useful for computing today. The earliest iBook G3 will support Panther (10.3.9) and all iBook G3s later than the earliest iBook G3 (1999) will support Tiger (OS X 10.4.11). I strongly suggest that you upgrade your OS to a minimum of Jaguar (OS X 10.2.8) or preferably Panther or Tiger. Life with your computer will become much easier and enjoyable.

  • rqcrqc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    The PowerPC G3 processor is 600 MHz, and the hard drive is 20 GB with plenty of empty space. There is no DVD drive, but I do have an external Iomega DVD drive (currently connected by USB to a PC) which is supposedly Mac compatible, so I should be able to use that for upgrading the OS, if it only comes on DVD.

    Do you have advice for what OS (and, possibly, RAM upgrade) would makes sense?
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)

    Tiger comes on DVD, although there were some CD versions as a result of a Media Exchange program. However, Tiger is very difficult to find. You could ask at your local Apple Store, as some people report getting them there. Panther is easier to find. You can check out Tiger on eBay or Panther on eBay. Whichever you get, be sure to get the Full Retail Version. Both Tiger and Panther will need about 3 or 4 GB of disk space. Your 600 MHz processor should handle it easily, although you might want to consider upgrading your RAM to 640 MB. You computer comes with 128 MB on the logic board, so adding a 512 MB module should do fine. You need 1 - PC-100 3.3V 144-pin SO-DIMM.

  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (11,260 points)
    The speed of a USB external optical drive (over USB1.1) would be too slow probably
    for that kind of DVD drive to work with OS X and correctly be compatible. Usually, a
    FireWire external drive (optical, and also hard drive enclosure) is the better route due
    to faster data speeds and the bootability of the computer from these drives in OS X.

    FireWire400 should be standard on your computer, so that is plenty fast for data and
    for bootable media on DVD. It isn't enough that you may be able to install software
    from a DVD, but essential tools and backup software installs, utilities and other tasks
    require you to boot the computer from another suitable drive with OS X on it. And the
    convenience of having a FireWire externally enclosed hard disk drive so you can run
    full computer clones from there (and backup, re-clone full system & drive content to
    and from hard drives, using Carbon Copy Cloner, etc; saves time and data) is worth
    the cost of a spare hard drive and a suitable enclosure. But this would not directly help
    install an OS X on DVD to a computer without that kind of drive. It would help reinstall.

    A replacement optical drive capable of supporting Mac OS X booting, a superdrive or
    a combo dvd-cdrw drive could be an affordable choice; & would need to open the case
    of the computer. It would take probably a half an hour to upgrade the optical drive. But
    to have a FireWire external DVD read-write optical drive capable of booting OS X would
    be more versatile, at least if you do not want to put the money into that old of a computer.

    However, an iBook would be a bear to upgrade the optical or hard drive! iFixit has manuals.

    Sometimes, it may be almost as easy to be on the lookout for an iMac G4 with superdrive or
    second build Intel-based Mac as a refurbished or used. A good iMac or iBook/PowerBookG4
    with DVD/CD drive and 1024MB RAM for about $200/400. may be a better upgrade; just keep
    the older G3 Book as a notebook maybe? I had an iMac 400DV with DVD drive, it was
    very nice for playing DVDs and music, but it could not record anything to optical disc.

    Have you looked into wegenermedia dot com to see if something already to go may be
    an easier path; sometimes they also have parts for iMac G3, plus they fix computers &
    sell parts. I've had good experience with their repairs and general service.

    Good luck & happy computing!
  • rqcrqc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Do I understand correctly that if I bought an inexpensive Firewire DVD burner like:

    Kanguru 20x DVD±RW Drive With LightScribe Double-layer - DVD±R/±RW - 20x 8x 20x (DVD) - 52x 32x 52x (CD) - USB, FireWire - External

    and then bought a Panther or Tiger full retail version OS from ebay, I should be able to upgrade the OS and run most current software? That sounds pretty reasonable to me, although I suppose I'd need the RAM upgrade, also.
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)

    You don't need a DVD drive for Panther (OS X 10.3x) as the Retail Version ships on a 3 CD set. However, Tiger normally comes on DVD so an external firewire DVD drive will be needed. There are other options as well. For example, if you have access to the use of a second Mac that supports firewire you can use the Optical drive (DVD) from the other computer in Firewire Target Disk Mode.

    In response to your query about RAM check out vendors and prices at ramseeker. You will not need to purchase the most expensive RAM. Indeed, RAM from any of the vendors on that page will work fine for you.

  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (11,260 points)
    re: rqcrqc:

    The advice about Panther is good for two reasons, in that the retail edition was on CDs
    and restore-install sets sent out for specific computers that had DVD drives were on DVD
    media and should be avoided when bought at a later time from third-party sources and not
    for the original computers for which they were intended.

    If someone were going to upgrade the hard disk drive and have a computer checked over
    well, it would almost be worth the extra cost to have the optical drive upgraded to Combo
    or Superdrive equivalent; some companies would do the job for very little extra over parts
    on the additional upgrade, once the unit was open. (All those screws & little wires, tedium!)
    iBook G3 white - optical drive replacement http://www.wegenermedia.com/ibkdrv.htm

    The external idea is better just in case something unexpected should happen, less invested.
    However, if the hard disk drive in the iBook is original, it may be due for a replacement.

    I'm not sure about the supportability of the D/L lightscribe external DVD drive, it should work.
    Sounds like it would be an upgrade worth considering, especially since it would not be inside.

    { The actual parts for an optical drive upgrade aren't so bad, just the effort of getting into an
    iBook and safely doing the work. At that point, the hard drive is right next door. For little more
    than service retail, one could get a whole newer computer: http://www.wegenermedia.com }

    In any event...
    Good luck & happy computing!

  • rqcrqc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Many thanks for the great help here. I upgraded the RAM to total 640MB (for $32 from Other World Computing) and bought Panther from eBay (for $45, probably a bit more than necessary) and have downloaded Safari and Camino, both of which run fine, and make this computer very useful for us. Thanks, again.
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)

    Nice work. Congratulations! Panther and the upgraded RAM will certainly make your iBook G3 more fun and functional.

    If we can be of further assistance, please don't hesitate to post back.