4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 8, 2010 3:24 AM by Andrew Strugnell
Andrew Strugnell Level 1 Level 1
Hello folks,

I have recently bought an iMac G3 Snow, w/ 500MHz processor. This things works well with Tiger installed, but has quite a noisy hard drive. I wish to replace the hard drive with a newer, faster, and quieter 30GB hard drive that I happen to have spare.

I had booted the iMac in "Target Disk Mode", fired up my Macbook Pro, and connected the two computers via Firewire. I had then made a successful image of the iMac's HDD using Disk Utility. I then removed and replaced the hard drive in the iMac, and proceeded to restore the image to the new hard drive using Disk Utility again, also via Target Disk Mode.

Upon successfully restoring the image, I rebooted the iMac, only to find that the iMac cannot find the appropriate boot files. (ie, Question-mark w/ Finder folder logo error).

Any help to fix this would be muchly appreciated.

Many thanks,

Macbook Pro 17" 2.8GHz, iMac G3 500MHz, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6
    For a bootable clone, you'll have better luck using either of these downloadable utilities: "Carbon Copy Cloner" or "SuperDuper."
  • Andrew Strugnell Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks - I'll give that a try too.

    I would have hoped than an 'image' was a true 'image' in Disk Utility - bootable files and all.

    - Andrew
  • Andrew Strugnell Level 1 Level 1
    Hi Jeff - many thanks for your help. Unfortunately, I am still unable to boot from a clone made with SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner.

    I'm starting to focus my troubleshooting toward the iMac, or hard drive itself. These are my thoughts, if anyone could suggest any other places to poke around for inquiry.

    - the Maxtor 30GB replacement hard drive is being recognised successfully in Target Disk Mode by my Macbook Pro. This shows that the hard drive works correctly, and that the iMac can access all of the data on the hard drive. The hard drive is set to "Master".
    - when creating clone in either SuperDuper, or Carbon Copy Cloner, the clone processes report that the final clone on the new hard drive will be 'bootable'. This is reiterated when I look for the 'information' on the one partition in Disk Utility.

    I have also reset the PRAM and NVRAM and the Open Firmware, to no avail of the hard drive booting into Mac OS X.

    I have looked into my Open Firmware settings to see whether there may be a setting to specifically direct the Mac's bootloader toward the "BootX" file on the hard drive. When querying the 'boot-device', the Open Firmware's response is "hd:,\\:tbxi" - is this the correct function to have?

    When I purchased the iMac, the Tiger 10.4 PPC DVD/CDs were not included with the purchase. I'm trying my best to fix the problem without the discs if at all possible.

    Any suggestions as to where I can go to help my mac boot into Mac OS X again would be muchly appreciated. Thanks.
    - Andrew
  • Andrew Strugnell Level 1 Level 1
    Hello people,

    I bring good news! After doing much online research, asking amongst Mac-knowledgable friends, fiddling with many settings, and learning a **** of a lot about Apple machines and operating systems, I've found that the issue I was experiencing in being unable to boot from a cloned hard drive was caused by something incredibly small.

    It appears that PowerPC computers cannot access GUID partitioned hard drives - hard drives that have been partitioned on an Intel-native Mac by default. The issue I was experiencing was due to the Mac OS X clone being placed on a GUID partitioned hard drive, which the iMac G3 (being a PowerPC machine) could not recognise. Upon realising this, I re-partitioned the hard drive to an Apple Partition Table (a setting easy found in Disk Utility, selectable before partitioning), and then made a clone of the Mac OS X hard drive again. Voila! The iMac recognised the Apple Partition Table of the new hard drive, and instantly booted into Mac OS X 10.4.

    I hope this helps anyone else out there.