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Beige G3 no longer boots at all

794 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 23, 2012 10:22 AM by Dan Lempesis (Omega) RSS
Dan Lempesis (Omega) Level 4 Level 4 (2,420 points)
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Jan 14, 2012 12:56 PM

I've been using it for years (obviously), and the other day I was trying to install Tiger on a new 400 GB hard drive, when I forgot I had to restart using XPostFacto.


The specs are in the signature; 1 GHz G4 upgrade, 3 hard drives off an ATA/PCI card, Original Radeon, USB 2.0, maxed mem, etc.


Needless to say the thing wouldn't start from the Mac OS X CD, and I systematically screwed EVERYTHING up; at first it was booting from Mac OS 9, now it won't even boot off a CD.. even when that CD-ROM drive is the ONLY thing attached (original 24X, which works)


I can't even get it to boot into Open Firmware now.


Any ideas? I reset CUDA and PRAM. All I get is a boot chime.

Beige G4/1000 Desktop, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 768MB RAM, Radeon Mac Edition, 100GB HDD; OS 9.2.2
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,715 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 1:23 PM (in response to Dan Lempesis (Omega))

    Is the power button lighting up?


    Might be time to replace the PRAM Battery, 4 years is close to their lifespan, far less if ever without AC power, & can cause strange startup problems...


  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,715 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 2:24 PM (in response to Dan Lempesis (Omega))

    Have you done a PRAM reset, CMD+Option+p+r...



    How to reset the SMU/PMU on a Power Mac Earlier G3, G4, G5 models...




    Does it boot into any of these modes?


    Holding Option/alt key at bootup.


    Holding SHIFT key at bootup.


    Target mode...



    Does it boot to Single User Mode, CMD+s keys at bootup, if so try...


    /sbin/fsck -fy


    Repeat until it shows no errors fixed.


    (Space between fsck AND -fy important).


    Resolve startup issues and perform disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck...



    We might get clues with verbose mode...


  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8 (44,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 14, 2012 3:09 PM (in response to Dan Lempesis (Omega))

    Just to verify that there is not a hardware problem, will it boot from an OS 9 installer?


     Cheers, Tom

  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (29,575 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 15, 2012 4:19 PM (in response to Dan Lempesis (Omega))

    Be sure the Personality card in the PERCH slot is fully seated. They can loosen when doing other work insde the computer. Some of the Beige old timers always recommended removing the P-card, cleaning the contacts and blowing out the slot rather than simply check that all the connectors are parallel in the slot,

  • tdbmoss Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 17, 2012 5:15 PM (in response to Dan Lempesis (Omega))

    Have you tried with a display connected to the onboard graphics rather than the graphics card to see if it outputting the display to there instead? The onboard graphics on these machines causes nothing but problems, OS X (especially Leopard) hates it, and I have seen these machines decide to use the onboard graphics even when there is only one display connected and that is to the graphics card!


    If you haven't tried that, you could try holding the combination to get into Open Firmware for long enough for it to have done it (I have had to do this before, where I can't actually see the output as it is going to the useless onboard graphics), type:


    setenv pci-probe-list fffbffff


    Press Enter afterwards, then press Ctrl + Command + Power  to reboot - the command disables the onboard graphics for the next reboot, so forcing the output to go to the graphics card. There is a more permament version of the command which persists until the PRAM is reset if you need it (mine kept freezing after a while in Leopard without doing this, as the onboard is so incompatible with OS X).


    Though I only remember seeing this with OS X so might not help you, but worth a try - I have found XPostFacto to be much more reliable for booting OS X (even supported versions) on these machines as it allows you to set the graphics card as the output, whereas without it the machine always seems to want to use the useless onboard graphics.


    By the way your machine will run Leopard if you want it to as you have a G4 processor installed, it's not especially easy to install but it does work nicely once you get it on there.

    PowerMac, Mac OS X (10.5.8), G3 "Beige" with Sonnet G4 and Leo


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