8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 30, 2012 10:34 AM by rccharles
jmball89 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Ok, I found an Imac G3 Bondi blue revision b, I love this computer from my childhood and want to get it working.  A couple of problems have arisen: First, the HD is trashed, totally worthless, second, I do not know what firmware it is running to start over in the installation of an os, and third, from inspection of the entire internals of the computer I have located an EMPTY slot for the ram.  My questions, should you choose to take on this mission: What OS do I have to start with for installation?  I have found that you have to start before x, so do I start with 9.2, or sooner?  Does it have some sort of on-board RAM, if not what size do I have to look for to make it worth doing?  And if this is all futile, is there a way of installing Ubuntu? (if you don't mind me asking.)

 

Sorry that I have so many questions in 2012 about a computer from 1998, but this is my first time tinkering with any MAC and I really want to get it going with Mac OS 10.2 if possible. (and no, I do not have the original discs, just the computer, keyboard, mouse, and some new 10.2 that did not come with it, these were a later find.)

 

I appreciate any help anyone can give, thanks.


iMac
  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (6,590 points)

    I "bought" an iMac g3 Rev A for may parents.  I upgraded it to a Rev D eventually with a new logic board.

     

    Note a-d iMacs had problems with  a bad fly-back capacitor.  Leads to video failure.

     

    You can run 10.3 as the max officaial OS.  10.4 if you happend to have 10.4 on a harddrive or use expost facto. Good to update firmware, but I do not beleive it is required.  (Slot loaders required correct firmware for 10.2)

     

     

    Open Firmware, boot into Open Firmware.

     

    Power on your iMac while holding down command+option+o+f

     

    The first output line contains the firmware level. Mine reads:

    Apple PowerMac4,1 4.1.9f1 BootRom built on 09/14/01 at 13.18.04

    Copyright 1994-2001 Apple Computer Inc.

     

    On my machine, I have 4.1.9f1.  ( iMac g3 600 )

     

    What firmware do you need?

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=86117

     

    The two memory slots were part of the cpu tray. there are two slots for memory.  One is above & the other below.  Did you take the cage apart? One slot required laptop memory... smaller form factor.  the could take large or samll memory.  Take picture of how to position memory & reasemble cage.  I got it wrong though machine worked.

     

    512 meg memory works  in most iMacs a-d.  I'd thing it didn't in a few a's.

    get 2x256meg

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/iMac/G3_233MHz_266MHz_333MHz

     

    don't go cheap.  I lot of pc memory doesn't work for X.

  • jmball89 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    As I said, the HD is trashed, so I have a new one which I know to be compatible, so what do I do from here?  The HD is totally unformatted, brand new, so do I need to start with another OS or no?  It is tray-loading, the stick under the cpu tray is unmarked, no identification which I can track at least.  The upper has nothing, which is why I assumed there was no actual RAM.  Also, I do not know the key commands to figure everything out.

     

    If I do not have to upgrade the firmware first, then also I would like to know do I need to find more RAM, or how will I find out how much is in it.  As I said, this is my first, so I am a little reserved at what I do.(I know, Taking it apart and examining the parts isn't too reserved).

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)

    In addition to the info already provided by rccharles, there are some limitation for the hard drive on this particular iMac model (beyond the type of hard drive).

     

    First, during the startup sequence, only the first 8GB of hard drive space is accessible.  The entire "OS" must reside in that space, or startup will fail.  So, if your replacement drive is larger than 8GB, it needs to be partitioned so that the first partition is smaller than 8GB.  Using something like 7.7GB is good.  The OS gets installed on the first partition.  The second partition can be the rest of the available space, and it becomes available after startup completes, subject to the second limitation...

     

    Second, the hard drive should be less than 128GB of total size.  120GB is a typical "largest" hard drive that fits below the limit.  If a larger drive is used, it would be a good idea to partition it, so that the space above 128GB is "ignored."

     

    Both of these limitations are due to the older IDE interface used in the tray-loader iMacs.

     

    If that iMac has its original RAM module in the bottom slot, and nothing in the top slot, and it's a Rev. B, it may only have 32mb of RAM.  That is barely enough to run Mac OS 9, and not enough to run any version of Mac OS X.

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (6,590 points)

    As I said, the HD is trashed, so I have a new one which I know to be compatible, so what do I do from here?  The HD is totally unformatted, brand new, so do I need to start with another OS or no?

     

    Set the harddrive to master.

     

    You need to find an os 8.6 to 10.30.  You need to find a full install cd.  The x one is  black of various designs. Grey ones are machine specific.  try ebay.

     

    Hold done the  c. poweron machine with cd in drive.  OS will give you an option to format the drive.

     

    It is tray-loading, the stick under the cpu tray is unmarked, no identification which I can track at least.  The upper has nothing, which is why I assumed there was no actual RAM.  Also, I do not know the key commands to figure everything out.

     

    There are two slots.  i assume you find under memory.

     

    If I do not have to upgrade the firmware first, then also I would like to know do I need to find more RAM, or how will I find out how much is in it.  As I said, this is my first, so I am a little reserved at what I do.(I know, Taking it apart and examining the parts isn't too reserved).

     

    Try booting into open firmware.  Should tell you the ram on boot.

    Power on your iMac while holding down command+option+o+f

    printenv will tell you the amount of memory

     

    Sometimes if volumes don't appear in Startup Manager (what you get when you hold down the Option key at startup), you need to reset the Mac's PRAM, NVRAM, and Open Firmware. Shut down the Mac, then power it up, and before the screen lights up, quickly hold down the Command, Option, P, and R keys, until the Mac has chimed twice more after the powerup chime. Then, before the screen lights up, hold down Command-Option-O-F until the Open Firmware screen appears. Then enter these lines, pressing Return after each one:

     

    reset-nvram

    set-defaults

    reset-all

     

    "The reset-all command should restart your Mac. If so, you have successfully reset the Open Firmware settings."

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1812?viewlocale=en_US

     

    How to eject a cd from the internal cd drive:

    eject cd

     

    List of devices:

    devalias

     

    List of variables:

    printenv

     

     

    ( nvram is the equivalent Mac OS X terminal command. )

    ---------------------

    Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379

     

    ---------------------

    reset the PMU

    http://mrjcd.com/junk/PMU.jpg

    --------------------

     

    Why set nvram variable? I've had open-firmware based Pegasos PPC and it simply had boot command, so instead of:

     

    setenv boot-device ud:3,\:tbxi

     

    should be enough to write:

     

    boot ud:3,\:tbxi

     

     

    How to boot cd from open firemware:

    http://blog.litot.es/2006/03/02/boot-from-cd-in-open-firmware/

  • jmball89 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Its a 40 GB, and I have a 10.2 set, but I read somewhere that you have to update the firmware in 9.x first, that's why I asked can I just start with that disc set. I will get the ram to upgrade and get back, thanks a lot for these answers.

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)

    You'll need to be running Mac OS 9 or earlier (from the hard drive) to install the firmware update, I think.  It doesn't need to be 9.x.  It originally came with Mac OS 8.1 or 8.5.  This web page may have useful and interesting info about that model

     

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/imac/specs/imac_ab.html

     

    I realize that running a version of Mac OS X may seem desirable, but with this Mac, it may not be the best choice.  Mac OS X 10.2.8, even with more RAM, will feel "bogged down."  A standard installation will fill up almost half of the available (under) 8GB startup volume.  And there really isn't that much good or interesting software that supports 10.2.8.

     

    By comparison, it is quite well-suited for Mac OS 9.  9.1 or 9.2.2 would be good versions.  With a bit more RAM, such as 256mb in the top slot, that is more than enough to run Mac OS 9 gracefully.  And Mac OS 9 was Apple's "latest and greatest" release for a LONG time (several years).  It's what the creative "pros" used during those years.  Most of them did not even make the jump to Mac OS X until AFTER 10.3 (or even 10.4) was released. As a result, there is a large library of software that supports Mac OS 9, and a lot of the previously really expensive applications can be obtained cheaply (or even free).  And there are even applications being maintained today for Mac OS 9, such as the "Classilla" web browser (there is nothing being maintained today that suppports Mac OS X 10.2).

     

    Mac OS X is great, but not on that older Mac; Mac OS X was not even around when it was designed and released.  I would let it do what it does best.  You should get a much more recent Intel-based Mac (one that supports the soon to be released "Mountain Lion" 10.8), if you really want to experience Mac OS X. 

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (6,590 points)

    My understanding it this: [ I'm not as sure about the 8.x requirement for iMac a-d.  I did not see the 8.x requirement int the article below. ]

     

    For a tray loading iMac ( iMac 333 MHz, iMac 266 MHz, & iMac 233 MHz), you need to use the version of Mac OS classic ( 8.x ) that came with your machine.

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=60384

     

    For a slot loading iMac, this article indicates that you need to be running 9.1 or later version of Mac OS Classic.

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75130

    "The iMac Firmware Update 4.1.9 will only run on iMac computers with slot-loading CD or DVD drives running Mac OS 9.1 or later from a local drive. If you are using Mac OS X you must boot from a local Mac OS 9.1 or later writeable partition (not a CD, or network disk) prior to following the update instructions."

     

    I've run 10.2 on an iMac rev a.  It was faster than i'd expected.  I surfed and answer questions on the previous versions of these forums, of course, the forum software has changed.  It's much, much more slugish on my iMac g3 600. It's very near my tolerence level.

     

    I do remember inquiring about upgrading my firmware for the iMac g3 233.  The comment was optional for tray loader and required for slot loaders.

     

    boot up in open fireware & you will know the current level.

     

    Robert

  • rccharles Level 5 Level 5 (6,590 points)

    Unix command ln  -- The Unix make link command. I have a copy of virtual PC.  It insists on using a folder in my documents folder for saving all of the virtual machine information.  This folder is rather large.  I used the terminal command ln to move the folder to my external hard drive.  Virtual PC had no problem with this move.  I do not think that Mac applications notice the ln redirects. 

    You can use the Unix command ln to redirect a reference to folder on your small partition to a folder on  your larger partition. You need to be careful when you pick the folder. You best avoid any system folder, those folders needed at startup. You could pick some user data folder.   Home folders, that is folders in /Users, are a good choice.  Please try this when you have a full backup.

    mac harddrive > Applications > Utilities > Terminal
    man ln
    ln -s target source

     

    example:
    let's make like my Christmas card folder is on my desktop and make like the names is cards.
    mac $ ls /Volumes   
    GREEN/          Macintosh-HD@
    mac $ ls /Volumes/GREEN/Christmas\ Cards/
    10 - NeoOffice Writer.pdf*      christmasLabels.odt*
    AddressList.ods*                env - NeoOffice Writer.pdf*
    ChristmasAddressList.xls*       env.odt*
    ChristmasAddressList0.odb*      getLabels.odt*
    al.odb*
    mac $ cd ~/Desktop/
    mac $ pwd
    /Users/mac/Desktop
    mac $ ln -s /Volumes/GREEN/Christmas\ Cards/  cards
    mac $ cd cards/
    mac $ pwd
    /Users/mac/Desktop/cards
    mac $ ls
    10 - NeoOffice Writer.pdf*      christmasLabels.odt*
    AddressList.ods*                env - NeoOffice Writer.pdf*
    ChristmasAddressList.xls*       env.odt*
    ChristmasAddressList0.odb*      getLabels.odt*
    al.odb*
    mac $

    An alternative way would be to install SymbolicLinker.  SymbolicLinker is a tiny contextual menu plugin that, once installed, allows any user to create symbolic links to files inside the Finder.

    http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/10433/
    How to redirect your iPhoto and ITunes files to an external harddrive:
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=6058202#6058202

    Robert