Previous 1 2 Next 20 Replies Latest reply: Oct 16, 2012 8:28 PM by Jacumba
Jacumba Level 4 (2,340 points)

    I picked this computer up and it wouldn't start. I read online that there is a button on the motherboard I believe a cuda, I pressed it and the computer started. I could hear a musical tone come from the front speaker so seem to think it may have recognized the OS. But the screen remained black.

   My question is does it require a Mac monitor? I plugged it into one of my monitors from my windows computers. I'd love to get this old computer running my first one was a Mac and haven't seen one in years and would appreciate and help you could give me.

  It does have a video card in it a Rage and a 400 Mhz cpu with 384 Ram

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,252 points)

    The tone is a good sign, but which exact G3 is it?


    If you don't know the model, find the Serial# & use it on one of these sites, but don't post the Serial# here...




    How to find the serial number of your Apple hardware product...


  • Allan Jones Level 7 (33,967 points)

    If the computer has been sitting a long time not connected to a power source, it could be a cheap fix.


    There is an internal backup battery on the logic board, sometimes called the "PRAM" battery, that holds settings when the computer is unplugged for moving or maintenance. Unfortunately, this little battery cannot continue to hold settings for months or years. In some Mac models, a dead PRAM battery can allow the computer to make normal startup noises but not show anything on the display.


    First action, assuming you have a Mac keyboard, is to cold-start the computer while holding the keys command option p r. Keep holding until you hear a total of three startup chimes, then let go. See if you have video. If so, replacing the battery should be all you need to start learning about the G3.


    The button you mention is on the logic board and can do the same as the keyboard reset. However, give the button one short push, NOT the 20 seconds recommended for the previous G3 model.


    Logic board diagram here;



    I get batteries here:



    You can get the battery at Radio Shack (Tandy) as part number 23-026 but is will cost 4-5X as much.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 (33,967 points)

      It does have a video card in it a Rage and a 400 Mhz cpu with 384 Ram

    BD, that should make it Blue & White. The fastest Beige G3s were 333mHz and seldom shipped with a PCI video card.

  • MichelPM Level 6 (11,398 points)

    You don't need an Apple specific monitor, but you need a monitor that has and/or uses a VGA connection.

  • MichelPM Level 6 (11,398 points)


    There are 4 G3 Blue & White models the use a 400 MHz CPU.

    All of them have a VGA as a connection for a VGA monitor.

    One model uses Apple's Display Connector and the other uses DVI.

  • Jacumba Level 4 (2,340 points)

       You guys are fantastic what great info. The computer is a G3 Blue and White I found out. I located the Pram battery on the motherboard and will replace that and see how that goes. I now recall that battery "now that you mentioned it", from the days of my old Macintosh performa 6115 CD. It would revert the date back to 1956 that's how you'd know it needed to be replaced. I agree the chime sound was a good indication that that the G3 may go? I'll post back in a couple of days and may have more questions, I think I may have to pick up a Mac mouse also cause I tryed to use a microsoft one.

      Thank-you so much I tryed to give you all a This helped me vote but not sure if they all went thru.

  • Jacumba Level 4 (2,340 points)

       I replaced the pram battery yesterday and still got a black monitor screen. The monitor diffenately works I'm using it right now. The computer fans are working and you hear a chime sound when you try to start. Do you have any more ideas you could possibly help me with?

       I thought it might be a windows monitor might not be compatible with a Mac. But this link seems to indicate they are.


      I have spare video cards so may try using another one to see if that might get a picture on the screen.

    I also have spare ( from windows computers empty or I can erase) hard drives and a Mac OS 9 operating system disk. This could possibly be a hard drive failure?

  • MichelPM Level 6 (11,398 points)

    No such thing a monitors specific to Windows. All monitors are cross-platform.

    They either need VGA or DVI connectors to be compatible across computer platforms.


    You can't just use any ole' video card in a Mac.

    It has to be a video card specifically for the Mac and is compatible with the model Mac you have.

    You need a PCI video card that is a Mac edition PCI video card or a PC Flashed PCI video card that is known to work in Macs, too!


    Before doing anything, go through the Mac and makes sure all of the RAM modules are seated down properly. Make sure the video card is seated down in its slot properly. Make sure any other cards that are in there are seated down properly.

    It's possible the video card is either dislodge or bad.

    If it's chiming, can you hear the hard drive spinning up?

    The hard drive might be bad.

    If you install another drive, you will need to to format it for Mac.You need either the original install discs or retail OS X discs to run the OS X Disk Utility to format the drives before trying to install OS X.

    I did some research and you will need both OS 9 ( OS 9.1 or 9.2) and OS X  10.4 Tiger.

    If you know someone who is an older Mac user to see if they have copies of these to use for installation.

    They are very old, now if you find the original retail disc versions of these, they are going to be expensive to buy.

    Probably more expensive for the OS copies than the Mac is worth, at this point.

    The reason you need OS 9 is that you must perform a firmware update to the Mac's CPU before installing OS X.

    The firmware updater can only be run in OS 9 and NOT OS X.

    Any version of OS X will not install unless this firmware update is applied.

    Note, this Mac may have has the firmware updater already applied. You won't know this until you can get  OS 9 installed on this Mac.

    It's not going to be easy getting this Mac to run without the original system disks and without knowing what is good or bad with this Mac.

  • MichelPM Level 6 (11,398 points)

    If you have plans to upgrade this Mac to get it to a usable condition, I stumbled upon a site that will point you in the right directions.


  • Jacumba Level 4 (2,340 points)

    MichelPM, thanks for your good help. The video card and ram are seated properly. I don't recall hearing the hard drive spinning lastnite when I had the case open to the G3, but gonna check that again. I have OS 9 operating system disk from a iMac DV 400 Mhz that I had in 2000. I'm going to try replacing the hard drive and starting from the OS 9 disk. When I'm sure that the HD is not spinning. I'm not sure how to do that on a Mac I believe holding down the C key on the keyboard as you try to start. See I work on windows machines and you go into the Bios and change the boot order to start from CD drive rather than hard disk. The hardware configuration and motherboard on Mac is similar to a windows computer but I'm lacking the expierence on Mac's.

      I'm going to also try changing the ram and video card. I have alot of ram and video cards. It may not be compatible? But worth a try I did read that some nvidia cards work on Mac's and could be just getting the driver?

      The G3 appears to have a AGP slot that the Rage card is in. And 3 PCI expansion slots for adding a video card to run dual monitors. If you look at the link by Allan Jones it shows a diagram that indicates this.

      I'm not going to purchase anything for this G3 because the cpu is so limited with a 400 Mhz. But going to continue to try these things to see if I can get it to run with HD, ram, and video cards I have.

       Do you know if OS 9 operating system works on a G3, you seemed to indicate it does in your post?

  • MichelPM Level 6 (11,398 points)

    Okay, you gave me some more useful info.

    This Mac has an AGP slot?

    Then this Mac is a PowerPC G4 AGP model.

    The G3 Blue & White model only came with a PCI video slot.

    PCI and AGP cards are not interchangeable. They are two different technologies.


    Yes, holding down the "C" key will start the Mac from an install disc in the disc drive.

    You need to really research which video cards work in a Mac.  Generally, video cards that are designed to work in a PC DO NOT work in a Mac.


    You might be able to find, either on eBay, Amazon or Craigslist, CPU upgrades for this Mac.

    Here's a 1.8 G4 dual processor card that your Mac might be able to install and run.

    This is one of the last retail, commercial CPU upgrades still available for older PowerPCs

    It's from OWC. You may, also, call them to see if this may work in your Mac, if interested



    You maybe able to find the single CPU upgrades through my above advice.

    Generally, for these models , the CPUs were on easy to remove/install ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) cards.

    Armed with this info, you may reconsider making this a more speedier Mac.

    With a substantial CPU upgrade, you might be able to get OS X 10.5 Leopard to run on this Mac!

    It all depends on how far you really want to go.

    Good Luck!

  • Jacumba Level 4 (2,340 points)

    I got it going! What I just did was change the ram, and it started, so apparently the ram was bad. It has OS X on it. The only problem is it needs a password to log in now. Is there a way to by pass that? I do have OS 9 from my old iMac DV but not sure if it will work on the G3?

  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,252 points)

    Reset OS X Password Without an OS X CD...



    Admin Hack...



    Starts up like the first time you buy a new Mac, but after filling in all that info again, you should have access to the computer and the other Users & files will still be there... give the new User a different name than an existing one.

  • Jacumba Level 4 (2,340 points)

    BDAqua, thank-you for the info. I think I probably need to get a Apple keyboard? I don't have command or apple keys. After changing the ram I plugged in a windows keyboard and microsoft optical mouse, the mouse did work. I could move around the pointer. It showed a apple logo then a screen came up Mac OS X and for password log in. I then turned the computer off.

      I don't think this G3 computer ran for years cause the pram battery was from 2003. Do you know if OS 9 will run on this G3? I have that OS 9 from a iMac DV I had in 2000. But it may be specific for that model mac or specific for that computer only?

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