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dovesmiser

iMac G3 Installation Trouble- OS 9 to X

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Hi all, I'm new here and I'm fairly new to Macs, so I apologize for any things I might not say or do correctly in advance! I also apologize for asking you all this newbie tech support question haha.

I bought this barely used iMac G3 from someone on EBay a while back, and it came with OS 9.2.2. I am trying to install OS 10.3 on it. It has 128 MB RAM, 10 GB storage and is an grape slot-loading model. I came across Panther full install 3 disk CDs from a friend but they were copied disks of the originals so there wasn't any labels or information on the disks.

When I started the installation from within OS 9 and when a window prompted me to click the "Restart" button to begin the installation process, I did. It restarted and a light grey screen with the dark grey Apple logo appeared, along with a loading circle. I waited for about 10 minutes and it was still doing the same thing. I tried restarting it while holding down the "C" key and it did the same thing. That time I waited an hour and still no luck.

Is there anything I'm doing wrong? Any advice is appreciated!

Edited by dovesmiser

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Hi,

 

First of all, the firmware should be upgraded on the Imac (if not, you can have a display issue) don't remember exactly, done it a few years ago, but the firmware should be available from Apple.

 

Also, IIRC, DD size should be under 8 Gb...can be be wrong here.

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Hey, I admittedly forgot and left out some information on accident. First, I'm not entirely sure whether it's 10 GB, but I checked and I think you're right, Bibilit.

Rsolberg, I actually installed the firmware update a few months ago and forgot about it. I tried again and it notified me that it was up to date.

The thing I forgot to mention is that I think the PRAM battery might be dead, since the date and time reset every time I restart the computer. Would this happen to have anything to do with the issue?

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Does it lose the time every time it's booted, or only when it's unplugged? I clearly remember these iMacs being fickle with a dead PRAM battery when it came to booting from HD. Usually holding Option during power on and selecting the right system would sort them out until they got unplugged again. That might be worth a try to see if the installer disc boots further.

 

If you continue to have hang ups, my guess is a bad disc or drive. If there's bad RAM in the system, OS X will fail hard while OS 9 often won't be as obvious, so that's another possibility.

 

There is definitely no 8GB partition limitation with this generation of iMac. They originally shipped with 10GB and larger drives. I've installed 10.3.x and 10.4.x on dozens of them with a single full drive partition and had no issues. Do note the hard drive controller can't access drives beyond 128GB though.

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To clarify in my above post: When I suspect a bad disc or drive, I mean your Mac OS X Installer CD or the iMac's CD/DVD drive. Usually a problem with the hard drive won't manifest itself during the installer boot process- Disk Utility or the Installer itself would encounter a problem once the CD finishes booting.

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Does it have Firewire ports?

 

If it does, you can either A) prepare a PPC-bootable drive from another PPC Mac, or B) get yourself a Firewire-based optical drive and put your installer disk in that.

 

Either way, you probably don't *need* to have a working internal optical drive to accomplish your goal.

 

Of course, if your iMac doesn't have Firewire, then maybe you could use USB. I think the slot loaders are USB-bootable, but it'd be super slow.

 

c

Edited by CC_333

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Good point with FireWire Target Disk Mode. A Grape slot-load iMac G3 is a DV 400MHz model and has FireWire. The only slot-load iMac G3 without FireWire is the 350MHz model, and it only came in Blueberry.

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Rsolberg, it loses the time only when its unplugged. I tried the Startup Manager thing, and the installation still stalled.

Unfortunately I don't have any FireWire optical drives. I do have a USB optical drive, but it didn't seem to work with the iMac G3.

I believe it might just be a bad disk. I've put DVDs and CDs in before and they worked fine, so I think the disk drive is alright. Maybe I just need to find some other installation disks and go from there.

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rsilberg: Yes! TDM completely slipped my mind!

 

TDM would be even better, especially if you have (or can get) another PPC Mac, as you can simply install straight to the iMac's hard drive.

 

c

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I have been able to use an USB thumb/flash drive a couple of times for a clean install...but was in Powermac G4s, never in G3s Imacs...

 

If doesn't work, you can remove the hard drive from the Imac, do your installation and put it back.

Edited by bibilit

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Hopefully a different install disc solves the issue. You'll probably want some more RAM. 128MB is pretty lean for Panther.

 

With a 7200rpm hard drive and 512MB to 1GB of RAM, these iMacs can really fly in Panther and its contemporary applications. I found that many later-model 7200rpm drives in the 40-120GB range are significantly quieter than the original hard drive too.

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Yeah, the 10 GB drive in my iMac (bought new in 1999) was a whiner from the beginning.

 

I've noticed that, in general, Maxtor drives from the period tended to be loud. Quantums and WDs seem to be quieter, and Seagates are somewhere in the middle (many Seagates seem to have a characteristic "beep" sound just before they spin up as well).

 

c

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Yeah, I finally upgraded my iMac to an 80 GB something (it might have been Maxtor, but this was when it was more a brand of WD or whoever it was that bought them out, I think), and it ended up being virtually silent (all I could hear was a quiet whoosh sound).

 

I don't know why, but I guess some drives are just loud by design (my iBook is similar; the amount of noise from the hard drive is substantially the same now as it was 16 years ago (though, granted, it is a different drive now, but I think I still have the old one around somewhere, which was working, last I knew, and wasn't any louder than it was new when I last used it (around 2008-ish, I think)).

 

c

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Any version of OS X is really going to struggle with 128GB of RAM.  I would max that out before even attempting an install to be honest.

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