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help with Power Macintosh G3 400 (Blue & White)


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Hello....

 

For the most part, the most modern Mac I have ever owned was a Color Classic.  I made the 640 X 480 Mystic mod.  I was looking for a support Mac to help me with my CC.  I ended up buying a very dirty Power Macintosh G3 400 (Blue & White) on Craig's List for $50.00. My B&W is a June 1999 model # M7555LL/A:

 

https://everymac.com/systems/apple/powermac_g3/specs/powermac_g3_400_bl.html

 

I removed the Maxell battery and I am very lucky in that the battery and the battery holder were very clean.  I just ordered a new battery and a SS drive from OWC.

 

This computer is covered with dirt and grime.  After several cans of compressed air and some contact cleaner I tried to boot it.  The fan in the power supple runs but the secondary larger fan is not running.  I removed it and cleaned it and re installed it.  With the case open, I see the fan spin up when I boot the Mac, but it is only on for a second, then then it is off.  Is this a temperature controled fan, or a always on 12V fan?

 

I just bought a system disk on ebay, just like this item:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-Macintosh-OS-8-5-1-Power-G3-Operating-System-Disc-CD-1998/292647484013?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140602152332%26meid%3D342d50e845e846c883921744f41d545e%26pid%3D100011%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26mehot%3Dlo%26sd%3D163411615691%26itm%3D292647484013&_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850

 

Is this a correct CD for my machine?

 

Whit kind of video cards can I support in this machine?  Can anyone recommend a fast video card to me?

 

I am looking for a service manual for this B&W.  I need to do a total tear down as it is so dirty.

 

I would also like to buy a floppy USB drive for it.  I saw this on Amazon.  Will this work?

 

https://www.amazon.com/External-Floppy-Portable-Windows-Required/dp/B00RXEWOAA/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1547680682&sr=8-16&keywords=Apple+USB+floppy+drive

 

Any advice appreciated. I am new to modern, power Macs....

 

mraroid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Continuing from other thread)

 

A great investment would be an air compressor. That ways you dont need to waste money on compressed air.

 

Also, if the fan spins for a second, Id reckon it works fine and it is just waiting for a higher temp. My modern PC does that, spins the fan for a second fast and then turns off until its hot. Having the case open probably cools it down pretty fast. Maybe try a different fan? Could also tape a little piece of paper so that the blades hit it and make noise when the fan spins or something like that, that ways you can close the case up and get it to build some heat.

 

Edit

 

See you said the PSU fan works fine, its the second fan youre talking about. Yeah, thats gotta be a temperature controlled one (But I dont have a BW G3 to test it).

 

Edit again

 

Thats the same floppy drive I bought! Excellent so far. Ive used it with my powerbook G4 with no issues, so Id say youre good. No drivers needed either.

Edited by Johnnya101
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For an OS, I personally use the eMac 2003 install CD on almost everything that'll run it. It should be the last file listed here: http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/emac-g410-ati-restore-discs - I haven't verified this yet, but the .001 file will either download and expand using a zip program, then you can burn the .ISO or .Toast file using any CD burning program.

 

This CD is, to my knowledge, the most up-to-date copy of Mac OS 9 you can get short of unofficial compilations from sites like MacOS9Lives.

 

I need to re-burn my copy of it, I'll report back once I've had a chance to.

 

As far as graphics cards go, my recommendation is, unless you can confirm it is fried, try to use the ATi card that came in the machine. It will be "fine" for almost anything you need to do in OS X, perhaps short of very late-era games (which might run better in OS X on a newer machine.)

 

EDIT: Or, unless the scope of the project changes, but that card is pretty solid for Mac OS 8 and 9.

 

As far as USB floppy drives: Essentially any USB floppy drive will do. If you want to go for "authentic" you can try to find, say, a Macally or similar mac-brand USB floppy drive from back in the day. Imation SuperDisk drives are particularly handsome, and are supposed to be faster, but they require a specialized cleaning diskette, so it might be easier to go with an inexpensive basic floppy drive.

 

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Thanks for the good feedback and help.
 
I did a clean install to one of the two mechanical old hard drives in this Mac.  It booted just fine after that.  I did a disk verify and it all looked good.  The CD I have (it is not the correct one) installed 8.5.1.
 
After having the computer on for a while, the second fan finally kicked in.  Guess it is OK after a good cleaning and the Mac warmed up.
 
This computer is so dirty, I have to take the entire thing apart and clean it.  I was able to remove the 4 white plastic corner pieces and wash them.  But I am unsure of how to remove the blue and white plastic on the rest of the machine. Did Apple make a service guide for this computer?  I will be searching the internet tomorrow for one.  I need it to remove all this plastic.  It has to be removed to be cleaned.  I hope it was made to come off.... ???
 
My video card works fine, so I will take you suggestion and keep it, at least for now. 
 
I stuck a ethernet cable in it but during the set up, but I could not figure it all out.  I am going  to look at the TCP/IP settings in my Color Classic and see if that works.
 
Thanks so much for the USB floppy help.
 
mraroid
 
 
 
 
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1 hour ago, Johnnya101 said:

(Continuing from other thread)

 

A great investment would be an air compressor. That ways you dont need to waste money on compressed air.

I have one, just to lazy to get it out just now (cold winter).

1 hour ago, Johnnya101 said:

 

Thats the same floppy drive I bought! Excellent so far. Ive used it with my powerbook G4 with no issues, so Id say youre good. No drivers needed either.

Thanks!  I will buy it.

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53 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

For an OS, I personally use the eMac 2003 install CD on almost everything that'll run it. It should be the last file listed here: http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/emac-g410-ati-restore-discs - I haven't verified this yet, but the .001 file will either download and expand using a zip program, then you can burn the .ISO or .Toast file using any CD burning program.

 

This CD is, to my knowledge, the most up-to-date copy of Mac OS 9 you can get short of unofficial compilations from sites like MacOS9Lives.

OK.  Thank you.  I will go for that one.  I do have a 9.2 (but not a 9.22) CD someplace.... Would that also work?

mraroid

 

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You can pull the metal clip off of the heat sink if you want to check the ZIF socketed G3 chip, but I doubt you'll find much of interest there besides a dab of petrified thermal paste.

 

As Unknown_K says, it looks like a G3. :) Just a few cache chips to make things super fast without having to roundtrip the logic board, running at a slower bus speed.

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12 hours ago, nglevin said:

As Unknown_K says, it looks like a G3. :) Just a few cache chips to make things super fast without having to roundtrip the logic board, running at a slower bus speed.

Ah, OK.  Was this stock?  My first experene seeing chips sticking out from under a CPU heat sink.

mraroid

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As far as G3s go, yes that's stock. eBay has plenty of good pictures like this one of what the B&W ZIF daughter card with the CPU and cache chips looks like. While that auction's active and the link's useful.

 

The G4 ZIF upgrades have more things sticking out from under a heat sink on a bigger board that extends far beyond the ZIF socket. I guess that was the trend at the time. The desktop G4s/G5s started going crazy with heat sink largeness with each iteration.

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19 minutes ago, nglevin said:

As far as G3s go, yes that's stock. eBay has plenty of good pictures like this one of what the B&W ZIF daughter card with the CPU and cache chips looks like. While that auction's active and the link's useful.

 

 

Ah!  OK, looking at the photo in that ebay link explained a lot.  I understand it now.

Thank you.

mraroid

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Folks...
The only reason I bought this B&W G3 was to support my Color Classic Mystic.  If I can run a browser faster in this G3 than I can in my Color Classic, do I have any reason to move to a early version of OSX?  I wanted to surf MacintoshGarden and many other web sites.
 
If I do install a early version of OSX, I then also install a Classic OS under it?  Like 9.22 for example?  Would surfing under a OSX give me access to more modern web sites?  One thing I really miss in my Mystic is to not have access to my gmail.  Is this possible under a early OSX?
 
I saw a PCI USB 2.0 card for sale.  I need to find out if this will work under 9.22.  If that is the case, I could plug a external USB floppy drive into it.
 
Are options available to swap out the stock CD burner (or is it a CD/DVD burner?) for a faster one?
 
My B&W has a second empty port under the CD drive.  I believe it was for a Zip drive.  I have seen external SCSI Zip drives and wondered if I could buy one for my Color Classic.  But I do not know if I could find a internal Zip drive for my Blue & White.
 
Any CPU upgrades around for my model?
 
My B&W case is filthy.  I am starting the search this morning for a service manual. Can any one tell me if it is even possible to remove all the white and blue plastic so I an wash it?
 
Anyone know if a web site out in the ether that is a support web site for G3 Blue & White Macs?
 
Sorry for the may questions.  I am excited to have this "modern" Mac computer to play with.
 
mraroid
 
 
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Hello....
 
I am looking for a link to a web site that I can use to tell the revision number of the motherboard in my Blue & White G3.  I saw a vendor selling updated V 2 motherboards for the B&W G3.
 
The first B&W G3 to ship in Jan 1999 was model number M6665LL/.  A second group of B&W G3 shipped in June of 1999 and the model number was  M7555LL/A.  My B&W is from June 1999 and is model number M7555LL/.
 
So does this mean I have the revision 2  motherboard?
 
This is a text of the ad I saw selling V 2 B&W motherboards:
 
********************

Want to upgrade your old Blue and White so it can run OSX Tiger? This REV2 motherboard will solve a lot of the problems associated with the older Rev 1 motherboards. This is the motherboard only, you will need your old processor and other parts from your existing system to install it. Cleaned tested used motherboard, pulled from a working system. Printed instructions included. A phillips and a small flatblade screwdriver are all that is required to install it. $99.77 includes domestic shipping.  Stock Number: REV2BW661_2194

 

Thanks

mraroid

 


 
   
 
 
 
   
 
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The main thing you get from the newer motherboard is that the original version's IDE controller was buggy with primary/secondary (or master/slave) hard disks. If you stick to running a single hard disk in the system, it should be fine. You can add SCSI, IDE, or SATA with PCIe cards. Disks up to 2TB will work.

 

USB 2.0 cards will generally work, but under Classic Mac OS, only at 1.1 speeds. One that advertises Mac compatibility is going to be a better bet, but in general USB chips were pretty standardized.

 

Given that you have networking, you could add Zip to your CC and your B&W, but I don't think you should unless you are specifically into Zip for nostalgia for it, or you're specifically into various vintage data storage technologies, at which point you might want to consider something a little more interesting. Doing this would basically be adding complexity for no very good reason. That said, the less common part is going to be the faceplate. The drive itself is just a normal IDE/ATAPI Zip 100. I installed one from a generic PC in my B&W and it worked perfectly.

 

Gmail should work in the web browser on older versions of OS X. At worst, you could use 10.4 and use tenfourfox. However, that doesn't necessarily get you anything for your CC.

 

In terms of other sites, what specific things are you looking for? Moving forward to OS X and using OSX-compatible browsers will get you better page rendering, at the expense of some convenience and straightforwardness with file sharing.

 

One more thing that might be of note, I'm working on building a vintage-compatible file, web, and email server: 

 Some of the information in the initial post is not correct, I recommend reading the whole thread if you've got time, as I've posted updates a couple times.

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Two extremely minor corrections:

 

1 hour ago, Cory5412 said:

You can add SCSI, IDE, or SATA with PCIe cards.

Obviously that's with PCI-no-e cards. The B&W predates PCIe by about five years.
 

1 hour ago, Cory5412 said:

Disks up to 2TB will work.

Also, just for clarity, the built-in controller technically has problems with disks bigger than 128G. There are software workarounds but they're not particularly robust. Disks up to 2TB are fine with add-on cards, of course.

Re: USB cards, maybe I'm in a sad minority but I have had loads of problems with PCI cards in PowerMacs in general, and USB cards in particular, and this has included cards that were sold in boxes that claimed Mac compatibility. Your mileage may definitely vary when it comes to compatibility. (I would among other things specifically suggest avoiding VIA chipset cards.)

Overall I'm pretty cool when it comes to recommending the B&W for almost anything; it's an improvement over the Beige G3 in a number of respects but both are kind of flaky transitional systems. If you want a classic-capable system that can run OS X for better web browsers than it's an... okay choice, but I'd personally pick an AGP G4 (or possibly a 9.x-capable Powerbook or iBook) over it, while if you want a bridge Mac that's better at generating floppy disks for old systems (IE, has a floppy drive that can handle the 400/800k formats that a USB drive won't) obviously you want a beige box.

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All....
 
Looking around this morning, I see PCI USB 2.0 cards revert back to USB 1.1 under a classic OS.  They only give USB speeds of USB 2.0 if running under OSX.  I was thinking about the faster speeds I would get from a external USB floppy drive.  I may still add a PCI USB 2.0 card in any case as the B&W only has two USB 1.1 ports. I will avoid VIA chipset cards, thanks.
 
The explanation of the Zip drive is quite helpful.  I have no Zip hardware and not really interested in any.  Perhaps the best way to move data quickly to my CC would be with a CD. After I get the B&W up ad running and on the network, I want to look at down loading files for my CC into the B&W, and then trying to FPT them into the CC over my network.  But that is for a future date.
 
Getting gmail to work on my CC would be a great, but I have not seen an easy path (or bug free working path) at all. But it would be nice to read it on the B&W if I am spending time on that machine.
 
I am still unsure of what early version of OSX to install on this G3.  I need to re read the good information in my first post for a support Mac for my CC.  I think it can get confusing to me as to what file format to use when preparing floppy disks for the CC as well as CDs that a old time CD reader can read. Suggestions welcome as to which OSX version to run.
 
I was able to find additional information on my motherboard.  I have a Rev 2 motherboard.  I will only be installing one solid state hard drive.  The smallest in stock at OWC was 250 GBs:
 
 
Do I format it into two partitions - one for OSX and one for a 9.22?
 
I was *extremely* happy to find the service manual for the B&W.  It looks like I can remove most, if not all of the plastic and clean it.  This will take an entire day or more I am sure.
 
I would love to run a Mac server!  I will read the thread you posted.
 
Thanks again for all the help.
 
mraroid
 
 
 
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I tend to suggest FireWire 400 for OS 8.6/9.x since it comes close to USB 2 transfer speeds and you can find some HD enclosures that support it pretty easily. Here’s one:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Iomega-3-5-White-Sata-USB-2-0-HDD-Enclosure-iomega-31735000-Hard-Disk/253814875448?epid=1653567965&hash=item3b188ba538:g:dlIAAOSwarpbcxOF

 

USB 2 works fine in OS X, it’s just when you are running OS 9 that you’re capped at crappy USB 1.1 speeds. Not a huge deal either way.

 

EDIT: and for a floppy drive, I am not sure the USB 2 speed makes a difference. Floppy drives are not fast. :)

 

 

Which OS X depends on what software you’d like it to run. Maybe start low with 10.2 non-server edition and upgrade as needed if you’d like to try them out. OS X Server is harder to upgrade due to the licensing.

 

My preference for Leopard comes down to both better dev tools and really good quality of life upgrades, for instance Disk Utility in 10.5 no longer requires booting from an external disk or DVD to “Repair Disk”. But there’s classic mode up to 10.4, there’s System 6 compatible AppleTalk in 10.2, and other reasons to start earlier.

 

EDIT the fourth or so: 10.4 is the max for a B&W Mac officially. 10.5 really needs a close to mid 2000s GPU to work well.

 

Edited by nglevin
Phone typing leads to typos. Oh well.
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Nglevin....
 
Point well taken re making floppies from USB 1.1 speeds vs USB 2.0 speeds.
 
RE your post to this enclosure:
 
************************
I tend to suggest FireWire 400 for OS 8.6/9.x since it comes close to USB 2 transfer speeds and you can find some HD enclosures that support it pretty easily. Here’s one:

  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Iomega-3-5-White-Sata-USB-2-0-HDD-Enclosure-iomega-31735000-Hard-Disk/253814875448?epid=1653567965&hash=item3b188ba538:g:dlIAAOSwarpbcxOF

****************************************

So I run a Firewire 400 cable from the back of the B&W, and plug in this enclosure.  If I never install a hard drive in this enclosure will the port on the back work? See photo.

 

I need to dive into early OSX versions. That you for the additional information.

mraroid

 

 

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, mraroid said:
I was able to find additional information on my motherboard.  I have a Rev 2 motherboard.  I will only be installing one solid state hard drive.  The smallest in stock at OWC was 250 GBs:
 
 
Do I format it into two partitions - one for OSX and one for a 9.22?

Notice on the product page for that device the B&W is listed under "Computers below only recognize drive space up to 128GB*". That means that without some sort of special driver you can't utilize the space above the 128GB mark for any OS, either Classic or OS X.

If you want to avoid wasting space you could go really bottom of the barrel like, say, this 120GB drive for $25:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6JQS8C/
 

And cobble together a SATA/PATA converter:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Parallel-DVD-ROM-Interface-Convert-Adapter/dp/B0089F7KWY/

and mounting bracket and probably come out around $40, which may or may not be a worthwhile price savings over the native PATA SSD.

Whether you install 9.x and OS X into separate partitions is pretty much up to you. The main reason *not* to install them in the same partition is mainly if you keep your 9.x stuff separate you're less likely to screw up OS X's files while booted into it. (Which is very much a thing that can happen.) But if you think you'll mostly be getting by in Classic mode you can save a little hassle and disk space by just putting them together. As to which version of OS X to go with, *unless* you're planning to try to leverage the backwards compatible Appletalk in 10.2 (I'd personally recommend NetaTalk on a Linux machine as a better Appletalk server solution for a number of reasons.) I'd go with 10.4. If you disable Spotlight and Dashboard it's no slower than any earlier version and there's a *much* better selection of software for it still floating around. (Including TenFourFox, the only modern and therefore remotely secure browser choice.) Leopard won't run on a B&W anyway, so it's as modern as you can go. (And it still has full Classic support, so you're not missing out on that.)

 

To second regarding "better performance" out of an external floppy disk drive with USB 2.0, I don't think anyone actually made USB 2.0-specific USB floppies and it wouldn't matter anyway because USB 1.1 is still faster by a fair stretch than the interface between a floppy drive and its controller. (Or the data rate of the bits written to the disk. Note that you may well see ads for "USB 2.0 compatible" floppy drives, but I guarantee you that they just run at USB 2.0 "Full Speed", which is the same 12Mb/s as USB 1.1; the only distinction is the USB 2.0 version of it has a few protocol tweaks that allow it to more cleanly share a hub with faster devices than "native 1.1" devices.)

Re: Firewire: remember, a B&W does have a Firewire port, but it's not bootable like it is on the AGP generation Macs. That makes it less useful than it might be otherwise.

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5 minutes ago, Gorgonops said:

Notice on the product page for that device the B&W is listed under "Computers below only recognize drive space up to 128GB*". That means that without some sort of special driver you can't utilize the space above the 128GB mark for any OS, either Classic or OS X.
 

Could I format the SS drive I have on order into three partitions of about 83 GBs each? Can I do this with Mac format software, or would I need to move to a third party format utility? I used Lido to partition the CF card I used as a hard drive in my Color Classic.

 

I am still unsure how to install a clasic OS (9.22) and OSX.  Do I instll one OS in one partition and the other OS in the other?  And then choose which OS to boot to?  Or, with OSX, do I install 9.22 in the same partition as OSX is running in?

mraroid

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42 minutes ago, mraroid said:

Could I format the SS drive I have on order into three partitions of about 83 GBs each? Can I do this with Mac format software, or would I need to move to a third party format utility? I used Lido to partition the CF card I used as a hard drive in my Color Classic.

No. The problem with drives larger than 128GB is with the firmware of the computer, not some OS-level thing. ATA revisions lower than ATA-6 (Ultra ATA-100; the B&W's controller is ATA-33, aka, ATA-4 compliant) used 28-bit LBA addressing to access hard disk space, which means the maximum size of a hard disk is 2^28 (268,435,456) 512 byte (2^9) sectors, which makes the total accessible size of a hard disk 2^37 (137,438,953,472) bytes, or 128GB binary gigabytes. This is a *firmware level* limitation. (If you lived through the 1990's in the PC world you might remember various limitations like the 512MB and 2GB barriers; the former was a BIOS limit with CHS addressing, the latter was actually an ATA standard issue as the first revision only allowed 22 bit LBA. This is like that one.) ATA-6 changed to 48 bit addressing, which hypothetically allows disks as large as 144 petabytes; the 2TB limit Cory mentioned is due to another combination of problems largely on the OS side of the fence.

 

Anyway, TL;DR, your machine simply cannot see hard disk space above the 128GB mark because its firmware can't use the alternate addressing mode. There was a company called Intech that sold a skanky driver that replaces the firmware driver and allows you to use larger drives on machines with non-compliant boot ROMs, but even at the time there were a lot of complaints about it. The only reliable way to get around this is buy an ATA-100 (or SATA) controller with a Mac ROM and connect your drives to it instead.

(And, again, this sort of thing underlines why I'm not really a fan of the B&W. Sure, the first few revisions of AGP G4 were also handicapped by this limit, but they have bootable Firewire ports so there *is* a workaround already built into them.)

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5 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

The main thing you get from the newer motherboard is that the original version's IDE controller was buggy with primary/secondary (or master/slave) hard disks. If you stick to running a single hard disk in the system, it should be fine.

There's more to it than that with the Revision A motherboard G3. I had one of these for some time. The size of the hard drive also matters. You may be stuck with a small 6 GB HD in the earlier revision.

 

Get the newer motherboard revision if you can!

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