View Full Version : G3 doesn't recognize CD Rom or Zip Drive

Blaine Wollan
01-14-2001, 11:44 PM
I recently purchased a G3 on ebay. The seller's description said it had been used as a server so there was no software installed. I am trying to install OS 9 but the CD isn't recognized on the desktop, at least the icon doesn't show up. Even Norton, Techtool Pro or Diskwarrior don't mount using the "C" key. I also tried to use the Zip disk and it isn't recognized either, the floppy drive does work. When I start up, I get a flashing "?" mark. The only way I can get it to boot up is to hold down the "C" key and then OS 8.1 appears. I installed a new IBM Deskstar 30 gb internal hard drive but replaced it with the original Western Digital 4 gb drive thinking that may ae have had something to do with my problem. Also installed is a new firewire/USB PCI card and a 10/100 Asante ethernet PCI card. Do I need to have the software installed prior to the installation of each card and the new hard drive? How do I get all this to work? I am a newbie in more ways than one. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Blaine


01-15-2001, 03:29 AM
the first thing you need to do is understand how to check your hardware, so you can make sure that everything is installed correctly. I'm not even sure where to begin, since you apparently can't even boot off a CD-ROM.

can you insert your OS9 CD-ROM, hold down the "C" key, and get the machine to boot off it?

you need to look at your installed devices, and determine whether they are SCSI or IDE. You then need to determine whether you have a Rev A or later beige G3. If you have a Rev A, then you can have only IDE master devices on your IDE buses. If you have Rev B or later, then you can use IDE slaves. You need to ensure that your IDE buses are correctly configured, you need to ensure that your SCSI buses are correctly configured, and then you need to initialize your drive(s) and install MacOS 9. If you can get that far, we can proceed. If not, let us know, and we'll try to backtrack.

01-15-2001, 03:30 AM
Hi Blain,

Magician's on it before I hit "post", and has given you some homework....so I'll just shutup and learn.

Best to you,


[This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 15 January 2001).]

Blaine Wollan
01-15-2001, 10:55 AM
The CD tray opens, I can insert the CD for OS 9 or other CD's but using "C" at start up doesn't boot from the disk. I still only get 8.1 to boot. If I do not hold down the "C" key, I get a blinking "?" mark. My G3 is a Rev 2 if I go by the the writing on the ATI Rage graphics accelerator chip on the logic board which says it is an ATI RAGE PRO chip. How do I tell if the devices are SCSI or IDE? How do I tell if the SCSI or IDE buses are configured correctly? How do I configure the buses? I read something about settings, 0, 3, etc. for SCSI devices. What does that mean and how do I find them and change them if necessary. Sorry, can't find the exact documentation just now. Don't mean to be wordy, but trying to give as much info as possible. Thanks again for any help.


01-15-2001, 04:41 PM
Is it the desktop model or the minitower? And what speed? Is it really a Server model (does it say it on the machine)?

Start with the basics. Pull out everything that you do not need. Unplug everything except the CD drive and your video and one RAM stick. Take out all the other PCI cards and RAM. With the machine off, open it up and press the red "Cuda" reset button on the motherboard near the processor card. Hold it for 30 seconds. Close it up. Restart and get the CD drive opened. You should see a fashing "?". Insert your CD and restart. Immediately after hearing the startup chord, press and hold the "C" button until the startup screen appears and you see a "CD" pattern in the background. If this works, we will work from there. If not, well, we will work from there.

Oh, about your SCSI IDE question. Internal SCSI is a 50-pin cable. IDE (or ATA) is a 40-pin interface. Your machine should only have on-board IDE. The SCSI option was installed as a PCI card. If you plug the drives into the motherboard, you are using IDE. If they plug into the SCSI card, they are most likely UltraWide SCSI.

01-15-2001, 05:10 PM
this is a rev B beige G3...it does have 5MB/sec SCSI on the logic board. Most of your internal devices, if not all of them, should be IDE.

you need to look at them and determine which ones are configured as master devices and which as slaves. IDE permits two devices per bus, so you should have two devices, max, per cable. One can be configured as a master, and one as a slave. If you have a solo device on an IDE bus, it must be configured as a master.

pin settings are normally described in a legend on the top or rear of the device. You may, in some cases, need to visit an OEM website to get a detailed description of all pin designations.

Blaine Wollan
01-15-2001, 06:20 PM
My G3 is a 266 Desktop model. The seller description said it had been used as a server. I do not see anyplace on the machine where it says it is a Server. I pulled the cables and replugged them. I pressed the reset button for over 30 seconds. Maybe we are getting someplace now. The CD and the Zip drive are now recognized. However, if I boot without holding down the "C" key I still get a blinking "?" mark. At the top of the screen it says repeadly, " No bootable HFS partition". Then the screen clears and I get the blinking "?" mark. If I boot and hold down the "C" key, the computer will start from the CD and OS 9 loads. I installed OS 9 and tried to reboot withoutholding down the "C" key but the same results, blinking "?" mark. The drives are plugged in the mother board. Where do I go from here? Thanks again. Blaine


Big Al
01-15-2001, 08:37 PM
Sounds to me like the seller wiped the hard drives. Try formatting one and installing the OS from the cd. Oops, I see you installed the OS. Did you format first? It might be worth it or try disconnecting all but the first hard drive and installing the OS.

[This message has been edited by Big Al (edited 15 January 2001).]

01-15-2001, 08:46 PM
In the Startup Disk control panel, did you select the drive that you have loaded OS9 onto? k

01-16-2001, 12:49 AM
right. Use Drive Setup, in the Utilities folder on the OS9 CD, and initialize your hard drive. Then install OS 9, and restart when prompted. You should be booting off your drive at that time.

also...scan your bus with Drive Setup. Tell us what shows up, and where.

01-16-2001, 12:57 AM
Damn your fast Mag......!!

Er, ahh, yeah, what Magician said......... http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/dance.gif

Blow the fuzz out of that CD ROM too........

[This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 16 January 2001).]

[This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 16 January 2001).]

Blaine Wollan
01-17-2001, 10:41 AM
I still am not able to boot without holding down the "C" key at startup. I have initialized the hard drive, installed OS 9, and ran disk first aid, and disk drive set up. I also opened Apple System Profiler. It appears that both the hard drive and the CD ROM are assigned number "0". I do not know how to change the CD ID number to 3 as recommended in Mac Secrets manual. The Zip is assigned number "1". Is that number okay for the Zip? Thank you again for all the wonderful help. It is great to be a part of the Mac family. Such wonderful support!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, Blaine

01-17-2001, 12:05 PM
uh....did you try designating the drive as the boot volume in the Startup Items control panel?

does the drive at least mount on the desktop when you force-boot off the CD-ROM?

Blaine Wollan
01-19-2001, 11:26 AM
I'm back! This is a desktop model G3 266. The hard drive is designated as such in the Startup Disk Control Panel. The hard drive loads immediately if I hold down the "C" key at startup. If I don't hold down the "C" key at startup I receive a message "no bootable HFS partition" and then I get a blinking "?" mark and nothing boots of course. I have run Norton Disk Doctor, TechTool Pro, Disk Warrior, Disk First Aid a number of times. I erased the hard drive and re-installed OS 9. I removed all excess RAM and PCI cards. The System Profiler indicates I am running 9.0 and the system folder also indicates 9.0. The System Profiler also shows the hard drive ID as "0" as does the DC-ROM ID. The Zip ID number is set to "1". How does one change the ID numbers.? Mac Secrets says they should be "0", "3", and "5" respectively, which incidentally they are on my computer at work, except that my Zip there is an external one. I tried to install software for a Logitec wheel mouse and a message comes up saying must have 8.5 to run the software but all indications are it is 9.0 unless that again points to the hard drive. Thanks again for any help. Talk about frustration! Each time I do something major to the inside of the computer I reset the Cuda button.


01-19-2001, 05:08 PM

There is a great deal of confusion here and I should know better than to get into it because I don't use any Mac except pre-G3 version. But, who knows, maybe I can help.

The beige G3 DT came from the facory with an ATA HD which should show in the Apple System Profiler as ATA Bus 0, ID=0 (which is really a misnomer, really meaning "Master". ATA busses can only take two devices, Master and Slave and don't have SCSI ID's since they are not SCSI).

The factory CD player was an ATAPI drive (a form of ATA, IDE) and should show in the ASP as ATA Bus 1, ID=0 (really Master).

Now here comes one of the difficult parts; if the internal Zip is ATAPI, it should show in the ASP as ATA bus 1, ID=1 (really Slave).

But, the beige G3 also has an internal, 5 MB/sec SCSI bus, but the DT came without a cable. It could have been used for a SCSI internal Zip, but I doubt it. If so, you should see a SCSI bus 0 listed in the ASP.

My bet is that all three devices, HD, CD and Zip are ATA/IDE/ATAPI.

I would also bet that your HD has never been initialized after it was wiped clean by the original owner and everytime you start, you are really starting from a utility CD and you can't tell the difference. That's the only explanation that I can figure from your posts.

Can you "see" the HD in Apple System Profiler or not (is it listed)?

Let's assume that the HD is good.

Start from the OS 9 CD by holding down the "C" key. Open the "Utilities" Folder on the CD. Find 'Drive Setup". Double click to open it. Let it search and find your HD. Once found, tell Drive Setup to "Initialize" it. When that is done, the HD should "mount" and be seen on the desktop.

Now, go through the OS 9 installation process from the CD. Once that's done you should be able to start from the HD and then we can tell you how to go to the latest HD driver and update the OS to currency.

Blaine Wollan
01-20-2001, 07:18 PM
Howdy! Here is the latest. I initialized the hard drive wiping everything (took longer than the other initializations, checked something but don秒t remember what, something about zeros). Restarted the computer and then installed OS 9. Restarted the computer, removed the OS 9 CD, restarted the computer. On the screen, the following appears " no bootable HFS partition" and then I get the blinking "?" mark. I do a restart and the hard drive icon shows up on the desktop immediately "IF" I hold down the "C" key at startup. I do not need to have a CD-ROM disk in the CD-ROM drive to get it to boot with a smiley face (科C秋 key depressed at startup) and everything works just fine. There is no way to start up holding the shift key or the space bar to disable extensions or trigger the extension manager. (Just trying anything that comes to mind.) Why is it that the "C" key plays such an important part here? I can load AppleWorks and it works just fine and I can save the work and recall it. System Profiler says: startup device, name: untitled; Type: Hard drive, Location ID=0; Bus: Internal ATA; Hardware Overview: Machine ID 510; Model Name; Powermac PC G3 Series; machine speed 266 MHz; keyboard type; Apple extended keyboard; Attributes: Audio Card. What else can I try or look for? I know very little about master slave relationships but could that be something to look at? How about jumpers of which I know little either? Or is it time to give up? Thanks again. Blaine


01-20-2001, 10:40 PM

I'm wondering if you checked "Automount On Startup"??

You possibly could check "auto-mount" without going thru the whole process. but I'm not sure.

Here's the whole process:

Open Drive Setup and let it scan for your HD. After it's found, highlite the drive. In the menu bar choose "Initialization Options". No need to check "low level format" or "zero all data"; leave them unchecked and click "OK". Next, find "Customize Volume" in the menu bar and open it. Check the box "automount on startup" and click "OK"

Hit the Initialize button and in the next window choose the number and size of partitions and HFS or HFS+.

Now let it initialize (and install driver). It will be fast this time. When it's finished, a disk named Untitled will be mounted on the desktop and you can install the OS.

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 20 January 2001).]

Blaine Wollan
01-27-2001, 01:05 AM
Sorry to be so long in getting back to my problem but work was calling and also sorry about being wordy but will try to recap what I have done and the results. I followed Louie秒s instructions exactly. The HD icon does show up on the desktop and I have installed OS 9 and I still can秒t boot up unless I hold down the 科C秋 key. Without the 科C秋 key depressed when I start or restart the computer, the num lock, caps lock and scroll lock lights stay on for quite a long time, when they go out, the monitor which has been dark up to this time, flickers two times and then I get the message 科no bootable HFS partition秋 repeatidly like a running ticker tape across the machine and after about 15 to 20 seconds the printing goes away and I get the blinking question mark. If I restart, hold down the 科C秋 key the machine boots up fairly quickly. I get the smiley face and everything is fine. Everything works including any program that I choose to install. I can save, shut down, and recall saved work. I can connect to the internet using my DSL modem via ethernet. I only have one hard drive, my CD-ROM and my internal Zip drive, and all work perfectly. I could live with starting up by the 科C秋 key because I leave my computer on all the time anyhow. But my concern would be that I may sit down to a crashed machine and lose everything that is on the machine. And the fact remains that there is something wrong and I don秒t know how serious that could get down the road. How do I determine which internal devices are configured as master devices and which as slaves? Does the System profiler tell me that? If it needs to be configured as master how do I do it? I asked previously about jumpers. What are they, how do I use them, how are they configured? Do they mean something in relationship to my problem? I can see no place on the hard drive or the CD-ROM that describes pin settings and I am guessing that refers to the group of 6 or 8 pins by the hard drive or CD-ROM power plug. There are small plastic like clips with wire centers and they slide down over the pins. How do I tell which pin setting is the correct placement. Am I close on that assumption? I have no manuals. Magician says to visit an OEM website. What is that and how do I find it? Once I start up holding down the 科C秋 key and immediately let go of it after the chime plays, then I can disable extensions by holding down the shift key. I have upgraded to OS 9.04 and all software has been updated as well. In a nutshell, it appears every thing is fine except for the fact that I must start up by holding down the 科C秋 key. Any further recommendations? Should I take it to the Local Apple repair shop? The way prices are dropping on newer used towers and DT models, I don秒t think I want to spend too much at the repair shop unless it is a relative easy fix. Thanks for all your help in the past. Any further ideas? You have been great. Blaine

01-27-2001, 02:28 PM

Just saw your post. There has been such a time lag, I've got to go back and read the whole thread to get back to speed.

If you don't know what a jumper is and have not looked up the proper settings, that could certainly be a problem.

I'll be back. I don't do ATA drives, so I'll be a little slow to respond. I'll have to learn first.

01-27-2001, 04:55 PM

I just made it through all the new forum posts and back to you. Now, I've got to go to the pharnacy for old-age medicine.

I've asked Kaye to look this thread over. Maybe he'll see something I've missed.

I'll get back to you before too long.

Have you tried a different keyboard?

01-27-2001, 07:18 PM
OK, I have reviewed everything posted. I am back to that Startup Disk control panel. You have done a myriad of things including reinstalling OS9, updating to OS9.0.4, resetting the Cuda, etc., any or all of which could cause that control panel and the computer to forget that you want to start off of your hard drive. When you open the control panel, that hard drive should be highlighted. If it is, the machine should boot off of the hard drive on an initial cold start. If the hard drive is not highlighted, then single click it, close the control panel and shut down. Wait 30-60 seconds for the drive to spin down, then startup. If you still are unable to boot without holding down the C key, then I think you need:

A new PRAM battery. Radio Shack has them for $10, 23-026, Lithium 3.6V, 850mAh. Go to http://www.macgurus.com/beta/mbppcg3desk.html and notice along the bottom center of the diagram where the battery is located. There is a frame with tabs holding the battery in place. Squeeze the long ends of the frame and pull up on one end. When you remove the old battery, notice which end is plus. There should also be a little diagram in the bottom of the battery holder.

A new battery may require you to startup your present way. Then do the dance with the Startup Disk control panel and see if the machine will do a cold start without the C key so you can make a habit of going for coffee while the machine boots. If that does not solve the problem, I will have to reread the posts. k

01-27-2001, 07:40 PM
Thanks Kaye:

I just got back. Those are very pertinent things to try. I have already mentioned trying another keyboard. The only other thing that I can think of is verifying that the ATA devices are jumpered properly. I'll need the drive make and model numbers for that.

01-27-2001, 09:43 PM

In your early posts you mentioned, "it opened in 8.1" where did that load from?

Are you still using the WD drive with the new IBM removed?

If your machine is set up as it came from the factory the ASP should read like this:

ATA 0 ID=0 Western Digital model xxxxxxxx

ATA 1 ID=0 Apple (Matshita) CD Player Model yyyyy
ID=1 Iomega Zip 100 model zzzzz

ATA 0 is your first ATA channel. Since you only have one device on that channel the drive should be jumpered as "Single Drive" or "Neutral Storage Position"

ATA 1 is your second ATA channel. The CD player should be jumpered as "Master" and the Zip should be jumpered as "Slave".

I'll post some links to references soon.

01-27-2001, 09:49 PM



Just as I was afraid: can't find Matshita (it's really Panasonic)

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 27 January 2001).]

08-09-2001, 01:10 PM
What a great service you guys do!!

I was trying to fix a friend秒s G3 which has (had!) the same problems you spoke about (科no HFS partition科 scrolling message , no CD mounting except holding down the 科C秋 key etc.) I tried a lot (I mean a LOT) of stuff mostly based on the information you had on the forum (thank you, thank you!!) and a little (VERY little) experience with Mac troubleshooting.

Well, to make a long story short (too late!) I connected the monitor to the PCI color card instead of the video out and, Voila, no more problems with ANY of that stuff. It seems that only when the monitor is connected to the computer秒s video output do the troubles occur. Strange but true in this case.

The computer in question is the Beige G3 (Artemis) running 9.1. It has the ATTO (?) scsi card, the Apple Video card and the Orange Micro Firewire/USB card in the PCI slots, it has 640 megs of RAM, a 24x CD (ATA scsi 0 - master), an internal Zip and Jaz (scsi 4 & 5) and (usually) it is connected to an Apple Colorsync Monitor (I did use an older Portrait monitor in my testing but it should not be any different - I hope!). The unit still takes forever to boot - something like 50 seconds or so - but it appears to be rock-solid for now.

Perhaps the video ram went weird, I don秒t know, but I thought I should send this along just in case somebody else might want to try doing what I did, and, as a way of saying thanks for your help.

I enjoy your site - I have learned a great deal - and I am very happy that the level of good common sense discussion is high and that the dissemination of enlightening information is handled with such ease and, above all, good taste and cordiality. Very rare, indeed.

Please keep up the good work!