View Full Version : Blue & White won't recognize startup drive

07-24-2007, 02:36 AM

One of my older Macs is a 350MHz B&W G3 with 256MB running OS 9.2.2. I bought it used on eBay, and all was groovy until I stupidly put OSX on it. I took it off, but ever since then, it's hit or miss as to whether the machine will recognize the internal startup disk. Sometimes I turn the Mac on, and just get white screen.

I can still boot from an OS9 or Norton CD. The internal drive mounts on the desktop, and is selectable in the Startup Disk control panel. Sometimes I can fix the problem by doing this and restarting, but other times not.

I have replaced the PRAM battery. I have run Disk First Aid. I have used Drive Setup to reinstall the disk driver. I have checked the internal drive with Norton, and it shows as fine.

Also, sometimes booting into Open Firmware and typing "set-defaults, reset-nvram, and reset-all" will knock some sense into it. Other times not.

Ditto zapping the PRAM, and everything else I can think of. There's just no consistent pattern to it. But the problem never happened before I put OSX on the machine.

How can I fix this?? When it boots, this Mac works perfectly well, and I need it right now.

Thanks for any suggestions,

07-24-2007, 02:49 AM
Okay, I just tried something. I physically disconnected the internal drive and rebooted -- with no CD inserted. I got the alternating question mark folder "I can't find a startup disk" deal.

So what does this mean? When the internal drive is there, the machine must know it, because I don't get the question mark. So if it KNOWS the drive is there, why won't it BOOT from it???

Thanks again,

07-24-2007, 06:27 AM
Early B&W are known to have flakey ATA controllers. You don't have a slave on it do you? That's a big no-no.

Personally I won't let a Norton disk anywhere near my Macs. Last time I used it it trashed the drive "fixing" things.

PMU/CUDA reset?

How old is the drive?

07-24-2007, 07:13 AM
Mine would start from the boot drive, but always act like it had to look for it.

Nothing really helped. Not new PRAM battery, not setting startup disk, or clearing nvram


Just the nature of beast or aging 'Smurf, which would now be 8 yrs this month.

When upgraded, it runs OS X just fine.

It is hard to remove OS X without partitioning or initializing, you can't see everything, and it is faster to backup, erase, and restore what you want.

I used SCSI drives almost exclusively, even though it was rev 2.

07-24-2007, 08:27 AM
Grey screen on startup...

Do you have any other cards in the machine other than the video card? Any third party ram? Scsi card? Pull it all out and add it back in one at a time to find if it's something not playing nice.

Your ATA Drive... is it a replacement drive or the original? That flakey ATA chip mentioned earlier didn't work well with many replacement drives even if they were a single Master drive

07-25-2007, 11:37 AM
Thanks for the replies, everyone. Looks like it's the drive. I put it into a different machine, and had the same results: if I boot from another disk, the problem-disk mounts, but trying to boot from it is hit/miss (mostly miss). I think something screwy got written to it when I added, and then removed, OS X. Once I back it up, I'll wipe it.

Thanks again!