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Thread: G3 Gossamer desktop install trouble

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default G3 Gossamer desktop install trouble

    Hi Gurus!

    Well I am at my wits end with my Gossamer G3 300Mhz, which i was given by a friend.

    I received the machine and did not expect it to boot (and it did not) so after a few hours (removing Battery and CUDA reset) it got started albeit only with the right shove.

    With extensions the computer booted past the Happy Mac, OS 9 splash screen through the progress bar and at Finder (No Menu bar, just an empty desktop.), my monitor went black. Same point each time. Power stays on, drive spins and all seems ok, just no picture. TFT also looses VGA connection.

    I was able to get the disk to boot with extensions turned off. I checked system profiler and looked around, nothing crazy.

    I thought it may have been the usb PCI card so I removed that and tried to Boot from my OS 9.2.1 CD in order to do initialize the disk and reinstall the OS.

    The computer wouldn't have it. Booting from disk caused every time at the same point (Mac progress bar) to crash with a big white empty window and then just hang. Only way to shut down was to unplug it.

    I also had a Powerbook G3 500 CD (OS 9.0.4) around so I gave that a go. I could boot from it and initialize my disk! Plus checked disk for errors with utility. All seemed OK. Now I got an empty drive with nothing on it.

    Essentials:

    There are two RAM chips (128 and 64) and I have tried switching them out and different slots, no change in behavior.

    I only have a 17" LCD screen to test on, VGA output.

    Original keyboard and mouse are being used.

    No other extras.

    One note: After first successful boot I heard a startup chime. However, just that one time.

    Zapped PRAM and there are no chimes either but I hear the clicking on the motherboard.

    Actual stand:

    Cannot install OS 9 from powerbook CD for obvious reasons.

    Cannot install OS 9.2.1 from CD for reasons stated above, but now when I try and boot from CD with extensions off, I get two bomb error messages just after the network control panel appears and some spinning cursor action. Same point each time.

    invalid exception-please restart with extensions off*

    bus error- please restart with extensions off*

    Cannot install from OS 8.6 CD because it is Green one which I think belonged to a B&W G3.

    Now on to the questions:

    Motherboard Battery: could it be bad, flaky etc? Would a bad battery cause this behavior?

    Bad Motherboard or video memory?

    I am not sure what else could prevent an easy install but if anybody has ideas I am open to them.

    I'm not ready to give up yet since that one time I got in with extensions off and OS 9.0.4 was promising and gives me hope that it is not yet DEAD!.

    Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
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    Default

    Hello,

    welcome to MacGurus Tech Forums!

    First thing, the install (boot) partition must be within the first 8GB of the drive.

    Second, push the CUDA switch on the Logicboard three times, on the third time hold it in for at least 10 seconds.

    Start your Mac again and hold the PRAM reset keys (P+R+Apple+ALT) down till you hear the Mac chimes three times more.

    Then try booting from the 9.2.1 CD again

    Post back if this works or not.

    Regards

    Nicolas
    Last edited by Nicolas; 03-10-2005 at 06:55 PM.
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  3. #3
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    Default

    Did like you said.

    Zapping PRAM: there is no start up chime. Also when booting there is no chime.

    Starting from CD with extensions off (the Hard disk was just initialized), I managed to install OS 9.0.4

    Computer now boots with :extensions off: just fine. Like when I began.

    Booting :with extensions: gives the black screen after Finder initializes. Finder does not show the menu bar or desktop icons, then the screen goes black. The CD drive spins up, the drive has some activity, I can turn off the computer with the power switch, but the video signal is lost.

    Observations:

    With desktop case off I cannot even start the computer. I find this strange. It is as if the case initializes something. Please tell me if this is normal.

    Again, the lack of a startup sound is not normal. I had the sound once and only once. Could the battery be weak or dead? Does anyone know what the reason could be?

    Actual stand:

    -OS 9.0.4 is installed.
    -Can only boot into Finder with extensions off
    -Booting with extensions on gives black screen, computer still seems to be running although there is no graphic.
    -After black screen, can sometimes shut down with power switch, other times only pulling plug works.

    I appreciate any help in this matter.

    Thanks,

    Dan

  4. #4
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    Hello,

    Check if the CPU and the heatsink is installed properly, also the RAM, PCI cards and the Personality card.
    http://xlr8yourmac.com/G4CARDS/XLR8_G4_400Z/
    (scroll down to "Installing the ZIF")

    Had an similar problem with an Beige DT the Personality card became loose during transport.

    Regards

    Nicolas
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  5. #5
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    Mar 2005
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    Default

    Hi,

    Thanks for the help:

    I checked all this before I posted. Everything seems snug. Furthermore, if something were loose would I be able to boot with extensions off?

    I am leaning more towards an extension conflict with the on board graphic for this very reason. Although bad hardware could also be at fault.

    I will try and replace the motherboard battery today, but have a hunch this is not the problem either.

    I will post back later.

  6. #6
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    Sometimes the Mac will boot untill it is loading drivers for... lets say the not correctly installed ethernet card for example then it bombs.

    Good suggestion.
    I thought you checked the battery already.

    Also check the IDE cables running from the Logicboard to the drive.

    Regards

    Nicolas
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  7. #7
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    Battery.... yes battery... check the battery. Even if it has voltage that battery is due for replacement. No video is a very common side effect of a dead battery
    Damien,

  8. #8
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    Boot into Open Firmware.

    init-nvram is the Beige version of "reset-nvram"
    follow that with set-defaults and reset-all

    A corrupt directory on a drive can prevent booting from a CD.
    Installing Panther and using XPF 3 writes a small patch to nvram that can prevent initializing the drive sometimes.

    Beige G3 (and B&W) require an "HFS Wrapper" (mini-system) to use HFS Extended so I always run Disk Warrior before doing anything else after initializing a drive.

    CUDA reset - once only, and for a full 30 seconds or more. Not 10 seconds, not multiple times.

    PRAM reset - twice is enough.

    Booting from the Jaguar CD can be helpful and handy to have on hand to get around some of the problems (it also updates nvram and boot blocks to make it easier to use).

    It does sound as if the firmware on a PCI card is a problem. That can cause a freeze at the Finder Desktop, but looks and acts like an extension conflict.

    A new disk drive?
    try a different monitor?
    Retail OS 9.2.1? (should be perfect) - or OEM?
    If you use USB PCI card, you want USB DDK 1.5.5f1 drivers for OS 9.2.2. Which is easy to download from www.macupdate.com

    May not seem necessary but I really like to see the whole hardware profile at the beginning and hope something pops out - like ATTO or ACARD or whether there is a Rage or Radeon video card present. And with "donation" systems there always seems to be something.

    When you get it running, download and run DIMM first Aid and see what RAM you have and if it is PC100 10 nanosecond chips.

  9. #9
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    TZ,

    had some issues with a Beige G3 333MHz MT.

    Holding in the CUDA once for 30 seconds didn't work.
    So I suggested what was working for me.

    About the PRAM reset after 3 chimes the screen will flash yellow for a split second, a full PRAM reset.

    But correct me if I am wrong.

    Regards

    Nicolas
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Default

    hi,

    Thanks for the input!!

    Got a fresh battery, reseated the personality card and CHIME IS BACK.

    No more shutting down issues either.

    Still a black screen though

    There seems to definitly be a conflict with the graphic card. I am now at the point of disabling extensions because booting with extensions off gets me in with no trouble.

    -----------------------------

    Question TZ:

    How to boot in to Open firmware?

    ------------------------------

    Did the CUDA just after replacing the Battery and held for 20 seconds.

    I have a fresh hard disk here and will probably try that tomorrow.

    I dont have another monitor to test on.

    Just to repeat:

    -This machine is OS 9 only. Don't need OS X running on it.
    -Original 6GB HD was formatted HFS+ using OS 9 CD (starting it with no extensions)
    -There are no PCI cards in the computer.
    -Two RAM sticks

    I keep posting till i get this thing running.

    Thanks again!

  11. #11
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    Hi again,

    couldnt wait to the test the new HD. It exhibits the same behavior.

    If I leave the Monitor cable out and then plug the computer in after booting the screen is not black. It is just scrambled. Not sure what that says. Just read somewhere that this may work. It doesn't.

    TZ:

    What do you mean by HFS wrapper?

    I thought all G3s supported HFS+. How do I get that on if I do need it?

    Thanks again.

  12. #12
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    Get Disk Warrior.

    You can find a lot of information on Alsoft's web site, and look for "MicroMat Tech Support" on Macfixit forum.

    I'll bet a simple search of Apple KB will tell what hfs wrapper is. And no, not all G3s had full support, let alone OldWorld which is what Beige is.

  13. #13
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    Hi TZ and others,

    I cannot boot into OF (cmd-opt OF). I get no screen/ prompt.

    After some reading about the HFS + wrapper I saw that the OS 9.2.1 version of Disk First Aid fix a bug. I started from the OS 9.2.1 CD (again ext off is the only way) and repaired the disk with the new DFA. It repaired the wrapper you mentioned, but I still get the same behavior.

    I tried to install OS 9.2.1 and the installation froze at 15 min with the CD spining up and down. I quit the installation but can still start OS 9.2.1 with extensions off.

    So now OS 9.2.1 is on, partial install I would say. I may just initialize the drive again.

    Anyone have an idea how i can boot into OPEN FIRMWARE?

    Thanks for the answers, they have been very helpful.

  14. #14
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    Open Firmware has to be able to read from the boot blocks. Catch-22.

    When I took a drive out of Beige G3 and put it in my MDD G4, I had a lot of trouble even erasing the drive! It was a fine working system drive, but it didn't want to let me delete files, erase, initialize, nothing. thought it must be jumpers, cable etc. nada.

    The system saw the OS 9 system folder and said "no." It probably was confused by more. I had to put a Classic system folder somewhere else and set the startup disk elsewhere, change Classic, then I could remove and erase.

    Beige G3s are just total weird challenge.

    Make sure you have Startup Disk 9.2.5 from OS X or at the least 9.2.1.

    The latest Drive Setup is 2.1 but 2.07 should be best bet. And yes, I forgot that DFA was "updated" for the hfs wrapper (it IS 5 yrs since then, and over 4-1/2 yrs since I moved to OS X).

  15. #15
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    Mar 2005
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    Default close thread. think it is video/ monitor incompatibilty

    all the things i have tried have left me thinking this is a monitor incompatibilty. i will try and find a cheap ATI rage 128 to see if I get anywhere.

    I may also check out a multiscan adapter first.

    The reason being is that the computer is still running, just thereis no picture. everything checks out with extensions off.

    Thanks for all the tips.

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