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Thread: G3 iMac DV 10.0.4 help

  1. #1
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    Default G3 iMac DV 10.0.4 help

    Hi,

    I have an old blue&white slot loading G3 iMac DV.
    Not sure what the processor speed is but we got it in the summer of 2000 and we've got 512MB ram installed.
    I want to update the OS to either panther or tiger.
    However it wont play DVD but only works with CD's.
    So, Ive maked a .dmg of Panther onto my portable firewire HD but when i plug the FWD into the iMac it want to reinitialize it. I think that means it wants to "erase/reformat"??? Im not sure what to do.
    Any help on updating the OS would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Hi ya chuck,

    That's a tough one. No tried and true method that I am aware of.

    What I know will work:

    1. Borrow/beg/steal an external FW DVD player that is Mac bootable, and run your 10.3 DVD from there.

    2. Borrow/beg/steal another Mac with a DVD drive for a couple hours and install 10.3 from it's optical drive onto your external FW drive. Then clone the new installed, bootable OS from the FW drive to your internal drive, or even run it from the FW drive. Or, round up a newer ATA HD and install 10.3 on it and install it in the imac in place of the current drive.

    A couple things that are key to running OS 10 on early imacs, regardless of how you get the OS installed:

    1. The internal ATA drive has to be jumped to Master, not Slave or Cable Select for the machine to be able to boot. Should be already set this way if this is the OEM drive. If it is the OEM drive, it is about 7 years old.....yikes!!

    2. Besides having to be set to Master, the drive must be partitioned and OS 10 must be installed on the first partition, and, the first partition must be 8 GB or smaller. I usually set it to 7.9 to be safeGB.

    3. You need to update the firmware before you install any flavor of OS 10. Check the chart and click on the correct link for your imac, and follow the instructions. You can literally kill the imac if you don't do this. You must be booted to OS 9 to run the firmware updater.

    If you want to get an slot-load imac up to OS 10, it is a project, no doubt about it. What I did at work (for about 40 of them 4 years ago) was to update the firmware from OS 9, replace the internal old, slow drive with a faster newer drive, and partitioned and imaged the drive from another newer Mac G4 tower before installing the HD, so we never had to worry about any issues with imac optical drive. This is a good solution, but is only doable if you can take the little bugger apart to swap drives and have access to a newer Mac to actually install the OS from.

    If you are up for a project, go for it. If you want an easy road to a better Mac, consider a newer model. Almost anything will beat it and be easier to work on, even a newer G3 imac. G4 towers are cheap now too.....just a thought.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  3. #3
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    sweet advice unclemac.
    I know just the person to borrow the external DVD player.
    I just hope the iMac wont freak out when i plug it in.
    But i was wondering about the other option, to replace the old internal drive with a newer drive that has the latest OS installed.
    Let say i buy a new ATA HD and pop it into my G4 tower.
    I set it as MASTER and install the new OS? Is this all there is to it?
    Sounds quiet easy. But i bet swaping drives out of the G3 will be the hard part.
    Thanks for the link for the firmware updates.
    Take care.

  4. #4
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    That is correct. I can bore you with the details if you like, but the basic rule is that an installed OS is portable (almost always) backwards from newer to older hardware, but often not the other way around.

    So most any newer desktop will do as a host.

    Heck, you could even buy and install a new ATA drive in the G4 where you would enjoy the speed and size increase the most, and then roll your current G4 drive down to your imac.

    Just remember to follow the guidelines above. It is really frustrating to assemble the whole thing only to find it won't boot cause you forgot to set the jumper. You won't do that more than 4 or 5 times til you learn....
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  5. #5
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    nice.
    Thats what I'm thinking of doing.
    But do I still need to get the firmware updates for the G3 iMac running OSX 10.0.4?
    The G3 iMac has a 20gig HD with only 1 partion running OSX 10.0.4.
    There is no version of OS9 installed on this system.
    So, if i understand correctly...inorder to update from OS10.0.4 on the G3 iMac I need to first update the firmware, and then I can install the new HD which has 10.3/10.4???

    Can't I just bypass updating the firmware and install the newer HD with 10.3/10.4?

  6. #6
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    Default Maybe.....

    According to this, tray load imacs don't have the same instant death reaction to running OS 10.2 (or later) that the newer slot load imacs do - if the firmware update was not applied first. It is my recollection that they did, but maybe we had a couple coincidental hardware failures.

    The more I think about it, you may have been required to update the firmware (by the installer validating what firmware version was currently installed) to run any flavor of OS 10, so you may be ready to go. The link above is probably much more accurate than my memory.

    You can see your firmware version by opening System Profiler, select Hardware, and look at your Boot ROM version. We can dig it up and see where you are at now.

    FYI - the firmware code is actually flashed on a ROM, and is not part of the OS or housed anywhere on the HD. Equivilant to BIOS on a PC. That's why swapping drives does nothing to change firmware versions.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  7. #7
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    the exact system specs are:
    boot rom version 4.19f1 - OS10.0.4 4Q12-PowerPC G3
    450mhz-512SDRAM- Machine ID 406
    AlsoIm still trying to find out which firmware link to download unclemac.
    I will keep you updated.

  8. #8
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    According to that chart that uncle linked to previously 4.1.9 is the correct firmware so you should be good to go.

  9. #9
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    in the 4.1.9 firmwawre read me file mentions booting from os9.
    I think then I would have to install os9 because I'm using only 1 os, which is 10.0.4.....I'm really stuck now i've got to hunt for the disc. But is there no other option realy?? Why is there not an updater for non os9??
    Help!

    Heres a copy & paste of the readme for firware 4.1.9:

    About the iMac Firmware Update 4.1.9

    The iMac Firmware Update 4.1.9 will only run on iMac computers with slot-loading CD or DVD drives running Mac OS 9.1 or later from a local drive. If you are using Mac OS X you must boot from a local Mac OS 9.1 or later writeable partition (not a CD, or network disk) prior to following the update instructions

  10. #10
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    If the iMac is currently running 4.1.9 firmware it's obviously already been installed at some point. You can't update the latest version.

  11. #11
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    Right. You are up-to-date, so no worries. Forget about 9 now. Sorry for the goose chase, but it is important.

    The other thing is, you have a newer slot load imac. They run OS 10 much better than the firt gen tray load imacs (better video, faster bus and RAM, more CPU). And no need to partition the HD either.

    So, all you need to do, is either clone an OS via firewire, or swap the HD with one that has an OS on it.

    Swapping the HD is easier on the slot loaders too.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  12. #12
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    sounds good to me.
    I have one other problem, the G3 iMac wants to initialize my portable FWD when I stick it into the FW port. Wont reinitializing the FWD erase all its contents?
    So my only option at this point is to swap out the HD with one that has the newer OS preinstalled.

  13. #13
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    Right. You should also have an ignore button.

    Another idea:

    Since your imac is a newer model, if you are OK with the drive in it, and you have a G4 tower, you can clone your G4 OS over to your imac via Target Disk Mode. All you need is:

    1. An OS you want to clone on the host (your G4)
    2. A FW 400 to FW 400 cable (the most common kind)
    3. Enough space on the target drive (the current HD in your imac)


    TDM basics

    Yet another idea:

    Connect your imac to your G4 and boot your imac to TDM. Insert your OS 10 installer disk into your G4 optical drive and boot to it, like you were going to install OS 10 on the G4. When the installer comes up, see if you can select the icon from the imac HD. There should be two HD icons: your internal G4 HD icon and the imac HD icon. The imac HD should show up with a firwire icon, so it will be clear as to which drive is which. If it does, I think you will be able to erase the drive and install a clean OS. If you see the drive, but can't select it......no dice.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  14. #14
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    super sweet!
    Ive got a pbg4 i will use as my host.
    Im going to install the newest os over the current imac HD.
    Thanks!!!

  15. #15
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    Default Run tiger

    Sorry to jump in so late. From My experience your 450 mhz DV slot loader should have a a DVD rom drive installed, Again under system perferences Devices Tab you should be able to see the drive specs. I have seen a new 600mz machine that had a CD burner that did not see DVDs but it was not listed as a DV version.

    TDM as out lined by unc has worked for me to install Panther on a B&W G3 350 mhz. I would zero the iMac drive before the install then go with Tiger. I have 2 400mhz G3 Slot loaders running Tiger.

    They make nice machine, I still like them unc. but the wallstreet is getting more play time

    Bob

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