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Thread: original G3 iMac wont boot

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Nuneaton, Warks, UK
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    Default original G3 iMac wont boot

    Hi, could any of you help me with this problem. I've got an old Bondi Blue G3 333Mhz iMac 256Mb ram 4Gb HD.

    The internal CD drive (tray loading) doesn't work, but I've got and external Iomega usb CD drive that does the job fine.

    The other day it had a few issues, so I thought I'd sort it out by booting from my Systemworks CD. So I went to control panels, set the startup disk to the external usb drive and hit restart.

    The computer now gets as far as looking for a system folder at start up (flashing question mark on a folder, followed by mac logo), then just sits there showing a folder in the centre of the screen with the Mac logo on it.. The CD drive spins up but never gets to full reading speed and if I press the eject key it'll slide the drawer out, which I'm thinking shouldn't happen if it's using this as the startup...

    I've tried restarts whilst pressing each of the following (not together, obviously!!) shift, option, Command+Control+P+R, C all to no avail.

    Can anyone shed any light on this.

    Thanks


    bd

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
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    7,787

    Default

    Howdy,

    Years back I was able to boot some imacs to USB, but it was so slow it was basically unusable. Pretty sure I could with the tray loaders......sure we did it with the early slot loaders that had no firewire. It took something like 10 minutes to boot OS 9, and closer to 20 for 10.2. It has been too long.....maybe the trayloaders can't boot from USB?

    Did it for testing and to prove we could if we needed files off a machine with a snarfed OS that would not boot. Too painfully slow for anything but a serious emergency. Was faster and more reliable to crack it open and pull the drive, and work on it on a FW bridge or something, then reinstall it.

    So anyway, hold down the option key to see if it sees the USB device as a boot drive. If it does, select and wait. If not, you are out of luck.
    "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
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Germany
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    2,352

    Default

    AFAIK the iMac G3 can't boot from USB.

    Regards

    Nicolas
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
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    Default

    Looks like it was only on the slot loaders. Funny they snuck in USB booting on USB 1.1. Why?

    So, yes, you are SOL for USB booting on a tray loader.
    "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
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Nuneaton, Warks, UK
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    Default

    OK, looks like I've royally screwed it up.

    But why does it give the impression that it has found a bootable system folder if it's just gonna sit there?!

    Perhaps I should start it up and then leave it for a few days to see if it gets going...

    Thanks for your help guys

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
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    Default

    Bootability (I think I just made that word up....) is controlled by firmware. Either it is there, or it isn't. Nothing to lose but time, but if the code is not there, it ain't gonna happen.

    This is one of the biggest limiting factors of the first gen imacs. No firewire, and the laptop optical drives were slow and frail, and failed on many machines after about 3 years.

    You could pull the drive to diagnose and repair, or you might consider a new(er) Mac. Even a later model G3 imac with firewire is a better, more flexable machine. Holds more RAM, easy(er) to get to RAM and the hard drive, and actually runs OS X pretty OK. Very cheap to pick up.

    Better still would be any G4 tower. Getting cheap 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

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