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View Full Version : G3 400MHz Complete Upgrade ... and more!




themooser
Jun 13, 2007, 05:05 PM
Hey folks. Brand new to the forum and pretty new to Macs in general. I've done some limited support with them in the past with my old job a few years back, but finally got around to owning my own just recently.
I'm researching the big Mac Pro behemoth with the 30" HD Display .. ahhh...
But in the meantime, I'm getting my feet wet with this puppy.
I want to do some pretty extensive upgrades and I'm looking for help - so if anything I mention here has been posted elsewhere, please point in the right direction.

I have the following:
iMac Indigo G3 400MHz 128Mb 10Gb 15" CRT w/ CD-ROM

Want to do the following:
.Upgrade CD-Rom to DVD
.Make it online capable (Airport Card??)
.RAM upgrade (max to 1Gb)
.Upgrade to OS 10.3 or 10.4 (have read that .3 runs better on older iMacs than does .4

Any and all help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!



shu82
Jun 13, 2007, 05:49 PM
Are you sure you have a cd rom. I thought all graphite 400s came with dvd.

Also 2 512 pc133 sticks will cost you like $80.
You can use any HD from an old pc, but it will only recognize 120gb.
Airport cards with an adapter go for 65-90

You might be looking at a $200 upgrade, you could go cheaper

put it 2 256 chips ~ 40
use second-hand HD
Plug it in directly with an ethernet cable

Software is another issue, find someone with a family pack who wants to share.

GimmeSlack12
Jun 13, 2007, 05:51 PM
I have 2 x 256 chips that would work and a 20gig HD that am not using. I'll sell all that to you for $80 (shipped) if you're interested.

themooser
Jun 13, 2007, 06:00 PM
Thanks for the prompt replies - never had replies so fast to a forum posting before!

Anyway, shu82 - yep, it's CD-ROM; tried loading a DVD and nada - whirred and clicked for a minute then kicked it right back out.

Thanks GimmeSlack12, but I already have a 40GB HD I plan to drop in.

Have read about USB adapters vice the Airport card (quite a bit cheaper). Have you all had any experiences with them - good or bad?

GimmeSlack12
Jun 13, 2007, 06:29 PM
You can get an Airport card on ebay for about $30 can't you? I say get that instead of bothering with those USB things (although they do work).

What about the RAM for $50 shipped?

themooser
Jun 13, 2007, 06:59 PM
LOL - you're really trying to sell that stuff off, huh?

Tell you what - that's not a bad deal. I'm not planning on buying/ordering anything until next week anyway - I'm still in research mode but I will certainly give your offer consideration.

DoFoT9
Jun 13, 2007, 08:48 PM
correct me if im wrong but the imac can only be upgraded to a max of 768mb ram??

brop52
Jun 13, 2007, 09:04 PM
correct me if im wrong but the imac can only be upgraded to a max of 768mb ram??

1 GB Max for slot loading iMacs.

DoFoT9
Jun 13, 2007, 09:09 PM
1 GB Max for slot loading iMacs.

damn that apple dude ripped me off then!!!!

ricgnzlzcr
Jun 13, 2007, 09:29 PM
I love seeing people give life to older machines. If I were you I'd update to at least 512mb of ram for a pleasurable experience, add a 120 gig hard drive or lower depending on your need (which will really give you an improvement in performance), and add an original airport card.

That should make for a real snappy machine that will introduce you to the mac platform. Then it'll feel so much better upgrading to a mac pro with a 30 inch ACD!

Good luck.

classof2011
Jun 13, 2007, 09:50 PM
What OS-OS X is on it? If it has OS9, be sure to download the firmware that lets you install OS X. I learned that today :D

I'm also upgrading a G3 iMac of similar specs, 400MHz Graphite with DVD ROM and 512MB RAM [40GB HDD].


I can tell you that the take-apart is very easy, just search around for a guide, they're everywhere.

But be careful and don't drop any screws inside the iMac [very bad!], and be especially careful of the CRT. You may not be working anywhere near it, but it's charge could stop your heart. I'd let it sit for 3 days unplugged, that should do it.

Have fun!

aquajet
Jun 13, 2007, 11:29 PM
I upgraded my blue dalmation iMac shortly after I bought it. Giving it plenty of RAM and an updated hard drive can make a world of difference. It's really quite amazing how much faster and quieter the new 100gb 7.2k rpm drive is over the old 20gb. Better hard drive performance can go a long way to make a computer "feel" faster.

brop52
Jun 14, 2007, 12:36 AM
I upgraded my blue dalmation iMac shortly after I bought it. Giving it plenty of RAM and an updated hard drive can make a world of difference. It's really quite amazing how much faster and quieter the new 100gb 7.2k rpm drive is over the old 20gb. Better hard drive performance can go a long way to make a computer "feel" faster.

Seconded. A LOT quieter and faster having a 7200 RPM drive at 120 GB over the filled to capacity 20 GB my 500 MHz Indigo G3 came with. RAM certainly helped with running multiple programs.

shu82
Jun 14, 2007, 08:12 AM
You can get an Airport card on ebay for about $30 can't you? I say get that instead of bothering with those USB things (although they do work).

No, No, Original Airport cards are like currency in the mac world. I have 3 saved up for a rainy day:D The USBs will work great and probably faster, but no one wants a dongle!

tuc
Jun 14, 2007, 12:21 PM
No, No, Original Airport cards are like currency in the mac world. I have 3 saved up for a rainy day:D

Not only that, but for the iMac G3 you need this carrier thingie (http://www.megamacs.com/v1/index.php?action=view&pid=1352495) in addition to the G3-compatible airport card. So it's even more expensive.

The USBs will work great and probably faster, but no one wants a dongle!

hmmm, I'll have to look into that. Are there any that don't need drivers?

shu82
Jun 14, 2007, 12:25 PM
Im sorry but what are drivers?:D Seriously I have never had to worry about those with anything usb, it should be fine.

themooser
Jun 14, 2007, 05:14 PM
I've got a Linksys WUSB11 that I tried to use with it and no dice. Apparently, it looks to not be compatible. I even tried to install the drivers but that did no good. What USB adapters are you using?

Also, 9.2 is loaded on right now and I've decided on upgrading to OS 10.3 - does it automatically partition the drive? I've got a 40Gb I'd planned on putting in but I'm also mulling over the idea of a bigger drive.

I've read about the pre-install firmware issues on other sites - doesn't 10.3 come with it installed and doesn't it load first? I vaguely recall seeing something to that effect somewhere but I can't find where I read that ...

shu82
Jun 14, 2007, 05:17 PM
No you have to download the firmware update from apple. When I was talking about drivers, I meant with OSX. I don't believe that was true with OS 9.

MacRumorUser
Jun 14, 2007, 05:39 PM
I just picked up an iMac G3 500mhz, 384mb Memory, 20gb HDD DVD from ebay in imaculate condition with a brand new black pro keyboard & mouse for £80 / $150

Is that good ? So are they easy to upgrade the HDD's and such ?

I installed 10.4.9 and she seem's grand for the basics of what I want from her (a glorified internet router), but more peformance is always nice :)

shu82
Jun 15, 2007, 08:17 AM
Thats not too bad. In the US schools bought thousands of these, and now they are being replaced. So you can get them here for under $100. But the 500 is nice, I just got one so I could give away my 400. Swapping out the HD is pretty easy. Just search this forum, I have given that breakdown about once a month.

I am looking for a few keyboards right now. They never seem to come with the ones I buy on ebay. Toss that puck mouse, it drives me crazy. I have an old 2 button scroll microsoft mouse with obscenities written before the logo that works just fine.

ibook30
Jun 17, 2007, 08:23 PM
This is a very timely discussion for me- I just upgraded the HD on a G3 iMac that was very generously given to me.

The old HD went south and crashed, so I replaced it today, and am OS less.

I could boot from Target Disk mode,( I have backed up disk images from another machine) if it had a firewire... But I don't see one on the old gal. Any ideas?

Ohh, and I have a CD stuck in the drive... fixin' that would be nice too!:D

PS - the HD upgrade was a breeze. Don't sweat it MacRumorUser

flopticalcube
Jun 17, 2007, 08:26 PM
You could use one of these (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16812156101) and back up from another machine that had USB.

ibook30
Jun 17, 2007, 09:01 PM
You could use one of these (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16812156101) and back up from another machine that had USB.

Very cool tool - I'm gonna look into it. Thanks !

In the mean time if there are other options to get the disk out or to get this thing booted I'm all ears!

Edit: I found a way to get the CD out - I held down the mouse while starting the machine. Worked like a charm.

California
Jun 19, 2007, 03:57 AM
Very cool tool - I'm gonna look into it. Thanks !

In the mean time if there are other options to get the disk out or to get this thing booted I'm all ears!

Edit: I found a way to get the CD out - I held down the mouse while starting the machine. Worked like a charm.

Sounds like you have either a G3 350 slot load or a G3 iMac 333, 266 or 233. Pop the hd out again get your OS on there somehow. If it is a slot load 350, pop out the cd rom drive and drop in a dvd/cd rom drive for the iMac or the Cube and put the os on it through the optical drive.

amc382
Jun 21, 2007, 07:06 PM
i'd get a mini... if you really want to go cheap, get a G4 mini off ebay for ~$300.

what you're talking about means spending $100-200 and spending an afternoon, and you'll be left with a machine that runs, but annoyingly slow.