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Old Sep 28, 2012, 07:07 PM   #1
92WardSenatorFE
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iMac G3 help w/ cd boot & question about odd noise

Hi everyone,

I got a iMac G3 today (one of the original Rev. A's with the tray loading drive, 233mhz, 160MB RAM, etc).

It was able to boot fine until I upgraded the hard drive with an 80GB Seagate. The drive had OS X Tiger preinstalled on it, and it ended up booting the first time. The original drive had OS X Panther on it.

The second time, it will hang at a gray apple (no spinning wheel) and the Mac does nothing. I'm fine with not having OS X, but I would ideally like to install OS 9 on it. I put in an OS 9 retail CD (9.2.1 specifically) and I cannot get the machine to boot from the disk. Holding down C does nothing, in fact I cannot get the machine to respond to any keyboard commands.

I was able to get it to boot into Open Firmware by holding down the interrupt button, and from there I tried to boot from the CD.

When I enter "boot cd" it says:
"eject cd DISK-LABEL: read of block0 failed
can't OPEN: cd"

I did not test the drive prior to the upgrades so I have no idea if it works, but the seller claimed the entire machine worked. When I put in the OS 9 CD on boot, it's almost like the drive isn't even spinning. Weird.

Any suggestions or help? It would be much appreciated!

Thanks

(i've also tried resetting PRAM and open firmware, did nothing)

UPDATE:

I put back in the known working HDD with Panther, and it boots again. What it looks like is that either the CD drive isn't spinning or else the lens is not working. I inserted the OS 9 CD and nothing happened. I ejected the drive and you can tell it's moved from it's original position, but it won't mount or boot from the drive. I also tried an Audio CD and had the same results.

I guess the cd drive is toast?

EDIT: CD drive fixed, now wondering about the whining noise it's making while it's off.
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Last edited by 92WardSenatorFE; Oct 3, 2012 at 02:42 PM.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 09:44 PM   #2
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After 14 years, yeah, the optical drive is probably toast. Given that the original iMacs lacked FireWire, your best bet is to either install OS 9 on a drive in a different machine, then swap it into the iMac, or buy a new optical drive for it.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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also replace the pram battery if you haven't already
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 09:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MultiFinder17 View Post
After 14 years, yeah, the optical drive is probably toast. Given that the original iMacs lacked FireWire, your best bet is to either install OS 9 on a drive in a different machine, then swap it into the iMac, or buy a new optical drive for it.
Yeah, unfortunately I don't have another Mac that would accept the drive. Looks like the best bet would be replacing the drive.

Also, the iMac makes a high pitched whining noise after you plug it in. It normally goes away after 10 seconds and disappears after it turns on. It reappears when it turns off, and then it will last from 10 seconds to sometimes more than a minute. I assume that's coming from the PAV board by the CRT? Doesn't look like a good sign

It's a shame because it's in practically new condition. The previous owner must have not used it at all, there isn't any scuffs or cracks on the case.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil Chillbil View Post
also replace the pram battery if you haven't already
Actually the PRAM battery in it still works. I'm not sure if it's original or not (assuming it is), but it has been keeping time since I've had it.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 10:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92WardSenatorFE View Post
Also, the iMac makes a high pitched whining noise after you plug it in. It normally goes away after 10 seconds and disappears after it turns on. It reappears when it turns off, and then it will last from 10 seconds to sometimes more than a minute. I assume that's coming from the PAV board by the CRT? Doesn't look like a good sign .
It's more than likely the flyback transformer, I have 5 of the original imac's and all have this issue only on mine the sound never stops unless you unplug it they do seem to work fine for now but i don't know how long they will last
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 10:47 PM   #6
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PowerPCs can boot os 9 from usb. Get a good os 9 image copied over to a usb stick and you should be able to boot from it, format the drive, and copy the contents of the usb drive to the internal and bless it.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 10:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAC MAN JW View Post
It's more than likely the flyback transformer, I have 5 of the original imac's and all have this issue only on mine the sound never stops unless you unplug it they do seem to work fine for now but i don't know how long they will last
I was afraid of that. Like you said, it's not so bad but I hate having to unplug it all the time. I had slot load iMac G3 before this one and it worked great but the plastics on the front were shot so bad that it inevitably led to me getting rid of it. Sounds like all of these iMac G3's had quality issues.

Quote:
PowerPCs can boot os 9 from usb. Get a good os 9 image copied over to a usb stick and you should be able to boot from it, format the drive, and copy the contents of the usb drive to the internal and bless it.
What process would you go through to make it boot from a USB drive? When I was working with the CD drive i tried holding down ALT to see if it saw the drive, but the system wouldn't respond to that command.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 10:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by crewkid89 View Post
PowerPCs can boot os 9 from usb. Get a good os 9 image copied over to a usb stick and you should be able to boot from it, format the drive, and copy the contents of the usb drive to the internal and bless it.
Not USB 1.0. He needs to replace the cd drive which has an ATA interface if I recall correctly and he needs to remember to partition any hard drive he has with the boot partition on less than eight gigs of hd space. Original imac G3s could not address more than eight gigs hdd for boot partition and no more than 128 gbs total as i recall.

Too bad about the noise, they are made like tanks. Owned a lot of them, and sometimes would have to replace the power cord. Also you can upgrade the ram to one full gig, and you can upgrade the vram tho I forget how now.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 11:08 PM   #9
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I would just get a DVD drive off ebay and put it in there
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 11:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by California View Post
Not USB 1.0. He needs to replace the cd drive which has an ATA interface if I recall correctly and he needs to remember to partition any hard drive he has with the boot partition on less than eight gigs of hd space. Original imac G3s could not address more than eight gigs hdd for boot partition and no more than 128 gbs total as i recall.

Too bad about the noise, they are made like tanks. Owned a lot of them, and sometimes would have to replace the power cord. Also you can upgrade the ram to one full gig, and you can upgrade the vram tho I forget how now.
Yeah I thought I read something about these iMac's not being able to boot from USB. Looks like sourcing down a new drive might be the best bet.

On the drive right now, I did notice that OS X recognizes the drive in system profiler. When I put in a CD it moves from its original position, but I don't think the head/lens is moving. It looks like the head is all the way at the end of it's bracket, whereas it should start reading CD's from the middle.

It would be cool to try to do some upgrades on it but right now I'm just hoping that it doesn't turn into a money pit.
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Old Sep 28, 2012, 11:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 92WardSenatorFE View Post
Yeah I thought I read something about these iMac's not being able to boot from USB. Looks like sourcing down a new drive might be the best bet.

On the drive right now, I did notice that OS X recognizes the drive in system profiler. When I put in a CD it moves from its original position, but I don't think the head/lens is moving. It looks like the head is all the way at the end of it's bracket, whereas it should start reading CD's from the middle.

It would be cool to try to do some upgrades on it but right now I'm just hoping that it doesn't turn into a money pit.
If you take off the front plate I think you can jam in a regular ide dvd drive.
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 02:40 PM   #12
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Just an update... I bought a replacement iMac CD drive and it works fine. Even got it to boot an OS 9 CD and I plan on installing it over Panther later.

You can definitely tell something was wrong because the old drive wouldn't even spin up. The moment you put a CD in the drive you can hear it starting to spin and recognize the disk.

As far as the "noise", there is no doubt it's coming from the monitor. Viewing system files, it appears this machine was last used in 2006. That means it's been in storage for 6 or more years. I'm not sure but this might have something to do with the weird noises it's been making while off. I don't believe the machine was even used that extensively either, because the case is in perfect condition and there is hardly any traces of use at all.

Question... would anyone be worried about this noise? I've been leaving the machine unplugged when not in use as a precaution, but would this noise be classified as normal or is it a signal for problems to come? I haven't worked with these kinds of iMacs in a long time and I don't remember any of them making this kind of noise... but then again, they were still fairly new back in those days. I understand they are prone to failure, but I don't want to invest in the machine to have it short out or blow out on me.
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Old Oct 4, 2012, 10:19 AM   #13
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Does the noise level change when you change the screen's brightness? It's probably nothing to worry about. Make sure you install the iMac firmware update before trying to install Mac OS X or you'll have an iMac without a working screen.
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Old Oct 4, 2012, 05:16 PM   #14
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Does the noise level change when you change the screen's brightness? It's probably nothing to worry about. Make sure you install the iMac firmware update before trying to install Mac OS X or you'll have an iMac without a working screen.
Actually the noise is when the machine is either off or sleeping. The noise disappears almost instantly after you turn the machine on. It reappears after it's been turned off. It sounds like a whining noise. I wouldn't say it's really loud, but it is definitely noticeable. I've done research and apparently this might be normal as the iMac's get older, but no one has offered any solutions to fix it.
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Old Oct 4, 2012, 06:02 PM   #15
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Actually the noise is when the machine is either off or sleeping. The noise disappears almost instantly after you turn the machine on. It reappears after it's been turned off. It sounds like a whining noise. I wouldn't say it's really loud, but it is definitely noticeable. I've done research and apparently this might be normal as the iMac's get older, but no one has offered any solutions to fix it.
Only a new flyback transformer will fix the issue look at this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1304637 he had a bad flyback as well but found a replacement flyback and installed it I have not put a new one in none of my 5 because to be honest i'm Afraid i will install it wrong and the CRT will blow up or some thing like that
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