Beige G3 hardware question

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by boz2004, May 17, 2004.

  1. macrumors member

    After almost 2 years :eek: I finally got around to attempting to fix an audio problem with my G3... all the info I found suggested either replacing or re-seating the audio card...I reseated the card this weekened and now have trouble getting the machine to consistently boot up and now my USB card isn't registering :mad: ... I know I need to replace the audio card, and have one on the way, but what I wanted was some practical advice on making sure I don't mess things up worse...

    my thought was to swap the audio card, remove the USB card, and get the machine going... once I'm sure the new card will take, I was thinking that re-installing the USB card would allow the machine to recognize all is as it should be and I'd have my audio back up as well... does this plan of action make sense and are there other suggestions?

    The only reason I am bothering is that I got my wife an MP3 player for her birthday and it just makes sense for her to be able to hear what I have on the machine before downloading :D
  2. macrumors 6502a


    I have tow of these and they are finicky beasts as they get older.

    Try replacing or reseating the batterey, and zapping PRAM. I know the original batterey has got to be toast, so it ma be time for a new one, and if it sat idle for a while that may have a lot to do with it.
  3. macrumors member

    OK, I've not done either of those before, and before I do, what sort of fall-out might I expect? Assuming the replacement card doesn't work out, where is a good place (and what's the likely cost) for a good battery?

    As for the unit: prior to my attempt to correct the audio issue, the unit booted up fine and was one of the best Macs I've owned (this is my third)... I'd narrowed the problem to the audio card and initially took the stance that if it's working, I'd deal--in part b/c I'm not the most hardware savvy--so it hasn't be idle... perhaps I should've taken my own advice and left well-enough alone ;)

    thanks for the input
  4. macrumors 6502a


    You can pick up A PRAM battery at your local Radio Shack for about 20 bucks. They are even nicely labeled as an Apple Macintosh battery. On the back, there will be a little "Replaces ..." guide. Match the numbers from your old battery and you are on your way.
  5. macrumors member


  6. macrumors member

    ACK! - Now it won't start-up

    OK... I finally got the replacement audio card in the mail yesterday (fortunate as the machine stopped functioning earlier in the day, according to my wife :( )... I tried re-booting the machine several times when I got home last night but to no avail... :eek:

    I then installed the new audio card and the machine still refuses to boot up past the initial OS 9.1 screen; I get there (so it knows it has a working HD, thankfully) and the little "working" bar stops at the same point time and and again... :mad:

    I'm totally at a loss for what to do... :confused: a new/replacement mac is out... I haven't tried the PRAM replacement idea (yet)... I need any ideas anyone has (short of replacing the machine)
  7. macrumors member

    Try the pram. I'm don't know the key off hand (try google) but it's something like.... press cmd+option+p+r during boot up. You should then hear the start up chime I keep holding till I have heard it twice. Then let go and see if it will boot.

    If that does not work try and Boot with the extensions turned off.

    Good Luck
  8. macrumors 68010


    If that doesn't help, unplug everything on it, including the powercord and get the battery out. If you are lucky, after a couple of hours it should work again fine. Els leave it for a couple of days. I had the same with my G3 B&W. This was the only thing that helped!!
  9. macrumors member

    Thanks for the advice... I'll try them later this evening when I get home

    I'm glad this site exists :D
  10. macrumors 68040


    Sometimes you need to reseat the memory chips...
  11. macrumors 68040


    Sometimes you need to reseat the memory chips...

    And you can always reset the ROM if nothing else works...
  12. macrumors member

    so far, no joy

    Well, I zapped the PRAM several times (and with the audio not working, I didn't get a chime)... I pulled the PRAM battery for awhile... I even pulled the USB card thinking it had gone bad... still no go... :mad:

    right now, the machine is sitting with the battery out. I figure I'll pop it back in tonight and see what that does. I'll try the suggestion of re-seating the memory this weekend... I'm still looking for other things to try, but I'm quickly coming to the opinion that I don't know enough to successfully resurrect (sp?) my machine.... :(

    and to top it off, I'm starting to go through withdrawal just knowing I don't have ready access to my stuff at home...

    ah well...

    I'd like to thank you folks for the suggestions... if I get 'er running again, I'll definitely let ya know
  13. macrumors 68040


  14. macrumors 65816

    okay, for pram zap, do what he said, except it needs to be at least 3 times (not sure why, but many a time have i tried just two, and 3 always works better)...

    since you can't hear, you should be able to tell when it does it's thing, cause it'll get to a gray screen, and then it'll go black as it re-starts. after that, it'll go gray again. let it do this several times (at least 4, so you can be sure you got at least 3 zaps in ;) )

    if that fails, after you have the new card in, and after you have re-seated your ram, check the hard drive connection.

    to be quite honest, this sounds like a problem i had on my beige - i was running 9.2.2 quite fine, but when i got my emac, i wanted to install a fresh 9.2.2 on it (didn't have system discs w/the beige, bought it from a school). so i transfered a fresh install on the emac to the beige and fired it up - it would get to the 9.2.2 splash screen, and then nothing. nada. not a thing. turns out that my install on the emac had a rom file in it that the beige wasn't too fond of, so i had to go back to my old install. which was a bummer, but i found out a very important thing:

    when my beige hung like that, it was a software problem. yours could very well be too, and it may be the hard drive.

    if you have an os 9 disc, pop it in and run some disc utilities to make sure everything's kosher...

  15. macrumors 68000


    This has been my experience as well - My Beige G3 is on quite a few steroids (G4/500ZIF, USB/Firewire card, ATA/133 card, 2nd graphics card, maxed out memory, 3 hard drives + internal Zip & CDRW) and whenever I've had boot hang problems they've most always been software-related. Although I'm now only running OSX, I've encountered this situation when running OS9 as well, and here are a few suggestions:

    * Take out the USB card for the time being, and only re-install it once you have a working copy of 9.2.2 running on your machine.
    * Take out any 3rd party graphics cards you may have installed and run the machine using the on-board graphics until you have a working copy of 9.2.2 completely installed.
    * Disconnect anything that isn't Apple OEM from your system board and peripherals.

    Also, I know from experience that the sound cards on the Beige G3s are hard to seat, so gently double-check it to make sure that it is completely settled.

    In this circumstance, I'd suggest completely reinstalling OS9, and if you have backups of your data, I'd even go as far as wiping the hard drive with Apple Disk Utilities and re-partitioning. Remember, if you ever plan to run OSX, the first partition on the first HD must be less than 8GB on the Beige G3s.

    Install and update OS9 completely on the system, and only then start installing your extra cards and non-Apple OEM stuff. Install these one-by-one, and reboot after each installation.

    It has been my experience that the Beige G3 is *very* finicky about installing software and cards, but once they're on it runs rock solid. You might want to also check out Other World Computing's OS9 helper (they also have an OSX helper) for installation.

    Be patient - remember you're working on a system that's now approaching 6-7 years old, so stuff that you could get away with when it was newer might not always work as well now that the hardware has a few thousand hours of runtime on it.

    Good luck! I love my Beige G3, it was and is a very versatile system (although I'd love a Revision B G5 even more now). :D
  16. macrumors member

    ugh... now I know why I never had any real interest in hardware :rolleyes:

    software, I can generally figure out, hardware, I'm no good.

    what's bad is the initial problem leading to this fiasco was losing my audio--a couple years ago... About a 6 or 7 months ago, I did a re-install of the OS (9.1) in hopes of correcting that but it didn't work, and I've just continue to use the machine without the audio...

    I definitely should've just left well enough alone :eek:

    in the event this machine proves to be kaput, what's the going rate on a beige G3 w/USB card (my old mouse was dying too, so I had been using an optical)...

    I've gotten a lot of good ideas, I defintiely appreciate them... mucho-da-thank-o
  17. macrumors member

    Thanks for the help - here's an update

    Well, I popped the PRAM back in after it had set out for a day... the computer boots up more often than not... there's still no audio, and for some reason my USB card isn't registering...

    I appreciate everyone's help and if I had any frineds who were Mac users, I'd point them this way for tips :D

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