Beige G3 Issues

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Daedalus256, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Wow, been a long time since I've been here :p

    Anyway I picked up a hobby computer today, a nice Beige G3, for around $40 or so and grabbed some ram for it and another 6gb hdd for a grand total of $60.

    It boots OS 9.2.2 just fine, runs it better than I think maybe my Wallstreet did (It's a 233mhz model but prior to receiving it, I think it was OC'ed to 292mhz, at least that's what the system profiler tells me) Here are the complete specs:

    G3 292mhz
    256MB RAM
    6GB Quantum HDD
    6GB Maxtor HDD
    24x CD-ROM

    Now, I attempt to get OSX on this thing today, knowing that 10.2 officially supports it. I keep getting a message that tells me "The operation cannot be completed due to a disk error", even when I attempt to boot the OSX CD using XPostFacto. I tried a couple different OSX CDs and got the same issue for each. So I figured I'd give the iMac OS9 CD I have a shot, sure it won't install on an old-world ROM but maybe it'll give me some insight as to why this isn't booting.

    So I attempt to boot the OS9 CD and it loads up and I get this message that doesn't full load and then the machine reboots. I tried once more with the OS9 CD and this time it just kinda sat there on the "Welcome to MacOS" screen. Every now and then I could hear the CD-ROM spinning up and down.

    So is the source of my problems the CD-ROM drive? I have another copy of 9.2.2 somewhere at home but I really wanted to get this stuff done tonight. Any suggestions?
  2. macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Yeah it might just be the CD-ROM. You don't have another drive laying around the house? I'd just swap in another Drive (they are IDE) and give it a go.

    I was able to get 10.3.9 running on my Beige G3/300 using XPostFacto and I even installed a CD-R into it (just cause I had it laying around). OS X didn't run that great but it is possible. I eventually just settled with 9.2.2 on the system and then got bored with it and went back to my iBook.
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yeah I believe my roommate has an extra drive laying around, when he gets back from class I plan on asking to use it.

    I've ran 10.3 on a 233mhz wallstreet with 192mb of ram before so I'm hoping the G3 performs somewhere in that area.
  4. macrumors 6502


    Jul 3, 2006
    An obtuse corner of the Triangle

    As I can remember you have to have at least the first 8 gig's of a hard drive partitioned only for the OS X. Then the rest can be for OS 9. Since you have too small a hard drive that's probably the problem. It's good you know about Xpostfacto, that's needed.

    If you get OS X on there, you're going to have to slim down the OS. Take out animating the dock and all those type stylings. I did get it on there, but it was basically unusable (from a low end graphic artist standpoint). You could surf a little, check mail....but if you wanted to do anything real - pffft!

    You may want to boost the VRAM also...I think it'll go up to about 6MB maybe 8. May as well top out your RAM at 768 too.

    Basically, I had G3 desktop with: 768 PC133 SDRAM, 533 MHz(originally 266), 40 gig HDD, 6MB VRAM, and it was still to difficult to use effectively.

    I really dont mean to pull the wind outta yer sails, just trying to give ya a heads up. :)
  5. macrumors 6502


    Jul 3, 2006
    An obtuse corner of the Triangle

    Also, I seem to remember that it would have to re-start a few times once I had the disk correctly partitioned.

    So it's a little disconcerting to install OS X, then see it restart 3 times...not to worry. I seem to remember the weird disk spinning up and down...don't remember the fix tho.

    This isn't the site I used (couldn't find it's been a few years) but this looked comprehensive...
  6. macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Actually a Beige G3 can be a very nice graphics workstation... my most powerful system is a Beige G3 I've fixed up. As it currently stands:
    • Beige G3 Mini Tower (base system)
    • Mac OS X v10.3.9
    • 640 MB of memory
    • G4 at 533 MHz with 1 MB of L2 cache
    • ATI Rage Pro 6 MB of VRAM onboard (not in use)
    • ATI Radeon 7000 video card (32 MB of VRAM)
    • 80 GB hard drive
    • UltraATA/66 card (for the hard drive)
    • 24x CD-ROM (on first internal ATA/33 bus)
    • 6x DVD-ROM (on second internal ATA/33 bus)
    • two port USB card (one port used for an older Apple Pro keyboard and mouse)
    • 20" Sony display
    And it is a great little system. I have room for a couple more drives... and I plan on putting in a CDR drive in the last large drive bay.

    And other than the copy of Mac OS X, everything I listed above was free.

    When comparing that system with my Wallstreet...
    • PowerBook G3 Wallstreet (base system)
    • Mac OS X v10.2.8
    • 512 MB of memory
    • G4 at 500 MHz with 1 MB of L2 cache
    • ATI Rage Pro LT 4 MB of VRAM onboard
    • 40 GB hard drive (main)
    • 20 GB hard drive (expansion bay)
    • CD-RW (expansion bay)
    • two port USB 2.0 card
    • 14.1" display
    And this PowerBook is still my main internet, e-mail and writing system.


    Well, maybe that can put some wind back in your sails. :D
  7. macrumors 604

    Sep 23, 2003
    Actually it's the opposite. OSX has to go onto the main hard drive, and the partition has to be *less* than 8 gigs. And as long as you're installing 10.2 or earlier, you don't need Xpostfacto. It's only necessary if you're trying to put on 10.3 or 10.4.

    Question for beige G3 folks - any recommendations for a cheap gigabit ethernet card? I'm planning on keeping my beige g3 indefinitely to use as a file server.
  8. macrumors 6502


    Jul 3, 2006
    An obtuse corner of the Triangle
    "Well, maybe that can put some wind back in your sails"

    Everything is a decent machine depending on your perspective I guess. It also depends on hard hard you tax the system...then, it depends on how much you charge the client to sit and wait for image/filter/rendering processing. One could USE anything in the last 15 years and make great maybe.

    You're right, it is a viable machine to upgrade. Guess I'm a little spoiled with my G5.

    And milo mentioned the "less than 8 GB for the partition...Right again.

    But technically, one could make that partition exactly 8 GB, No? I think that's what I did... if I remember correctly, seems like I regretted not making it's hard to recall really.
    All this is also why I included a link for you, I'm no tech - but I have done successfully what you're trying to do.

    Good luck
  9. macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    The only thing I ever find myself waiting on is final export of video... but then again, I have quite a few systems and quite a few clients. I can always find something to do if something like that pops up (which at best has been maybe once a week).

    Everything else happens in real time for me, my system waits for me more than I ever wait for it. I can't recall the last time I had to wait more than a couple seconds for Photoshop.

    Besides, most (about 75%) of the graphic design work I do is for the web... and I consider a limited system a plus in that area. I've seen sites designed by people with G5s and 30" displays, and they tend to be design for people with G5 class systems with massive displays (missing a large number of people on the net). At least I know that if my sites work on my old (even though upgraded) Beige G3*, they should work nicely on a vast majority of systems on the net.

    I'm a firm believer in building for your audience. The best examples are my Rhapsody and NeXT sites which have to work on Rhapsody and NeXT systems (both sites are built on a Rhapsody system and work great in OmniWeb 2.x and 3.x).

    Still, the G5s are nice. I work on them every so often (as I also service Macs), but at a certain point things take as long as they are going to take. I have to admit that G5s just aren't enough bang to justify my buck... but in a couple years they'll be awesome systems! :D

    * Note: Actually I don't use my Beige G3 as a final benchmark of web compatibility... my wife's PowerBook G3/400 is generally the minimum system that a site should work nicely on. If something doesn't work on her system, I have to have a good justification for why it doesn't.
  10. macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2006
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Hey all, I kinda left this thread to die but hey! It lives so sweet!

    Anyway I bought a new PRAM battery for this thing and tried a seocndary CD-ROM I had lying around and the thing worked ok to use with CDs.

    Weird thing is, I need XPF to boot the OSX 10.2 disc, even though 10.2 is supported natively...weird. I've had to do that on a G3 B&W and a Wallstreet as well. Moving on to what happened.

    So OSX installed just fine, no issues during installation and then I hit the restart button, it starts booting up and it shows the apple logo for a good second then I get a circle with a cross through it. This machine doesn't like my iMac OS9 disc either because anytime I tried to boot it, the machine rebooted itself :confused:

    I have an OS 9.2.2 disc lying around and also a regular OS9 disc that will install on anything, but they're at home so I'm going to grab those when I head back this weekend and then give it a go and pray that those are able to reformat my drive as HFS and get OSX on it.

    I eventually plan on running two 6GB drives on this thing but not until I get it stable on one drive under OSX. I also am in need of jumpers for the jumper block to make an attempt to OC this thing to around 300mhz or so.

    Right now I'm stuck in a hard place with it without an OS9 CD that will actually install the system so until then I won't have much to report.

    edit: so yeah I'm taking jumper donations as well as PCI graphic card and USB card donations :D
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I don't know what to do with this thing...

    I made sure to reformat in HFS when I installed 9.2.2 earlier today and I got the same damn circle with a cross!

    What's weird is that when I try to boot with the OSX CD, it gives me the "no bootable hfs partition" message across the screen like a dozen times, it's driving me crazy that I can't figure this out.
  13. macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    Well, remember that you are the only one able to see the system (physically). Talk us through the setup.

    For example, the logic board has two ATA buses... one for the hard drive and one for the CD-ROM drive. Is that how your system is set up? Mac OS X will install off an external SCSI CD-ROM drive (I've done this a couple times with Beige G3s... both desktop and mini tower). Similarly you can use the internal SCSI bus with a SCSI CD-ROM drive.

    Of course the SCSI CD-ROM will tend be slower to install Mac OS X (depending on what CD-ROM drive you use... I have a spare 8x that I use for this type of thing), but it'll work.

    You can also stop the system at open firmware to tell it how to boot (it is more of a Rhapsody type of thing... but it has help with troublesome systems before).

    Lastly (and I'm just checking), you are using a generic Mac OS X CD for this installation... right?
  14. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    Whakatane, New Zealand
    I would get that every time I tried to boot from the Jaguar CD on my Beige. I could kick off the install with XPostFacto and it'd happily start the installer, I could then format the drive from inside the installer (wiping XPostFacto) and it'd still work fine until I tried to boot from the CD again.
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yeah I actually found a post by you when I googled "no bootable HFS partition" and I couldn't quite remember what you did to fix it. did you get the circle with a cross? Is it because it won't boot the CD and finish installation?

    edit: oh and RacerX, yeah they're standard installer discs, not upgrade discs.

    edit2: I may try taking the DVD-ROM out of my PC and using XPF to boot my Tiger DVD if all else fails.

    final edit, I swear to god: Ok here's how the install goes:

    I'm running the hard drive on the IDE0 bus, the CD-ROM is on IDE1, I installed 9.2.2 just fine (wrote all zeros to the drive this time too) and boot into 9.2.2. Once in 9.2.2, I attempt to just set the startup disk as the 10.2 CD and reboot, that's when I get either "can't OPEN" or "no bootable HFS partition" I guess the Beige likes to mix it up ;). So once that craps out it booots into 9.2.2 again. This is usually when I download XPF and use that to boot the 10.2 CD. I reboot with the 10.2 CD using XPF and once in the CD, I open Disk Utility and reformat the drive and select MacOS Extended. Once that is done, I partition it (1 6gb partition). So with that taken care of I close Disk Utility and get back to the installer and even then I make the installer reformat the ddrive as MacOS Extended and install the OS9 disk drivers. Finally, after all of this, I install OSX. The install runs and completes just fine with no errors, I hit restart and get the circle with a cross. So I tried a couple different things for that and nothing works so I end up just booting from the 9.2.2 CD and installing 9.2.2 and get back to square 1. Overnight I left the backup battery out (brand new battery). I plan on putting it back in and holding the reset button in, what exactly is the correct procedure for that?
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ok I'm adding some closure to this thread.

    Took my machine to the apple store (and found an old PC in the trash trying to find parking!) and turns out that my install CDs are bad. The hardware checked out just fine, the new PRAM is running just fine and everything. The Beige is absolutely excellent. I just need to figure out how to run SYnergyKM in 10.2.8!

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