bought old g3 "?" flashing when turn on

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by furius styles, Jul 24, 2004.

  1. macrumors newbie

    hello all,
    im new to the forum and to apple all together. i have used pc's all my life but last week i decided to take the "plunge" and get a used g3. when i turn it on all i see is a flashing "?"...after doing a little research here in the forums i learned that it means that i am missing system files. i tried downloading the network access disk 7.5 but when i use it it says that i have to use something more updated. does anyone know where i can find one or what else i can try?
    thanks for your help!


  2. macrumors 68030


    Duff-Man says....did the person that sold you the computer not give you the system cd that it came with? If so, you can start from that by holding down the "c" key when booting and install from there. If not you'll have to buy some system software. Which G3 is it - the beige or the blue & white tower? You can't use a system that is older than the hardware, and 7.5 is definitely too old. Give us a little more detail about the jhardware and you'll get lots of responses....oh yeah!
  3. macrumors newbie


    it is a black g3 powerbook made in 1998...i didn't get any software with it but i got the powerbook,floppy drive,cd rom, and 3 extra batteries all for $80.00
    the guy i bought it from didn't know much about computers so he couldn't tell me that specs.
  4. macrumors 68000


    If I were you, I would buy a copy of OS 9 and install it. That would be the best OS for that system, in my opinion. You can buy it from OWC for $39.99:

    Lee Tom
  5. macrumors newbie

    it may already have that there any way i can check witch files are missing so i can get those files? i'd really hate to shell out money for a couple missing files. especially if it is buying an os that it may already have. thanks for the suggestion tho. :)
  6. macrumors 68000


    If you can't get past the question mark, you pretty much have to install the OS. I seriously doubt you will get anywhere without installing it.
    Also, you might be able to get a little better deal on eBay as well.

    Good luck!
    Lee Tom
  7. macrumors newbie

    i see that i can get the mac os x 10.3 panther upgrade...would that work?
  8. macrumors 68000


    What color is the keyboard? Are the keys black or bronze?
  9. macrumors newbie

    they are all black... i was also trying to figure out if it was a wallstreet or one of the other 3( i think) they made.
  10. macrumors 68000


    An all black keyboard means it's a Wallstreet. Panther would install (I think) but I don't think it would run comfortably. Your best bet for the time being would be OS 9.

    Here are the specs on the Wallstreet line: The 233, 250, 266 & 292 are all Wallstreets.
  11. macrumors newbie

    i downloaded and tried installing 7.0 but it says that i need a newer version in order to continue...does anyone have one that they can email me please? :)
  12. macrumors 68000


    7.0 will not run on a Wallstreet and the only "free" version of MacOS is 7.5.3 (with the free update to 7.5.5) but that will not run on either. The minimum OS version the Wallstreet supports is 8.0.

    Have you checked eBay? You can probably find old copies of MacOS cheap.

    Good luck
  13. macrumors 68040


    My best advice is to get a 9.2 disk, this is the best OS for the wallstreet without buying X. Also when u do get a CD boot off the cd holding down the C key, then when it boots select the utility on the CD and erase the HD. Then lay a clean system onto the HD.
    By the way u got a great deal, a wallstreet can go for a couple hundred dollars.
  14. macrumors 68000


    Like I said before, OS 9 is the best operating system you can put on this thing, and it'll cost you up to $40. That's pretty much your option.

    Lee Tom
  15. macrumors newbie


    Mr. Furiuous
    I gather through your postings that this is an item that you are interested in pursuing through investments of time rather than cost...but I think that the crowd is right on this one....pony up for OS 9 on ebay (or ask friends that work in schools, kinkos, etc. for older sys. software), you will also find that the older photoshop, flash, quark, FCP,...whatever.....the versions that were released in OS 9 era can be found cheap as well, and really do run great on that machine.
    good luck.
  16. macrumors 68020


    Just a last ditch effort here, but boot the computer while you hold down command option P R and keep holding them until you've heard the startup chime 4 times. Sometimes a Mac can get confused about what drive to boot from and this resets it. If that doesn't work, OS 9.2 will work the best for you. You can buy 9.1 and upgrade it for free--not sure about 9.0 but I don't know why not.

    That computer will run OS X provided you give it enough memory (as in all it will take) and it will give you decent performance in basic day to day stuff like email, web, and word processing. More processor intensive things are probably best done in OS 9.
  17. macrumors member

    Or, you could be really adventurous and install Linux! Try giving Yellow Dog or Gentoo for PPC a try!
  18. macrumors 68020


    If memory serves me correctly, you have to first do the free upgrade from 9.0 to 9.1 before you do the free upgrade from 9.1 to 9.2 (although I could be mistaken, as it has been a while since I did this upgrade myself).
  19. macrumors 68020


    I think you're right. When I originally posted I couldn't remember if I'd ever installed 9.0, but now I remember that I did. I think that was the time I did an abnormal amount of Software Update.
  20. macrumors newbie

    if somenow gives me the disc, can i make a back up on my pc?
    if you have it can you PM or amail me please. :)

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