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Help with old G3

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by dontwalkhand, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. macrumors 68040

    As most of you here know, I have acquired 7 Power Mac G3s from a school district, they came with Mac OS X, version 10.1. I know these are still capable of running 10.3, so I have proceeded to get out my OS 10.3 CDs and start the install process. These are the retail Apple CDs, and they did not come bundled with any computer.

    During the install, the setup screen was all garbled, and grey, and looked as if the installer did not support the video card. I do not know what type of video card this has in it, but I know it is made by ATI, and requires an adapter to connect a regular VGA monitor to it, has video IN (RCA yellow jack), S-Video In, and S-video out jacks on it. I thought it was a problem with that particular G3, but I have tried the OS 10.3 CDs on all of my G3s, and they all have this problem, it can't be a hardware problem, as OS 10.1 continues to install just fine, and the setup screens looked normal. Also, tested my OS 9.2 CDs, and those worked just fine on the G3 as well.

    I had then continued on with the setup process anyway thinking I can then fiddle with the display settings in System Preferences and try to get it back to normal, no luck, System Preferences had only an option for 1280x1024 and 256 colors. I am thinking the problem lies with the Video card in the G3. Googling for the solution mocks me, as everyone else seemed to load up 10.3, even 10.4 Tiger just fine on their Power Mac G3s, and no one else seems to have my problem.

    So then I thought the problem was with the OS 10.3 Cds I have, I have tested this on my Power Mac G4, it works just fine, and the setup screens look normal.

    So I am thinking the problem is with the video card, can anyone help me and tell me what's wrong? I have been a Mac user for quite some time now, and never once have I seen an awkward problem like this until these "School district acquired computers."

    Thanks very much for the help!
  2. macrumors regular

    I had some strange problems with installing 10.4 on my B&W G3, wierd things like garbled screens on the installation boot screen and lockups during install.

    For some reason, this was rectified by resetting the CMOS or the CUDA or something. Here's a link with some details on that:


    If you have an older G3, that could be an issue, you didn't say what model you have.
  3. macrumors 68040

    Thanks for the tip, though I do not know what model of G3 I have, other the fact it is the blue and white model. I will try the steps listed on the site and get back to you and see how well it goes.
  4. macrumors 68040

    This is what the setup screens look like. As you can see its all garbled, and it remains like that, even after switching monitors, resetting P-RAM, and other things listed on the website. :( I have no idea why it's doing this, and the problem is not with that particular G3, but rather all of the G3s I have, which since they were purchased by the school district, would be all the same model.

    The CDs work fine in my G4.

    Attached Files:

  5. macrumors newbie

    You may need to install a firmware update to get your G3 running 10.3 (if you haven't already done that). I had to install the iMac Firmware Update 4.1.9 before I installed the OS to get mine running properly.

    Check out this site for more info: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=86117
  6. macrumors 68040

    For the firmware update, how do I check to see if it already has the version that I want? I went into OF, and it said OpenFirmware version 3.1.1. Also, do I need to install Mac OS 9, update the firmware, and then install X, or can I just use an older version of X, to update the firmware, and then update to 10.3?
  7. macrumors newbie

    You should be able to run the firmware update in your early version of OSX. I'm not sure how to tell what firmware is currently installed, but I do know that the update will not run if it has already been previously installed... I guess just try and pick the most likely of the available options. Good luck!
  8. macrumors 68040

    The Apple website says I would a Mac OS 9 system folder installed on there, which I do not have. So it looks like I would have to try to install Mac OS 9, update the firmware, install Mac OS X, sounds like a lot of hoops to jump through. Is there an alternate method to updating the firmware that is much easier and convienient, such as by booting off of a CD?
  9. macrumors 604


    I would try to figure out which graphics card is installed.

    It definitely seems that your card simply isn't supported by this version of OS X.

    I have a 3Dfx Voodoo 5 5500 card in one of my B&W G3's, and the screen looked very similar to yours when I tried to install 10.3.

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