Help with upgraded Beige G3

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Chef Medeski, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. Chef Medeski macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #1
    So, I bought this Beige G3 off a guy for $100. Now, I was not familiar with any mac before the LCD iMac, so lets just say this was more than a gamble. All I told him is I want to run Tiger or at least Panther and use a wi-fi card. Its going to be a server for sharing music and photos for my household.

    So, it arrives. Its a desktop. A Rev. B 266 Mhz/ ATI Rage Pro G3. Except it has a 450MHz G4 upgrade and a 60GB ATA HD.

    So, now the problems.

    Ummm.... ok.

    Well. I got a screen. All I get is a floppy with a big "?" on it. Whats going on? .

    Second, where is the keyboard and mouse inputs?

    Thrid, anyone know of a good cheap wi-fi card for the PCI?

    Also, I have a 200GB HD EIDE. Will it work in this computer? Where is the cable to attach it to. Should I just take out the cable from the CD rom drive and put in there. But I need that. Do I need to go get a PCI-EIDE interface.... if so.... any suggestions? Do I need to partition the thing to less than 127GB? How does that work... the HD limit?

    Also, when I boot, there is no noise coming out of the computer or headphone jack except for the fan.... is that a problem? Is something wrong with the PRAM?
     
  2. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #2
    1. The floppy with the ? means it can't find the system. You'll have to boot from a system CD or DVD and reinstall the system.

    2. The keyboard input will be a round hole (looking at my beige desktop) with a weird little design on top. The mouseplugs into the keyboard.
     
  3. Chef Medeski thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

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    Jun 14, 2005
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    #3
    So, I need Apple accessories.... crap... :( ... any adaptors I can buy?
     
  4. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #4
    Crap, sorry, got disconnected. You can use the 200GB drive, but you need a software hack to get it to see more than 128GB. Macsales.com has a program you can use, though they'll bundle it cheap if you buy hard drives there, I believe. If you have a Rev A ROM on your beige, it'll only take two master drives, so you'll have to take out the CD-ROM and put in the second drive there, if you want to use it like that. If it has a later ROM, you can use slave drives, so you'd be ok. You can always get a PCI IDE card, which will actually allow you to use hard drives bigger than 128GB without the software hack, as well as multiple drives.

    As for adapters, are you looking to use a USB keyboard and mouse? You can always use a PCI USb card, though I don't know if the older beige's will boot without having a regular keyboard plugged in as well.

    Edit: xlr8yourmac.com has some great G3 sections, I recommend reading through some of their stuff.
     
  5. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #5
    Be careful with this machine...while there are many upgrades available, the cost of upgrading very quickly reaches the point where it would be more economical to get a newer used Mac.

    There are some pitfalls to watch for when upgrading a PowerMac G3 of this type:

    Check to see if your machine has a Rev.1 motherboard - if so you can't use slave drives in OS 9.

    The keyboard and mouse use the ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) ports on the back of the box labeled with a picture of said implements. You can buy a PCI card that will give you USB but compatibility can sometimes be an issue with hardware of this era.

    Since this motherboard uses an "Old World" ROM, you need to use the Ex Post Facto utility to install OS X. Ex Post Facto works best with OS 10.2.x Jaguar...Panther can be installed but you will lose the use of the machine's Rage video accelerator.

    It's best to get a PCI ATA controller to go with a new hard drive; it will bost performance considerably over the onboard controller.

    In sum, I own one of these Macs and IMO if you have an un-upgraded one today it's best left mostly stock running OS 9 for legacy apps. For the money you'll spend solving the issues needed to get OS X running, USB mouse/keyboard and a big (bigger than 128GB) HD you could buy a Blue & White G3 tower (or even better, a Yikes! PowerMac G4) that already has all those problems solved, and is prettier to boot.

    I suggest reading Low End Mac's info page about the Biege G3 to help you decide what to do.
     
  6. Chef Medeski thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #6
    Well, it already has a 60GB HD installed. So, I'm sure I can get OS X running on that. I guess I'll get a cheap wi-fi card and a ATA card (even though I have a IDE HD?) . With an ADB keyboard and Mouse...... wait this is getting out of hand....

    So, a Blue and White you say? Can I run TIger on those? Wi-Fi? 200GB HD?

    Any little things I have to wry about with those.
     
  7. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
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    #7
    Resellers are always selling higher than ebay but are a bit more trustworthy in most cases...

    The B&W G3s and G4 towers should take OS X with no fiddling around and even the slow ones can run Tiger pretty well so long as you aren't messing around with iMovie or playing with big files in Photoshop. They prefer at least 512 MB RAM for good performance (1GB+ is best). It's also pretty easy to upgrade to a DVD-RW.

    Unfortunately none of these computers will recognize a hard drive bigger than 128GB without some tweaks (read this article for the specifics). I went the PCI hard drive controller route, bought the SIIG 2-channel SATA controller and plopped in 250GB Hitachi SATA drives. That gave me a noticable increase in performance and the benchmarks I ran showed a 10% speed bump in disk performance, not to mention tons of free space.

    The AGP G4s have a slot for Apple's original (802.11b) Airport WiFi card (I have one in my G4). The B&W G3 towers and the PCI (aka Yikes!) G4 towers will need an aftermarket PCI card.

    Here's a 400MHz Sawtooth G4 tower (with AGP video slot) for $129.

    This reseller
    has a 350MHz B&W for $75, and a couple G4 towers starting at $125. I bought a dual 533MHz tower from them and the transaction went well, though their return policy is screwy.

    If you decide to buy a G4 tower I reccomend getting one with the AGP graphics, since they include a number of improvements for only a small increase in price.

    There are other vendors floating around and of course there is always ebay or craigslist.

    If you are willing to throw upgrades at a Mac I recommend these machines over your Biege G3, they are easier to upgrade and are faster when you are finished.
     
  8. Chef Medeski thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Chef Medeski

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    Jun 14, 2005
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #8
  9. mopppish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    #9
    Chef-
    Where do you live?
    I have a B&W G3 that I'm considering getting rid of.
     
  10. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #10
    Just for clarification, you should be able to install Jaguar (10.2) without any help from programs like XPostFacto. I actually just installed it tonight on a 233Mhz Beige G3 I have laying around.

    But yeah, as others have said, this computer will quickly rack up the costs for you if you try to upgrade it further. You'd be better off with a G4 tower, or with even a Mac Mini if upgradeability isn't that important.
     
  11. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #11
    You will want the "Apple Extended Keyboard II" for your keyboard and whatever old mouse you want (if you want an optical ADB mouse, I have a brand new, unopened box Mouse Systems "Little Mouse" that uses an included metal mouse pad with grid lines to "read" the mouse movements--yours for $15 shipped to the US--I do not think there was ever an optical ADB mouse that did not use the metal mouse pads).

    (The mouse and keyboard can be had VERY cheap on ebay)

    Forget the wifi and use an ethernet router (it might be cheaper to buy a new router rather than the wifi card-but I am not sure).

    You can run Tiger with XPostFacto on the Beige with issues. You can run it on the Blue and White.

    If I were in your shoes I would sell the Beige G3 or use it for OS 9 only and buy a PowerMac G4 AGP (I actually would only look at 533Mhz Digital Audio G4s as a minimum jumping in point).

    The price for G4s should continue to drop fast so don't pay over $200.

    Here is a Blue & White G3 pretty cheap: http://cgi.ebay.com/Blue-White-Towe...4QQihZ001QQcategoryZ14911QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
     
  12. gonyr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Location:
    Niagara County, NY
    #12
    Since you said you wanted it to be basically a music server, I'd recommend system 10.2.6. You can use 10.2.8, but it sometimes causes random loss of video that can only be solved with a hard restart. Anything newer will probably run really slowly.

    I'd also suggest that since you don't have much need for a cd drive if it's just to store files, simply replace the cd with the 200 gb hard drive.
     
  13. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #13
    Yes, it will run Tiger, but it will not recognize the 3D capabilities of the Rage 128 video card. You can get around this by installing any Radeon class PCI video card (such as a Radeon 7000, 9000 or 9200).

    The 200GB hard drive will be recognized as a 128GB drive. If you buy one of those PCI ATA hard drive controllers (starting at around $70) it will not only recognize the full 200GB but run significantly faster.

    I would lean towards getting a G4 myself but that G3 tower is a pretty good machine for $75+shipping.
     
  14. macg4 macrumors 6502a

    macg4

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Des Moines,Iowa
    #14
    yeah only do some upgrades to a beige if you have some extra hardware just laying around like i did. my specs are:
    350mhz g3 overclocked to 400mhz
    384mb ram
    2x 40gig hd's
    dvd drive
    52x cdr-w
    ati rage pci video card(with dvd card)
    usb pci card
    10/100 enet pci card
    wings a/v card

    everything that is listed above that i used to upgrade the beige a little was all parts i had extra
     
  15. Daedalus256 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #15
    While many of your questions have been answered already, I wish you luck with the Beige. I recently got a 292mhz G3 Beige for around $60 (specs in sig) And yes it's extremely quiet, I can never hear it running so it's lack of noise isn't a problem.
     

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