iMac G3 help

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mo79, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. mo79 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 4, 2006
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm an unfortunate PC user, so please be gentle :)

    On behalf of someone who has a Bondi Blue iMac G3 with OS 8.5, how do I go about upgrading it to 8.6, or perhaps higher? She's not too technical herself. Also, she would like to upgrade the memory, I guess to the most possible. I don't know how much is on it, but it would be factory preset as she hasn't opened inside of it. Many thanks for any advice.
     
  2. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

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    South of the border
    #2
    The maximum RAM it's supposed to take is 256MB - it comes with 32 stock. According to everymac you can take it up to 384, which is still not enough to realistically run OSX.

    Versiontracker has the 8.5 > 8.6 update.

    Or you could go back to System 7!

    Or you could pick up a later rev iMac (like the 400DV), which are very cheap now (probably less than you'd pay for a RAM upgrade), sometimes even with a decent amount of RAM in already (they take up to 1GB) and a second-hand copy of OSX..
     
  3. ickystay macrumors regular

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    Sep 3, 2006
  4. mo79 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 4, 2006
    #4
    Cheers

    So, how would I go about installing the upgrade? I think upgrading's fine enough as it's only really used for basic internet tasks. What's also a good non-IE browser for 8.6? Thanks again. ;)

     
  5. daveIT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    AK, USA
    #5
    My iMac

    I have an iMac G3 and I upgraded it to 384MB RAM and a 60GB HDD. If I remember right the RAM install was a bit of a pain, but doable. As the other poster said, http://lowendmac.com is a good site for upgrade info. I've been using this beast as my solo computer since 1999.

    FWIW, I run OS X 10.2.8 and it performs very well. I highly recommend OS X over OS 8/9. There's a bit of a learning curve coming from the older OS, but not too bad.

    I don't remember what browser I used back then, but it was not IE.

    Good luck
     
  6. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    #6
    I have a 233 MHz iMac with 256MB of RAM in it running OS X.3.9. Its actually runs pretty well for a 233 MHz computer.*

    Putting RAM in the iMac requires taking the main assembly out, but thats actually pretty easy. Just take out a couple of screws and then unhook the 3 or 4 cables and then it just pulls up out of the computer. if you want to expand it to 256, you'll need to take the daughter card out (aka processor card). That you just need to take 2 screws out and then be VERY careful and pull upward and it will unhook from its 2 connectors. There are RAM slots on both sides of the daughter card. It takes PC 66 or PC 100 SODIMMs.*

    If you dont want to put OS X on it, then I would recommend OS 9.2.2. It will run OS 9.2.2. really well. But I would also recommend OS X as well. Its more internet friendly has more apps available and is just a better computer experience IMO. OS 9 is like trying to use Windows 95 IMO. :D

    I would upgrade the RAM to at least 128 if you're not going to run OS X on it, and if you are going to run OS X on it, get at least 256 installed into it.*

    You can put more than 256MB Max in it, but I believe the bottom slot requires low density ram to see more than 128MB.*
     
  7. jonutarr macrumors regular

    jonutarr

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    OZ
  8. mo79 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 4, 2006
    #9
    Brilliant, thanks.

    They have a year old iBook alongside and they just want to squeeze the iMac out for email/net as it's quite slow as it is, broadband can only do so much with an ageing machine. If they have the cash they might just more over to a Mac Mini.
     
  9. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816

    fivetoadsloth

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    Aug 15, 2006
    #10
    make sure they are prepared for shock have have the seatbelts fastened ;)
     
  10. daveIT macrumors member

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    Oct 25, 2006
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    AK, USA
    #11
    I have a Mac Pro on the way to "replace" my iMac. I hope it comes with a free neck brace to protect me from the whiplash.
     
  11. mo79 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 4, 2006
    #12
    I hope to buy a Mac myself in future sometime, really nice machines - and users. ;)
     
  12. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    Aug 21, 2004
    #13
    You can upgrade to at least 512mb of ram and possibly 1 gig if you get the right sort of ram for it.

    I upgraded that same machine to 384 ram and 10.3.9 OS and put in a new 80 gig 7200 hard drive. Those old iMacs are workhorses and run cheap and great on Mac OSX.

    Don't bother with Mac OS9.

    Get Panther 10.3.9 and get a new bigger and faster hard drive and get as much ram as you can fit into it.

    When it dies, part out the ram and hard drive. Your investment will not be wasted, beiieve me.
     
  13. mo79 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 4, 2006
    #14
    Brilliant. I think 256MB is all that's wanted, making it 288MB. They don't need a new HD as the tasks needed on it will be basic. So, what's the final OS version to go for in that scenario?

     
  14. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    #15
    If you're going to put 256MB of RAM in it then I would put Mac OS X.3.9 on it. OS X is much more internet friendly than OS 9 or below. You'll have better updated browsers that work with todays websites that may not necessarily work correctly with OS 9 browsers.
     
  15. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    Aug 21, 2004
    #16
    I recommend a new hard drive because you are already half way there when you have to open the case. YOu can find them pretty cheap -- and go for the 10.3.9. The other thing about a newer 7200rpm hard drive, is that it will also speed up the system along with the ram. The old iMacs had 4200 rpm hard drives.

    P.S. I have a 40gb 7200rpm Deskstar I would sell for 22 bucks shipped. Though I wasn't answering you because I thought I could sell it to you. The other thing is that I don't trust hard drives after nearly 8 years of use. They are mechanical drives and do age and wear out.
     
  16. mo79 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 4, 2006
    #17
    Thank you both. You're right, since RAM is pretty cheap it's wise to look into a new HD too. One prob they have is with the very old Internet Explorer not playing ball with modern sites so that is indeed one root cause for upgrading.
    How do you get from 8.5 all the way up to 10.3.9 (I assume only 8.6 is free)? I need some grounding on what to do with update files downloaded.

    By the way, until they upgrade is it okay to upgrade to 8.6 now? Or would it be better to go on the OS upgrading ladder after putting the RAM (and possibly HD) in. Do you just double click the smi.bin file to run it?
     
  17. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

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    #18
    IIRC 8.6 is just a double-click install, and if the machine is running 8.5 it should handle 8.6 ok.

    upgrading step-wise up to 10.3 would be a mission. I'd just buy a retail (non-upgrade) copy of Panther and go from there. As long as you don't do a clean install (ie format the drive first), it should install a fresh copy of OSX and leave your existing 8.6 System Folder sitting as is in on the drive. Whether the upgrade install option will be able to extract your Mail settings and so on out of 8.6 is another matter, but might be worth a try. Or...

    Classic mode (running OS9 from within OSX) requires 9.22, so it would probably be safest if you want to transfer as much of your existing stuff as possible, to see if you can get a second-hand copy of 9 (the upgrades from 9>9.1>9.2>9.22 are (i think) free downloads, and upgrade your 8.6 install to it. I suspect OSX will have a better chance of extracting your settings from 9.22, and it means that you can still run your existing apps from within OSX while you get used to transferring to the new apps.

    Using Classic means running OSX and OS9 simultaneously tho, so you'll want as much RAM as you can get in there, and to move to solely using X as quickly as possible.

    I still think, given the amount you'll be spending on OS disks, RAM and a hard drive, that you'd be better off looking at replacing the machine, even if only with one of the later slot-loading iMac G3s - it will take much more RAM (enough to make OSX pleasant to use) and you can sometimes pick them up with 768MB already in them (for around the same price you would have paid for the RAM on its own), if you go for the DV model you also get firewire ports and a dvd drive. The RAM it takes is also the more common PC100 DIMM (x2 slots) which were used in a lot of PC systems so there tends to be more of it around at better prices than the earlier iMac SO-DIMMs.

    I'd also be inclined to forget about Classic altogether, just start from scratch with 10.3 or 10.4, burn a CD of your old 8.5 system folder for copying over old documents and mailboxes and leave it at that.

    I don't think iLife will be worth getting - OSX comes with iTunes and iPhoto (version 4 i think), and I doubt you'll be able to run iMovie, iDvd or Garageband usably anyway. iLife 6 won't even install on a G3 (from the disk anyway).
     
  18. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    #19
    You know, I agree with getting a new "old" iMac. You can a 600 MHz G3 Graphite iMac (Slot-load) for $105 and that includes 128MB of RAM, 40 GB HD, and a CDRW Drive with OS 9 pre-installed. You could simply upgrade the RAM and install OS X on it and you'd have a really good computer. My brother and sister have 500 MHz iMac G3's running Tiger and they run great! Its not really that slow or anything.

    http://www.evertek.com/products.asp?cat=MAC
     
  19. mo79 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 4, 2006
    #20
    Excellent, thanks for the detailed explanation! :D I'll run all the options by them. Ultimately it's up to them but I feel I can help them well whatever they wish to do.
     
  20. ddekker macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    #21
    I would say its not for the faint of heart to get it done, I have done a few of them, (bondi blue's) installing the ram isn't so bad (far worse than anything else I'ver ever added ram but not sooo bad) then the firmware upgrade went good on my first one and not so good on the second.... also there are like 80 million versions rev A,B,C...ect.. some will go only to 256 I think (I run 10.2 on one with that and its functions but doesn't give OS X the justice it deserves) then the larger drive thing depending on your model can be funky... the imacs I have I put a 40 gig drive in, but the main partition can only be around 10 gig as I remember... so while all of the upgrades are very possible and it runs okay, your cost for the machine.. ram.. hard drive... OS X should get you a long way to a machine that is far more capable.. and if you buy OS X you wont get all the fun applications that come on a new mac (iPhoto, iMovie and so on)

    good luck

    DD
     
  21. mo79 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 4, 2006
    #22
    They want to keep their current iMac it seems; just very attached to that very machine. :rolleyes:
    How do you upgrade the firmware then, and partition a 40gb drive for correct use?
    A calculated cost for OS X off ebay + brand new HD and RAM (I'm in England, so it's £92.66) is about $177 which isn't that bad. It's still over £300 less than a Mac Mini for their needs.
     
  22. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

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    Apr 2, 2006
    #23
    I read that you shouldn't put anything higher than a 5400RPM HD in the old iMacs, because they get too hot...
     
  23. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    Location:
    My house!
    #24
    I dont think a 7200 RPM HD would be too bad in it. Those iMacs dont get that hot anyways.

    You will have to partition the drive if you purchase a new HD. I think the first partition can be no larger than 7 or 10 GB.

    Here is a link to the Firmware update:

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=60384

    Make sure you run this BEFORE you even try to install OS X. If you don't you can have some major issues. If if you think the firmware update is already installed, try to run it anyways. The firmware updater will tell whether or not it needs to be installed. Installing the firmware update is pretty straight forward. You'll meed a straightened paperclip or something with a long point while doing it. The directions will tell you why and where to put that. Its not that hard to do and if it doesn't go through the first time, you can always try it again. Its pretty failsafe, unless you get a freak power outage while it updating the firmware chip. hehe...

    What I would do is download the readme, which is next to the firmware update and print it out so you can follow it along. That makes it a lot easier so you don't have to remember it in your head.

    Let us know if you have any other questions....
     
  24. mo79 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 4, 2006
    #25
    I hope so, 7200's are easier to find new.

    I'll probably be posting a good few times before the weekend of the 24th lol. Cheers so far. ;)
     

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