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iMac G3 - Trying to install OS 8/9.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Yaris, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    Alright so I got an old iMac g3 at a thrift store about a year ago. It booted up with the question mark folder, so I tried to install with one of my OS 9 discs. I can boot up but it doesn't let me install because I need to update the firmware. So then I used a CD for OS 8 but whenever I tried to install it seemingly finished installing but when I boot up again, the question mark folder reappears. Is this broken or am I doing something wrong? It's a tangerine G3 (tray loading) with i believe 256 MB RAM, a 266MHZ G3, and a 4GB hard drive.
  2. macrumors 6502

    sounds to me like you've got a bad hard drive. They are relatively easy to replace if you are used to being on the insides of computers and you can use any desktop ATA interface drive up to somewhere around 124 GB or else a larger one, but it will have to be partitioned if it is bigger.
  3. macrumors regular

    Thanks so much. Should I be able to use any regular IDE drive? I have a couple old ones hanging around that still work.
  4. macrumors 68000


    Hold on. You can't install OS 8 on there. It came with 9. Second of all, make sure the hard drive itself has the drivers for OS 9.

    Do an erase and install and initialize the drive first with the drivers. Second, there are probably a lot of firmware things you have to install if you want X on there.

    By the way, it will run much better if you put in a bigger HDD (7200 RPM) and RAM. Try crucial for RAM and then use the IDE ATA (133 or 100) 7200 RPM 3.5" drive. It has a maximum GB at 120 I believe.
  5. macrumors regular

    So the G3 iMacs never came with 8? I don't know what OS came with it since when I bought it there was no OS to boot into. I tried installing 9 but it said I needed to install firmware updates, and since it was booting from the cd it wasn't able to install the firmware. The OS 8 cd boots up for me and lets me choose the hard drive but when it finishes installing It still doesn't boot.
  6. macrumors 68000


    I guess I'm mistaken. I must have stopped remembering what OS the tray loaders started with because the CRT died after a couple years and I got the slot loader. It probably came with 8.1 or 8.5 and that is the minimum OS and your RAM is maxed at 256MB that Apple actually supports. Also when you use the tray-loader you need two partitions with a larger drive than 8 GB. Make a 7.5 GB partition for the OS and then another for the rest of the drive.

    Though you are confusing me about which tray loader you have. Was the HDD 4GB or 6GB vs. 233MHz and 266MHz?
  7. macrumors regular

    It's been a while and I actually cannot remember whether the HDD was 4 or 6 GB but I'm pretty sure it had a 266MHZ G3. Thanks for all of you help. I think I'll just replace the hard drive and partition it like you said.
  8. macrumors 68000


    I should have also said that that OS partition has to be in the first 8GB of the drive so make sure the OS is at the top then the second partition is at the bottom. You should also install OS 9 if possible and avoid 8 entirely.
  9. macrumors regular

    I am pretty sure that this iMac needs a firmware upgrade before OS 9. I want to eventually update once I get to OS 9 so that I can try OS X because I have heard that X can kill iMacs that don't have the correct firmware.
  10. macrumors 68000


    The firmware should be on the OS 9 disks as far as I know but either way if you can get on OS 8.1 or above (whatever the minimum is) then you should be able to install all the firmware you want. You just have to know where to look online. After that you can erase and install OS 9 and 10.3 (I think it works with it).
  11. macrumors regular

    Alright I installed a 40GB hard drive but when I tried to install, it gets about 2 minutes in until an error comes up saying something about how the "System Extras" folder is corrupted or can't be found. Any help?
  12. macrumors 68000


    Is the CD scratched or dirty? Make sure to clean it off before installation. Also make sure the HDD is formatted Mac OS Extended and that you have partition 1 at 7.5 and 2 to fill out the rest of the space. Run first aid or whatever the program is called from back in the day on the HDD. Install on 1 as a clean install. Also, the CD should be a retail CD.
  13. macrumors regular

    Alright so I blew on the CD and tried it again. The install worked, but when I rebooted, the same flashing folder icon came up. So, I booted back from the CD and chose the startup disk. Now when it boots there is no flashing icon, but it is just a blank gray screen. I can't even shut down with the power button. To turn it off I have to unplug it.
  14. macrumors 68000


    The flashing folder and question mark means it can't find a startup disk. You need to hold down option and select your startup disk. Also, you need to run first aid on the thing.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    I had the same problem with a 333mhz imac + 10.3 make sure that the hdd is set to master, or it will not boot

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