iMac will not boot - help me please

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rorymilli, May 25, 2006.

  1. rorymilli macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    France
    #1
    Hello, my iMac G3 CRT will not boot up. I was running it with OS 10.3 very nicely for months when I read lots of scary things about firmware problems that happen if you dont have 4.1.9 firmware. I checked mine and it was 4.1.3 so I knew I had to update it. As I had done a clean install with Panther it meant I would have to install OS 9 to update the firm ware. I put in a OS 9 CD and clicked install - it wouldn't. I restarted holding down C and it still wouldn't. I read the instructions and it said I should go to System Preferences, open the start up disk panel and select the OS 9 disk. I did this and restarted. Big mistake. All I can get now is the flashing question mark. I tried the start up holding down the option key but I just get a blueish screen with the left curly arrow and the right straight arrow. If I click on the left arrow it searches (the watch appears with its hands going round) but it doesn't find anything to start up with. I tried booting up from it's factory 'restore/install' disk but it just refuses. It is very frustrating as I never got to install the OS9 and I know that Panther and all my stuff are on the hard disk - I just have no way of getting to it. Please can someone help me?
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    If you're not able to start from the CD (assuming it's not scratched), then I'm not sure there's much more you can do to salvage the computer. However, you should be able to get your data back form the hard disk by either putting it in another Mac, or in an external case. :)
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    Can I make sure I understand you correctly? After you tried using the system preferences to change the startup disk, you tried to boot off the install CD, and it only got as far as the flashing "?", right? But never successfully booted off the CD at all?

    And the CD is still in the drive?

    Then you need to get the CD out of the drive. Is this a slot-loading iMac or a tray-loading one? Does it have a little force-eject hole to the side of the disk drive opening? Try holding the mouse button down during boot to get it to eject....
     
  4. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #4
    there's a bunch of boot key options you can try here
    to try and force it to go back to Panther at least.

    As to installing 9 sometimes it's easier if you can find someone with a working copy to just copy their system folder onto a disk and do a straight copy onto your drive rather than go thru the install/update process. You'll need 9.22 to work as Classic. Pick the system folder in the Classic Prefs, try running it as classic first just to see if its all good, then in choose the os9 system in Startup disk. Reboot. (Good luck)

    Will it boot off the Panther disk? - maybe the cd drive has failed?

    personally i can't believe MJ didn't get you to try zapping the PRAM
     
  5. rorymilli thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    France
    #5
    More info on Imac

    Hello everybody. The iMac is a slot loader (DV SE Blue Dalmation)The OS 9 CD I was trying to boot from works fine (I have tried it in another iMac and it is perfect) I never got as far as installing OS9 from it as on restarting I just got the flashing question mark. I can get Cd's out with no problem by restarting and holding down the mouse. I've had it in and out a dozen times trying to get the computer to boot from it. I think what happened is when I went to system preferences and start up disk the icon with the disk with the yellow 9 on it was just an icon and not the actual boot disk. This means the computer is trying to boot up from a system that doesn't exist. Is there any way of forcing it to boot from the perfectly good OS X it has on it? If I have to put the hard drive in another mac will I not be faced with exactly the same problem? Is the Hard drive ruined? I do hope not as it is a 40Gb and my old iMac only has a 10Gb. Please save my dalmation :confused: :eek: :confused:
     
  6. Sly macrumors 6502

    Sly

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Airstrip One
    #6
    To do the firm ware update you will need to be running OS 9, as you know, it will not work under Classic mode in OS X. What I would suggest is boot from your OS 9 CD, to do this insert the CD and hold down the "C" key as you turn on the computer, keep it held down until you see the OS 9 boot screen. When the iMac has booted on the CD (you will see CD icons as your wallpaper so you know you are running off the CD).

    Do you have an iPod of portable hard drive? If you do I would suggest putting all the stuff you want to keep on this now, which you should be able to do assuming your iMac sees your HD when booted from the CD. If it doesn't you may have HD problems which could mean a trip to your local Mac Doctors.

    Use the disk setup application in the utilities folder to re-format the drive then install OS 9, you can put it in a separate partition if you prefer. Do the firm ware update. Then reinstall OS X, you can then load you docs and apps from your ipod/portable HD back on to your iMac. You should now also be able to run OS 9 under classic in OS X.
     
  7. Sly macrumors 6502

    Sly

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Airstrip One
    #7
    If you don't want to mess around with the above and just want to get OS X up and running again choose the OS X folder as the start up disk under the Apple menu in OS 9 when booting from the CD.
     
  8. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #8
    To get back to OS X reboot holding down the option key. You should get a list of bootable drives on your machine. Choose the OS X hard drive.

    If you get an OS 9 hard drive icon instead of OS X then you need to restart holding down X or cmd-X, this will force booting to OS X.

    You probably couldn't install OS 9 because when you did a clean install you probably formatted the drive. When you format with and OS X install disk you have to check a box to install OS 9 drivers if you ever want the drive to be OS 9 bootable or readable (this has no effect on classic, it will always work). Unfortunately the only way that I know of to reinstall them is to format the drive again, which means erasing the whole thing.

    As for why they OS 9 CD wouldn't boot, I have no idea.
     
  9. rorymilli thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    France
    #9
    If only I could

    Hello Everybody,

    I can't boot up at all. I've tried all combinations of restart and keys. I've tried every suggestion made. I've tried umpteen times with OS disks and C key. I've tried sneaking up on the iMac and shouting and swearing. Whatever I do all I get is the question mark or (in the case of restart/option) the two arrows with no choice found. I'm just about ready to start smoking again and maybe hit the bottle.
     
  10. rorymilli thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    France
    #10
    Phew All fixed

    Hello Everybody, My Dalmation is barking again. I did restart/option with OSX disc in and low and behold it appeared on the screen. I selected it and ran disk utility to check for damage but it is fine. All I need to know now is how I can install OS 9 on there to update the firmware without getting myself in a mess again. Thanks everybody.:) :) :) :)
     
  11. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #11
    Probably safest to have the OS9 disk in, go to Sys Prefs > Startup Disk and choose the system on the 9 disk, and restart. Then install from there - just don't do a clean (erase) install. You need 9.22 to run it as classic from within X, but possibly not to install the firmware. It may be possible even to run the firmware updater while booted off the 9 disk, without installing it.

    edit : Actually no - 9.1 has to be installed to run the updater
     

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