Please help, beige G3 won't start!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by TenFour, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. TenFour macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #1
    Hi folks,

    I'm new to the forum. I need help urgently. My computer is vital to my work and, after it crashed this morning, it will no longer boot up. Here's what happened...

    My computer (beige G3, OS 8.6) stalled while loading a webpage. My cursor still moved but nothing would respond. I pushed the power button on the front of the G3 to shut it down. When I started it back up it stayed on the grey happy mac page but would not proceed to boot up.

    I no longer have a startup CD, and my keyboard is a PC type with Ctrl, Windows, Alt buttons... (does Alt = Option and does Windows symbol = Command?).

    Anyhow, I've read threads re: zapping PRAM etc., but this doesn't seem to work... is this because of my "incompatible" PC keyboard, or is that just not the solution to my problem.

    Although I work heavily with this computer, I am not a tech genius, so, please help! Any ideas or advice would be much appreciated.

    P.S. Will my hard drive be corrupted now?!
    :eek:

    Thanking you all in advance,

    TenFour
     
  2. zach macrumors 65816

    zach

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Location:
    Medford
  3. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #3
    Can that happen so easily? I've had this computer for ages and I've never encountered any problems whatsoever... would the motherboard get fried simply from an ill-timed shutdown?

    I guess I'll hope for the best!

    Thanks for the input.
     
  4. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #4
    I'm still awake... still working on it... very frustrated.

    I even scolded my mac like it was a small child, and I don't feel too good about myself because the computer has always been great to me. Yelling at it just doesn't seem right, but I'm really in a pinch here.;)

    Any other thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks folks.
     
  5. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    South of the border
    #5
    presumably your keyboard worked before? although i don't see how - i thought the beige had adb connectors. if the pram key combination thing is working you should hear the system "boing" twice (or more - until you let go)
    You could also try holding down the shift key, to eliminate extensions

    you really need a system disk, even if you buy one second hand, or borrow it - it will make diagnosing the problem so much easier because it will eliminate so many things, and if its your system that corrupt and needs reinstalling, you'll need it anyway. Try and get OS9 if you can (but a commercial one, not one that came with an iMac or whatever).

    If it's got to the happy mac (does it still get there or was that a one time thing?) it means the main hardware checks are being passed (i think), so maybe a disk error - either a corrupt file or a bad sector on the disc - either way if you can boot from the cd you know it's disk related and we can take it from there.
     
  6. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #6
    You may not have any luck without your OS CD.

    I take it that you never added a USB card, so even a basic Apple USB keyboard may not make any difference They are only $29.00

    When was the last time you replaced your PRAM battery?
    The purple one. Radio Shack did carry them.

    Are you getting the grey screen with the arrow in the left corner or are you getting to the icon with the question mark?

    Your problem may be a hard drive failure, but without your original OS CD you're kinda stuck.
    Do you have more than one hard drive installed?
    You may be having a boot conflict where your system doesn't know which
    drive to boot from.

    I'm surprised you aren't at least running OS9
    Most people with beige G3's are up to OS 10.2.8

    Sorry, this isn't helping.

    Follow anti-static procedure and check every connection inside
    HD ribbon cables, RAM seating, remove and re-install your PCI cards, but try to restart without any third party PCI cards first.

    You should be able to get your system back up, but more than likely you're going to need an OS CD.
     
  7. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #7
    First of all, the Motherboard is not fried, that is some bad advice.

    Second, you should be running 9.2.2 , OS 8.6 is not a favorable version of Mac OS Classic.

    And third, I would recommend the good ol' waiting technique, turn the computer off, and give it some time to just sit. After a couple of hours, or overnight, try it again. You might find that it fixed itself.

    I hope you can give it some time to just chill (no deadlines or anything). And I would highly recommend you find yourself some system software CD's, preferably system 9.2.2 (or at least System 9).
     
  8. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #8
    He should be up to at least OS9, but he will have to build with a full bootable
    OS9 Install CD.

    One other thing that comes to mind is that it might be a failed floppy or Zip drive causing a boot conflict.

    Your hard drive is probably crunching away trying to figure out what to boot from.

    I would disconnect your floppy drive cable from both ends or Zip IDE Ribbon connector and pull any third party PCI cards then try again.

    It's very easy in a G3 tower.
     
  9. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #9
    Sorry for not providing timely feedback, I’ll try to cover all the responses in one brief post. And thank you all again! The keyboard worked fine before for the basics; just some of the dedicated mac keys didn’t work, but no problem. I did install usb 2.0 a while back. Shift didn’t work and I’m trying to get my hands on a system disk (get one at a mac store I guess?)

    Happy mac still pops up every time.

    Never replaced PRAM battery, so I’ll keep that in mind.

    No arrow or icon with question mark, just grey screen with happy mac (freezes on this screen) and keeps making loading sounds for about 2 minutes then goes quiet (except for fan) but stays on grey happy mac screen with no arrow visible.

    Just one hard drive.

    Can I boot from old conflict catcher cd or really old OS 7.5 disk by any chance?

    I never bothered to upgrade because I got the computer 2nd hand from a friend who was using it to operate a half million dollar recording studio w/ ProTools and Logic Pro Audio etc. 8.6 just worked for my purposes... until the other day, anyway. But I’ll look for OS 9.2.2.

    I did turn off the power bar and leave it off overnight... no dice.

    I’ll try the floppy drive disconnect if all else fails.

    Thanks so much for the help, folks!
     
  10. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #10
    G3 STILL DEAD (reset logic board?)

    I found an old Mac keyboard and managed to zap the PRAM on my G3... aside from showing me the arrow in the top left corner for a few seconds, I'm getting the same grey happy mac screen, except that the screen resolution has reset.

    I have located the reset switch on the logic board labelled "reset" and beneath it is written "S2". MY QUESTION: If push this button, will I erase my hard drive? I cannot afford to lose my files, and I'm afraid to push this button!

    Please advise,

    Thank you.
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #11
    The reset button doesn't have any effect on the hard drive contents. I've hit that switch on our Quicksilver server after we had a PRAM issue. The server is just fine.
     
  12. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #12
    Tried it... didn't work.

    But thanks for the response.
     
  13. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #13
    Operating System CD

    It seems my Mac G3 (OS 8.6) is doomed without a system CD. Does anyone know where I might find an OS 8.6 CD in Toronto? If I were to obtain a more recent OS CD, say OS 9, would that disk boot my dead G3, or would I have to use a CD of my current OS 8.6 to get my computer going before I could upgrade to OS 9?

    Thanks.
     
  14. calebjohnston macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #14
    I doubt you'll find 8.6 in a store, let alone anything earlier than 9. Your best bet would be to search ebay for an 8.6, but I assume a 9 would work if you erase and install. But ask someone else first, I'm relatively new to macs.
     
  15. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #15
    Thank you, I'll check there. You're probably right.
     
  16. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    #16
    As much as it may seem less than legitimate, you can certainly download a pirated version, or use a burned copy of OS 8.6. You own the machine, and thus you own a licence for the OS that it shipped with. As such, you have the right to use OS 8.6, regardless of how you obtain the disc.

    It's actually a common misconception about software that it is the downloading or burning of it that is illegal. In fact, that portion of it is perfectly legitimate (all the more so in Canada). It is only the installation and use of the software when one has never purchased a licence for its use that is illegal. Since you own a licence (bestowed upon you with the purchase of the machine), you can install the program, no matter where you get the physical disc.

    You could use OS 9, which is effectively public domain at this stage. It's not even possible to obtain an OS 9 disc from Apple anymore. I sincerely doubt that they would mind anyone using illegitimate copies of OS 9 (though it remains technically illegal in this case). I'm sure they'd rather you upgrade right to OS X.
     
  17. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    #17
    That being said, I'm in Toronto, but doubt I have access to an OS 8.6 disc, as I've not needed one in years. If you finagle a copy of an OS 9 licence, however, I can get you one of those discs.
     
  18. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #18
    Thanks for the advice and the offer. I'm going to try a Performa 6300 system software CD that a friend of mine is bringing over... I know it's ancient and probably won't work. If not, it looks like another pal of mine has a system CD from an iMac (I don't know which OS) and one from a G3 laptop (also unknown OS). If these don't work, I may purchase Norton Utilities. If I've still had no luck, I may take you up on your generous offer, but I really don't want to inconvenience you in the least.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to help.
     
  19. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #19
    Beige G3 can't find startup disk, help?

    Howdy,

    I'm the fella with the crashed Beige G3 running OS 8.6. I borrowed a startup disk from an iMac (OS 9), and got my computer to boot up. Problem is that it can't boot up on its own without the OS 9 disk (and me holding down the C button).

    1. How do I get my computer to recognize its own hard disk (with OS 8.6) as a startup disk... or whatever disk it was using to boot from when new? (My "Startup Items" folder is empty, by the way.)

    2. If I choose to "Restore, saving original items" from the iMac OS 9 Restore CD, even though I'm running 8.6, will OS 9 be installed on my computer, and WILL THIS ERASE FILES FROM MY HARD DRIVE? I cannot afford to lose any files from my HD.

    3. I DON'T want to lose ANYTHING from my computer. I want everything to stay as it was before it crashed... so do I choose "Restore in Place" or "Restore, saving original items"?

    Thanks.
     
  20. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #20
    RE: I'm the fella with the crashed Beige G3 running OS 8.6. I borrowed a startup disk from an iMac (OS 9), and got my computer to boot up. Problem is that it can't boot up on its own without the OS 9 disk (and me holding down the C button).

    1. How do I get my computer to recognize its own hard disk (with OS 8.6) as a startup disk... or whatever disk it was using to boot from when new? (My "Startup Items" folder is empty, by the way.)

    Answer: Boot up with OS 9 disk, then open DiskFirstAid and run it on the 8.6HD. If the disk is able to be repaired, then quit DFA and open the start-up disk control panel on the 8.6 HDD, and select that HDD, save/quit & restart with the left mouse button held down, which will cause the CD drive to eject the OS 9 CD. If this works, the system WILL start-up from 8.6. If not, you will get the flashing Question mark, and that will mean that your 8.6 system folder is most likely FUBARRED !

    2. If I choose to "Restore, saving original items" from the iMac OS 9 Restore CD, even though I'm running 8.6, will OS 9 be installed on my computer, and WILL THIS ERASE FILES FROM MY HARD DRIVE? I cannot afford to lose any files from my HD.

    If you choose the upgrade or restore/save option, then the only thing that will be overwritten are the system-level files

    3. I DON'T want to lose ANYTHING from my computer. I want everything to stay as it was before it crashed...

    Not trying to be a harsh here, but if your data is so friggin important that you cant afford to lose it, then you MUST ALWAYS have a back-up plan. Be it a partition on your current HDD, or better yet, on a seperate HDD and/or DVDs/CD's/Zips yada yada yada....... NOW YOU KNOW WHY !!!!!!
     
  21. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #21
    First off, thank you very much for the reply!



    I suppose system-level files are just those that the computer uses to function normally, and that they don't effect my hard drive contents.

    Lastly, I do back up my hard drive fairly regularly, but I have a number of really important files that were saved just prior to my computer crashing and some that I was working on when my computer crashed. I also have family members whose work may not have been backed up on disk in the days leading up to the crash, but believe me, I know what you mean.

    Thanks again, and forgive lack of tech-savvy.
     
  22. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #22
    Installing OS 9 in crashed G3

    Hello again,

    As I'm making progress my questions are getting more specific.

    My original 8.6 seems to be fried, but I'm not sure. I am only able to get my computer booted using an iMac Restore CD from a friend's OS 9 iMac. My options, according to the CD are:

    1. "Restore, saving original items" - Restores the original contents (system software, factory settings, and applications) that came with your computer. Moves existing contents on your computer to a folder named "Original Items."

    2. "Restore in Place" - Replaces only your original software (original system software, factory settings, and applications that came with your computer) with new copies from the software restore CD, leaving everything else on your disk untouched.

    Here is my question: The difference between these two options is not really clear to me. Which of these options will upgrade my present OS 8.6, which is fried, to OS 9 WITHOUT ME LOSING ANY OF THE FILES PRESENTLY ON MY HARD DISK?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  23. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #23
    It sounds like #1 will restore EVERYTHING, but put your stuff in a folder so you don't lose it.

    #2 will will basically do a repair of Mac OS, basically installing the OS and apps, but not deleting the HD and therefore you don't lose your stuff on the drive.

    Anyone feel to correct me if I'm wrong. Its been a while since dealing with such an old system.
     
  24. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #24
    I've merged these threads as they are essentially about the same subject.

    On thread per topic please.

    :)
     
  25. TenFour thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    #25

    Yeah, I think you're right. The wording is just a little too ambiguous for me to risk all my files. It sounds like "Restore in place" will swap old system software for new and leave my hard disk files untouched. That sounds pretty good. But the second option, "Restore, saving original items", says that my system software will be restored and that "existing contents on my computer will be moved to a folder named "Original Items"... but does that mean my old system software will be moved and that my hard disk will be deleted, or does that mean that my hard disk files will be moved and my old system software deleted.
     

Share This Page