Repairing a Power Mac G3 (B&W): HELP!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by fetch1998, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2010
    Before I get started, let me say to the mods: If this is in the wrong category, then I'm sorry. Feel free to move this thread. Anyway...

    I recently picked up a Blue and White Power Mac G3. I was helping my friend move some stuff and spotted it. He said he was going to turn it into a lamp. So, long story short, have a non-working G3 with almost everything in the machine. But it is missing a few parts. Here are all the parts that I've noticed missing. What I want to know is about how much will it cost to fix this thing. If it's too much, I'll buy one off of eBay.

    • Hard drive
    • RAM
    • Video card
    • VGA port
    • cache*

    And here is a list of maybe damaged parts:

    • Speaker: Doesn't "bong" when booted up
    • Fan: Something is running inside of the G3, but no air is being expelled.
    • Processor (see photo): When I got it, my friend said you might need to put a processor in it. There is a Motorola chip, though, so I'm guessing it's there.
    • DVD Drive: On the back of the machine, there's a sticker. This machine had 64 MB RAM, 6 GB HD, and a DVD-ROM drive. When I boot the G3 up, the drive doesn't eject. I don't know if it's because of a lack of hard drive or something else.

    So, it does power up, it just doesn't get very far after that. It's a 350 MHz with no Zip drive and phone line. If I do need to replace the processor, I'll just buy a new machine and use this one for parts. The photo attached is for reference. I'll gladly post better pics if you ask. Photo limit...

    * I say this because in Apple's video, there are "spiky" things (for a lack of better words) coming out of the white area. I might be wrong, though.

    Attached Files:

  2. macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2008
    Cudi Zone
    I highly doubt it's missing "cache" because the cache is built into the processor.
    Can we have a link to the video with the "spiky things"?
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2004
    1. HD is IDE or ATA type, make sure it is under 128GB in size.

    2. Use PC100 SDRAM, in 256MB modules, maximum is 1GB. It will not recognize 512MB sticks.

    3. Find a ATI Radeon 9200 PCI type.

    4. DVD Drive, find a DVD/CD drive from a another G3 or G4.

    As for processor, I run an after market G3, PowerPC 750GX, link to it- at 1.1GHz. I like it for everyday use, but the G3 series chips are weak in the FPU, and don't support AltiVec (vector processing unit).

    It will support OS 9 and X (up-to-10.4.6 unless you purchase this -
    I run 10.4.6 and 9.2.2, have 3 HDs inside and 2 HDs outside. It runs 24/7, with Thunderbird running constantly.

    You might want to consider the machine as a 'project' machine. The machines are fine for non-FPU heavy apps, but will not run iDVD or Garageband.

    As for cost the links I provided should give you some indication of what to expect. If you do the upgrades, I can assure you it will perform fine.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2010
    The Motorolla chip in your pic is the memory controller & the PCI bridge. The CPU, if it's there, will be to the upper left of this chip (and just off your picture).

    G4 Zif upgrades are pretty cheap when you can find them. It'll take up to a 1GHz CPU.

    The Radeon 9200 mentioned above is a very nice choice. Depending on your needs, you might get by with something more economical. You can usually find a Radeon 7000 PCI for under $20.
  5. macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    If you're in the U.S. it's cheaper to just buy another machine. These are going on eBay for around $40 shipped and can often be found on Craigslist for less than that. Your cost to replace all of the missing parts will be more than $40. You could just keep this machine for spare parts of what is left, or sell it as-is for a few bucks, or donate it, or recycle it.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2007
    Every part you need can be found for free, all you need to do is take the parts from a family member's old, useless PC. Old hard disks are easy to find, as is old video cards. Of course, finding a mac one may be hard, but some are able to be reprogrammed.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
    He's right; you'd be better off buying a new machine. Actually you might wanna just buy a Sawtooth, as they've got a lot more life/upgradability in them. PCI graphics *will* drive you nuts in OS X, 66 MHz or not.
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2010
    #8 at 1:12. It could just be showing an 300 Mhz/older model, which is why my machine's cache looks different. Thought it was a snap-on product.

    After reading these posts, I'll just buy another G3. I have a G4 iBook (which works beautifully, might I add) for my G4 needs, and only need a G3 for some "blast-to-the-past" stuff, like OS9. Even if I did need Tiger, a B&W could do that for me. Thanks for the suggestions, though!
  9. macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Early B/W G3s had an issue where they would randomly corrupt data on hard drives bigger than 10 gigabytes. The only way to fix it is to add a PCI ATA controller.

    You can tell which one you have by the number of hard drive bays. Early G3s had three hard drive bays, while later G3s had 4 hard drive bays, which bay 3 being double height and able to fit two drives.
  10. MacSince1990, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011

    macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
    The last computer to have off-ZIF backside cache was the PowerMac 9600.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    The "cache" as you are calling it is just the heatsink over the cpu. If your G3 is missing that then add heatsink, and perhaps the cpu, to your list of what it would need to get it running.

    Just buy a different machine. If you look on eBay they are $40-50 shipped in the U.S., and if you're not insistent on it being a G3 B&W, you could get a G4 Powermac in the same neighborhood price-wise.

    Right now there are a few that would run $35-40 shipped if there are no other bidders. eBay G3 Powermacs


    Very helpful post.
  12. macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
    Awww thank you! *Blushes crimson*

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