Can't complete install of OSX 10.1.2 on G3 B&W Rev. B

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Tyquasia111, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Tyquasia111 macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2010
    A year ago I acquired a used G3 B&W Rev. B that had a defective hard drive. The mac will boot from an OSX 10.1.2 disc just fine, and a 40 GB Western Digital drive (WD 400) that I installed (as master) shows up and appears to format normally. However, after everything goes off without a hitch and the OS begins to install, the installation halts about two-thirds of the way through and I'm treated to a message that says the installation has failed because it couldn't "write files to disk".

    - So far, I've tried this installation 4 times
    - My copy of Mac OS originally came with an iBook, and I'm not sure if that's a possible issue or not, even though it's listed as compatible with my computer
    - It's got a single stick of RAM (PC100 128 MB) installed in the last of four slots moving inward towards the motherboard
    - I know for a fact that the hard drive I'm using is functional ( I pulled it out of an old gateway I'd been using as a music server until a month ago)
    - I know that with older macs ( and computers in general) having the right firmware updates and compatible hardware installed is crucial, but I don't where I went wrong

    -Any advice is REALLY appreciated
  2. calderone macrumors 68040


    Aug 28, 2009
    - Machine specific install disks do not typically work with any other machine. However, since you are allowed to start the installer it is possible that machine checks did not exist in the 10.1 days.

    - Are you sure the firmware is up to date?

    If the firmware is up to date I would look into a few things.

    1. Replace the IDE cable. This is very often the problem with older machines exhibiting this behavior.

    2. When the installer fails, or when it has been running for awhile, check the temps on the hardware. You can do this with the touch method or with a laser thermometer (if you have one). As a control, check the temps when the machine has just booted to the installer.

    Check the Hard Drive, the RAM, and the CPU heatsink. You may find that the machine is overheating due to improper airflow. You may also consider reapplying thermal paste as the machine likely has the original thermal pad/paster.

    3. Swap out the memory.

    4. Run the Apple Hardware Test. Typically this is done by holding down the D key with the Install disc loaded into the optical drive. You may also have a standalone AHT disc.
  3. Tyquasia111 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2010
    Thanks for the advice. After a little bit of troubleshooting, on a whim I launched a copy of OS 9.2.1, just to see if it would run into a similar problem on install. Turns out, the problem is out of date firmware, which OS 9 made quite clear. When I bought the computer, I asked about the firmware and the seller reassured me that it was up to date. He had three other B&W's, though, and I guess it's possible he confused this one with one of the others. I was sort of hoping it wouldn't come to this, since I really have no idea how to update the firmware on this thing, and I don't think the updates I need are included on either of the CD's I have (OS9 & OSX), since they originally came with an iBook.

    -As far as I can tell, I need firmware update 1.1

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