Can't install OS X on a G3 iMac

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by Macintosh X, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Macintosh X macrumors newbie

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    Aug 3, 2012
    #1
    I have been trying for a while to install OS X Panther on my iMac G3, but when I open the install window and click restart, I get the following message: "An error occurred. 'Startup disk was unable to select the install CD as the startup disk. (-2).'"

    I have tried starting up in different modes (startup disk, etc.), but it always results in booting off the hard drive.

    I have an iMac G3 DV slot loading 400MHz and the install discs are retail versions.

    It is running OS 9.2.2

    The firmware updates are done, and the CD/DVD drive works as I have tested it. I am also using all the original hardware (keyboard and mouse).
     
  2. 4JNA, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

    4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #2
    didn't mention it, but have you tried booting from the cd?

    put the cd in the drive, and then power off/on.

    hold down the alt/option key left of the space bar after the startup 'bong'.

    you should end up on a screen showing the internal hdd and the cd, select the cd and click on the arrow.

    if all goes well, it will boot from the cd and let you select the internal hdd to install to as you work through setup.

    best of luck.

    ps. know it should/will work as i have the same machine running 10.4 here.
     
  3. Macintosh X thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Tried that already, the CD doesn't show up, just the hard drive.
     
  4. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #4
    didn't know, just somewhere to start.

    by 'retail disks' you mean the black (with a big X on it) 10.3 set?
     
  5. Macintosh X thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Exactly.
     
  6. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #6
    great, then on to the next bit.

    sometimes if volumes don't appear in Startup Manager (what you get when you hold down the alt/option key at startup), you need to reset the Mac's PRAM, NVRAM, and Open Firmware.

    shut down the Mac, then power it up, and before the screen lights up, quickly hold down the Command, Option, P, and R keys, until the Mac has chimed twice more after the powerup chime.

    Then, before the screen lights up, hold down Command-Option-O-F until the Open Firmware screen appears. Then enter these lines, pressing Return after each one:

    reset-nvram
    set-defaults
    reset-all

    The 'reset-all' command should restart your Mac. If so, you have successfully reset the Open Firmware settings.

    then back with the try and boot from cd (alt/option key) with the cd inserted to see if you can see the optical as a boot device.

    best of luck.
     
  7. Macintosh X thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    It's still the same, no CD shows up.
     
  8. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

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    Australia, Perth
    #8
    Try rebooting with the CD already in the drive and immediately hold down the "c" key on the keyboard. Keep holding the "c" key until the machine either boots from the CD or gives up and boots from the HD.

    According to Apple, this may be a known issue with the 10.3.2 retail CD. :(

    http://support.apple.com/kb/TA22522
     
  9. Macintosh X thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 3, 2012
    #9
    When I try that, I get a folder with a question mark on it for a few seconds and then it starts OS 9.
     
  10. 4JNA, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

    4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #10
    i've said it before, but the amount of stuff you know the answers to is just amazing. listen to him over me if it comes down to a choice. for real.

    after the 'c' trick, my next guess was to check and see if the optical disk in the imac will boot 'any' media. if you don't have any other Mac OS cd's around, you could always go grab a copy of Yellow Dog Linux (v.5 was the last official supported version for the G3 imac). images still up HERE. grab the v.5 image/iso and burn to a cd using any other computer (family/friend/library/etc) and see if the thing will boot from optical at all.

    i have seen dirty drives that would read a disk, but refuse to boot. hitting it with a good shot of compressed air or a cleaning disk might not be a bad idea. you have already tried the easy stuff, now you're down to the stuff MacTech can come up with...

    best of luck.

    EDIT: you might also try cleaning the 10.3 disk. hot soapy water, rub in a straight line, rinse with hot water and dry with a non-lint cloth (think cotton t-shirt) as a dirty cd would also cause troubles. even new out of the box cd's can be dirty from being pressed/manufactured. strange but true...
     
  11. Macintosh X, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

    Macintosh X thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    [/QUOTE]
    Okay, now I'm really stuck! :( I inserted a lens cleaner and it got stuck inside the CD drive, so I had to yank it out. Then I inserted a blank CD as a test and it wouldn't eject. I pulled out the CD gently with pliers.

    UPDATE:

    The CD drive is now broken.

    Is there anything else I can do to install it? I have a Macbook Pro with a Firewire cable, but I have never used Firewire before.
     
  12. Macintosh X thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 3, 2012
    #12
    Sorry for the double post but I don't how how to delete this.
     
  13. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    San Francisco
    #13
    Do a target mode install. Connect the firewire cable to each computer, with the MBP already turned on, turn on your iMac and hold "T" on the iMac keyboard. The screen should show a firewire icon.

    At this point the iMac hard drive should show up on the MBP's desktop. Try and install OS X onto the drive.
     
  14. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

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    #14
    Actually, you want to do this the other way around.

    Put the 10.3.2 CD into the MacBook. Next, boot the MacBook in Target Disk mode (You can do this via 'Startup Disk' Control Panel.

    Once the MacBook has the dancing icon on it's screen, connect the firewire cable to the MacBook and the iMac.

    Hold down the option key on the iMac and turn the iMac on. Hopefully, the CD icon shows up next to your iMac's HD icon in Startup Manager. It may take a while to show the CD icon.

    Essentially, the MacBook is now an external CD drive connected via firewire. Be careful when installing since the MacBook's HD will also appear as a drive to the iMac.
     

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