Fixing a iMac G3

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MatthewLTL, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. MatthewLTL macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #1
    I bought a iMac G3 YEARS ago and stopped using it when it crashed and the CD Drive broke. I was wondering if its worth restoring. The thing dont even power up anymore (i assume the Power Supply died) This was the Original iMac Tray Load 333MHz. I had my eyes on a Sonnet G4 upgrade for it but could never find one. I also tried other Laptop IDE Drives with no luck. I am aware i can install Tiger on this thing using Xpostfacto. I question again if its worth fixing AND if it is, how well will Tiger run on 256MB RAM and 333MHz?
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    It is a common fault on iMac G3s for the PAV board to go out. I am not sure if you can readily find used PAV boards, but if you can get one cheap then it is fun to repair them. Keep in mind that Apple used two CRT manufacturers, and the PAV board must match the CRT used. The optical drive can be purchased from used Mac parts companies and on eBay.
     
  3. comda macrumors 6502a

    comda

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #3
    I'd Say if you have the time and you're willing to spend that time its worth a shot! Tiger will run on 333Mhz but not well with only 256mb RAm. I would try finding some more RAM though. Ive found that Tiger will run on pretty much any G3 as long as you feed it RAM. Back when my elementary schools used G3's and G4s in 2006-2011 I had Tiger running on a B&W G3 at 300MhZ with 512MB RAm and we did an early version of Final cut pro garageband and it ran just fine.

    Id suggest going to a computer shop and seeing if they have any ram lying around. When i was upgrading my Imac last month over christmas i went into a computer shop looking for PC133 Ram for my macbook and they gave me 20 sticks which included 2x 512mb sticks so i have 1gb in my imac now. yours being a tray loader maxes out at 512 i believe.

    Good luck, keep us posted and we love pictures!
     
  4. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #4
    The 256MB RAM was taken from an old dead ThinkPad I never actually ever got to USE the system with 256MB RAM in it as it crashed before that laptop i harvested the RAM from died. I also got my iMac for the sole use of school when i was in high school in 2005-2008 the school used iBooks and iMacs and by the time i got there they had eMacs and iBook G4s. Since i had a lot of homework which required research and typing papers, I bought this iMac at a garage sale for like $25 bucks included all the software they keyboard, Hockey Puck Mouse and had OS 8.6 on it. I downloaded Panther and installed it on there after the hassle of a Firmware Update and needing to install Jaguar 1st and Upgrade to Panther (Because Panter was in DMG and Jaguar was in ISO this was my 1st mac so i had no way to burn DMG images to CD. I Installed Panther because my highschool was using Panther on their computers so it was what i was acustomed too. I also downloaded all the programs that the school used (claimed i couldnt use their copies of the OS and the programs for legal reasons) the programs i used included Panther itself, Microsot Office 2004 (although i prefered AppleWorks 6) and Adobe CS2 (as I used that for Graphic Design) Personal preference apps included RealPlayer Mac, Windows Media Player, Firefox (before version 3) Opera Browser and Netscape Navigator. I was never able to watch YouTube on it it was too slow even back in 2006.

    As far as the PAV goes: Why do they go bad what fails and is it fixable? How do i know which CRT I have and why does it matter?

    As far as RAM goes: i read that it is hit and miss on working with 512MB that you had to use a certain brand for it to work. Theoretically if i was able to find the Sonnet G4 upgrade for this thing, would i beable to max ram out at 2GB and/or Install Leopard?

    As for the CD Drive: I know i can get them cheap online but i would prefer a combo drive OR a DVD Burner drive for it not a CD ROM
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #5
    Questions about the PAV board are best answered by the wise Intell. He will have a boat load of info on them.

    I don't think there was any CPU upgrades for the iMac G3. Up to 333 MHz, they had a separate CPU daughtercard where the CPU was soldered to. Later iMac G3s had the CPU soldered to the logic board.

    You can upgrade the drive to whatever you want provided it uses the same interface. PowerBook Medic has some optical drives right now from the looks of it.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #6
    PAV boards are fixable, but soldering is required. There are guides on the internet to identify which CRT you have. Most low density 512MB SODIMMs will work. For maximum compatibility, use 100Mhz sticks. There are G4 upgrades for both tray and slot loading G3 iMacs. They are very rare and not overly worth it. No G3 or upgraded G4 that was a G3 can access more than 1GB of memory. Leopard would not be worth it on a G3 iMac. Their GPU is extremely poorly suited for it.
     
  7. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #7
    OK. I am cerious, How would you get a G4 upgrade on a slot load iMac it the processor is soldered to the logic board?

    If G3s can access 1GB of RAM than why not just put 2 512MB sticks in this iMac? And why is it that they cant use more than 1GB?
     
  8. Xernicus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA
    #8
    There is no (easily) feasible or stable way to run leopard on a G3, as Leopard requires a G4 processor or higher. It's not from the lack of clock speed, but the lack of the AltiVec Velocity Engine that is present in the G4 and G5. I've heard of people trying to get Leopard running on a G3 powered system, but I believe every attempt ended in a kernel panic.

    Per LowEndMac:
    Hopefully this answers your question with the answer you were hoping for- however I have not seen G4 upgrades cheap or frequently lately. That being said, I rarely actively look for G4 ZIF daughterboards.

    As for the RAM, just plop in two 512MB SDRAM sticks and call it good. The 1gb limit comes from hardware, but remember that in 1999-2002 that 1GB of RAM was enormous, and the hardware developers probably did not expect the software "bloat" boom to come the way it did.
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #9
    There was a company, Daystar, that offered G4 upgrades for many Macs with soldered processors. They were expensive and often had problems. Because of those two things, they are very uncommon. Not all G3's can access 1GB of memory. The earlier G3 iMacs cannot, the revision B and up can access 1GB. You cannot put more into a G3 iMac, because they only have two memory slots.
     
  10. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #10
    they dont have 1GB sticks or PC100 RAM?
     
  11. comda macrumors 6502a

    comda

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #12
    Not if you have a tray loader. The tray loaders im assuing yours is one of the 5 Flavors, has the daughter card which has two PC66 SO DImms that can take 256mb each so 512mb of ram. There is also a VRAM card you can upgrade there if i recall correctly. Only starting from the DV models you can get 1gb of ram with PC100 or pc133.
     
  12. MatthewLTL thread starter macrumors 68000

    MatthewLTL

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2015
    Location:
    Rochester, MN
    #13
    My iMac already had max VRAM memory in it (6MB IIRC) i have always wondered, What is the VRAM? Is it EDO, SIMM? what?
     

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