G3 iMac won't start up from disc

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by xenolite, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. xenolite macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2004

    i've got an old flower power iMac that i'm having trouble with (it was freezing and now won't start up at all. i'm getting the happy mac folder and flashing question mark). i wanted to do a complete reinstall of OS 9, but the computer refuses to start up from the restore disk. i also have an external drive with a copy of the entire hard drive of an another old iMac that was running OS 9. this drive also has other material on it however and i haven't had any luck starting up from the external drive.

    any advice?
  2. xenolite thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2004
    more info

    i should also mention, i have a G4 iBook running 10.3.9 if that could be of any help.
  3. CTSxViper macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2005
    Hanover PA
    Is the restore disk from this system? Just curious are you booting properly when trying to start up from the restore disk?
  4. xenolite thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2004
    they are the restore disks that came with the computer. i've inserted the CD and am holding down "C" while starting or restarting the machine.
  5. joepunk macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    Restart the iMac holding down the shift key - hold down till the Welcome screen comes up (this turns off extentions and may help to enable the iMac to boot).

    Could be that you have a very sick system folder.

    If the HD is not visible on the desktop when you boot from any bootable CD then you definitely have directory problems which will need to be addressed.

    The worst case scenario is that the Hard Drive has failed!
  6. xenolite thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2004
    the machine did start up with the extensions off and the HD was visible on the desktop.

    but the problem is that it won't boot from the restore CD. i'm not sure how to restore the system if it won't boot from the CD.
  7. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    Try restarting with extensions off again. Put in the CD, then go to the Apple Menu then to Control Panels. Then select Startup Disk and see if the CD appears there. If it does, click ONCE on it to select it and then click restart and see if it starts from the CD. If the CD doesn't appear in the Startup Disk Control Panel, then this means it cannot find anything that makes the CD/DVD bootable.

    If you have a regular Mac OS 9 CD, then you can use that to reload Mac OS 9.

    Also, if the CD doesn't show up on the desktop, then there's your problem right there. If the iMac can't read the CD for some reason, then it can't boot from it. If that happens, you'll be looking for a new restore CD for it. eBay has then fairly cheap. Also, try other CDs and see if they show up on the desktop just to see if the CDROM drive isn't failing.
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you really screw up the HD, it makes it hard to get around the bad drive and boot.

    Open Firmware seeks some info on the selected drive before it continues booting.

    If you frag that info it won't allow you around that to boot from anything else, because it instantly stalls with the bad data.

    If it was a PM I'd tell you to unplug that drive and boot from something else, and select that as a boot drive. Then plugging in the bad drive shouldn't be a problem.

    You can try pulling the battery, then unplugging the machine for awhile to see if the PRAM will completely erase.

    You may get a single reboot chance to try and boot from the CD when you plug it back in.

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