Help? Power Mac G3 Blue & White Freezing

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,158
1,363
I recently obtained a 300 MHz Power Macintosh G3 from my grandparents, and so far, nothing has been done with this machine.

It boots just fine to Mac OS 9.1, but soon after booting to the desktop, it freezes randomly, usually just by moving the cursor around the screen. I tried booting to the Mac OS 9.2.1 disc I have (recently installed it onto an iMac G3, so I know the disc works fine) and the same thing occurs; it freezes randomly after a minute or so. I tried removing the hard drive to see if it was maybe a bad drive, and while it doesn't freeze with the CD, I can't install it that way obviously. So, after putting in another hard drive to test that one, the same thing occurs, freezes upon booting to the CD. I also tried removing the RAM and trying a stick I know is good, thinking one of the RAM sticks were bad, but no luck either.

Another thing that would make this a load easier to troubleshoot, I can't boot this thing by holding Option for the boot options, or T for Target Disk Mode, so I could install OS 9 onto it from another Mac. Any reason why holding T or Option does nothing here?


Thanks for the help in advance, I hope someone out there is able to assist me in some way! If not, I didn't lose anything by getting this machine, so it wouldn't be the worst if it's truly dead, but it'd be cool to have yet another Mac in my collection. :)
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,898
410
Inside
B&W G3's do not have Target Disc Mode. The first PowerMac to have that was the Sawtooth. Have you tried booting it with extensions off? Press the power button then press and hold the shift key until you see it say extensions off.
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,158
1,363
B&W G3's do not have Target Disc Mode. The first PowerMac to have that was the Sawtooth. Have you tried booting it with extensions off? Press the power button then press and hold the shift key until you see it say extensions off.
Dang! I thought it did have Target Disk Mode... Thanks for the info!

I did try it with extensions off, same thing occurs.
 

DZ/015

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2003
875
21
New England
Is the hard drive on the internal ata bus or is it scsi? The rev. 1 B&W units had a questionable hard drive controller chip on the logic board. There were issues with aftermarket/large/slave drives. Though I don't recall a problem with system lockup. There is a pic on this page to identify the chip. Other good B&W info there as well.
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,158
1,363
Is the hard drive on the internal ata bus or is it scsi? The rev. 1 B&W units had a questionable hard drive controller chip on the logic board. There were issues with aftermarket/large/slave drives. Though I don't recall a problem with system lockup. There is a pic on this page to identify the chip. Other good B&W info there as well.
The drive is an ATA drive, I believe. The chip is the one listed on that page you listed, ending in 402.

I don't think it's overheating, the system runs really cool and it freezes after being on for only a few minutes.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
7,159
4,183
Kentucky
If it's all OEM, I don't see an issue, but just tossing this out there...

I recently acquired one of these, and it booted and ran fine but the optical drive was dead. The first replacement that I used caused symptoms pretty similar to what you're describing.

Try disconnecting the secondary ATA bus at the logic board(just pull the cable) and see if it gets you anywhere. From what you're describing, I sort of doubt that's the problem, but it's easy enough to do that I'd probably try it anyway.
 

havokalien

macrumors 6502a
Apr 27, 2006
650
49
Kelso, Wa
thermal paste

I suggest removing the heat sink, remove old crusty paste and reapply (a lot less than you see on it) then put it back together.

After 15 years that stuff does not conduct much heat and the air gap could be causing the freeze also. I suggest pulling the dead PRAM battery also on the motherboard as its probably freaking out there also.

Dust removal would not hurt either.
 

MysticCow

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2013
833
388
I suggest removing the heat sink, remove old crusty paste and reapply (a lot less than you see on it) then put it back together.

After 15 years that stuff does not conduct much heat and the air gap could be causing the freeze also. I suggest pulling the dead PRAM battery also on the motherboard as its probably freaking out there also.

Dust removal would not hurt either.
As a side note, why does Apple insist on going nuts with thermal paste? It's even in their more current models and it looks like an "adult film stud" went all over it.
 

Slix

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 24, 2010
1,158
1,363
Not to sound stupid, since I'm generally not a hardware guy, but where exactly is the cable connected (secondary ATA bus at the logic board, as you said, bunnspecial) for the optical drive? Couldn't seem to find the right cable. :p

And I checked the heatsink, looks like it's fine, nice and clean underneath it already.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,171
479
Elkton, Maryland
Not to sound stupid, since I'm generally not a hardware guy, but where exactly is the cable connected (secondary ATA bus at the logic board, as you said, bunnspecial) for the optical drive? Couldn't seem to find the right cable. :p



And I checked the heatsink, looks like it's fine, nice and clean underneath it already.

The ATA cable is the one that goes to the optical drive. Since you pulled the heat sink off you should have cleaned and reapplied the paste as now there is air and what not.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
May 3, 2014
7,159
4,183
Kentucky
Not to sound stupid, since I'm generally not a hardware guy, but where exactly is the cable connected (secondary ATA bus at the logic board, as you said, bunnspecial) for the optical drive? Couldn't seem to find the right cable. :p
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
 

Attachments

128keaton

macrumors 68020
Jan 13, 2013
2,029
413
Nice find, I've really wanted a B&W g3 for a while, saw one on craigslist, but it sold quickly. I'd replace the thermal paste, buy a new PRAM battery, and throw a quieter HDD in there.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.