iBook G3/ Possible HDD failure?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by 92WardSenatorFE, May 13, 2011.

  1. 92WardSenatorFE macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2008
    Hi everyone.

    I'm looking for some help diagnosing an issue with an iBook G3 that I purchased probably about a year and a half ago. I originally was asking for help on another Mac forum but they weren't able to help me, and I just put the thing on a shelf and forgot about it. Would really like to get it back up and running, but before I invest money I'd like to narrow down there the issue lies.

    It's a 500MHz unit and its all stock specifications (also indicated in my signature). Running OS 9.2.2, I don't have a OS X CD available to install on it, and plus, it needs upgrading to support it anyway.

    The issue is that I am constantly getting Bomb errors, along with a variety of Type 1/2/3 errors to compliment it. It has nothing to do with the OS 9 install, because I've reinstalled OS 9 on this machine several times. I also had this issue with the installation of OS 9 that came with the machine (before I wiped/ reformatted the hard drive).

    It will start with certain applications not wanting to open. It will pop up an error similar to this link. It occurs on different applications, but it will never bypass it for the applications that won't open. (I.e. ... stuffit expander, etc). I tried reinstalling Stuffit Expander via. download, but the machine will freeze when you try to open the installer. Also receive a bomb error on occasion when shutting down (Finder.. error type 7). When it does boot, and I try to login (right at the prompt before I can click anything..) it displays "Sorry, a system error has occurred "Login" error type 10). From there it gets to the point that it will no longer boot. I will receive the following bomb errors on boot:
    "illegal instruction. - to temporarily turn off extensions... yadda yadda"
    "CHK Error. -to temporarily turn off extensions.."
    "EM Extension - illegal instruction. - to temporarily turn off extensions...

    It was suggested to me that to try and combat these errors, that I should restart the computer using only the Mac OS Base Extensions. When I do this, it gives me a System (bomb) Error on start-up "Illegal Instruction" and when I click restart, it pops up the same bomb error with "CHK Error". After it gets like this, the machine will not boot unless it has the OS 9 CD in the optical drive.

    My main question here is whether or not this is a symptom of hard drive failure, or if its something with the onboard RAM, etc. I originally bought this machine just as a spare and possibly upgrade it for basic use, but I don't want to invest a lot of money in it without knowing exactly if it would fix these issues. The Hard Drive passes the Disk First Aid check, too.

    To also note, I'm not very sure of the history of this machine. Its a little scratched up, I believe its probably an ex-school laptop which was surplused and then somebody put on ebay. Everything seems to be intact. Also to note, I did buy a replacement power adapter and battery, though I'm not sure if that would have anything to do with it. The battery I believe is designed for the later iBook series (doesn't match the case but it fits), and the adapter is a knockoff. The battery it shipped with is completely dead, but the machine still gives me the same symptoms with the original battery. I don't have any other equipment that I can test this unit with, this is the only PowerPC machine that I own.

    Let me know if you all can come up with any conclusions, and I'll do my best to respond! Thanks.
  2. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I recall distinctly in 2001 when i bought a brand new Titanium powerbook and it would bomb, freeze and crash in 9.2.2. practically every day.

    It is just not that stable. This is why Apple went to 10.0.

    You should, too.

    I'd put Tiger on the machine. Good luck.
  3. MBP13 macrumors 6502


    Mar 13, 2011
    Is that why OS 9 really didn't last that long or is it because Steve Jobs was brought in, and the wanted to start OS 10 as soon as he could?
  4. 92WardSenatorFE thread starter macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2008
    I would try OS X on it, but I don't have a copy of it.. and the machine would need upgrades for Tiger to work. I'm considering upgrading the machine but I want to make sure first that these symptoms are not related to hard drive failure (or worse).

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