iBook G3 won't boot from Panther CD - at my wit's end

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by MacDaddy967, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. MacDaddy967 macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    iBook G3 SE clamshell, no firewire; one of the original three!
    366 MHz, 320 mb ram, 20 gb hd (not the original one; 3-5 years old)
    **It has been running 10.3.9 for several years with no problems whatsoever.**
    It stays on my 10 y.o. daughter's desk for homework and internet.
    She doesn't even do a software update without checking with me first.

    Recently, it started freezing, especially during startup.
    I did all the usual troubleshooting, even archive and install.
    It got to the point where she couldn't use it.

    I have tried to clean install 10.3 several times with a full retail Panther CD.
    It will not boot from it.
    Sometimes it goes straight to a kernel panic when booting from the cd.

    I wound up booting from the original OS9 CD that came with it.
    Zeroed all data and installed 9. Updated to 9.2.2
    Updated firmware (again)
    Disk first aid results were ok.
    It boots and runs OS9 perfectly.
    I'll put the X CD in and restart (with and without holding C)

    Consistently, when rebooting with the 10.3 disc, it goes as far as 'preparing installation', then to a blue screen with spinning pinwheel (not beachball). I have to force shut down.

    Now... I do have another iBook that my 7 y.o. son uses, running 10.3.9.
    Exact same model... cpu, memory, etc all the same except this one has its original 6 gb hd.

    It booted from the 10.3 CD. I stopped it at 'install options'.
    I think this rules out the 10.3 CD.

    I took the memory out of #2 and put it into #1. No change. It still wound up on the blue screen.

    I have tried with and without the Airport card.

    I can't use Hardware Test because this model is not supported.

    I'm at my wit's end. The CD works, the CD drive works, memory is ok, the computer functions just fine in 9. It just hates X!

    I know this sort of points to the HD, but then how does 9 run so well?

    I realize it's just a piece of hardware, and they all go at some point, but this HD is very lightly used.
    It's a super clean machine with not so much as a dead pixel, and it suits her needs.
    We really want to keep it running.

    PLEASE help :confused:
  2. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Mac OS 9 is a lot less fussy as a rule than X is about hardware. It does look like either the disk is failing, or you've got a dodgy CD drive in #1. (Since its not the RAM) - You could always try and swap the CD drives over (and or the HD) to see if either produce the behaviour in the other machine, otherwise, it could always be a logic board fault.
  3. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    What is she doing on it? Because OSX Panther is quite a useless operating system. Almost nothing is supported on it. You'd be much better going down to Mac OS9. I have an iBook G3 myself, and I used to have Panther on it. But nothing worked on it, not even web browsing! At least OS9 has a decent web browser (Classila), lots of games that run on it, a version of MS Word that runs on it, and Clarisworks.

    OSX didn't get useable until Tiger. So if you can't get Tiger, OS9 is the best thing for it.
  4. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    What a load of complete and utter claptrap. OS X Panther is perfectly useable as an Operating System. Panther can run a LOT of software from the time, and its more than likely any web browsing a 10 year old wants to do is handled just fine by Safari 1.0/2.0/3.0/whatever-is-newest under Panther. If she's just using Office:Mac 2004, iLife '06 or AppleWorks 6, Panther is perfectly acceptable. its also a LOT better than using Mac OS 9. Panther has a decent browser (Last compatible version of iCab), and Office:Mac 2004, iLife '06, iWork '06 and even older Professional Software (Final Cut Pro 4.5, Soundtrack Pro 1, Logic 7) all work fine on it, as does the X version of AppleWorks 6. Thats a lot more than 9 can run (And trust me, I use 9 and 8 daily on my Beige Macs, but compared to Panther they can run barely anything).

    You sir, are hugely misinformed.
  5. MacDaddy967 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    OS 9, while functional and running quite well, is not helping her to move forward in her computer education. It's a step backward.

    At her age, she needs to do research for school and type her reports (she's actually quite good with TextEdit). She just got a real digital camera, so I want her to learn how to manage her own photos. She uses the iPod in the car, so I want her to make her own playlists.

    Panther also supports Classic (as well as dual boot), so she does have access to any old games that might still be around.

    I just don't know if I should invest the money and time in a new HD that may not even solve the issue, or move her up to a G4. We're talking $70 vs. $200, give or take.
    I just wish there was some way to perform a good hardware test so I'd know for sure.
  6. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    i kinda rem maybe this?

    -have you tryed from cold boot using "option key" to pick cd to boot from? i somehow rem a old imac i had would do same thing,if i booted using "c" it wouldn't work...but installed fine from using "option"....least worth a try...

    ps: if your's is "September 13, 2000" 366 model you could run tiger on it...and even though it's step newer then panther,it will run better and also open up a fair amount of software option for you daughter....
  7. MacDaddy967 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    Getting it to select the CD is not the problem. It hangs. (I did try that anyway)
    Grey Apple, boot panel "Preparing Installation", blue screen with spinner, and then all is quiet; it just sits there. If it sits long enough, it will shut itself down.

    Tiger is not an option; this model has a read only CD drive. Tiger comes on DVD. If I could, I would. I love Tiger; I still have it on a partition on my iMac.

    Also, again, no firewire for target disk mode, either.
    If I had an enclosure, I would pull the HD and try to install off the iMac.

    Wish I lived near a Fry's!!
  8. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    Well one option is to hunt around and find the Tiger Install on CDs (Apple did have a trade in program where it supplied Tiger over 4 CDs). Although thats probably more trouble than its worth (and theres no guarantee it would work anyway given that Panther is failing to install).
  9. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    You're probably better off to either move her up to an inexpensive G4 iBook or if money is tight you can find a G3 iBook for much less that will still be significantly faster than the clamshell.

    Good luck! It's great to see someone teaching their kids about computers using old Macs, and having the kids learning and embracing them. Nice.
  10. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
  11. urbanracer34 macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2010
    I'd move her up to a G4 PowerBook. It will do the job well and they're built like a brick house.

    If you're not giving up on the old iBook (say for old networkable games), and have a bit of time on your hands, give Tiger a try.

    If neither of those work, and you have deep pockets, or need a quick solution, give her a MacBook Pro. The latest and greatest (as far as she knows;)). She should have no problem with Lion, and you can get an beefy dual core i5 one for $1016 from the refurb store. :eek: Fancy an Air? Style is important to her? $949.00 will get you one with a core 2 duo. :eek:
  12. MacSince1990 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
    There are Tiger CD versions. You can download them, if you have to, as they're not really offered anymore. Especially if you already own the DVD.

    It DOES sound like your CD (and probably HDD) is bad. You might want to consider buying her a used 15" PowerBook G4 for a couple hundred (or even less, honestly) on eBay; it would be loads faster, and could run Tiger very nicely, which would let her run a lot more software than she is now.

    I'd avoid getting anything with Lion for her, by the way... I've tried it, didn't like it... and from what I hear, it not only sucks, it isn't very stable.
  13. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
  14. MacDaddy967 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. Here's an update.
    I found an old enclosure that I thought I had gotten rid of. :)
    I disassembled the iBook and removed the HD. It makes noise when I shake it. Two sounds: one like something is just loose, and another that sounds like something very tiny that's either loose or broken off.
    I put it in the enclosure, and it did mount on the iMac G5 a couple times, but one time it just disappeared.
    One time Disk Utility said it was okay, another time it was damaged.
    I ran out to Best Buy & grabbed an EIDE 250 gb. I put it in the enclosure and booted the iMac G5 with its own 10.4 install disc.
    Connected the new external via firewire, and installed 10.4 onto it.
    Install went perfect, right to the new user registration, which I did, then rebooted the iMac off the external. Everything is great.

    Okay, so now, I figure I have a working, bootable 10.4 HD, so I proceed to put the iBook back together.
    I press the magic button, and....
    It hangs on the grey apple :mad:
    Maybe Tiger is too much for it (it's not a firewire model, if that matters)
    So, I start over from scratch with the iBook OS9 CD followed by Panther, as described in the first post.
    Now I am back at the exact same situation: blue screen & spinner.
    What can be hanging up the 10.3 installer???

    Yes, we have been looking at G4's, but $ is tight right now.

    I'm just so close... it's frustrating!
  15. MacSince1990 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2009
    It does matter that it's not a FireWire model. Not sure why this didn't click with me before, obviously the original iBook clamshells didn't have FW.

    Anyway, Tiger requires built-in FW. Anyway, use XPostFacto 4.0 and that should fix your problem.; you'll have to install OS 9 first, though, I suppose.

    The computer should be a good deal snappier with launching/etc with a new, fast hard drive in there. You might want to upgrade the RAM a bit, though, to at least 512 MB.
  16. MacDaddy967, Sep 25, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011

    MacDaddy967 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    Almost there, but...

    I realized that my wife's iMac is an old Snow G3, bootable from 10.3, and with firewire. I took the thing apart again, and installed 10.3 onto the external HD using her iMac.

    Put the iBook back together. It started up, but has been stuck on "waiting for internet services" for over 5 minutes. I'm afraid to touch it!

    Remember, this iBook has been running 10.3.9 for several years until that old HD started to go. Nothing else should have changed. Now it's nearly impossible to get it back.

    Restarted & reset PRAM. Got to the login window this time, but still wound up on a blue screen with the spinner.
    Repeated, and I got in! I think I will get a new RAM; better to play it safe. This thing maxes out at 576?

    I spoke too soon. :( While it does finally complete the login process, I'm getting KP's, freezes, distorted graphics, etc. It's not useable. And it still will not boot from the CD.

    WEIRD: the apps work, but the Finder doesn't. I can get online with Safari, and I opened iCal. Finder is dead, however.

    Another question: The HD is a WD Scorpio Blue PATA 250 gig. Why do all my machines only see 125 gb of it?
  17. stroked Suspended


    May 3, 2010

    All of the PPC Macs only recognized 128Gb, until the 2nd Quicksilver G4 Powermac
  18. MAC MAN JW macrumors 6502


    Jul 12, 2011
    If you are getting kp's i wood say it wood be the system bord or ram ):
  19. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    If I remember correctly, it can be partitioned to gain access to the balance, but the boot partition has to be the first one.
  20. MacDaddy967 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    My iMac G5 10.5.8 only saw 128 gb.

Share This Page