iMac G3 hard drive format?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Scubachisteve, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Scubachisteve macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    So I have an old iMac G3 (500mhz).

    Long story short. Running 10.something. Tried upgrading to 10.4 but had to update firmware from 9.2. Had 9.2 installed but firmware upgrade failed; no idea why. I said screw it, plugged in the firewire and wiped the drive from my Macbook Pro, thinking I could just run a clean install of everything.

    I reformatted in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) which I now learn is wrong.

    What format should it be to run the classic environment so I can reinstall 9.2 do the firmware upgrade then proceed with my install of 10.4?
    How the hell do I do this now that the drive isn't responding to any format attempts from my Macbook?
    Is there an easy work around?

    /Yeah, I'm a noob. Sorry for cluttering the board.
  2. joshjohnson macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2004
    format & install

    first off, connect the macbook to the iMac with a firewire cable, and reboot the macbook holding the T key until the screen shows a blue or orange firewire logo. insert the Mac os 10.4 DVD into the macbook drive (most iMac G3s came with CD only optical drives, so the Tiger DVD needs a DVD drive and your macbook has one.) now boot the iMac holding the option key down to bring up the startup manager. choose the OS X tiger disk (it will look like an optical disk) and click the right pointing arrow. your iMac should boot to the tiger install. After confirming your language, click the utilities menu and choose Disk Utility. In Disk Utility, click the iMac's internal drive (it will be usually at the top of the list) then click the partition tab. click the partition scheme listbox and change it to 1 partition. Now, click the options... button and be sure the partition scheme is set to apple partition map. name the partition what you want and leave the format at mac os extended (journaled) or mac os extended (os x.4 introduced journaling). also, be sure you check the Mac OS 9 drivers checkbox. you cannot boot os 9 if you don't check that box. then when you confirm everything's just so, click apply. after applying the change, reboot the mac with the OS 9 CD in the imac CD drive holding the option key again, this time choose the OS 9 CD and confirm your intention to start from it to begin the installation, using all the defaults. you should have a bootable OS9 iMac after the installation is done, from there you can apply the firmware update. if anything goes wrong, repost with the error message text.

    the reason you couldn't boot the imac from the macbook installed OS X is because it was probably 10.5, which can't run on anything less than a G4, and the disk was partitioned as a GUID table, which is intel only and the default for bootable disks in OS X on intel hardware. even if the MacBook came with 10.4, it's still an intel only version, and can not work on the iMac. you must install using the imac and not the macbook except as an external drive. intel/powerpc installs can't be moved from 1 to the other.

    it's ok, intel/powerpc issues are crappy.
  3. Scubachisteve thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2011
    Excellent, I'll give it a try this weekend! Thanks a million.

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