iMac G3 upgrading OS

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by pentabarf, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. pentabarf macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    Ok, so you might as well say I'm a Mac newbie. I used one almost 20 years ago, and not since. I am pretty handy with a PC though.

    So, here's my situation. I went to a yard sale over the weekend, and purchased an iMac for $5 for my daughter. She's 8, and loves being on the computer, and I figured for the price, it would be well worth it for her.

    After all my research, it appears to be a G3 iMac, running OS 8.5

    Getting this computer second hand, it has lots of stuff on it that I don't want there for my daughter.

    So, I'm trying to figure out how to either upgrade the OS, or if there is an easy way to do a reinstall or recovery. The hard part is that of course, I got no disks with it.

    So, my first few questions are...
    1. Is there a simple way to do a recovery/restore without the disks to clean up the computer?
    2. Is it in my best interest to upgrade the OS?
    3. And if so, what would be the best OS that will run well on the machine?

  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC

    I'm not familiar with pre-OS X versions, but you may be able to create a new user account and delete the old one to reset most settings to defaults. It's not perfect, but it's a start.

    I think so. There's no need to run the latest greatest, but something recentish would be easier to deal with.

    Depends on the specs. I run Tiger on my iBook G3 500 MHz with 576 MB memory, and it runs decently. A bit sluggish at times, but it runs. Anything slower and I'd suggest installing Panther instead.
  3. pentabarf thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    Thanks for the reply.

    Keep in mind, I'm still trying to bring myself up to speed.

    I didn't expect to be able to run OSX, but I am not familiar with Tiger or Panther. I'm used to the OS numbers. Could you explain Tiger and Panther in noob-ese?

    Thanks again.
  4. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
  5. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    The current version of OS X is 10.5 Leopard, which has been out for about a year and a half now. Tiger is 10.4 and Panther is 10.3. Most current software is compatible with Tiger but not Panther. Panther is in my opinion the first serious version of OS X, so I wouldn't bother with any prior versions. Its predecessor, 10.2 Jaguar, was the first version of OS X to see significant adoption by the sceptics who had remained on Mac OS 9.

    That depends on the computer's specs. The OP has yet to give any details on that. I'm guessing that since the machine apparently shipped with 8.x it's a bit old to run Tiger comfortably.
  6. iParis macrumors 68040


    Jul 29, 2008
    New Mexico
    Tiger is 10.4 and Panther is 10.3.
    I have my iMac G3 running 10.3 pretty smoothly.
    It has 333MHz and 160MB ram and runs fine. You should find out the specs of your model.

    EDIT: My machine was shipped with either a later version of OS 8 or OS 9.

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