Looking for 10.3 in all the wrong places

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by Rusty33, May 21, 2014.

  1. Rusty33 macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Hi Apple Collectors,

    I have recently sourced an old iMac G3 (350mhz) for writing purposes (see the backstory here http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1653685).

    The machine has been wiped, and is in need of a fresh install. Unfortunately, no recovery disks were provided with the unit. I am currently looking to get my hands on a retail copy of OS X 10.3 Panther (the maximum OS for this model), but am having some trouble locating a copy. I note that a handful of (outrageously priced) copies are floating around ebay - however, their legitimacy appears questionable. Ebay aside, I was wondering if this community might have any suggestions for me as to where I might be able to source a reasonably-priced copy of this decade-old OS?

    Any advice would be most welcome!
     
  2. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    Joined:
    May 13, 2013
    Location:
    'merica
    #2
    Like this?

    I might be able to mail you the discs if you promise to return them when you're finished and pay for postage.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #3
    Just FYI, the actual max you can install on that is 10.4.
     
  4. Rusty33 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    I've read that 10.4 is unofficially supported...but what does this mean exactly? Can i just pop the 10.4 CD into the unit and it will install? Or do I need to take the hard disk out, insert into another newer machine, then swap it back into the older machine after installation?

    Your advice is greatly appreciated!
     
  5. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #5
    10.4's system requirements included the G3, but required a built in firewire port. The 350Mhz lacked that port so it would not install. Also, those machines only had a CD drive and 10.4 shipped as a DVD. The road-block only exists in the installer. Once it's installed, it doesn't care about the missing firewire port.

    As a result, for those later iMac slot loaders that had firewire built in but only a CD drive, you could use an external DVD drive to install, or Apple had a mail-in CD set of disks. This meant sending in your retail version of 10.4 on DVD, and Apple would return a CD set of 10.4. Hence, the CD sets are very rare.

    Don't fall for the usual option of Target Disk Mode. You can't if your machine lacks firewire ports. :(

    Other options range from installing on another machine, and then cloning that to the 350Mhz, or as you suggest, physically moving the HD to another Mac to install. Or, patching the installer so it allows install, or creating a HD with the installer on it.

    If any option you take involves using the USB port for an external DVD or HD, be prepared for a long wait. They're only USB 1 ports so it's very slow for data transfer.

    Also, I would highly recommend at least 128MB of RAM. On these slot loaders, anything less with MacOS 10 is horribly slow and almost un-usable.
     
  6. tdiaz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    #6
    ... or just take a clean installed image and restore it to any machine with a G3. No installer hassles.

    Restoring the installer volume to a drive and editing the plist for machine requirements, boot that drive and install .. installing from a spinning disc or USB stick is really fast, too.
     
  7. Rusty33 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    I am wondering if anyone would recommend installing 10.2 over 10.3? Does 10.3 offer any tangible advantages over 10.2? I can get my hands on 10.2 for a song...

    iMac G3 - 350Mhz, 512MB ram

    I am really only looking to use this computer to run MS Word 2004 (minimum requirement 10.2.8)...and to connect/share files and folders on my University's network. Access to email, web surfing etc. is not needed on this machine.

    Can anyone recall whether 10.2 or 10.3 offers a smoother experience on a comparable machine? I've read a handful of conflicting accounts.

    Thank you!
     
  8. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #8
    10.3 added lots of things that are pretty useless on a Slot Loading G3 iMac, so I'd say, yes. If it's a steal, go for it. If 10.3 turns up cheap later, you can always upgrade.

    Just make sure your firmware is at least v2.4 or better. Firmware v4.1.x is recommended. You'll need MacOS 9.1 or later on the HD to install it.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1283

    You can check what version your iMac has by looking in Apple System Profiler for the "Boot ROM".

    If you don't have that firmware version, DO NOT even boot from a 10.2 or later OSX CD. It will kill the video settings, and it can be VERY difficult to rectify.
     
  9. Rusty33 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Thanks MacTech - this is a tidbit of information that I wish I had before I started collecting all of the bits and pieces for this unit...unfortunately the drive had been wiped before I came across it - so i'll have to track down 9.2, install it, update the firmware then track down 10.2/3 and install that...bugger!

    It might be easier to just put this thing back on the curb, and buy another one (with Tiger installed) through the classifieds for $50 or so...
     
  10. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #10
    Does it have ANY system on it?

    Or do you have a MacOS 8.6 or 9 CD you can boot from?

    It MAY have already been updated.
     
  11. Rusty33 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    Alas no - after the boot up chime I am confronted by the blinking folder/question mark combo! Is there any way to check with no OS installed? I have no other system disks...
     
  12. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #12
    Yes. Turn the machine off and power it up whilst holding the four keys, Command, Option, 'O' and 'F' (that's the letter O).

    Continue to hold the keys until you see text on the screen. Look for the Boot Rom version there.
     
  13. Rusty33 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #13
    Outstanding - thank you Mactech!!! v3.0f installed - catastrophe averted!
     
  14. MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #14
    That should be ok. It was only the very early versions that had that problem.

    There was a v2.4 update that came out earlier, and machines with that firmware and later did NOT experience this disastrous issue. (IIRC).

    Once you get it running, perhaps you can get a disk image of a 9.1 system and get it up to 4.1.9.

    Just in case I'm wrong, if the picture on the screen goes dark when you reboot after booting 10.2 for the first time (this would be booting the CD) DO NOT ZAP THE PRAM!!!! Doing so makes recovering the machine very difficult.
     

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