New here with old Mac


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 9, 2005
I have a beige powermac g3 266 with 512mb ram and a 20gig hdd, along with an add in video card (onboard's there as well), and the original 24x cdrom drive.

I have a few questions regarding installing OSX.

I have OSX 10.3 and a few CDs of prior versions (10.2, 10.0.3, etc).

I tried to install OSX 10.3 and about 50% through the screen went black. I pulled the add-in pci video card and tried again. Same problem. I then tried with other versions and finally got 10.2 to install. Am now dealing with other issues.

A couple of questions.

1) It doesn't seem that putting any old IDE CDROM drive on this computer works. The system doesn't appear to see it. What are the rules governing this model's CDROM drive upgrades?

2) Any idea why the screen goes black? It happens every single time. The 10.2 didn't seem to cause it to go black though.

3) Is a 10.3 installation not permitted on this or is there something special I have to do to get it to work?

4) Is there a trick to forcing the computer to use the PCI video card instead of the onboard video? In OS9 it seems to see the PCI video card without problems. Is there a hotkey to force a switch between the onboard and add-in video card?


macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
Are there any firmware updates for your machine?

The iMac G3 had an issue where, under OS X, the screen could go black... permanently. But if the firmware update was done, the screen stayed in good shape.


macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2005
No firmware updates are required you can load up OSX no probs so long as you have enough RAM,

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
Sod off
Read this page from the Low End Mac website. It has good info on what sort of upgrade combinations your computer can handle.

I know for a fact that 10.2 should work fine, but make sure you check to see which firmware revision you are running, as certain early G3's had some quirks (see the link for more). Good luck.
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