Plz help me install OS on this iMac G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by asifnaz, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. asifnaz macrumors member

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    Dec 3, 2010
    #1
    I have just got Imac G4 and this is my first ever Mac computer . It is 14" model . when I boot I hear famous Apple chime and then I see an icon flashing and changing between smiley and "? " mark continuously . what does this mean..?

    I have got Mac OS X 10.3 CDs but I dont know how to open CD rom tray with non-apple generic usb keyboard . and boot into Mac OS X 10.3

    any suggestions and tips are much appreciated

    thank you
     
  2. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #2
    To open the CD tray, hold the mouse button when it is starting up. There may not be a hard drive present, then you would need to buy one
     
  3. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #3
    If you are not sure, correct mouse button is left-click on your mouse. If it doesn't work the first time, Press and hold the power button on the iMac until it shuts off, then try again. Press and hold the left-click. The tray should open shortly after the screen lights up.

    You should be able to tell if there is an internal hard drive when you boot to the 10.3 installer. Disk Utility is under the Utilities menu (or might be the Installer menu - I may not recall correctly about the 10.3 installer) Open the Disk Utility. You should see the hard drive listed there, and not just the CD drive with the OS X installer disk.
    If the internal hard drive is gone - or just dead - the G4 iMac is a tricky one to get inside, but you can find a repair video at iFixit.com that will take you through the steps when replacing the hard drive.
     
  4. asifnaz thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    thank you both for your reply . And I dont have Apple mouse btw . and if hard disk is not present or dead do I need specific hard disk or any generic hard disk will work (same question for optical disk and ram ) .
     
  5. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #5
    You will need a 3.5" IDE hard drive, you can fit a 2.5" drive in with an adapter, and the same thing goes for a SATA hard drive. As for the RAM, it depends on the exact model you have, as there was a 15" 1GHz model along with a 15" 700MHz/800MHz. The 700/800 iMacs share similar internals, but one has a higher clocked processor, the 1GHz model uses different RAM . The iMac G4's have 2 RAM banks, one on the inside of the dome, and one under the cover on the bottom. The one on the bottom is designed to be user accessible, while the internal one is supposed to be "Serviced" but at this point, anyone can upgrade both RAM sticks. The internal bank takes a full sized DIMM while the one on the bottom takes laptop memory, FOR THE SPECIFIC TYPE OF RAM CHECK EVERYMAC.COM
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #6
    Apple mouse, or no Apple mouse, is not important.

    The important tip is to hold the left button down while you boot, which SHOULD force the CD tray to open about when the screen lights up.
     
  7. asifnaz thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    I am holding left mouse button while booting but CD tray is not opening . May be this Imac is not used for long time and tray is Jam . How can I eject manually with a pin etc ?
     
  8. user406 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 16, 2015
    #8
    Do not imaging. Mac specific media (CD or DVD with OS 10.3). Turn on the computer and insert the disc. The machine are going to boot automatically. Some unnecessary clicks on the buttons. Open Disk Utility and check hardware list. Not understand why iMac G4 has not slot loading drive??..
     
  9. asifnaz thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    But how can I insert os x disc if I cant open optical drive tray ..?
     
  10. user406 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 16, 2015
    #10
    1. Buy Apple keyboard (call friends)
    2. Try to find manual eject button (near tray of drive). If push something small it will open tray. Not sure it is there at all.
    3. Did not find any standard key combination to open the tray before.
     
  11. asifnaz thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    It seems to be a tray loading drive (if I am not mistaken) and I have tried all methods but could not open it . I am looking for a pin hole or a physical eject button on it but no luck .

    any help plz
     
  12. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #12
    Just install VIA USB then
     
  13. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #13
    All iMac G4 have tray loading CD drives.
    The drive tray is hidden behind a hinged door.
    You can gently press IN on one end of the door, and the OTHER end will pop out so you can pull open the door.
    That door is just trim, the drive tray is behind that door.
    You will then see the outside edge of the tray.
    Look carefully, some drives WILL have the pinhole to manually open the tray.
    The trim door is not much larger than the edge of the tray. On some drives you may find that the manual eject pinhole is not accessible, and the only way to open the tray is to open up the iMac enclosure, and remove the drive carrier assembly.

    You may hear someone tell you this is not brain surgery. However, on the G4 iMac, when you get inside that round dome, you can imagine what brain surgery is like :D
    I wonder if you will find that someone DID remove the hard drive, or removed the bottom housing, and left the drive data ribbon cable disconnected (easy to miss some of the connections!), which would leave the hard drive useless, and the optical drive would not respond to any computer signals. You would also need to remove the bottom housing to check that.
     
  14. user406 macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Does machine support Target Disk Mode (command/T during boot)?
     
  15. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #15
    This won't work as another Mac is required, and this is his first one
     
  16. user406 macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Find/buy used apple keyboard. It is more preferable than disassemble the machine. Have no skills with this model. Small eject button has to be
     
  17. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #17
    The mouse button will be more reliable to open the optical drive tray than a different keyboard.
    Unfortunately, not every Apple-supplied optical drive has the manual eject available - mostly because the Apple user typically never needs that alternative (or would never use it). Even then, the eject button, if it does exist, may simply be in a position where it is difficult to operate.
    In that event, the OP may need to disassemble the iMac. And, the hard drive on an iMac that will be at least 11 to 14 years old. If it has sat unused for some period of time (very possible on a used computer!), then the hard drive may also not be starting up, or just barely working.
    One can search for Apple's service manual for this iMac, or iFixit has good repair guide videos, if you want to familiarize yourself with the internal layout of a G4 iMac. They are... unusual inside.
     
  18. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #18
    All iMac G4s used a standard 5 1/4, full height ATAPI optical drive. The majority of the ones out there are tray loading, and there really is no practical way to install a slot loading drive even if it meets the above specifications.

    The only "non standard" part of the iMac drive is that it doesn't have a drive door(like Quicksilver, MDD, and G5 towers) although most any optical drive can be converted to work by removing the door. It generally is just a snap-on fit.
     
  19. asifnaz thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    As I have mentioned earlier this is my very first Imac . I bought this for only 15 US $ but installing OS X has become a real headache for me . I am not able to open optical drive yet and I am not using force to avoid any breakage . Can somebody explain plz if this mac uses standard Optical drive , Ram and Hard disk ..? as I dont want to spend much on this Computer .
     
  20. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #20
    Try either of the following:

    1. Press and hold F12 on a non-Mac keyboard when you hear the chime. This often works as the eject cd key.
    2. Press and hold Windows+Alt+O+F keys when you hear the chime. This brings up a white screen with some text. When the text prompt appears type eject cd
     
  21. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

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    #21
    Pressing and holding the F12 key on a non-Mac keyboard on hearing the chime won't necessarily work. I've just tried it with my iMac G4 and a Dell keyboard. Mine booted but came up with a dialog box requesting keys to press to identify the new keyboard. And obviously if there should be no HD present it won't boot - so no dialog box will appear!
    Just set mine up with the Dell keyboard ok, and then performed a normal shut-down, so i could restart holding down the F12 key. The CD did not eject.
    I also checked, and one can flip open the CD door by inserting a finger nail at the top and pulling downwards (if one has thick nails you need a feeler gauge of about 0.010" ). But once open, mine definitely didn't have a hole or any other obvious way to open the CD tray itself mechanically.
    I'm afraid the OP will have to bite the bullet, remove the base plate (simple), then the inner base to see exactly what's inside, HD etc. I'd say the optical drive needs to come apart also to check for serviceability, and as this is piggy-backed with the HD (if present), it's not the nicest of first tasks to perform on this iMac model.
    If he was in my region I'd do it for free, or at least for a 10€ bottle of good Bordeaux red - despite the fact that I have plenty just on my doorstep......;)
     
  22. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Or the OP could try manually ejecting from Open Firmware first as per my second suggestion. That should allow him to see if there are underlying hardware faults to attend to before opening up the base unit, particularly as he will need to reapply thermal paste before closing the base unit parts again.
    Accessing Open Firmware bypasses the hard drive (or lack of one) altogether.
     
  23. asifnaz thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 3, 2010
    #23
    I tried your 2nd suggestion .

    it replies " can't open the EJECT device "

    any idea..?
     
  24. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #24
    I suspect that the earlier idea about the drive being disconnected internally may be true.
     
  25. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #25
    I agree, if someone took out the HDD, which is likely, they may have either forgotten, or were too lazy to connect the cable back up
     

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