Power Mac G3 (B&W, G4 upgrade) Won't Boot from any CD

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by tjniels, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. tjniels macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #1
    Having troubles with my Blue & White Power Mac. It was a G3 but was upgraded to a 500 MHZ G4 before I got it.

    Questions first, then story to explain.

    What could cause the OEM CD-ROM drive to forget how to boot from a disc? How do I fix it? Regardless of what disc I put in the drive, it won't boot when holding down "c".

    Here's the back story. Mac had two hard drive, one 6GB original in the bottom of the caddy, one 40GB in the top of the tray. The 6GB had 10.3.x on it but was so full it was hardly useable. The 40 has Mac OS 9.2.2.

    I removed the 6GB from the bottom of the tray. I bought a Western Digital 120 GB drive and installed it in the bottom of the tray. Installed the 40 in the top. Computer didn't recognize the 120 gig drive so I swapped the two. Now the computer wouldn't load the system, I got the folder with question mark flashing.

    Realized jumpers were probably wrong. I don't remember what setting I put them on but managed to get it to boot again and it recognized both drives. Problem is it would occasionally crash when booting from the 40 gig drive (I would get the "finder unexpectedly quit, please reboot" message, it's never done that before).

    In the meantime I wanted to install a system on the 120 gigabyte drive. I managed to boot from a Debian Linux disc and started installing it. The installation froze halfway through so I had to power it down and and boot into System 9 again.

    I was still getting the "finder quit" message so I shut it down. Made sure the bottom drive was set as master and the top drive as slave. Booted again, no finder errors.

    Initialized the 120 gig drive while running OS 9 from the 40. Inserted the OS 9 CD, rebooted and held down "c". Got a blank gray screen that wouldn't go away. Tried booting with the Debian CD, same story. Even tried a 10.3.5 CD with no luck.

    By initializing and installing the drive that wasn't in use, I put a fresh install of 9.2.2 on each drive, thinking that might kill the gremlins. Computer still won't boot from any CD, I have booted from many CDs before.

    I'm stuck, any help would be great. Any idea what went wrong here?

    ----------

    The reason I need to be able to boot from CDs is I recently bought a 10.4.x installer CD set which I was hoping to install on one hard drive. I'd like to put Linux on the other hdd. If I can't boot from the CD-ROM drive I'm stuck with system 9.
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    I may be wrong, but if your drives are IDE wouldn't the CS (Cable Select) jumper be the correct one for both drives thus allowing the bus to figure it out on it's own?

    Secondly, I have never owned a G4 or G5 or worked on a G3 that booted from the optical drive when holding down the "C" key. I don't want to call this a fallacy because it may have been the case in the past, but it it seems to be an often repeated statement by those with more knowledge than myself, but never seems to work. In any case, it's never worked for me. What has worked and what no one ever seems to mention is holding down the OPTN key. Doing that allows you to choose the drive you want to boot from.
     
  3. tjniels thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the tip. Tonight I will try putting both drives on "cable select" and see what happens. Yes, the "C" key has always worked for me in the past on this machine and several other PPCs I've owned. After I started having difficulties I tried the "option" key as well hoping I could select a boot drive but it went to the same blank gray screen and got stuck.
     
  4. tjniels thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #4
    I put the jumpers on both hard drives to "cable select". Both drives still work.

    Holding either the "c" key or "control" key causes it to hang for about 2 minutes on the gray screen before the Happy Mac, then I get a flashing question mark folder, then it ignores my input and boots from the hard drive anyway. Holding the "option" key seems to make no difference, it boots as usual. I tried this with both my Apple USB extension cord, and with the keyboard plugged directly into the machine. No difference either way. I even went to the control panel and selected my System 9 installer CD as the boot disk and got the same response: 2 minute hang at the gray screen, flashing folder, boots from hard drive anyway.

    I hope I can get this sorted out, it is a bit disturbing to suddenly lose functionality the machine has always had. I'd like to get Linux and Tiger running on the machine, but without the ability to select a boot disk at startup or even boot from a CD it may be a moot point. I suppose I could use my Macbook in target disk mode if it really comes down to it.
     
  5. tjniels thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #5
    I still haven't been able to figure this out. I put my Macbook in target disk mode, plugged it into the Power Mac via a firewire cable, inserted a disk into the drive, and booted the Power Mac. The Power Mac doesn't recognize a disk in the drive or do anything differently than normal. What did I miss here? I need to install a more modern system than 9.2.2 but am currently stuck.
     
  6. MAC MAN JW, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012

    MAC MAN JW macrumors 6502

    MAC MAN JW

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Buffalo,Ny
    #6
    The Powermac G3 B&W does not support fiirewire Target disc mode even with a G4 Upgrade.:(


    Edit:I did this like 3 weeks ago trying to get Leopard on my B&W G4 upgraded G3 i need to put a SuperDrive in it for it to read Leopard Disc. The Jumper setting that worked for me With one DVD Drive And One Hard drive Was Master on both. but then again the person i got the mac from spilled soda Pop on the system board i just found that out when i started getting KP's so that may be why that worked? But it may be worth a try it cant Hurt to try:)
     
  7. tjniels thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #7
    So if it can't boot from the build-in CD-ROM drive, I'm out of luck for system upgrades? Or is there another boot option?
     
  8. MAC MAN JW, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012

    MAC MAN JW macrumors 6502

    MAC MAN JW

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    Buffalo,Ny
    #8
    Try this i did not know if you seen This in my last Post before you replied:)



    Edit:I did this like 3 weeks ago trying to get Leopard on my B&W G4 upgraded G3 i need to put a SuperDrive in it for it to read Leopard Disc. The Jumper setting that worked for me With one DVD Drive And One Hard drive Was Master on both. but then again the person i got the mac from spilled soda Pop on the system board i just found that out when i started getting KP's so that may be why that worked? But it may be worth a try it cant Hurt to try
     
  9. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #9
    Few questions:
    - does it read discs at all?
    - did you reset PRAM and/or nvram?
    - did you try Open Firmware "boot cd" command?

    As MAC MAN JW said, forget about TDM with B&W :(
     
  10. macdatadrive macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Location:
    The city of Macintosh :)
    #10
    I know this is tricky, but the computer will never forget how to boot from a disc. It's in the firmware, regardless if you have upgrades, new hard drives or anything else. Have you tried pressing option? This will give you a list of bootable things.
     
  11. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #11
    You'd be surprised, but it will forget (I mean OF based Macs). Especially when something (like bootloader for example) will modify nvram content. That's why sometimes nvram reset helps for booting issues.
     
  12. tjniels thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #12
    Responding to multiple questions so bear with me.

    MAC MAN JW,
    I currently have both HDs on "cable select", I believe the CD drive has no jumpers on it. I will check that later when I have a chance to open the case again.

    666sheep,
    Yes it reads discs just fine.
    Yes I reset the pram and then the NVRAM, no hope no change...
    Do you mean just type "boot cd" with no hyphens at the open firmware screen? I did that but it returned "can't OPEN: cd" and then "ok". I tried "boot-cd" but it returned "boot-cd, unknown work" followed by "ok".

    macdatadrive,
    I guess "never" just happened because it certainly did forget. All I've ever had to do in the past to boot from a CD on this very machine is hold down "c" while booting. This no longer works. Yes I tried "option" which results in a slight delay at the boot screen but then the machine boots as usual. No menu for selecting drives.
     
  13. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #13
    Try this:
    Code:
    boot cd:,\\:tbxi
    You can check how does it see CD drive using:

    Code:
    dev / ls <enter>
    devalias
     
  14. tjniels thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #14
    Thanks. I will try that when I get home tonight.
     
  15. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #15
    Are you sure that
    1. your hard drive is ok and
    2. your CD-Drive has not become defective in the meantime?

    I had a Drive some time ago, where I installed a complete 10.4.11 via Firewire-mode and then swapped it in a PowerMac G4 (AGP, which is different from your G3) it could not boot. I then installed SMART Utility on another drive and tested it, the drive had over 4000 realocated bad sectors! So though installation went good, it could not boot from it!

    This is somehow different to your case, since you can't boot up from your other drive either, right? (Is there a chance both are defective?)

    About the jumpers. I know that Apple recommends Master/Slave for all G4 prior to the Quicksilver model, I do not know how it is with G3s. I remember I once tried installing a drive into two PM G3s, too and had huge problems finding the right setting (the most challenging was a Maxtor drive). I remember, that there was an extra manual from WD, I found back then. It is also reported, that Apple branded Maxtor Drives can cease functioning, when you install an ATX to G4-converted PSU. Do you still have the original PSU?

    Here it says that only some PowerMac G3s use use Master/Slave, some are restricted to one drive per channel! (I do not know, whether they think of the Grey PowerMac G3s, which are another story).
    Look here, 6th entry.
    http://www.google.de/search?q=power...&rls=org.mozilla:de:official&client=firefox-a

    You can try and find a G3 CPU for 1 buck on Ebay and try, if it is the G4 Upgrade causing the problems. You can still sell the G3-CPU later.

    Sorry for not really contributing to a solution, but maybe some hints serve as well.
     
  16. tjniels thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    #16
    I don't know that the drive is good, but it should be as it is brand new. I can boot from either drive, the problem as far as I can tell is not being able to select a drive during bootup.

    My CD-ROM drive could have become defective I suppose. I may replace it in the not-too-distant future for a DVD-ROM (I have heard that third-party Combo and Super drives are not bootable, but the DVD-ROM option that came factory installed in some of these machines should be a safe bet). It seems an odd coincidence that the CD drive would crap out shortly after swapping hard drives around and attempting to install Linux, but stranger things have happened. I just can't be sure if this failure is due to my tinkering or not.

    If 666sheep's method does not work I will try to come up with a way to test my drives.
     
  17. macdatadrive macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Location:
    The city of Macintosh :)
    #17
    Sorry about earlier.
    Maybe if you have another mac you could boot using target disk mode?
    My iBook recently (a week ago) couldn't boot from the install disk, and there was a problem with the actual cd drive so i used my iMac.
     
  18. texasmacuser macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    #18
    G3 boot blues

    I had a similar problem with my G3. I needed to erase information on the G3 and repartition. I finally got the G3 to boot from the CD by taking it back to Classic OS 9.2 and then restarting as I held down the C key. It finally booted from the Power Macintosh G3 CD.

    I spent a lot of time trying other ideas. Option, C, external hard drive, other utility CD's, restarts, etc. I was very happy when I finally got it to work. Hope this helps someone else. I have come to MacRumors many times for solutions to problems. Thanks to everyone.
     

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