Strange G3 Beige HDD Problem

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bunnspecial, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    I was given a beige G3 desktop last week, and the old owner wants the data off of it. I'm trying to do so before I wipe it and put my own stuff on it.

    In any case, the HDD is the stock Western Digital Caviar 4gb.

    When I attempt to boot the computer, it comes up to a Happy Mac screen. It never gets beyond this. Since I get the Happy Mac, I assume the drive is at least readable, and has something between OS 8.5 and OS X 10.2 installed on it.

    I was able to boot off an OS 9 retail disk, and immediately upon booting I get a message that the drive is not readable and needs to be initialized.

    I also pulled the drive and connected it to my Macbook Pro, but get a similar message that the drive is unreadable.

    I installed a replacement drive, initialized it, and had no trouble installing OS 9 to it(then subsequently booting to it). Thus, the problem is clearly in the original drive.

    I'm just not sure what to do to go about getting the data off of it.

    Does anyone have any ideas about what could be going on here?
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    It's probably not loading an extension.

    When you boot the Mac, hold down SHIFT right after you hear the chime. That'll boot the Mac without extensions. Keep holding it until you see Safe Boot or booting without extensions or some similar message (forget now what it used to say).

    If it still won't boot then it's probably the hard drive.

    In OS9's time though there were a few security extensions that could prevent drive access. Not saying that's the case here, because I don't know, but could be - or just drive corruption.

    You might also try rebuilding the desktop file. Hit the key combo for that immediately after you see the desktop (if you do). Forget what the key combo is though so you'll have to Google it.
  3. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    I have a beige G3 with the same problem. It is because the disk has Mac OS X on it. When I installed Mac OS X on my G3, it set something in the PRAM. It has a dead PRAM battery, so after I transported it, it got reset, so now it has the same problem yours has. It gets stuck at happy face. A way to fix this, I think, is to boot from a Mac OS X install disk and go to the utilities, and set the startup disk.

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