What to do with iMac G3?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by magnamagna, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. magnamagna macrumors newbie

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    Mar 18, 2014
    #1
    I pulled my parent's old sun-stained iMac G3 from the depths of their back porch and to my amazement, it booted right up! Slot DVD drive seems toast and I have lost the keyboard, but with my Windows USB mouse I was able to navigate OS9 just fine. I found all of my old MP3s (thanks, macster)! Memories!

    Anyway, what in the world do I do with this thing now? Can you upgrade to 10.4 while still keeping the OS9 install intact? Will any stick of PC100 RAM from eBay work in it? Is it even worth it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

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    #2
    Honestly, I would keep it on OS9 and use it as a music/DVD player, or play games from the "Macintosh Garden".
     
  3. magnamagna thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 18, 2014
    #3
    Thanks for the reply! I do have some fond memories of old Mac games. I would love to just use it as a DVD player for the kids, but it seems to be busted!! Huge bummer! Are repairs cheap/worth it? (I realize that is a lazy question)
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    G3 iMacs take an oddly designed optical drive. Only them and the G4 Cube use the same drive. DVD drives for this strange design rarely popup on eBay. When they do, their price range is about $15-$25. You can get a more common CD or CD-RW drive for about $10-$20. The lens in your current drive could just be dirty. Have you tried a lens cleaning disc in it? Can it read CD's? What colour and speed is that iMac?
     
  5. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #5
    Back porch? It has been exposed to the elements? Good guy Apple! Anyway, the CD drives do fail, but it is best to check the lenses. If I am not mistaken, the cube has a POT to increase the power of the lens, I had to do that on my G4 and now it runs fine. Just be warned, it can shorten the life of the drive.
     
  6. magnamagna thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 18, 2014
    #6
    Great questions! If I recall correctly, the drive hasn't worked since I (in my youthful wisdom) tried to shove a credit card-sized CD in there (tiny CDs were a common marketing gimmick back in the day). I'm pretty sure it got stuck and then I had to dig it out. It was dead after that! Thus, I'm assuming it's a mechanical issue.

    Would an external USB drive work? Would that require OSX?

    Thanks for the help!
     
  7. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #7
    Does it even open? Most of the time, a CD drive can be fixed with parts from a donor drive, and the drive doesn't have to be the same one. But, the lens might be scratched, or it has been moved, etc. I'd take it apart and see if there is anything outright wrong with it.
     
  8. magnamagna thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 18, 2014
    #8
    I know!! Built like a tank!! It's an enclosed porch, but it was still hammered by the sun and endured midwest temps of 110F to -5F. Beast!

    I will see what I can do about getting to the lens. Time to bust out the screwdriver......
     
  9. Dustman macrumors 65816

    Dustman

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    Apr 17, 2007
    #9
    If it is 500Mhz+, and has at least 512MB of RAM, I'd put 10.3 on it and use it as an iTunes machine.
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    A USB DVD drive may not play DVDs. It might as long as the internal drive is a DVD drive and still connected. If you do go about replacing parts, make sure you replace them with the same strange design as in a G3 iMac or G4 Cube optical drive.
     
  11. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    #11
    He would, if the CD drive worked....




    read.
     
  12. gooser macrumors 6502

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    Jul 4, 2013
    #12
    even when working properly, dvd's on g3 imacs looked awful. i'd just give up on that idea. misterkeeks had a good idea.
     
  13. magnamagna thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Can OSX not be installed from an external source? It has USB and Firewire. I might even have an old Firewire cable for my iPod laying around!
     
  14. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

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    #14
    I would install Warcraft 2 and relive my youth.
     
  15. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #15
    You can use a FW drive, or take out the HD and use these steps:
     
  16. magnamagna thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 18, 2014
    #16
    I know! The picture was harsh: especially in bright light. But, toddlers are usually not as discerning ;)

    Now, to break it open and check on the parts.....
     
  17. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #17
    Yes, you can reinstall OS X through either USB or FireWire. OS 9 cannot be reinstalled from an external non-SCSI drive.
     
  18. magnamagna thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Great, thanks! Does anyone know what happens to the OS9 install? Is it kept and just booted when needed? It is nuked completely?
     
  19. Dustman macrumors 65816

    Dustman

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    #19
    Who's using CDs? Load MP3s on an external. Or transfer them with a flash drive.

    EDIT: Didn't realize you meant for updating.
     
  20. magnamagna thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Kyser Soze and Warcraft 2 were both instrumental in forming my geekness.
     
  21. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #21
    You have the option of installing OS X over the current OS 9/X installation called an archive and install. If you do that, OS 9 will stay. The other option is to completely wipe the drive. If you do that, OS 9 will be erased.
     
  22. magnamagna thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 18, 2014
    #22
    Great, thanks!

    I LOVE all of these replies! It's great to know that so many of you are just like me: It's hard to let go to working computers!
     
  23. Dustman macrumors 65816

    Dustman

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    #23
    Your files should be kept. OS 9 itself won't boot but you'll be able to run the classic environment.
     
  24. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

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    Nov 15, 2012
    #24
    Since the iMac has USB 1.1, I would recommend a Firewire drive. I tried playing a DVD with a USB drive on my iMac G4, which has USB 1.1. I found that it often stuttered as a combination of the slow USB and slow processor.

    If the iMac is one of the original tray loading ones, however, Firewire would unfortunately be out of the question.
     
  25. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    Aug 21, 2004
    #25
    G5 drives were SATA, the iMac G3's need PATA drives. I have a 40 gig with Tiger on it let me know if you want.

    Also I think the optical drive fix for the G4 Cube works on the iMac G3, it's an adapter of some sort that makes it possible to use a modern laptop hard drive with the iMac. Also is this a slot loader or tray loader?
     

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