Why Can't I Boot From My CD Drive?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 13, 2002
Cleveland, Ohio
I have a G3/300, beige tower. A few years ago I removed the factory CD drive and replaced it with a Yamaha CDRW drive. No problems.

Well, now I'd like to clean up the hard drive for the first time ever and got out my utilities CD...it says to boot it from the CD drive by placing it in the drive and restarting while holding down the "C" key. This doesn't seem to work for me. I hear the CD drive being accessed, but then it still boots from the HD. I'm holding the C key through the whole process.

So then I tried removing the Yamaha drive and drivers and reinstalled the original Apple CD drive. Same thing. The CD spins when starting up and sounds like it's being accessed, but then it still jumps to the HD for the actual boot.

I'm tempted to move the system file out of the system folder on the HD to totally disable the HD's OS, but then what if it STILL won't boot from the CD? I'm royally screwed, then.

Any ideas? I'd really like to get a bigger HD for this mac, but I fear I won't be able to install it if I can't boot from the CD drive.

Any ideas?




macrumors member
Jan 21, 2002
Try holding CMD-OPT-SHIFT-DELETE on startup, this is a bypass of the startup drive.

Or otherwise, go to your control panels-Startup disk and select the startup cd and restart

Hope it'll work

Björn ;)


macrumors 68030
Aug 1, 2001
Santa Cruz Ca
other possibilities:

If, when you installed the CD drive you fiddled around with the IDE adressing jumpers and have the adresses reversed or the CD drive is no longer on the same IDE bus it was originally then your Beige G3's oldschool fixed-ROM won't know where to find it. Check in the system profiler to verify that the CD drive is on the same bus as the HD and that the CD drive is at adress "zero" and the HD is at adress "one". If you simply have these adresses reversed you can boot using the "D" key as opposed to the "C" key and get the desired effect.

If you have installed Jag your machine may not want to boot from a CD with a pre-OS 9.2 system folder.

There may be a need to update the Yamaha's firmware to support booting. This can be checked at Apple's website under the support tab.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 13, 2002
Cleveland, Ohio
Mischief...I don't think I messed with any of those things when I installed it...I merely swapped out the one and put in the other. I'll give the D key a spin tonight, too, if the other stuff doesn't work.

Sparkleytone, that makes sense, but I did go back and reinstall the original Apple CD drive, deleted all of the Yamaha drivers, and STILL couldn't get it to boot from the CD drive.



macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2001
It's probably got the Mat*****a 24x CD ROM my beige G3 came with. They're unreliable and fail eventually, mine was after 3 years, all the problems you're having are down to drive falure, I know from experience. I've permanently disconnected mine.

If it's any help, install the "Toast CD Reader" extension, restart, select the CD manually with the start up disk control panel and then restart.

It works perfectly booting from CD this way with my external yamaha CD writer under OS 9.2.

As far as permanently solving the problem and having a bootable internal CD with no messing about. I'd look on eBay for a replacement apple drive, the 8 x drives are quite cheap, infact you can get a 24 x SCSI drive from cyberdrive for under £19 that's 100% apple compatable and bootable.

This would leave you with no use for the yamaha drive but seeing as it's a CD writer I'm sure you could put it in the lower bay and use the other drive to boot from. I'm assuming there is a lower bay on the towers, I opted for the desktop for some foolish reason :mad:

hope this helps/doesn't bug you too much.

I hate asking for help and someone saying "sorry mate, it's screwed!" but in this case, that's the only thing I could do seeing as it happened to me.
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