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  1. #1
    What's the best way to upgrade my iMac G3 HDD?

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    What's the best way to upgrade my iMac G3 HDD?
    Hi, and thanks in advance for any assistance. I've never had a mac before, and I picked up a G3 iMac at a garage sale last weekend. It's running Jaguar on a 10GB HDD. I'd like to upgrade both the OS and the HDD - is it possible to put a blank HDD in there and boot directly from an OSX CD/DVD? I just want to make sure before I crack this sucker open and put it all back together. Again, thanks for any info.

  2. #2
    What's the best way to upgrade my iMac G3 HDD?
    louishen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgriggs View Post
    is it possible to put a blank HDD in there and boot directly from an OSX CD/DVD?
    Yes you can, by holding down the C key at start-up

    As for the hard disk, there is a guide here - bear in mind that those older macs could not support drives over 128 Gig connected to the internal ATA bus

    How do you replace or upgrade the hard drive in the iMac G3 models? Do these models support "big drives"? @ EveryMac.com
    Member of the Month September 2008 & August 2012 | Found advice useful? use the rep system

  3. #3
    What's the best way to upgrade my iMac G3 HDD?
    Mac SK's Avatar
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    You need to tell us if its a tray load or slot load Imac as there may be no DVD drive in these models and when you install a new clean HD you lose part of the firmware that resides on the disc that enables the machine to run Unix. I would just leave the OS on the small drive and buy a firewire or USB external drive to store your stuff. That gets you past the boot drive size limit. And there may be issues with a new drive install.

  4. #4
    What's the best way to upgrade my iMac G3 HDD?
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    And consider purchasing a 7200 RPM drive to replace the original 5400 RPM. Have done several and have not seen any heat problems the iMac could not cope with.

  5. #5
    What's the best way to upgrade my iMac G3 HDD?

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    Thanks for the link, that's very helpful. It's a slot load combo drive, but it doesn't eject very well and I'm planning on replacing that, too. Yeah, I've read other posts that advise buying a firewire drive etc...but honestly I'd like to play around and see if I can get it working. I've got a 60GB drive just laying around and it seems like a good upgrade candidate.

  6. #6
    What's the best way to upgrade my iMac G3 HDD?

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    firmware?
    Somebody mentioned firmware. Does this still apply on a fresh hard drive? And what is the firmware actually for, the mainboard?

  7. #7
    What's the best way to upgrade my iMac G3 HDD?
    Mac SK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgriggs View Post
    Somebody mentioned firmware. Does this still apply on a fresh hard drive? And what is the firmware actually for, the mainboard?
    YES.... That way I said to leave the drive alone and put the 60gig in a box and use it as a second drive. These G3 Imacs are just powerbooks with VGA monitors on top and the firmware is an enabler to run that stuff. Unless you have the original Imac install disc for that model you can get in lots of trouble real quick. The same goes for upgrading to X, With out the right firmware installed the Unix code in X can disable the video chip. Its called death by ten.
    As theres nothing in the OS ten installer to stop you from installing if the boot rom is not right.

  8. #8
    What's the best way to upgrade my iMac G3 HDD?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac SK View Post
    YES.... That way I said to leave the drive alone and put the 60gig in a box and use it as a second drive. These G3 Imacs are just powerbooks with VGA monitors on top and the firmware is an enabler to run that stuff. Unless you have the original Imac install disc for that model you can get in lots of trouble real quick. The same goes for upgrading to X, With out the right firmware installed the Unix code in X can disable the video chip. Its called death by ten.
    As theres nothing in the OS ten installer to stop you from installing if the boot rom is not right.
    Thanks for the help. So I've already checked the firmware through the existing OS install (booting to OS9, Jaguar is also installed) and it is at the latest version. If the firmware is running on the mainboard, I'm assuming that I'm ok to go ahead with the hard drive upgrade, yes?

  9. #9
    What's the best way to upgrade my iMac G3 HDD?
    Mac SK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bgriggs View Post
    Thanks for the help. So I've already checked the firmware through the existing OS install (booting to OS9, Jaguar is also installed) and it is at the latest version. If the firmware is running on the mainboard, I'm assuming that I'm ok to go ahead with the hard drive upgrade, yes?
    NO...If you install a clean hard drive you will have to start from the begining. Most of the firmware resides on the HD and it will be gone.You have to start with the original version for that Imac.. install OS 9.2.2 then the OS x firmware making the boot rom 4.1.9 then install Jaguar. If you do not have the original Classic install disc you could get up the creek real quick. You can add the second drive in an external box ..format it and you got 60gigs of storage. A whole lot easier and no pain.

  10. #10
    What's the best way to upgrade my iMac G3 HDD?

    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac SK View Post
    NO...If you install a clean hard drive you will have to start from the begining. Most of the firmware resides on the HD and it will be gone.You have to start with the original version for that Imac.. install OS 9.2.2 then the OS x firmware making the boot rom 4.1.9 then install Jaguar. If you do not have the original Classic install disc you could get up the creek real quick. You can add the second drive in an external box ..format it and you got 60gigs of storage. A whole lot easier and no pain.
    Thank you - that's what I needed to know.

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