07-04-2010, 02:06 AM
I recently purchased a used iMac G3 (333Mhz, 32Mb RAM) from a family member for $10 and thought I'd play around with it a bit. The computer came with OS 8.6 installed and I have an OS 9.2.1 CD as well.
Here's where things get a little odd. The original CD drive was damaged. Somehow, the tray was cracked all the way across and the part of the tray containing the motor and laser assembly pulled right out of the computer when I went to open it. I read that you could replace the original drive with any PATA laptop CD-ROM, so I pulled one out of an old Dell Optiplex and installed it (temporarily, as I did order an original drive off eBay). I know for a fact that this drive works. It worked great in the Dell and functions fine in the iMac. I used it to install Warcraft 2 under OS 8.6, and I was able to upgrade to OS 9.2.1 while running under OS 8.6. If I try to boot from the disc, however, the iMac does not recognize the disc. If I hold "c" as I start the computer, it will simply boot off the hard drive. I have tried going into Open Firmware and resetting everything. I also did the usual "command+option+p+r" and even pressed the CUDA reset button on the motherboard. Nothing has worked. In OF, I can type "dir hd:,\" and hit enter and I will get the list of files and folders in the root of the hdd. If I type "dir cd:,\" I only get a message that says "can't open the DIR device".
I know the disc is bootable because I can insert it in my iBook G3 and hold "c" and it will boot just fine. I'll get the OS 9 desktop with the "CD" background.
Like I said, I can insert the disc while running OS 9 and it will recognize the disc and allow me to browse the files and start the OS 9 installer. Any ideas as to why it isn't being recognized by OF? Does this have anything to do with the CD-ROM not being the "official" hardware? I know laptop CD drives do not include jumpers and I've heard that some are set for different configurations from the factory (cable select or slave, vs master). If this is the case with this drive, wouldn't it also affect the drive's functionality inside the OS?
Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated!