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-   -   Odd boot problem on iMac G3 333 (http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/apple-desktops/207223-odd-boot-problem-imac-g3-333-a.html)

RKight 07-04-2010 03:06 AM

Odd boot problem on iMac G3 333
 
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!

louishen 07-04-2010 06:36 AM

Must be the fact that the Mac cannot boot from that optical drive.

Have you tried to copy the contents of 9.2 to a folder on the iMac. You could then maybe run the installer from the folder and see if that works.

Or you could copy the contents to a USB stick (HFS formatted) and attempt to boot from that.

RKight 07-04-2010 07:00 AM

I was able to run the installer straight off the disc just fine in order to upgrade my existing os 8.6 installation. I just wasn't able to boot off the disc so I could format the drive and do a fresh install. I would love to copy everything to a thumb drive but I read somewhere that the tray-loading iMacs aren't capable of booting from USB. I might try anyway. I could always use devalias in OF to redirect the CD alias to point to my thumb drive and attempt to boot that way. I tried it with an external CD drive but I know for a fact that drive doesn't work with my cousin's intel-based MacBook Pro so it may be worth a shot with a thumb drive or different external CD drive.

louishen 07-04-2010 09:59 AM

According to this page Macs can boot from USB with OS9, so copying over a working system alongside a copy of Disk Utility as well as the OS9 installer and selecting the new drive in the start-up disk control panel should work

Live USB - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

RKight 07-04-2010 10:08 AM

This page USB Info and Benefits of Dual-Channel USB says "Beginning with the Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics) and the iMac (Slot-Loading), two new features to USB are most apparent: support for USB audio devices and booting from USB drives."

I have a Revision D (tray-loading, 333 MHz) system. My iMac was built before the slot-loading iMac and it states that booting from USB drives was a new feature specific to the slot-loading model.

RKight 07-04-2010 10:14 AM

Something else worth noting is that on my iMac, if I do a "dev / ls" to see a list of devices, my USB drive shows up under "/mac-io/usb@14/device@1" whereas on my iBook G3, it shows up as "/mac-io/usb@18/disk@1", meaning my iBook G3 recognizes the drive as a disk drive and is capable of booting from it where the iMac does not recognize it as anything more than a generic USB device.

Mac SK 07-05-2010 11:58 PM

Most Imac boot disc OS9 are orange or white and orange ...Some for tray load Imacs where Blue and had on them OS8 ....is this a full retail version or did it come with the IBook. You need a full retail OS9 or the one spec. for the Imac.

RKight 07-10-2010 12:22 AM

The problem has been solved. While I was on vacation, the used iMac drive I ordered on eBay arrived. I promptly installed the drive and everything is working perfectly. Apparently, while some other drives will work in the iMac, there's no proper substitute for OEM hardware in a Mac.

dtravis7 07-10-2010 01:31 AM

That is especially true with older Macs like your 333 iMac. The newer Macs and especially the Intel ones are way less picky. Video cards are one of the main exceptions.

Glad you got it up and running! I own a G3 333MHZ iMac with 256 Megs RAM. Have 10.3 Panther on it. Runs quite well.

Mac SK 07-11-2010 12:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RKight (Post 1080472)
The problem has been solved. While I was on vacation, the used iMac drive I ordered on eBay arrived. I promptly installed the drive and everything is working perfectly. Apparently, while some other drives will work in the iMac, there's no proper substitute for OEM hardware in a Mac.

Yes older Mac drives have firmware on them so they will boot...glad to hear you got it going.:D Ive got 2 slot loads and one tray load 333 as well.


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