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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    iMac G3 Slot Loader 400mHz 10GB HD upgrade questions..
    Hi,

    My name is Tyler and I new to the group. I recently bought a Bondi Blue iMac G3 400mHz 10GB for $25. It's awesome. It starts up and is as fast as my families gateway PC. However I need more space and I want more RAM. I was planning on getting the 120GB Hard Drive. I don't know where I should get it from, but I plan on it. I was reading about transferring files/hard ware or something and was wondering what exactly must be done once the new hard drive is plugged up in the computer? That's my major concern. Also will anything have to be done for the system once the RAM is in? One more thing is over heating really an issue? If so I would settle for an 80GB. Please let me know ASAP!

    Thanks!
    iMac G3 Lover!

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    Welcome!

    I am so impressed that you are impressed by a Mac from 1998!

    To answer your questions:

    1. RAM may be a bit hard to find, but should be cheap and is easy to install on that model. Just remember to put a towel down so you don't damage the screen when you put it "face down" to open the bottom panel (where the RAM is) and be SURE to discharge any static!

    2. The hard drive might be a bit tricky too, since you'll want an ATA (*not* SATA) hard drive no larger than 120GB, and that hasn't been made in a long while. Check your local fleabag PC shop, they'll probably have one lying around you can have for $5.

    3. Overheating is not really an issue unless you let the cat sleep on top of the machine, or let it get extremely dusty. The heat vents out the top.

  3. #3

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyler_hubbard20 View Post
    Hi,

    My name is Tyler and I new to the group. I recently bought a Bondi Blue iMac G3 400mHz 10GB for $25. It's awesome. It starts up and is as fast as my families gateway PC. However I need more space and I want more RAM. I was planning on getting the 120GB Hard Drive. I don't know where I should get it from, but I plan on it. I was reading about transferring files/hard ware or something and was wondering what exactly must be done once the new hard drive is plugged up in the computer? That's my major concern. Also will anything have to be done for the system once the RAM is in? One more thing is over heating really an issue? If so I would settle for an 80GB. Please let me know ASAP!

    Thanks!
    iMac G3 Lover!
    This 400mhz iMac can be upgraded to 1.0gig of PC-100 ram...and at most a 128gig 3.5" ultra ATA/IDE hard drive.

    These old original G3 iMacs are pretty neat little machines...but I would be very careful when investing additional $$$ in them.

    You paid $25 for it (which is a decent price)...but when you start talking hard drive, ram, and maybe an OS upgrade...you can start spending a lot of money that might get you a better (but still used) old Mac. Be careful what ram you get...not just any PC-100 will work (Mac's can be picky when it comes to ram).

    The other big problem with the old G3 iMacs is that the CRT display (after 10+ years of use)...can start to go bad at any time. But beyond that...enjoy it. And for $25...you can't go wrong!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Dec 03, 2010
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    Thanks Guys! I wasn't aware of the screen failing! Also I don't really mind putting money into this computer. I don't have nearly enough money to get a brand new iMac, so this is going to be my computer for a while. I really love these computers, despite their limitations.

    However one thing I don't quite understand is this:

    Once I hook-up the new hard drive and RAM, is it just plugin and go?
    I also forgot to say that I have OSX 10.4.11 if that helps?

    Thanks again!

  5. #5

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyler_hubbard20 View Post
    I wasn't aware of the screen failing!
    Anything with an older CRT monitor is prone to failure. LCD's can go bad as well...but the CRT displays just have more things that can go wrong with them. Plus many of those old G3 iMacs are 8-10 years old...with an unknown number of hours of use on them.

    If a G3 iMac has a low number of hours on it...then the monitor will be fine for a while. But if it has seen a LOT of hours of use (such as in an academic setting like a computer lab)...then it may not have a lot of life left. Just use it as long as you can..and enjoy it!

    Quote Originally Posted by tyler_hubbard20 View Post
    However one thing I don't quite understand is this:

    Once I hook-up the new hard drive and RAM, is it just plugin and go?
    I also forgot to say that I have OSX 10.4.11 if that helps?
    Pretty much...just got to format the new hard drive first. The ram is plug & play (as long as you get ram that's fully compatible with a Macintosh).

    OS 10.4.11 is the latest version you can install on one of those G3 iMac's. Some folks even prefer to install nothing newer than 10.3 on them for a little extra performance (10.4.11 can slow things down a bit). But I have 10.4.11 on a couple of my old G3 iMacs...and I'm ok with it.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6

    MacDude121's Avatar
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    Sep 22, 2010
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    Black MacBook 2.2GHz C2D, 4GB Ram - iMac G4 700MHz, 512MB Ram
    Quote Originally Posted by tyler_hubbard20 View Post
    Thanks Guys! I wasn't aware of the screen failing! Also I don't really mind putting money into this computer. I don't have nearly enough money to get a brand new iMac, so this is going to be my computer for a while. I really love these computers, despite their limitations.

    However one thing I don't quite understand is this:

    Once I hook-up the new hard drive and RAM, is it just plugin and go?
    I also forgot to say that I have OSX 10.4.11 if that helps?

    Thanks again!
    When you say you have 10.4.11, do you mean that it's already installed on the machine, or that you have a disk? Anyway, the Hard Drive and ram should work fine once put in and an OS is installed. Concerning the screen, CRT's in all-in-one Macs are prone to failure, especially after 10+ years.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Dec 03, 2010
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    Ah, I see. I am total noob when it comes to these iMacs, but if/when the screen goes bad can you fix it?


    Also as far as formatting a new hard drive.. What exactly does that mean? What do I have to do?

    I also wasn't aware of the 10.4.11 slows it down, oh well. It's good for me

    Thanks for all the help!
    I really appreciate it!

  8. #8

    MacDude121's Avatar
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    Sep 22, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyler_hubbard20 View Post
    Ah, I see. I am total noob when it comes to these iMacs, but if/when the screen goes bad can you fix it?

    Thanks for all the help!
    I really appreciate it!
    You can't really fix it, unless you have some amazing computer skills. But don't worry about it that much, CRT's usually die slowly, with symptoms of dimming/flickering. If you don't have any of that now, you should be fine. If the screen does go though, you can hook up an external monitor via VGA, although it's kinda awkward to use, and kills the whole "iMac G3 Experience" in my opinion.

  9. #9

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyler_hubbard20 View Post
    Ah, I see. I am total noob when it comes to these iMacs, but if/when the screen goes bad can you fix it?
    Almost anything can be fixed/repaired/replaced...it just depends on how much skill you have or how many $$$ you're willing to spend. Typically...repairing a CRT display (when they eventually are not working properly)...is not worth it financially...especially on a computer that costs $25 dollars.


    Quote Originally Posted by tyler_hubbard20 View Post
    Also as far as formatting a new hard drive.. What exactly does that mean? What do I have to do?
    I'm kind of surprised to hear this question from you. If you're intending on replacing the hard drive...I was assuming you knew what you were doing...since replacing a hard drive on an iMac G3 is not exactly easy. It's not exactly hard...but not easy either.

    To format the hard drive you need to open "Disk Utility" then select the drive to be formatted, then format the drive. To do this...the new drive:

    1. If installed inside the computer you need to boot from an OS install disk...then format the new hard drive.

    2. If the new drive is not installed yet (old hard drive still in the computer)...then the new drive needs to be installed in an external hard drive case, then the external hard drive plugged into the iMac via a USB or firewire port...then formatted.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Dec 03, 2010
    Posts
    15
    Exactly! It totally ruins the reason I love this computer.
    Like I said, I prefer this computer over newer iMacs, so I don't really care about putting money into it.(I know, dumb)

    Do any repair shops in the world really repair these screens? That would be awesome. I know my screen is fine now, but eventually I may need them!? lol

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Dec 03, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Almost anything can be fixed/repaired/replaced...it just depends on how much skill you have or how many $$$ you're willing to spend. Typically...repairing a CRT display (when they eventually are not working properly)...is not worth it financially...especially on a computer that costs $25 dollars.



    I'm kind of surprised to hear this question from you. If you're intending on replacing the hard drive...I was assuming you knew what you were doing...since replacing a hard drive on an iMac G3 is not exactly easy. It's not exactly hard...but not easy either.

    To format the hard drive you need to open "Disk Utility" then select the drive to be formatted, then format the drive. To do this...the new drive:

    1. If installed inside the computer you need to boot from an OS install disk...then format the new hard drive.

    2. If the new drive is not installed yet (old hard drive still in the computer)...then the new drive needs to be installed in an external hard drive case, then the external hard drive plugged into the iMac via a USB or firewire port...then formatted.

    - Nick
    Well the cost of repair isn't my concern, but I understand how to get to the hard drive and replace but as far as the formatting goes.. I really couldn't find a clear definite answer. However I don't have the OS disk? When I got the computer I had to used the code to make a new user account. If I can find a disk is that all I will need? Thanks a lot for helping me with this! I needed a clear answer for it My gratitude Nick

  12. #12

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyler_hubbard20 View Post

    Do any repair shops in the world really repair these screens? That would be awesome. I know my screen is fine now, but eventually I may need them!? lol
    I think if you ever needed to get the iMacs CRT display repaired...after you get an estimate for a repair such as this...you will be "singing a different tune". I wouldn't be surprised if a repair place (if you can find one willing & knowledgeable enough to do it)...charged you $200-$250 or more!!!

    If you haven't fully disassembled one of these iMac G3's...you have absolutely no idea how hard it is to open them up to get full access to the CRT display components. So:

    - lots of time for the repair shop to disassemble the computer
    - the cost of the repair parts
    - time to install the repair parts (lots of soldering & desoldering)
    - lots of time to reassemble the computer

    Basically...lots of $$$$ for a computer that's worth $25 or less.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  13. #13

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyler_hubbard20 View Post
    ... I understand how to get to the hard drive and replace but as far as the formatting goes.. I really couldn't find a clear definite answer. However I don't have the OS disk?
    If you don't have an OS install disk...how are you going to install the OS on that new hard drive?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  14. #14

    MacDude121's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyler_hubbard20 View Post
    Exactly! It totally ruins the reason I love this computer.
    Like I said, I prefer this computer over newer iMacs, so I don't really care about putting money into it.(I know, dumb)

    Do any repair shops in the world really repair these screens? That would be awesome. I know my screen is fine now, but eventually I may need them!? lol
    Wow, you seem very worried about the screen. Let me put it like this... If a year from now after you've upgraded, the screen dies. The easier/cheaper solution would be to buy a New iMac G3, rather than repairing the machine you have now. And if given the opportunity, you could pick up a faster 500,600, or 700 MHz Model and transfer the upgraded parts into that one.

  15. #15

    50voltphantom's Avatar
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    Specs:
    20" iMac 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo - eMac 1.42 GHz (RIP) - iMac G3 400 MHz - iPad 2 16GB
    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post

    To answer your questions:

    1. RAM may be a bit hard to find, but should be cheap and is easy to install on that model.
    You can get RAM for these machines no problem on eBay. Or ask your local independent Mac store, I scored a free stick of 512MB by just asking.
    Mac Specs: 20" iMac 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo 4 GB RAM 500 GB HD OS 10.6.8 Magic Trackpad- eMac 1.42 GHz (RIP) - iMac G3 Grape 400 MHz 1GB RAM 40GB HD OS 10.4.11 iSub - iPad 2 16GB - iPod Classic 120 GB - iPod Shuffle 2nd Gen 1GB - Apple TV 2

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