I posted this over in the G3 forum, but I figure I could post it here to because it is really about hardware

Hey everyone. Here's the dilema.
My friend just got a G3 Imac 500MHz. It is running OS X 10.3
It only boots sometimes, the rest of the time i get the ? and the mac icon blinking. I can tell when it boots because I can hear the hard drive. Also sometimes when it boots and I am in OS X panther for a while, I hear the hard drive stop and then OS X locks up. When I swap the drive out and put in a new hard drive (that I know is working) and put in the OS 9.0 install CD it won't work. Even the CD won't work.

I've tried clearing the PRam and NV ram. I run Fsck when i can (it seems to only run when the hard drive works) and it says my hard drive is ok. When I got into OS X one of the few times it loaded, I cleared all third party start up programs.

My dad has a voltage meter and we tested the voltage on the pram battery while the imac was on, it read 3.6v We then tested the 4 pin molex connector for the hard drive and it was running the correct voltage (i think it was like 12, i can't remember)

My only guess now would be to buy a new ribbon cable for the HD and CD drive. Alas, I only have a macbook so i can't test the HD to see if it would be bad. (It is quite new, a 120GB WD). If it was a faulty ribbon cable, would this explain why the CD wouldn't work as well? Or do you think it could be the power cable? I will be off to ebay asap. I hope you guys can help me out here.

thanks in advace.