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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > PowerMac G3 300 no longer boots.

PowerMac G3 300 no longer boots.
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sek929
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Aug 19, 2010, 04:28 PM
 
This machine has been a finicky POS since the day it arrived from PowerMax, I should have returned it. Anywhoo...

This particular G3 B&W was configured with an UW SCSI card and 9GB SCSI (!) hard drive from Apple. I suspect this system is the underlying cause of all my problems.

At first problems regarding the hard disk manifested themselves in an inability to empty the trash, or sometimes create new folders or documents. Eventually I'd have to restart the system just so I could add a bookmark in the browser. I forget the error code now, but it went along the lines of 'cannot write to disk' or something like that. Even copying an attachment from an email to the desktop was impossible.

Now my grandfather (it's his computer) calls me up and say the machine no longer boots. When I show up the console is on the screen asking for a login, something I've never actually seen in an OSX machine before. I brought it home and have it attempting to boot right now. it goes to the Apple screen, then the blue screen.....and it has been there for the entirety of this post. I can hear the HDD whirring and accessing data, then the little 'pinwheel' appears on the blue screen, then nothing. Rinse repeat.

I had planned on removing the SCSI card and SCSI disk and replacing them with my G4s extra ATA HDD, but I do not see the appropriate cabling inside the machine. If this machine was configured with a SCSI card and disk does than mean it lacks the ata 100 (or ata 66) interfaces?

I apologize for anything I didn't make clear, but I am really stumped on this one. I could try and boot off the CDs, but I really would hate to go through the process of re-installing OSX on this flaky SCSI disk just to have it shit the bed on me again.

Suggestions?

Edit: The machine was running 10.4
( Last edited by sek929; Aug 19, 2010 at 04:45 PM. )
     
-Q-
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Aug 19, 2010, 04:51 PM
 
It may not have come with the cable, but it should still have the right hardware on the MoBo, IIRC, to support an IDE drive. I could be wrong tho'. It's been a very long time since I cracked one of those machines open.
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 19, 2010, 05:03 PM
 
Ok, well after removing the SCSI card and Disk I can see an open ulra ata slot on the mobo right near where I'm used to the HDDs connecting. There is also an IDE slot that is already hooked to a ribbon cable that tucks back under the mobo, I assume this is for the CD rom and Zip drive.

So I can then assume all I need is an ata ribbon cable and I'm in business with the new HDD? Anything I am missing?
     
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Aug 19, 2010, 05:35 PM
 
Let's see...you may run into a problem with IDE drives of a certain size. As I recall, the controllers on those machines wouldn't "see" any space past 128GB (guessing here) on a drive? So if you have a drive smaller than that, probably best to use it.
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 19, 2010, 05:49 PM
 
Ha, well I'm actually going to be swapping out the original 45GB HDD from my G4, so no problems there. Just picked up an ata cable at BB, only 4 bucks, by tonight I should have this beast up and running again.
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 19, 2010, 05:52 PM
 
Also also, Googling around a bit I found that SCSI and 10.4 do not play well together in general. Lots of people having problems similar to mine.
     
mduell
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Aug 19, 2010, 06:12 PM
 
Boat anchor?
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 19, 2010, 06:43 PM
 
Okay.

HDD is installed, computer powers on, chimes. Obviously there is no system folder so it hangs there.

The only OSX system installation discs I have are for my old PowerMac G4, and my current iMac. Currently the machine is not booting off of the G4 restore CD. Is that because it was only meant for one machine, or is that a red flag?

Edit: Also, as the machine sits right now, the keyboard and mouse are not powered...perhaps pressing the C key isn't doing anything anyways. The keyboard is a white Apple keyboard, but certainly not the one this machine shipped with. The mouse is a Microsoft.
( Last edited by sek929; Aug 19, 2010 at 06:53 PM. )
     
Waragainstsleep
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Aug 19, 2010, 08:42 PM
 
Its not really SCSI that has issues with 10.4, Adaptec stopped updating their Mac drivers after 10.3 so Adaptec cards are read only on 10.4 or later. If you're lucky.
As far as I know, the G3 should boot off the G4 CD. It IS a CD right? Not a DVD and the G3 only has CDRW or something?
The 'all-white; keyboards (The one before the aluminium) are only fully supported for 10.2.8 and later so there may be some incompatibility, though it should still power and work to some extent. Regardless, it should boot from the CD when it doesn't find any other OS anyway. Assuming it can read the disc.
The current iMac will definitely be a DVD and will not work on a G3 as it will be Intel only. Gotta be worth trying an older keyboard if you can lay your hands on one.
You really want a generic 8.6 or later CD to be sure before you thiknk about writing it off though.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
chris v
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Aug 19, 2010, 10:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Currently the machine is not booting off of the G4 restore CD. Is that because it was only meant for one machine, or is that a red flag?
That disk isn't going to boot a G3 - the restore CDs/DVDs are all machine-specific. Do you still have the G4? If so, put the drive in there, run the install, then put the drive in the G3.

When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Aug 19, 2010, 10:48 PM
 
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 19, 2010, 11:29 PM
 
Funny thing Chris V, I took the drive out of my working G4 before I encountered this problem, D'oh! Would have been way easier to install OSX first and THEN switch the drive over, but anyways.

At any rate, and after several beers, I had a revelation about the CUDA reset...which has worked beautifully and now 10.4 is in the process of installing.

My only other worry is that this is original HDD that came with my G4 in 2001, it has performed for many, MANY years past its operating range and I imagine that if it will ever fail now would be the time to do so. If it does I am going to recommend a used C2D Mac Mini.
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 20, 2010, 01:55 AM
 
Oh boy!

So the install takes nicely and I begin downloading updates from Apple. At the end of one an error occurs where something cannot be installed, my options are to restart or shut down.

Now I am stuck at a a login screen where the password I most certainly set isn't working. I search around and learn how to boot into single user mode and reset the 'welcome to mac' intro where you set your info. I set up a new account with NO PASSWORD and it still won't let me login. Arg!

I guess another re-install? WTF happened?
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Aug 20, 2010, 06:56 AM
 
Boot of the install cd again there a option in the menu to reset the password.
     
reader50
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Aug 20, 2010, 12:43 PM
 
Also from the install CD, run Disk Utility. That "can't install" error message suggests a filesystem error.

How is the drive jumpered? And on which connector of the ribbon cable? Early B&Ws had a flaw in their IDE controller, so that you couldn't use the 2nd drive. I don't recall if that issue would bite if you are just set to Slave with no Master present.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Aug 20, 2010, 12:48 PM
 
Tiger was prone to a password error which could not be resolved using the password reset on the DVD. There is a way to reset the password from single user mode. That usually did the trick.

[HOWTO] Reset User Password via single user mode [Archive] - macosx.com
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 20, 2010, 04:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Also from the install CD, run Disk Utility. That "can't install" error message suggests a filesystem error.

How is the drive jumpered? And on which connector of the ribbon cable? Early B&Ws had a flaw in their IDE controller, so that you couldn't use the 2nd drive. I don't recall if that issue would bite if you are just set to Slave with no Master present.
Drive is jumpered to master and hooked to the first connector on the cable.

I got the machine to boot with the no-password user, but now there are two other admin users on the computer and I have no idea how to remove them.
     
reader50
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Aug 20, 2010, 07:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Drive is jumpered to master and hooked to the first connector on the cable
I'm not sure what you mean by "first connector", so for reference: One end is the motherboard connector. The other end is for Master, and the middle connector is for the optional Slave drive.

... there are two other admin users on the computer and I have no idea how to remove them.
In System Preferences -> Accounts, you can delete the others. If it requires their passwords, things could get sticky. If so, and you really want to ditch them, you'd have two options:

1) jump to the root user, try to delete the accounts from System Preferences there.
2) use NetInfo Manager to delete the user IDs, then use the Finder to delete their user folders.
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 20, 2010, 10:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "first connector", so for reference: One end is the motherboard connector. The other end is for Master, and the middle connector is for the optional Slave drive.
Hmm, I have it hooked to the 'middle' connection right now and the machine is running fine. I suppose I should switch it regardless.
     
P
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Aug 21, 2010, 12:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "first connector", so for reference: One end is the motherboard connector. The other end is for Master, and the middle connector is for the optional Slave drive.
This is correct if the IDE drive is jumpered to Cable Select. It can be (and, IMHO, should be) jumpered to be explicitly master or slave. If sek has jumpered the drive to master, it is master. Only issue is if a second drive, jumpered to cable select, is added to the last connector of the same cable. Then both drives will attempt to be master, and that won't work, but you can jumper that drive to slave and it will work just fine.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 21, 2010, 03:38 PM
 
Okay cool, I switched the cable anyways, but the drive is indeed jumpered to master.

Yesterday was another hurdle. After switching the IDE cable around the machine no longer booted up, again. CUDA reset did nothing and the machine didn't get far enough into its boot sequence to start the USB services. After scratching my head for a while I decide to start taking RAM chips out, turns out that the last slot has gone bad, no idea how or when, but the fourth slot no longer wants to accept any RAM. So I switched around the RAM in the remaining slots to accept the big sticks, machine went down to 640MB RAM but it runs fine now.

Wow, what an experience.
     
512ke
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Aug 30, 2010, 04:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Its not really SCSI that has issues with 10.4, Adaptec stopped updating their Mac drivers after 10.3 so Adaptec cards are read only on 10.4 or later. If you're lucky..
I must be doing something wrong. My factory original B&W G3 has a 6g ide and a 9g scsi and both happily read and write to each other and to and from externals. OS 10.4.11
     
sek929  (op)
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Aug 30, 2010, 04:53 PM
 
The 9gb SCSI in the G3 could have been going south too, or perhaps the SCSI cards have different manufacturers.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Sep 3, 2010, 04:49 AM
 
Maybe it was 10.5. I know Adaptec cards are useless in 10.5 Server, been trying to hook a RAID to my old Xserve G4 with one. Had to go buy an ATTO.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
   
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