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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Used Mac? What do I do?

Used Mac? What do I do?
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newmac77
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Oct 26, 2009, 05:35 PM
 
I just bought a used i Mac G3 at a garage sale. Never owned one before. I have always had Windows systems.

The owner is deceased, as the sale was of his estate. When you plug in the unit, and power it up, it goes through a gray like screen with an rainbow colored CD looking icon in upper left corner, and a little smiling "cartoon computer" looking thing dead center of screen. Then in goes to blue, and the log in page comes up still containing the deceased man's name, and prompts for the password.

I have NO clue how to even work one of these things, but have been told they were good units, hence my purchase. I have two disks that came with it, both say OS X 10.1 on them. Seem to me to be an operating system (OS) of some kind. They were the only disks I got. I have spoken to the man's family, and they too have no idea.

Anyone know how I can get past this, so I can set it up for self use?

Thanks!!
     
newmac77  (op)
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Oct 26, 2009, 05:53 PM
 
Oh to let everyone know, regarding my last post, I am NOT a computer genius by any means, so please, PLEASE!! be gentle with the replies!! I'm flying dumb here!! LOL!!
     
Doc HM
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Oct 26, 2009, 06:25 PM
 
Put the disk labeled Instal disk 1 into the optical drive. Restart the Mac holding the c key down on the keyboard. This will start the mac up from the dvd.

You have several options once the system has booted and the installer kicks in. You can reset the main user password, or erase the hard drive and install the OS from scratch.

If you want to reset the password go to the utilities menu in the top menu bar and select password manager. Reset the password. You can now log in. This will give you access to all the previous owners files.

Unless you fancy looking through a dead mans stuff you may be better off wiping the drive and installing the OS again. Go for the erase and install option from the installer. Of course this will leave you with OS X 10.1 on the machine, which is really too old an OS for everyday use. You should find a copy of OS X 10.4 as soon as possible and update to this version (you may need more RAM).
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newmac77  (op)
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Oct 26, 2009, 06:32 PM
 
Ok I will try that!! I appreciate the info. No, I most certainly don't fancy looking through the old boy's stuff, so I most likely will go for the "start new" option as described!!

Also, I will look into getting the newer system you spoke of. If I can at least get it running to where I can use it, that's half the battle won right there!!

Thank you again!!

     
newmac77  (op)
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Oct 26, 2009, 07:16 PM
 
I did what was suggested, and all appeared to be working, but now there is an installation problem. I get through the initial welcoming, agreeing to license agreements, and once I get to the "choose location" part, I can't choose a location. It says icon dimmed because no previous operating system exists.

I erased the drive to start new as suggested, but now have no idea where to go!! As previously stated, I have never owned a Mac at all, the PC I am on currently runs Windows XP, and this is what I am used to. I really have no idea where to begin here!
     
mduell
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Oct 26, 2009, 07:50 PM
 
Just a warning, it's likely to be a very unsatisfying experience. Unlike Windows XP (which is from the same time period as OS X 10.1), no reasonably modern software will run on it. You're stuck running well outdated web browsers/office suites/multimedia software.
     
newmac77  (op)
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Oct 26, 2009, 09:13 PM
 
Ok. Still is there any way to get the OS X 10.1 back on there so I at least have something? If I get the newer software, am I still going to get to the point I am now, and be unable to install it? As I said, at this point, I can't even get the 10.1 to reinstall.

It's quite a confusing set up! I can install pretty much anything Windows with my eyes closed, I suppose that's because it's all I have ever used. This is befuddling to me!!
     
CharlesS
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Oct 26, 2009, 11:43 PM
 
Sounds like the 10.1 discs you have are actually the upgrade discs from 10.0. For you to install from them, you’ll have to find the 10.0 disc and install that first.

I wouldn’t bother, though. 10.1 was horrible. Take the advice of the other posters, and find an install disc for at least 10.3, and preferably 10.4. And as was also said, you may need to put some extra RAM in the machine.

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nickw311
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Oct 27, 2009, 12:58 AM
 
Congratulations and have fun. A G3 is gonna be
really slow but can still be useful for email and basic browsing. I would mirror what the previous poster said and highly recommend OS X 10.3, it will run much more smootthly and has more features than 10.1. Since 10.3 is
n't made anymore eBay or the marketplace forum here would be a good place to look.
( Last edited by nickw311; Oct 27, 2009 at 01:10 AM. )
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sek929
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Oct 27, 2009, 12:40 PM
 
10.1 wasn't 'horrible' perse, but you'll certainly want to run something newer.

I recommend Panther (10.3) and a bit more RAM.
     
olePigeon
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Oct 27, 2009, 12:49 PM
 
You're better off with 10.3 Panther as sek929 suggested.

Even better, you might want to check out Craig's List for your location. You might be able to score a free G4 Mac that can run 10.4.
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sek929
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Oct 27, 2009, 12:54 PM
 
It's been a while since I've used a G3, but I know that even the fastest G4s are painfully slow at this point.

If it were my iMac, I'd fire OS9 on it and enjoy some vintage apps.
     
shifuimam
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Oct 27, 2009, 03:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
It's been a while since I've used a G3, but I know that even the fastest G4s are painfully slow at this point.

If it were my iMac, I'd fire OS9 on it and enjoy some vintage apps.
I wouldn't go as far as saying that any G4 is going to be painfully slow. I'm running Leopard on a 1.7GHz G4, and it's pretty blazin'.

To the OP: 10.3 or 10.4 will be somewhat usable, depending on the age of the iMac. If it's a later revision model with a 600 or 700 MHz G3, you'll be fine. You might try OS 9, although there's precious little software for it anymore.
Sell or send me your vintage Mac things if you don't want them.
     
sek929
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Oct 27, 2009, 04:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I wouldn't go as far as saying that any G4 is going to be painfully slow. I'm running Leopard on a 1.7GHz G4, and it's pretty blazin'.
I wouldn't go so far as to call any G4 'blazin'

In all fairness the fastest G4 I've ever used is a 1.42GHz iBook running Tiger, which means the slow HDD is a major culprit for the speed. I still consider my old PowerMac 733 to be a fine computer for what most people use them for, but compared to a C2D (which is like bare minimum now) it's glacial, especially with the web.
     
Doc HM
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Oct 27, 2009, 04:53 PM
 
I'd go for 10.4 plus RAM on even slower iMac G3's. With 10.4 you can use current ipods and run safari 4 or Firefox 3. With 10.3 you may gain a small speed advantage but loose a lot of functionality. In particular the interwebs are beginning to respond badly to safari 2, most banking sites no longer work correctly with these older browsers.

10.4 will keep your free mac useful for much longer than 10.3.
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anthology123
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Nov 10, 2009, 05:28 PM
 
if you are not sure what iMac G3 you have, look on the side where the connector plugs are located. There should be a small label that lists all the specs of the iMac. It will list it like:
500Mhz/32mb RAM/20GB/128 Radeon/ and words to that effect.
Otherwise, post your serial number here, and any one of the GSX members here can find the specs for your system.
     
Veltliner
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Nov 11, 2009, 04:08 AM
 
Your iMac G3 is in a way a piece that would have its place in a computer design museum.

At a later date you can still loop some video on it and have it in your apartment like others have aquariums or vases... a kind of industrial museum installation.
     
   
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