PDA

View Full Version : What to do with this iMac G3?



Grosby
26th November 2005, 01:59 PM
I have an iMac G3 / 500mhz and the harddrive has possibly died, I'm not sure. I am just wondering whether I should pack it up and put it away (because I don't want to pay to repair it) or if there's something that can be done. Firstly, for the last few months the computer has every so often been making a noise like "boing", something like a ping pong ball being dropped. When I looked this up people said it was a sign that the HD was probably dying. I use OS X, the most current version, and a few days ago it started moving very slowly. Prior to this it was slow, I don't think there was anything unusual about that, it would take a minute sometimes to move between applications, but now when I would click the desktop after being in Firefox the cursor would change into the loading ball and spin for a minute before i could open a folder or do anything in the finder. It would also take a minute or so to open a folder. That slowness is unusual, and along with that the computer would take 20 or so minutes to start up. Now just yesterday, this is the final part of my story, I tried to start the computer in OS 9 by changing the startup disk. At first it quickly came up with a small folder that flashed between a question mark, but when I restarted it again it came up with OS 9. This also had the same problems as OS X. I tried changing the startup disk from here then but the computer takes so long loading the startup option and so I reset it. From this point on I am unable to load into OS 9, I just received the question mark folder I described before, which I think means the OS cannot be found. I tried starting with the OS X installation disc, this brings up an installation screen, as well as the option to use disk utility and change startup disk. In the startup disk menu it only lists Network and the CD in the computer, no OS X or 9. In Disk Utility, it seems to list everything as I remember it (from when I was in OS X), first it lists the first normal thing, I can't remember the name of it but you should, and then below this it lists Macintosh HD but the colour of the font is lighter then the others in the list (grey instead of black). I am able to select it though, with the options of repairing disk and checking permissions. I have done both these things and I can't remember exactly what they said, which I know may be helpful now but hopefully you'll still understand. For one it ran down with "invalid number here - should be 1 instead of 49" and things like that, then it could not complete, I believe it said. I will look that up again soon if needed. But that's it. I cannot install OS X again because when it comes up to select destination it can't find anything (it should find Macintosh HD), and so it can't continue. I assume then, from all this, that the HD has died, is this what it does when it dies? I imagined before that meant the computer wouldn't start at all, but I don't know. I've gone on too long here, I didn't mean to, but this is all the information there is to it. Does anybody have any suggestions for this, anything to do in Disk Utility? Or what the problem might be here? Is it right to just pack this in a box in the cupboard?

tranp
26th November 2005, 02:04 PM
Your HDD seems to getting on and telling you that he wants to RIP. I would pack up your mac if you don't want to get a new HDD or sell it for parts.

step_andy
26th November 2005, 02:07 PM
Install new HD and make sure it is 7,200 RPM. Had similar simptoms on our iMac 400 and now it is twice as fast.

PS, don't get anything bigger than 120 Gig.

Very simple procedure. There even is "how to" in the articles section.
Cheers
Andy

Grosby
26th November 2005, 02:57 PM
Thankyou both for the replies. I didn't know installing a HD would be so easy and cheap. The one they recommend in the article seems to sell for no more than $100 and it seems easy enough, I'll try and get the HD within the next week and see how it goes.

GENX
27th November 2005, 09:21 AM
Any "local cheap" PC store can sale you a IDE drive cheap as... Replaced my HDD in G3 b&w from 12 to 80gig for $72 bucks ;)

Try this place fro cheap new PC gear www.msy.com.au

Seagate 80gig HDD for $72. Download PDF pricelist.

Grosby
27th November 2005, 03:13 PM
It's tough, I'm looking it up now. The Seagate 80GB (http://www.aussiepcshop.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_31&products_id=256) ($73) there seems to be the same as the one you suggest, that's where I could order it from, or there's the WD 80GB (http://www.digispan.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=1148) ($85), which appears to be the same one installed in the guide, those are the two I'm thinking about. I'm leaning towards the WD, which has an 8mb cache whereas the Seagate one is 2mb. I had to look up what this could mean for me and I take it now that the increased size means an increase in performance. The price is fine, I have no concern about the difference, and so the WD is the one I believe I'll go with unless someone advises otherwise. I've read people complain that the WD is noisy and that worries me. The sound my computer was emitting before, which was like a very low hum or a very low something, was fine by me but I guess some people may consider that to be noisy, I hope that's what they're talking about when they say the WD is noisy but maybe not.

Rayd
27th November 2005, 03:16 PM
installing a HD in a iMac is very easy... its only about 15 screws :) and 2 bits of plasic, and a metal mesh casing.. :)

iMick
27th November 2005, 03:26 PM
Grosby, I had the same problem with my old iMac G3 500. I swapped out the harddrive as pere the ATAU guide without any problems at all. I put in a 80Gb maxtor with the 8Mb cache I had lying around. The HDD swap sped the machine up incredibly!! I recommed doing this cause it is cheap and the G3 500 has heaps of power for light stuff like internet, email and torrents.

kim jong il
27th November 2005, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by Grosby@Nov 27 2005, 04:13 PM
It's tough, I'm looking it up now. The Seagate 80GB (http://www.aussiepcshop.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_31&products_id=256) ($73) there seems to be the same as the one you suggest, that's where I could order it from, or there's the WD 80GB (http://www.digispan.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=1148) ($85), which appears to be the same one installed in the guide, those are the two I'm thinking about. I'm leaning towards the WD, which has an 8mb cache whereas the Seagate one is 2mb. I had to look up what this could mean for me and I take it now that the increased size means an increase in performance. The price is fine, I have no concern about the difference, and so the WD is the one I believe I'll go with unless someone advises otherwise. I've read people complain that the WD is noisy and that worries me. The sound my computer was emitting before, which was like a very low hum or a very low something, was fine by me but I guess some people may consider that to be noisy, I hope that's what they're talking about when they say the WD is noisy but maybe not.
The 8 MB cache makes a DRAMATIC difference in performance on slower machines. I'd pay the extra $5 for the Seagate with the 8 MB cache. WD HDs are OK but don't seem to like being spun down (mine is noisy and has been since new when the bearings are cold: goes quiet after a few minutes and if never spun down is almost as quiet as the seagate drives.

This is the order in which I bought my recent drives

Seagate 2/80; always beautiful and quiet (has run 24/7 for around 3 years now and is still whisper quiet)
IBM: insanely slow (I don't use it except for a pseudo Trash can)
Western Digital 2/80; noisy until bearings warm up (since new; FAR noisier than Seagate but OK if left running 24/7; don't let it spin down and cool off as it is noisy till bearings are warm)
Maxtor: no comment; Don't buy one
Seagate 8/200; beautiful (up to %50 faster throughput than 2 MB cache models.
Seagate 8/160; as above
Seagate 8/120 quiet but not as fast as the larger capacity drives


The installation of 10.4.x reduced all (internal) disks performance by more than 40% and I have un-installed it. 10.4.2 is a nasty anti-intuitive (e.g: spotlight) bug ridden piece of crap that I have un-installed on ALL my machines. I will not use it till they fix it. (what a total waste of money; I could have bought 2-3 new HDs instead).

kim

EDIT 1: BTW the largest capacity drive your iMac can address is 128 GiB (or 141 GB In marketing parlance) Basically do NOT buy anything that is marketed as larger than 120 GB as no-one makes 140 GB drives (128 GiB)

Grosby
2nd December 2005, 12:03 PM
I went with the WD 80GB / 8mb from MegaPC. I first ordered from Digispan, who I linked above, they were very slow and didn't respond to emails, that seems to be a common experience for all their customers. The HD from MegaPC arrived today, they are very nice. I've gone through the steps and have put it in, it's sitting across the room now, booted on the OS X installation CD. I have version 10.3. I don't know what to do now, I've tried looking for HD installation guides that refer to OS X, but all I find seem to be directions for OS 9. I am thinking I might have the wrong setting on the HD. I left it on the default plug, which is Cable Select (also the same setting the old HD appeared to be on), the right one according to the Apple Talk guide (but although I am installing the same WD drive as the one in the installation, the photo there shows his set to the third hole - by memory that is Slave - and not the forth, which is Cable Select). I think other guides I've seen said set it to Slave or something like that. As it is now, I am in Disk Utility, the drive is recognised, it tells me there's a 75GB disk there, that is up the top (and below that three other 3 CDs, which I'm sure would be all read from the installation disc). The 75GB disk is writable, OS 9 drivers are not installed, connection ID is 0. I don't know what else might be relevent. I have no option to verify or repair the disk. Above there is only the option to create a new image or see info. When I attempt to install OS X no HD is shown, which I suppose would mean either the drive is not completely installed and there's another step I must do first or the HD is not on the right setting. Can anyone say which it is, what to do?

Byrd
2nd December 2005, 12:07 PM
You'll need to set the drive to master, not cable select - the iMac is too old to support this.

JB

Grosby
2nd December 2005, 12:14 PM
Ha, Jesus, I was hoping it wouldn't be the settings, I will begin undoing the machine again now.

Grosby
2nd December 2005, 01:14 PM
Okay, it is all open again. The options are 'Slave", "Master W/ Slave Present" or "Single or Master." So you're pretty sure I should go with "Single or Master"?

Byrd
2nd December 2005, 01:28 PM
Single or master would be the way to go :)

Grosby
2nd December 2005, 02:20 PM
Well I removed the little white thing, that is what it says to do to set it to "Single or Master," and I put it back together, and put in the installation disc and everything appears to be the same as on the previous setting. I don't know now, it's crazy, it's tiring. I don't understand why it didn't work on the same setting as the previous drive. I guess I will try again with a different setting soon.

Grosby
2nd December 2005, 03:03 PM
I've got the energy to try again now. What computer I have specifically is a Graphite iMac SE, so that has a DVD drive, it's from 2000 or so. Now I am looking at the old drive and the little white thing that you stick on the pins, the jumper shunt, is put on the opposite way to how it was on the new drive. The new one came with the two little pin-sized holes facing out, those are visible. Does that have an effect, is that wrong? I don't know. I'm going to begin undoing the machine again and then hopefully by the time I get to the harddrive someone will have another suggestion.

Grosby
2nd December 2005, 05:13 PM
I've tried every combination now, put the shunt in every hole, all the same result except for in the Slave one it didn't load the installation disc and wouldn't eject it either and in the "Single (Neutral Position)" one, which I tried last, the drive reads as 31GB instead of the 75GB I was seeing on other settings. I can't see the problem being loose plugs as the drive is being registered and I put them in as they were before. If this happened to you, what would you think it is? Could it possibly be that my harddrive had not really died and that I have a problem with something else, or could this new drive be dead, is there something else I should try?

Details for my specific drive can be found here (http://wdc.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wdc.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=699&p_created=1037217622) (I have the 10-pin one, which you see down the left).

simon44
2nd December 2005, 05:15 PM
Hi grosby, funny enough I have just this minute completed the change of my HD from a 20GB to a 160GB in my iMac 500mhz Dalmation (2001) and it took 20 mins for the change over and about 3 hours to clone about 80GB of files, and it is purring (touch wood)! Yes, you need to make sure the connections are correct, they should be printed on the top of HD as to what to do. In my model, I had to set it to CS, not sure about yours. Any probs, get in touch by message and I'll leave you my phone # if you like.....

step_andy
2nd December 2005, 06:02 PM
If I recall correctly, I also did Cable Select in iMac 400.
I believe it can't be single as the drive shares the bus with DVD or CD drive
<_<

simon44
2nd December 2005, 06:09 PM
It is cable select (CS) in all slot loading iMacs, tray loading had seperate connections for the drives....

Grosby
2nd December 2005, 06:31 PM
I have it set to CS now and it&#39;s still the same. It&#39;s incredibly irritating, I&#39;m going to give up soon. It&#39;s probably working properly right now, I wouldn&#39;t really know. All I&#39;ve been doing is changing settings and putting in the install disc and hoping Macintosh HD will be listed under install destination and checking to see if Disk Utility gives the option to mount the HD. There is nothing else to try after changing the settings and confirming the two plugs for the HD are firmly in place, no? No button to push? Does it sound like the new HD arrived dead and I should contact MegaPC about a replacement? These are the questions I wonder now.

borci88
2nd December 2005, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by GENX@Nov 27 2005, 09:21 AM
Any "local cheap" PC store can sale you a IDE drive cheap as... Replaced my HDD in G3 b&w from 12 to 80gig for &#036;72 bucks ;)

Try this place fro cheap new PC gear www.msy.com.au

Seagate 80gig HDD for &#036;72. Download PDF pricelist.
yeah i used MSY as well... really cheap, pretty good service i guess..
got a USB 2.0 for 15 bucks.... pretty good price really

simon44
2nd December 2005, 06:46 PM
grosby, when I turned back on my iMac, it said that the disc inserted was not readable, ie: I needed to initialise first. It seems that at some point the new HD showed up so I think you you may have had the connections right at some point and the mac is turning on at least so it has to be something with the HD. You obviously have another pc there, so maybe check out some articles on the web, google for one, then:
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/
is a good one, go to the database. Is your mac a slot or tray load, tell us.....&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;

Grosby
2nd December 2005, 10:19 PM
It&#39;s slot loading and it&#39;s actually working now. It was set to CS and I booted it from the Apple Care Diagnostics disc to see what the diagnostics program there says. The disc also includes Drive Setup, that gives the option to initialize the new drive, which I did. When I restarted it the new drive appeared in the installation destination step for OS X, and from there it successfully installed. I don&#39;t understand how others were able to get by without doing something like that, it&#39;s very strange. As to how the WD HD behaves and sounds, I don&#39;t really know exactly at the moment. I will put it on the desk after this and see. I can hear already a very slight spinning/rattling/grating sound from the drive, but it&#39;s very low, I don&#39;t think you can hear it when you take a few steps back and it&#39;s not constant. That might get louder over time though, I guess. There is really no other sound besides that, it&#39;s very quiet otherwise. That&#39;s all I know at the moment. I think things will be good and so thankyou to everybody here for the help, it has been much appreciated.

kim jong il
3rd December 2005, 01:34 AM
Originally posted by simon44@Dec 2 2005, 06:15 PM
Hi grosby, funny enough I have just this minute completed the change of my HD from a 20GB to a 160GB in my iMac 500mhz Dalmation (2001) and it took 20 mins for the change over and about 3 hours to clone about 80GB of files, and it is purring (touch wood)&#33; Yes, you need to make sure the connections are correct, they should be printed on the top of HD as to what to do. In my model, I had to set it to CS, not sure about yours. Any probs, get in touch by message and I&#39;ll leave you my phone # if you like.....
So he got the 160 GB HD into his imac but in a weeks time he will be posting asking why he can only access 147 GB (or 128 GiB) of his 160 GB drive (these macs address a maximum of 128 GiB (147 GB in marketing parlance)

These imacs do not support cable select in the DV models (to the best of my knowlege; two black connectors on the IDE cable and the HD is SLAVE, I am sure). (I&#39;m lokking at the guts of one as I post)

If you have no idea what I am speaking of I will post a PHOTO.

cheers, kim

EDIT: here is a capture from the link YOU posted AND also remember that sometimes the pictures of jumper settings on the back of new HD&#39;s will be presented as mirror imaging (backwards) and if this confuses you, write it out (on papaer) the way you see the pins compared to the power cable and the picture key on the back of the drive.

cheers, kim

simon44
3rd December 2005, 05:32 AM
Originally posted by kim jong il@Dec 3 2005, 01:34 AM
So he got the 160 GB HD into his imac but in a weeks time he will be posting asking why he can only access 147 GB (or 128 GiB) of his 160 GB drive (these macs address a maximum of 128 GiB (147 GB in marketing parlance)


Kim, I used Intech Hi-Cap in order to ensure that my 160GB HD was recognised fully, in fact, it shows up as having 152.53GB of space now, so there&#33;
Very happy to hear Grosby that it&#39;s working&#33; There is actually a tutorial on this website that explains the process very simply for the slot loaders:

http://www.appletalk.com.au/articles/index.php?article=436

which states very clearly the CS issue.
Anyway, its working, is the machine going well now?