View Full Version : Ibook G3 500 questions

2nd February 2005, 11:12 PM
Today I bought a iBook G3 12" 500 128mg 10gb dvd/cdr in apparent very good condition but with original battery and a plastic tab broken off one still useable USB port. I paid $475. I had been after something for ages and was agonising between buying a firewire G3 Imac, a G4 powermac, a new 12" ibook or the mac Mini, after looking for ages in Ebay. The owners, a very nice middle aged couple who lived in a waterfront at Palm Beach, said that it had been previously affected by the Melissa virus. They had reinstalled OS 9.2 to fix the problem, but left off 10.1. I took it home and used it and it seemed OK. After connecting my firewire HD and booting off it, it started behaving erratically. It kept on losing time settings, the start up disk would refuse to accept the 0S 9 HD, freeze, etc. I ended up installing OS 10.3 and everything seemed OK. After checking the HD, intending to dump unneccesary drivers and languages etc, I decided to wipe OS 9 by erasing the HD with the OSX cd disk utility and reinstall OS 10.3 again.
If anybody can help I have a few questions

How common are the logic board failures on these G3 ibooks? (my serial no is within range- it was bought new on the 29/6/2001)
If mine was to fail before the cut off date in 3 months would apple accept it being second hand?
Could the bugs experienced by me and the previous owners be the logic board playing up?

The CD tray only pops out 30mm after which you have to pull it out by hand. Is this normal and do you need to push the tray in manually to load?

I intend to install at least another 256mg Ram. Is a HD upgrade feasible?

On this model, can you put the ibook to sleep by closing the lid like newer models?

Thanks heaps in advance. Richard

2nd February 2005, 11:21 PM
the iBook 500 has a manual cd tray, if ur time settings are whacked its probably the battery. Alos i have 256mb in myn and it works fine with osx. My logic board has failed since i got it second hand in august.

2nd February 2005, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by vicmeldrew@Feb 3 2005, 12:12 AM
The CD tray only pops out 30mm after which you have to pull it out by hand. Is this normal and do you need to push the tray in manually to load?
All notebooks I know of only open about 3 cm out and you need to pull it out by hand. Except the new slot loading models of course.

2nd February 2005, 11:55 PM
Can't comment on whether the logic board is at fault. But apparently failures in this family are/were common.

I thought the Melissa virus only affected Windows?

The harddisk in this family is famously very very difficult to upgrade. The difficult bit is physically accessing the harddisk.

Yes, it should go to sleep when you close the lid, both on OS 9 and X.

3rd February 2005, 08:24 AM
Bump. Since installing OS10 .3.7. it seems to work really well considering the processor and lack of memory. The clock is ok. Even the battery works OK. But I am still worried about the potential of a logic board failure. Richard

4th February 2005, 09:17 PM
Melissa virus = ;) Nice bargain there.

I've never seen or heard of any repeated problems with first revision iBooks (500 and 600Mhz models with 8 or 16MB ATI Rage graphics); the logic board fault seems to be apparent in iBook 700 - 800 - 900 models, with 32MB ATI Radeon graphics.

This is quite a surprise, as usually many Apple Rev. 1 products have some or other issue (looks over at Rev. 1 B&W:(), but my iBook 500 has never had any hardware anomalies, or any others I've come across.

I've overclocked mine to 600Mhz, and it plays DivX movies fine, and whacked in a 512MB stick of RAM which has helped. The hard disk is a pain to replace, which is a shame as the stock 10GB is slow and noisy. You could pick up a firewire-powered 2.5" drive perhaps.

The iBook has no internal backup battery to keep time/PRAM settings, hence the main battery always needs some charge.


benny gsr
4th February 2005, 09:49 PM
I have had my g3 500 ibook since new in Sep 2001.

I have not had any issues with the logic board in mine (maybe I've been lucky) I have 320mb ram which has been in since I got it. The only time I had stability issues were when I was running os 10.0.3 (which was like 2 years ago). 10.3.7 seems ok at the moment.

The cd tray does only come out 3 cm (the rest is manual)

I have a 160mb external ice cube with a west. dig drive. Works great and way faster than an internal.

5th February 2005, 05:30 AM
Thanks very much for all that. I guess worrying about logic board failure is like worrying about street violence- it happens, but far less than the tabloids would have us believe. Yes Byrd, the time settings loss occurred with a flat battery. I assumed there was a small one inside. I also have the same 160gb icecube as Benny GSR so the small hard drive in not a big issue.

My ibook is great. It is a lot faster than I expected and has yet to freeze or crash since I put in 10.3.7. The screen is perfectly useable despite my eyesight not getting any better. But I tend to think, that if you can afford it a new G4 ibook is by far the best value.

Because I have a wireless broadband (if you can call 160 bps broadband) service, I will soon be accessing the internet in my boat for the first time. I don't think it will work when moving but I think when on a mooring it will be ok. It is a pity unwired is restricted to Sydney at the moment.
Thanks again. Richard

5th February 2005, 09:40 AM
Hi vicmeldrew,

I would say that the 500mhz iBook is one of the strongest. Sure it was RevA, but a good solid, and well thought out RevA.

I think they got the G3 kinks worked out in the early G3's...

5th February 2005, 10:08 AM
It's a nice machine to work from - and like yourself vic once a few cheap upgrades have been installed, OS X runs like a dream. One flaw I've found is where the AC adaptor plug is situated, I always seem to pull it out or the cable gets in the way when I'm using the CD drive.

But, having a tray CD drive means it's more upgradable to third-party drives, such as those you can get from OWC in the US.

Just picked up an Airport card for mine from dovla - it's nice to have wireless in the machine, although signal strength doesn't compare to the Broadcom PCI card in my B&W.