Help With Beige G3 Tower and USB Compatibility

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gsmcten's picture
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Good Evening All,

It seems that I have more questions lately than I have answers. lol

I have a PowerPC Beige G3 Tower that I'm trying to upgrade. I currently have two sticks of RAM on order to max her out. I bought a USB card to place into it, but after installation it looked like it would boot-up and didn't. I removed the USB card and she came right up.

This particular G3 has the Audio/Visual package installed so I figured it may be at least a Rev 2 ROM. Is there an easy way to check this? I figured out that I can use an external modem. I am currently running a version of OS 9.

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.

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madmax_2069's picture
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have you tried putting the us

have you tried putting the usb card into diffrent slots ?. have you held the cuda button for around 15 seconds after you installed the card. if none of that works maybe you got one of those incompatable usb chipsets.

my Beige G3 AIO i have my Radeon 7000 PCI card in the slot next to the personality card (its a wings as well), and the USB card is in the middle slot, and my wifi card is in the last slot.

you might have to return the card or put it into something that it will work in ( A PC ) or sel it to someone in need of one. and buy a diffrent brand. i forget the list of USB chipsets tgat work good on the Beige G3 and the bad ones.

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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A revision 2 ROM will say "WR

A revision 2 ROM will say "WRAITH ROM" on it. The fact that the machine won't even boot may mean the card is just bad rather than the wrong chipset. Where did you buy the USB card? Is it a new USB 2.0 card?

gsmcten's picture
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The G3 Tower USB

Max and Cruiser,

I will check that out when I get home this evening.
As for the type of USB card, to tell you the truth I forgot where I ordered it from, but it was supposed to be Mac Compatible.

Max, what is this button you're talking about and what is it's function? You have to realize that I'm an Apple II guy just getting into the World of Mac's. lol Smile

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gsmcten's picture
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In the Meantime...

While I'm checking out everything else, I went on ahead and ordered a new USB 2.0 card from Sonnet this morning. It should be at the house by Friday. I KNOW this one will be Mac compatible. lol

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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What's up?

Sorry, but it seems like I kindof have to ask. Why are you spending investment in a Beige G3 and not just buying a better machine? Do you need serial, SCSI, and ADB ports or something? Or maybe just keeping costs as low as possible? Or maybe some type of affection for a beige box? The B&W G3 is quite a leap over the Beige, and the later G4 towers are a nice leap over the G3's. They're all selling fairly cheap nowadays, except maybe the MDD G4.

The CUDA button is a small black button on the motherboard in the far left corner by the last PCI slot opening. It resets the PRAM. This is the first time I've heard anyone say you should hold it down for 15 seconds. I have heard that you should push it only once. I'll sometimes remove the battery for awhile and hit the CUDA once when reseting for new hardware, etc. You'll have to reset the date and time after hitting the CUDA once you boot up again, and your video will also be back at the default setting.

Eudimorphodon's picture
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Re: What's up?

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

... The B&W G3 is quite a leap over the Beige, and the later G4 towers are a nice leap over the G3's.

Just to note, I had a nest of problems with an inexpensive "Mac Compatible" USB card in a B&W myself. Unfortunately the B&W shares the same PCI bus controller as the Beige, so when it comes to working properly with more modern PCI cards I doubt it's much of an improvement.

--Peace

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Yeah, actually I had asked if

Yeah, actually I had asked if it was a new USB 2.0 card because I doubt a new one would work in a Beige, but a Sonnet card would probably be your best bet. Let us know if it works. If all you need is USB 1, then of course, you wouldn't need a card at all in a B&W. I've got a USB/Firewire combo card in a Beige right now which works fine. I haven't had any problems with any of the older USB cards I've put in a Beige except one with a VIA chipset. On the combo cards I've used, the Firewire is often unreliable in older Macs, and sometimes it'll work and then drop off for some reason.

Eudimorphodon's picture
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VIA is *da bomb*

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

I haven't had any problems with any of the older USB cards I've put in a Beige except one with a VIA chipset.

Bingo! It was a USB 2.0 card with a VIA chipset.

Basically, I took a gamble on a $5 card and lost. *shrug* It wasn't worth it to me to spend the $40 Sonnet was charging for a USB card that supposedly *has* been shown to work in such old machines.

I ended up giving it away and apparently it worked "okay" in an AGP G4 of some stripe. That and a similar experience with a network card lead me to generically distrust the PCI bus in B&W and older machines.

(Dual video cards do seem to work fine, I guess. Whatever.)

--Peace

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Re: What's up?

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

This is the first time I've heard anyone say you should hold it down for 15 seconds. I have heard that you should push it only once.

From what i was told and from experiance you should hold the button for as long as 15 seconds, sometimes just a push will make the Pram get more messed by making settings in Pram get corrupt. i have tried on my AIO by just pressing the Cuda button and it hardly ever fixed boot issues i got sometimes with my AIO, and people on the Apple discussion board will also say to hold the button down up to 15 seconds. (double pressing the button can eat the Pram batteries life up).

also from what i am told you should do a Cuda reset every time you install new hardware. i ran into this a few times when installing new hardware the system just would not boot up.

What that does is removes the power of the battery (without removing the battery from the system) and allows power to die out from the mobo for a proper reset, thats why you hold the button and not press it. some will also say to unplug it from the wall to make sure no power is going to the Pram when you try to reset it by holding the Cuda button.
that is also why when your having boot issues removing the battery and letting the system set for a few hours sometimes fixes the issue.

When i ran into any sort of booting issues i always fixed them by holding the cuda button for 15 seconds, just pressing you get mixed results.

but yea a Beige G3 isnt really worth spending money on to upgrade cause a B&W G3 will always be faster, plus you can get a G4 system that will make both seem slow for not much money. my friend bought a Quicksilver 800mhz G4 for $150 and that system will eat both B&W and a Beige G3 alive. heck even my DA G4 533 will do that to both G3 systems.

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gsmcten's picture
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The G3 Tower USB (Continued)

lol,

Well, to start off; Max's idea of shifting to another slot worked (Thanks Max). As soon as I did that she came right up. Now I'm waiting for the RAM to get here and she'll be pretty much finished with the exception of adding some software.

I now know about the PRAM button thanks to you guy's.

The piece to resist ants (French) is the fact that this G3 was my very first Mac. I bought it off of eBay about a year ago and it has been sitting patiently in my back room waiting for me to wisk it to my workbench so it could be cleaned, groomed, and gone over with a fine tooth comb. At that time (Hell, what am I talking about, I still am)I was just a newbie with Mac's as I was getting back into the Apple II's and decided that a Mac would be a challenge.

Every time I sit down to work on one of these things it's a learning experience. It's maddening, exciting, frustrating, enlightening, and satisfying. I love it. lol

I still have ny other USB card coming from Sonnet. It will be here in a few days. It can be used in the next rebuild.

I don't think I have answered Cruisers question fully yet though...
I am not sure why I bought a G3 Beige Tower vice a B&W, or a G4.
I think I remember thinking that the case was wierd cause it was like Quasimoto...It has a hump stuck out on one side, and I had to see why (I think most Engineers and Tinkerers are like that, lol)

Again, Thanks for everyones input. I learn a lot listening to what everyone has to say up here and you have to admit...the conversations are sublime and ridiculus. lol

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TheUltimateMacUser's picture
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Don't...

Don't let these guys get you down about running older hardware. I love my Beige G3, i've had it since i purchased it new, way back when. It's still running, and i still use it nearly every day. It dual boots OS 9 and Linux, and has USB, and Wireless cards in it. Just my 2¢

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gsmcten's picture
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Help with Beige G3 Tower

Well,

The RAM and the Sonnet USB card came in today.They've been installed and viola! The unit works great! I have a 2001 version of Microsoft Office For Mac loaded up and she purrs like a kitten.
I also have AOL 5 loaded up; I can use my 56K Modem to access the Internet and download from my Tower to my PB 5300cs via the USB to 8 Pin Serial Adapter. Life is wonderful.
Again... I would like to thank everyone for their help and comments.

Smile

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Steven (gsmcten)

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Beige G3

Hey,

I still use my Beige G3 desktop. Upped it to 400MHz G4, got 384 MB RAM (remember when that was a lot?) and an 80 gig HD. Mostly I use the AV capabilities as a TV and VCR playback. Don't know what I'm going to do this February when digital TV starts but I'll deal with that when it happens. Every once in a while it crashes and the Beige can be a beach bringing back from the dead. But mostly, it's totally solid.

William
www.williamahearn.com

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Hey William, your using the B

Hey William, your using the Beige for TV stimulated a thought in my mind which should have been obvious before. I put an Apple infrared unit from a Powermac Performa in a Beige G3 desktop which I described here:
http://www.applefritter.com/node/20198
It occurs to me that if I sit a Sony VCR on top of the Beige desktop and run composite lines for both video and audio into the Beige's Wings AV card, then I could use a Sony remote control to control both the on/off on both the G3 and the Sony VCR, the volume on the G3, and the channel changing and VHS controls on the Sony VCR. If Apple Video Player is set to composite line in, then, IRRC the AVP interface, changing the channels using the remote will not affect AVP, but will only change channels on the VCR. Thus, I'd be able to run both the VCR and the G3 for TV and video watching using just one remote as if it were one unit. My desktop G3 blew its PSU and I haven't found a replacement (the ATX PSU's I have don't have a fan located where it would be needed in the G3), so until I find a replacement PSU I won't be able to test out this idea.

One thing I like about the Beige is it seems to like SCSI setups. I've got an Adaptec 29160 SCSI card and a couple of SCSI 10k hard drives in that Beige which have been very reliable in both OS 9.2 and OS 10.3.9 (now that I think of it, weren't there problems with AVP and OS 9?).

Another thing I really like about my Beige tower is it makes a good footstool under my desk (that desk is high and I sit on one of those elevated draftsman chairs), and there's something very attractive about a Beige tower sitting on the floor. That case design--like the 9600's, etc.--was attractively monumental and formidable in aesthetic appearance--a very monolithic, architectural design--not quite as practical as the B&W and G4 tower design, but actually more attractive to me than the later tower designs, including the G5 and Mac Pro. The Beige tower has a kindof Solomon's Temple aspect, or something like that, in its case design. A lot of architects would probably like its lines. I think therein lies one of the central reasons for a lingering affection for the old Beige. The Beiges were also pre-"think different." They didn't have to be young and hip too. Impressive and adult was enough.

Jon's picture
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A DTV conversion box should w

A DTV conversion box should work just like it would on a normal TV. Some offer only coax connections and others also have RCA jacks.

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gsmcten's picture
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My New Baby!!...

As of about ten minutes ago I have a G4:

Specs: Apple Power Mac G4
Dual 500MHz
1GB RAM
128GB HD
DVD
Preloaded OS 10.4
Total with shipping: $139.00

I have a brand new copy of OS 10.5.X to go into it.
I'll have more fun. Smile

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the only thing you will need

the only thing you will need to do is mod the OSinstall.mpkg before Leopard will install on your G4 (if you already havent done so). but once your past that it should be smooth sailing.

the only thing that might get in your way is the video card. a Rage 128 Pro video card isnt to Leopard friendly (but it will work). but it should run good well once you update leopard to the latest version if its not already (from the disk). having a dual G4 system helps out allot in Leopard.

my DA G4 has a single 533mhz CPU with 768mb Ram, 120gb HDD and a 40GB HDD, Geforce 2 AGP 4x. it runs Leopard quite well, but i do wish it had a dual 533 in it to give it that extra boost when it needs it.

but you found a nice G4 at a nice price you will be quite happy with it. i do still take my Beige G3 AIO out and about on the web but things do tend to bog it down, but its mainly to run old software and hardware that wont run on my DA G4.

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The mod on the OSinstall.mpkg

The mod on the OSinstall.mpkg is because it is less than 867mhz? So how do you do this mod, or do you have a link to instructions?

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Mod of the New Baby...?

Cruiser,
Yeah. That's my question for Max too.
What does this mod involve, why does it need to be done, and does it require anything special that I have to get or download?

Hell. I don't even have it in my hands yet and it needs something already. lol

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Sorry for the long delay of p

Sorry for the long delay of posting back.

here is the guide i used. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=371302.

make sure you are running the latest firmware for your Mac cause if your not Leo will instantly KP when you try to boot the installer even if you modded the OSinstall.mpkg.

you do a few things, you remove the Machine ID from the list (i removed most of them), and you set the CPU Speed block down below your Machine speed (i set mine to 200mhz). also i lowered the recomended ammount of ram.

You do have to have a DVD+DL disk (tiger dont support DVD-DL disks) to burn Leo from the image you made from the orignal DVD (and yes i bought Leo). if your creative you can remove some things from it to fit on a single layer DVD. i remember seeing someone doing that (i dont know what he removed to make it fit on a normal dvd.

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Thanks Max!

This sounds like an evening or weekend project. lol I'll give it a shot and see what happens. Smile

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Its really not as hard as it

Its really not as hard as it seems, it took me like a little bit after a few user errors. but if it wasnt for that i would have gotten it done in about 1 - 2 hours. me being a nOOb to terminal and all.

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