PowerMac bootup problem.......

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Joined: Nov 22 2008
Posts: 3

Hi new to the whole Mac world. Just got a powermac B&W from my friend without any CD's. Ok, when it boots up, the hard drive chatters and displays nothing but a alternating flashing folder and smiley face. I read through forums that suggested trying removing firewire module, did that, did zap the PRAM and also removed the battery, nothing, tried resettting NVRAM also, still nothing. When booting up, the HDD chatters then goes to the icon. I have no MacOS software cd's. It's an M5183 model. Also tried alternating the memory sticks.When booting up, also, option key or X keys don't work, but keyboard works because i can do opt+cmd+P+R. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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tmtomh's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 568
Could be a lot of things, but

Could be a lot of things, but I think the most likely are:

- No OS on the hard drive, or
- Corrupt OS on the hard drive, or
- Incompatible OS on the hard drive, or
- Hard drive is dead/dying

M

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
Hard drive "chatters" is a st

Hard drive "chatters" is a strange term. I'm not sure what you mean by that. "Chattering" sounds like a bad hard drive. It doesn't sound like it's spinning up smooth? Another hard drive and a Mac OS installation disk is probably the solution. Your friend didn't tell you if the hard drive is bad or not? Jumping between the blinking folder and the happy face sounds like a bad hard drive too. If you can find someone with a copy of DiskWarrior it's possible it may be a really bad directory problem, but you'll have to get a CD drive to boot from, or course. Hitting the option key to find a system does not work on the B&W. It doesn't sound like it's a problem beyond the hard drive, so zapping the PRAM and all that is purposeless. If the hard drive is the old 6GB Maxtor that came with B&W's then it's long past time to chuck the drive anyway.

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Joined: Nov 22 2008
Posts: 3
Yes the chattering, when it l

Yes the chattering, when it loads up it sounds like kind of skipping, don't know if that's understandable or not. It is the old Maxtor drive, everything in it is OEM, just wondering if it's worth buying a copy of Mac OS 9 or 10, because I have a few extra HD's laying around. Also wondering if it is somewhat similar like installing XP (Where everything installs itself) due to the fact i'm a newbie when it comes to Macs. Also my friend said he never had it working either he got mad at the smiley face saying it was laughing at him cause of it not working, lol. Reason why he gave it up.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
A B&W with 256mb (512mb bette

A B&W with 256mb (512mb better) of matching SDRAM running Mac OS 10.3 (updated to 10.3.9) is a happy machine. You can push it to 10.4, but it'd probably be a lot cheaper to start with 10.3 and see how it goes. Sometimes 10.4 can be problematic with a B&W, and you can live very comfortably still in 10.3. Hang out in 10.3, find out how much you like Mac OS, and then if you do, you might want to go for a more recent, faster machine with a higher OS rather than investing more in the B&W. Most Maxtors will format with Mac, and Quantums. Some others refuse to format, but if you've got a few to choose from, surely one will work.

Most CD drives will work too, especially in OS X. Some may not boot though, so you may have to have a selection of those to test also. Make sure the jumpers are set correctly. Macs usually do the master/slave thing rather than cable select.

Installing Mac OS is simpler than installing Windows because there's more software/hardware compatibility built-in to the whole setup. Mac OS doesn't have to flip out trying to figure out what universe it is in like Windows does on installation. Usually, it's just click install and that's it. Unlike the Windows' Wizard, though, Mac OS does not go looking for drivers for third party peripherals (mice, some printers, etc.). You may have to go find the drivers to make them fully functional if all the functions are not working already because the particular driver is not already in the OS. A lot of printer drivers will already be there. Mice drivers beyond basic buttons will not already be in the system. You won't get any "found new hardware" messages, except unformatted drives.

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Joined: Nov 22 2008
Posts: 3
Ok sounds good, I will get th

Ok sounds good, I will get the 10.3 see how it goes from there. Hopefully i will enjoy the new feel of mac and finally get rid of windows, I figured this G3 would be easy to feel out since it was free. Thank you for all the information, from this post and reading other posts pointed me in the right direction with no hassle at all lol. Greatly appreciated. Smile