B&W G3 and FireWire drive

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Last seen: 18 years 5 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
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B&W G3 and FireWire drive

I have a B&W G3 and an external FireWire drive which contains a disk image on one partition and a boot drive on the other. I know that the G3 won't boot from an external FW drive, but today, I couldn't get the machine to restore the image even after booting from a CD.

Am I missing something?

Eudimorphodon's picture
Last seen: 3 months 11 hours ago
Joined: Dec 21 2003 - 14:14
Posts: 1207
Oddly enough...

I was fooling around with just this very thing last weekend.

I'm assuming what you're trying to do is install OS X on the built-in hard disk on the machine using an ASR restore image? All I can say from attempting that myself is that something about ASR is buggy as heck on B&Ws. (The "restore disk image" function in Disk Utility uses ASR behind the scenes.)

In my case, I tried the following to get a "Tiger" ASR image I made of an Aluminum Powerbook onto my B&W. (This ASR image had been successfully applied to several Titanium powerbooks already at this point, so I'm sure the image is O.K.):

1: Put a target hard disk into the machine as slave, mounted a Powerbook in Target Disk Mode which had a copy of the ASR image, and ran ASR at the command line after booting the primary "Panther" drive.
Result: Asr crapped out at about 80% complete with a weird "unsupported algorythm" error message. (I never saw this while running ASR from Panther while working with the Titaniums.)

2: Tried using Disk Utility instead of the command line.

Result: Looked like it was working, so I left. Came back to find that the machine had spun down its hard disks like nothing was going on at about 40% complete. Ran "ps -ax", saw ASR hung in the background. Disk Utility was giving the spinning rainbow. Gave up, killed it all.

3: Took out the 10.3 hard disk disk, made the target the master, booted from a 10.4.2 install DVD, and used Disk Utility. (Again, the ASR image was on the target-disk-moded Powerbook.)

Result. Same thing as above happened, although of course I couldn't check the command line to see exactly what died.

4: Gave up, re-master/slaved the drives, booted "Panther", and used "ditto" to copy the boot disk of one of the Titaniums I'd applied said ASR image to, rather then from the ASR image itself. (Boot disk mounted over Firewire, of course.) I disabled "spin down hard disks whenever possible" in the "Energy Saver" control panel, just in case. (I don't know whether it had anything to do with the previous failures or not.)

Result: With Master/Slave changed out again it booted Tiger. However, the "Finder" was crashing, over and over again. Enabled SSH, since I could reach the settings control panel in the dock, and looked at the finder crash log while it was running. It was accumulating a steady stream of "kernel exceptions". Something in the settings or kernel extensions was clearly broken here.

5: Snarling, I booted the "Tiger" DVD, did an "Archive and Install", and finally ended up with what I'd wanted in the first place, a working Tiger install + the apps that were on the ASR image.

In other words, the whole thing sucked. There are variants I didn't attempt (like disabling power management *before* booting the OS X CD for an image restore, etc), so... if you see something I didn't try it might be worth trying.

Not that any of this is helpful, but... if you find a B&W is doing something "weird", I'd say "expect it". The ugly truth seems to be that all the pre-AGP Macs are just picky about doing things that are no brainers on the newer models. Honestly I'm partially suprised Apple didn't discontinue support for them in "Tiger".


I'm sure the reason they didn't is because they made the mistake of releasing the Yikes! G4. They still sell G4s, lots of them, so it would of been politically unacceptable to discontinue support for a G4 model. If you're stuck supporting the Yikes the B&W is the same motherboard, so... it just squeaked by.

Sure, they killed the Beige G3 while they were still selling G3 iBooks, but the Beige was, well, Beige, so it didn't count. They'd switched to G4 iBooks by the Tiger release they had no problems killing off the tray-loading iMac, 300Mhz iBook, and two Powerbook models with Tiger's release. In terms of technology the B&W is much more similar to them then it is to the AGP Power Macs, so it *should* of died this time around, and would of if it wasn't for Yikes. Expect it to die when 10.5 appears, since by then they'll be hawking IntelMacs, and killing a G4 will thus be politically acceptable.

End Digression.)

Anyway. One last aside: My B&W at least has issues dealing with drives partitioned with OS X's Disk Utility. Don't be suprised if you have to partition the drive with 9. Could that be your problem?


Dr. Webster's picture
Last seen: 13 hours 11 min ago
Joined: Dec 19 2003 - 17:34
Posts: 1744
What I ended up doing with my

What I ended up doing with my B&W is installing Tiger to an external FireWire drive (on another Mac), and then pulling an ASR image of it. I then created a Panther boot CD (using BootCD, http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/15196) and booted the B&W from it. Connected the external FW drive, and used Disk Utility on the boot CD to restore the image from the FW drive to the internal HDD.

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