Powermac G3 starts to Question Mark and Finder Face

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Joined: Jun 26 2024 - 15:18
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Powermac G3 starts to Question Mark and Finder Face

Hello,I bought a Powermac G3 from someone online, they didn't include the HD as there was sensitive data on there but told me everything else worked. I took the gamble and brought it home. after plugging in the power and the G3 keyboard and puck mouse, I hear the chime. Then a blinking question mark and finder logo. That's as far as I've been able to get. 

After some quick googling  I found that's due to fact it doesn't know where to boot from. They included the restore CD, but pressing c doesn't boot from the CD drive. I also tried to boot holding alt and it doesn't bring up the boot selection screen. Holding T also doesn't work to boot into Target Disk Mode to install from my iMac G4. In fact the only hotkeys that work during boot are the option+cmd+p+r and option+cmd+o+f ( fm, is 3.1.1 not sure if that matters).I've tried a different cd drive, different mac os install disks (8.6, 10.3), mulitple HDs, reset the nvram, I even tried multiple keyboards I can't get it to boot. I can't verify the HDs are good, they spin up but that doesn't mean they are good. does it NEED a working HD to boot from the CD? Could it be something else I'm missing?Any input is welcome.Thank You.

Last seen: 1 hour 1 min ago
Joined: Feb 27 2021 - 18:59
Posts: 554


Target Disk Mode isn't implemented on the PowerMac G3; the first tower machine that supported FireWire Target Mode is the Sawtooth G4.

The normal way to force a boot from the CD is by holding down the mouse button. That tells the firmware to skip the first recognized disk drive and try another device.

But there are other possible reasons that CD booting doesn't work, including a CDROM drive with non-Apple firmware, or a CDR burned without the necessary driver partitions, or a CDROM drive that simply cannot read any discs due to dust or a weak laser diode

In fact I think the optical drives tend to be the least reliable part of machines from this era (not counting the exploding PRAM batteries).

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