I upgraded my B&W quite a bit over the past year. Drives long ago. CPU and video card recently. Meanwhile I decided to get one of those cheep Beige G3 boxes, figuring I could just install my original B&W stuff to have a nice backup dual-boot box (with floppy and serial!)
The CPU was easy, I used a razor to push the wires out of the jumper and put them in place for 66 MHZ bus and 400 MHZ CPU. When it boots it runs fast and hasn't crashed.
The really grueling part is the drives. I had heard that many beige G3's can't run ATA slave drives, or one of the busses won't work. The absurd thing is that either may be true - at a given boot! At first I tried six different IDE drives, some of the Apple branded, none of which would boot with ANY possible jumper configuration. There would be just a "do-not-enter" sign.
Trying to boot from CD was equally useless. If I started command-C, either the drive would eventually spit the disk out, or I'd get a box stating that my boot disk required a more current installer! This is BS since OS 9 and 10.2 are the most recent one can run on it.
I broke this trend of hours of fruitless booting by starting with only an old OS 9 barracuda drive on internal SCSI. I was astonished that it started! Then I was able to ease it to booting with a CD also, and then with my target 6 GB drive which I wanted to install to! Then I removed the 9.1 SCSI drive and was able to start from either the ATA hard drive or CD. Cool. So then I reinstalled OS 9.2 on there, no problems.
...Until I try to boot from a Jaguar CD! Now I am back to the beginning with no booting at all. It chimes and after a minute the monitor switches off. Tried different hard and cd drives, PRAM, Cuda, etc. This is >STUPID >. I don't mind a marginally useful ATA bus if it is at least a little bit consistant! To say that this box is very sensitive about what drives it uses is a huge understatement. I WAS able to use a master and slave combo on a single bus, but the machine balk at more than two ATA devices in any combination. I'd do all SCSI, but I hear that Jaguar does not reliably start from internal SCSI... still. can't be worse than this!
I wouldn't mind using a cheep IDE / ATA card, but how would I ever install the thing if it takes me days to get the machine to boot? Also, still yet to get Rage128 card to work. Weird, because I thought that OS 9 shipped with drivers for this… I never needed to do anything special in the B&W installs. If I can get this ridiculous machine to start for more than a few times in a row then maybe I can istall some better peripheral support. I thought this would be an easy trickle-down of better parts, but nothing could be further from the truth.
At least my other macs are running sweet!