Beige G3 long pause before bootup

Discussion in 'Apple' started by barronchung, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    Hi there, I am a PC user who bought a used G3 to learn about Mac's. I
    had previously posted about a booting error:
    I have fixed that boot problem by resetting the PRAM, but a couple
    people mentioned that it sounds like someone tried (unsuccessfully) to
    install OS X on this machine, and that it's trying to boot X. It now
    boots into OS 9 without error messages, but when I first turn on the
    machine, it sits there with a black screen for about 10 seconds
    without doing anything. Is this normal (checking the hardware maybe?)
    or is some remnant of that OS X install trying to do something? In the
    PC world, I know when the computer is checking the hardware at boot
    time it will at least have some text-only boot screen to tell you it's
    on, so it doesn't seem logical that my Mac would sit there with a
    blank screen if it's doing that.

    I read somewhere that OS X will modify your Open Firmware when it
    installs, would that be it? If so, how do I get back to pre-OS X
    state? I've already tried resetting the defaults in Open Firmware, but
    it doesn't seem to help.

    barronchung, Nov 6, 2007
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  2. It's checking the RAM.
    What version of OSX? I think 10.2 is the last that will run on it.
    If you use XPOSTFACTO, you can get it to run Tiger. You will need
    at least 256m of RAM and 3 gig of free disk space.

    Check the version of the motherboard. There were 3 versions made and
    only the last one will work reliably with non Apple IDE disks that support
    66mHz DMA (generally over 10 gig), or PC CD-ROM drives faster than 16x.
    There was a "fix" for the older versions in the software, but not in
    all versions of OS9 (not the later ones) and OSX 10.3 and later.

    In any case the boot partition must be within the first 8 gigabytes
    (8000 megabytes) on IDE disks.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Nov 6, 2007
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  3. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    What version of OSX? I think 10.2 is the last that will run on it.
    Thanks Geoff, I'm not sure what version they tried to install. Anyhow,
    I do NOT want X installed, as I don't want to deal with the slowness
    or incompatibilities. I'm just interested in playing with OS 9 at this
    point, which is what's been installed. Thanks!
    barronchung, Nov 9, 2007
  4. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    Thanks everyone! I'm going to try Ben's tip tonight to see if it
    speeds up the boot process. In the PC world, I'm used to seeing some
    sign from the computer even when it's checking memory, so that's why I
    thought something was wrong.
    barronchung, Nov 9, 2007
  5. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    10 seconds from the startup chime isn't *that* long for such a slow
    I counted it last night, it's actually closer to 20 seconds. It's got
    a "whopping" 224mb ram, so in an older machine it may take a while to
    go through it.
    barronchung, Nov 9, 2007
  6. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    Hi there, I am a PC user who bought a used G3 to learn about Mac's.
    Well, a PII is quite old but you can still learn a lot from it! I got
    this G3 for $10 bucks from a business that was closing, so I can't
    really complain. Here in Toronto people throw out PII's all the time,
    but no one's throwing out G3's so I think I got a pretty good deal :)
    barronchung, Nov 9, 2007
  7. barronchung

    Beth C Guest

    You got a good deal for that price. Just do as above and you should be
    ok. BTW has alot of OS 9 applications go and look.
    Beth C, Nov 9, 2007
  8. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    Turn off the startup memory check.
    Hi there, I tried doing this trick, however the startup time is still
    the same. Are there any other settings? I'll also try Greg's Startup
    Disc trick tonight. Thanks!
    barronchung, Nov 12, 2007
  9. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    I was thinking about the hardware, and wondering if any of these add-
    ons make a difference:
    1) There are three memory sticks-- 128mb, 64mb, and 32mb. Could having
    three sticks make it worse because the computer has to go through them
    separately? However if I turn off the memory check it shouldn't be an
    2) There is a USB card in there, I don't remember but I think it's not
    stock with the Beige G3's.
    3) The hard drive is a 40gb one, definitely not stock.
    4) If I disconnect the ZIP drive (I think it's stock, however I'm not
    using it), will it reduce the startup time?

    barronchung, Nov 12, 2007
  10. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    Hi there, I tried doing this trick, however the startup time is still
    I've tried switching off the computer while leaving the monitor on,
    and then turning the computer on again. I'm assuming if the monitor
    isn't switched off it doesn't need any warmup time even though it
    didn't have a signal for a few seconds. Also, when it finally does
    display something, you can hear it change modes or something, like the
    video card wasn't turned on until then.
    barronchung, Nov 13, 2007
  11. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    Hi there, I tried doing this trick, however the startup time is still
    Hi there, I tried checking the startup disc, it was already selected
    but I clicked on the hard drive System Folder again to make sure. It's
    still the same. Any ideas? Thanks!

    Also, in my root directory there's "System Folder", "Documents", and
    "Applications (OS 9)".
    barronchung, Nov 13, 2007
  12. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    Could you use a digital clock with seconds to time the exact time from
    OK, this is what happens when I press the power button:
    at 1.66 seconds, I hear a beep
    at 27.58 seconds, the screen turns a grey pattern
    at 32.39 seconds, the pointer appears
    at 34.61 seconds, the happy Mac appears.

    I'll send you that file separately. Thanks JR!
    barronchung, Nov 15, 2007
  13. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    Ok. This is a Power Mac G3 266 MHz (machine ID: 501) with 320 MB RAM,
    Well, I guess that answers my question! It must do a pretty thorough
    test of the system on startup, I just remember way back when I was in
    school and they had some shiny new Mac SE's, those little boxes would
    come up with a grey screen almost instantly. Of course, back then I
    think 1MB of ram was considered excessive so maybe there wasn't really
    much else to be tested.

    Thanks a lot JR!!
    barronchung, Nov 15, 2007
  14. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    Sure, don't mention it. It was fun booting up that old G3 again after
    Haha, glad to know I'm not the only who can't bring himself to throw
    out some old technology ;)
    barronchung, Nov 15, 2007
  15. Certainly not! I had my Classic II running yesterday checking out my
    Personal LaserWriter NTR.
    Little Sir Echo, Nov 15, 2007
  16. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    Meanwhile, I've still got my very first Mac (my dad and I bought it back
    LOL that's too cool! I'm the visitor from :) Do you have
    any other active projects?

    BTW I think you can create an embedded frame for that screencap, and
    only have that one portion refresh each time. It might save some
    barronchung, Nov 16, 2007
  17. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    I've been thinking about that. When I have a free hour I might decide
    to take everything out piece by piece to see what's doing it. However
    since I've already turned off the RAM check I don't think that will be
    it. There's a SCSI ZIP drive, and also an add-on USB card that I
    haven't been using, but I don't know what else I could remove.
    I agree, I think I might play with using the G3 as a web-server, but I
    don't have anything as creative as what JR did with Zippy :)
    barronchung, Nov 17, 2007
  18. barronchung

    barronchung Guest

    You got a good deal for that price. Just do as above and you should be
    I also found out that you can find some cool oldschool games and apps
    by typing in "mac abandonware" into your favourite search engine! I'm
    not sure about the legality, but it's basically software that is no
    longer available for sale such as if the company has gone under.
    barronchung, Nov 20, 2007
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