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Reviving iMac G3 1998 Model B

by Walterob / April 6, 2011 5:30 AM PDT

This computer was used for a few years and then left unused when the owner passed away. I'd like to see if I can get it working again, maybe to donate. It boots up, accesses the Internet via Ethernet, and seems stable. The browser is Netscape Navigator 4.0. It crashes when I try to download. What browser can I use with OS 8.5.1? How do I install it? (I have a PC but no other Mac.) How could I update software to 8.6? (I have disks for 8.5.) I have seen in another posting that with a firmware update I could even run OS 9, possibly X. (Current RAM is 64 MB. Can I upgrade to 256? A RAM dealer says so.) Any advice along these or other lines will be greatly appreciated. I know a bit about OS X on newer iMacs and MacBooks, but not this legacy model.

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Count the coins for this upgrade.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 6, 2011 5:46 AM PDT

I see an iBook G4 with 512MB, 40GB, Apple Airport (WiFi), Bluetooth, CDRW/DVD and running OSX for 229 at

My thought is that you sell it off for 99 bucks and find something better for not much more.

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Not so much the money
by Walterob / April 7, 2011 3:02 AM PDT

The surviving spouse is interested in seeing whether we can revive this. It is more a matter of memories than of monetary investment. I would recommend he not invest much in this effort, but if successful this would bring considerable satisfaction. Otherwise, I'd recommend a replacement too. Thanks for your suggestion.

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This iMac will easily go to 9.2.1
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 7, 2011 10:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Not so much the money

without the need for a firmware update, and with it, maybe even 9.2.2

While the update to 8.6 is a free one, it's a download from Apple, System 9 would be a purchase.

256MB of RAM is possible but I would not hold out much chance of running OS X. It would probably run but you would need the patience of Job to wait while it accomplished anything, including booting.
I would shelve that idea.

If nostalgia is the only reason it is being resurrected, then you have achieved your goal already.
Internet Explorer 5 is the highest browser that will run on it, if you can find it, and most of the websites today will not display correctly on it.

If you have the original disks, then I would suggest what is known as a Clean Install of the System. That will put a new system onto the drive.
Alternatively, if there is no data that needs to be saved, use the original disks to Restore the machine to the state that it was in when the box was first opened.
Should run just fine then.


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Reply to mrmacfixit
by Walterob / April 7, 2011 9:50 PM PDT

Thank you for this very helpful information. I do have the original disks and will do a clean install and restore. Perhaps then I can download and install 8.6 - the earliest, as I understand it, to run a version of one of the alternative browsers I checked out. What is your opinion of Classilla and iCab as installs?

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I've never tried either of those browsers
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 7, 2011 9:56 PM PDT
In reply to: Reply to mrmacfixit

but I have heard good things about iCab.

At least they still have a version that they say works on 8.6


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Imac restore
by patricdeimon / January 22, 2013 5:23 AM PST

This is an old thread. If you are still looking for imac parts or info i have vram and memory. Soame other parts too.

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Not a for sale forum.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 22, 2013 5:27 AM PST
In reply to: Imac restore

This old thread from 2011 is now closed.

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