View Full Version : System 7 on G3?
March 7th, 2007, 10:29 PM
Is it possible? I'm debating between either running Linux or System 7 on this iMac that I've been working on. It's a G3 with 256MB of RAM and the 700 mhz processor. It was running OS X until it had some sort of catastrophic failure (Which I think I've narrowed down to being either a IDE cable, or RAM failure) and I'm now trying to nurse it back to health.
The first computer my family ever owned was a Macintosh II that ran System 7 and so it's kind of nostalgic for me. Short of buying an old Macintosh IIfx (Which I plan to do eventually in the future) this seems to be my best bet of getting a little big of nostalgia back.
The kicker is I'd have to do all of the prep work (getting the disks ready and everything) from a PC.
Anyone have any tips for me? Thanks guys.
March 7th, 2007, 10:45 PM
The earliest Mac OS that you can run directly on the 700 MHz iMac g3? OS 9.1
There's ROM emulator/simulators that can take you way back to pre-System7, I suppose - but your Mac won't boot those directly.
The earliest system with ANY G3 would be MacOS 8 on the first beige G3. The Powermacs, and any Performa model can run some version of system 7
March 7th, 2007, 10:55 PM
nope, it will not run system 7. the oldest it can run is 9.1. best to stick with os x on that one. but you can run system 7 in an emulator (http://basilisk.cebix.net/).
March 7th, 2007, 11:14 PM
I figured I wouldn't be able to... now I just need to track down this problem that's causing the computer to have kernal panics every time I try to boot from the OS X CD.
March 8th, 2007, 08:06 AM
You can run Linux on it, but the experience won't be as nice as running a current version of Mac OS X on it. I actually have some Macs here at work running Ubuntu and Debian and they run nicely, but the lack of applications like Flash for web and the lack of commitment from the Linux community on the PowerPC side makes the experience less pleasant than on the PC. It will work, but not as smoothly or nicely as on an x86 computer.
There's a snow iMac that has a G3 processor running at 600 MHz running Ubuntu here at my workplace and it runs very well. I've done the same on my iMac G5 at home and there are still tons or unresolved issues. Apparently, the older the Mac, the better supported it is. So if you do put Linux on that iMac, you'll be fine with the exception of the missing applications I mentioned above.
March 8th, 2007, 08:50 AM
Does anybody know if you could run System 7 with Mac-on-Linux on such a machine? Or on more recent machines, for that matter? That would seem a bit convoluted, but it might work well. I've never tried Mac-on-Linux myself, though.
March 8th, 2007, 08:51 AM
Kernel panics when running the OS X installation disc point to a hardware problem that might show its ugly head in other OSs as well.
_I_ would go about it this way:
Find a cheap, original, retail version of OS 9.2 or 9.2.2. Install that, get any firmware updates for that Mac and try to install OS X again.
_If_ the IDE cable or the RAM is actually done for, then you won't get far without replacing/repairing those, anyway. Maybe _that_ should be the starting point.
March 8th, 2007, 08:05 PM
True, I've gotten as far as 22% and 44% on installing Ubuntu on the iMac and it freezes up every time. Now I can't seem to even access the console without it freezing up.
And it was giving me I/O errors on hdb, which I was told was the CD-ROM drive. That and it won't even BOOT to the OS 9 CD, but has KPs when trying to boot to OS X. So at this point I'm fairly certain it's either the CD-ROM or the IDE cable.
Of which I have none to replace it with since Apple usess crazy IDE cables that I assume also provide power to the CD-ROM drive.
March 8th, 2007, 08:20 PM
If you really want some nostalgia, I've got a Mac Classic and a StarMax sitting right next to my MacBook that I need to get rid of. :)
March 9th, 2007, 09:53 PM
i love my starmax, its the 5500 even. but back on topic, if you are getting kps on install, its a hardware problem. in fact i just went though this. turns out it was a bad ram module. the new one i just got infact. sent it back, got another, and all is well. well, if it were me, i'd rig something to allow me to power the drive externally, and use a standard cable with a different drive (the mac open face) and install that way. if it still kps, then its not the cd drive or its cable. i'd then keep changing things a bit at a time till it installs fine.
March 9th, 2007, 11:22 PM
I found some compatible RAM in an old Dell of mine that I assume will work in the iMac, and I'll probably try an external CD-ROM via some jerry riged IDE cable setup if that doesn't work.
April 6th, 2007, 03:03 AM
Does anybody know if you could run System 7 with Mac-on-Linux on such a machine? Or on more recent machines, for that matter?
The problem with the various Systems 7 is that they were built for Old World systems, with fun stuff like a 68LC040 emulator and lots of Macintosh Toolbox in a chip on the motherboard. To make them work with Mac-on-Linux, you need to extract the contents of the ROM of a PowerPC machine that can run that version of System 7, and I don't know where you can find the program to do that these days. Maybe a ROM copier like what you'd use for Basilisk II can also work on PowerPC. Then there's the whole issue of whether it works these days; I remember Mac-on-Linux working with MacOS 8.1 on my Power Mac 7200 many years back, but it won't work on a 7200 anymore, and I don't know about Old World MacOS versions.
Mac-on-Linux also can work with G4 computers, but not G5 or Intel Core. For those, you're limited to Basilisk or similar, and extracting the ROM from a 68K Mac.
April 6th, 2007, 03:10 AM
There's also SheepShaver, but I hear that it's tough to set up.