Help Identifying an Old iMac

Evilguru

Registered
Hi, one of my Dads friends has just given me an old iMac, saying that the hard drive is dead. However, I am not sure what model it is. I have taken a look around but nothing on apple-history seems to match what I have sitting next to me. All I know is that it is puprle, has two firewire and two USB ports on it and a slot loading CD drive. Does anyone have any idea about what model this could be? I need to go and replace the hard disk on it but I am not sure which one to get, I know that it will probably only be ATA 66, but that should not be a problem as it just means that the drive will run slower, right? Some people have said that I should not put a 7,200 rpm drive in there as it might be a bit too hot for the iMac to cope, is this correct? I was thinking of putting something like a 120Gb drive in there and then putting a better OS on it (I was given what seems to be the OS 9 disk with it), but do have a spare copy of OS X 10.3 which I would like to put on it if it is fast enough, which I am not sure about as I do not know which model it even is. Anyway, thanks for any help you can give me.
 

Damrod

Registered
iMac at Apple-History

I'm pretty sure that it should be this model. There were varioations of it later that year, so best would be to verify that by comparing the CPU speed of it with the other models on there
 

RacerX

Old Rhapsody User
Have you looked on the bottom? iMacs usually have the original factory specs on the underside of the system.
 

Evilguru

Registered
Right, got the specs of it, the same as what the link Damrod posted said they were. Now, replacing the hard disk, how hard is it to get to the disk and will any new ATA drive work with or do I need to watch out for things like heat?
I want to use the computer as an in-house server, so should I get some more ram and upgrade it to OS X, keep it on OS 9 or put linux on it?
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Put some RAM on it and install OS X. It's a better experience. You CAN install Linux on the Mac with Ubuntu, Yellow Dog, Fedora, etc., but you'll miss out on some hardware support (3D acceleration in X11 on some video cards) and some software support (no Flash for websites, for example). Incidentally, I'm running Debian on a Motorola StarMax 4000 Macintosh clone. PowerPC 604e processor (pre-G3). Here is a page on it. Linux will work nicely on the Mac, don't get me wrong...but you will miss more apps than even on x86 Linux.

Go with OS X. You get the power of UNIX with a beautiful and functional GUI. :D
 

tumbleguts

Registered
Okay...

For your intended uses I would do three things:
1. Install Panther 10.3
2. try and get the RAM up to at least 512MB
3. Install a 7200rpm HD (if it's not a problem)

Seriously, you would appreciate the 7200rpm over 5400rpm - especially for your uses... I've never heard that you shouldn't put a 7,200 rpm drive in - the later model iMacs seem to cope. Personally, many of the newer 7,200rpm drives are very cool running and I don't see a problem...
Anyway, the ATA-66 IDE interface will be fine. Most drives are backwards compatible too. What ATA-66 means, is that data can be transfered at a maximum of 66MB/sec. What most people don't realise is that a standard 7,200rpm ATA drive maxes out at between 35-45MB/sec... so the ATA-66 interface is more than you could possibly need...
 

ElDiabloConCaca

U.S.D.A. Prime
I don't think you can install a hard drive larger than 137GB in that machine... it may not recognize all of the drive, even with partitioning. Just something to keep in mind when upgrading...
 

Evilguru

Registered
Yes, many old PC's needed their BIOS's flashed to support over 137Gb, but I was only planning to put in a 120Gb in there. It currently has 64mb of RAM, but I am planning to put 2x256Mb sticks in there (does it need to be anything special as far as the RAM goes qor will normal PC100/PC133 SD RAM work?). If I am going to put Linux on it I will put Debian on it.
 

Damrod

Registered
No, standard PC100 will do. I had to upgrade a friends machine once, and I just went to the standard PC vendor around the corner to buy RAM. I won't mix the RAMs though. Either put two PC100 or PC133 in it, but not one PC100 and one PC133. That is often the source for quite some trouble from my expirience.

Not that I want to say it wouldn't work, but you have no guarantee on it. Better save yourself the hassel and go with a unified RAM set
 

Evilguru

Registered
Ok, thanks. I now need some help getting the darned thing open. I have turned it over and I have got the 'memory' door but other than that I cant seem to get it open (so that I can change the dark disk etc). All of the guides tell me that there are two more screws (I have got the two by the handle on the underside of the mac) by the VGA port, which does not even exist! How do I get to he hard disk? Also, some people have said that there are problems with larger disks and that I need to have an 8Gb partition as there is where it looks for its startup files, is this true, as I am going to be getting a 120Gb for it and do not really want to have to partition the drive. Thanks for all of your help.
 

Evilguru

Registered
Well, I have just turned the computer on with the Apple OS 9 CD in the drive, it booted and took me into OS 9. It is running the OS off of the CD as far as I can tell. But I can see the hard disk (a 9.4Gb one). I put created a folder called 'hello' on it and then rebooted, and looked at the hard disk the folder 'hello' was still there! This makes me think that the hard disk had just been erased. I am going to install OS 9 on it from the disk now to see how it all goes.
But, there is one problem which I am too dumb to fix, the screen has a large amount of unused space around it, normally on my PC I would go to my monitor and fix it but I cant seem to find any controls on the iMac's monitor. Can anyone tell me whart to do?

*EDIT* Well the restoring got about half way before erroring, so I am goingn to have to replace the hard drive.
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Under the Apple menu (top left with the Apple on it :D), head to Control Panels-->Monitors. There you should find the option to fix the screen to fit properly.
 

Damrod

Registered
To Evilguru:

Regarding your problem about lacking knowledge to open and modify the iMacs interiors, this document might help:

iMac DV Service Manual (PDF) (has about 11MB, lot's of pictures and illustrations in it)

It's a guide by Apple I found on the net the other day while googling for a troubleshooting guide for my G4. That should help you quite a bit working with the interiors :)
 

Evilguru

Registered
One question about the RAM, in the manual/service link you gave me it says: that it uses PC-100 SDRAM running at 125Mhz or better. But PC-100 runs at 100Mhz! Does anyone know what speed RAM it really does need?
 

Damrod

Registered
I must confess, that goes beyond my knowledge right now...

But if it says it runs PC100 RAM modules, it will surely require PC100 modules (or faster ones, that are backward compatible).
 

tumbleguts

Registered
Yeah... it's a weird thing.

Apple specs 'often' state the RAM speed that contradicts the module type specified.
I've come across it so many times now that I just ignore it...
For you, it's PC100 or PC133 modules.
(Most PC133 modules are backwards compatible).

Another thing - if you can put a 7,200 RPM drive in an Apple 'CUBE'...
(Which has severe heat/temp problems...)
- I cannot see why you can't put a 7,200 RPM drive in an iMac.
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
I've seen some 125 MHz modules in PC-100 RAM systems. I think it's supposed to be a buffer. It's meant to run peak at 125 MHz but will run quite stable at 100 MHz. That's as best as I can figure.
 

Evilguru

Registered
Well I have just replaced the hard disk and have tried to restore the OS, but it errors and quits on the same file! It seems as if the hard disk was not dead at all, but more the restore image that I was using. Does anyone know what I should do, as I am going to be putting netBSD on it, however I want to fix the monitor settings first but I went to the control panel in the boot restore CD-like OS but only found 'Apple Talk' and 'Startup Disk'. What should I do?
(I did find out about the RAM, it seems as if all PC1OO should be able to work as 125Mhz as a sort of failsafe...
 

Damrod

Registered
The install program by Apple always runs at a fixed resolution, no way to change that there. You need a functional booting system to change that.

If you want to install netBSD on it anyways, can't you change resolutions later after that installation? I don't really see the point in installing OS 9, then wipe it and install netBSD
 

Evilguru

Registered
I have as of my last post installed ubuntu on the computer (debian linux). But the screen problem is still there. There is a large chunk of 'unused' black space on the left and top sides of the monitor and a fair bit on the bottom and right sides. It is not the os, if I go into open firmware there is still the large amount of unused space (I am running at 1027x768 which is native). So, do I need to somehow get myself a copy of OS (well a decent not crapped up install image) install it, then change the monitor settings then install linux again? There has to be a way in open firmware, or something in the pram to do this? I assume it can be done right?
 
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