I flew too close to the sun. Help! Bad PRAM


I'm Spartacus!

HELP! BROKEN GLASS! ( See third post )

I've been trying to get OS 10.3 to work on my Beige G3 desktop using xpostfacto. I know it has done wonders for others, but of corse it's poisen to my particular G3 revision. Anyway, I was trying to just get my computer running normal again with an OS 9.2.2 partition and an OS 10.2 patition, but something was sticking around in the motherboard, making bootup quality questionable and the computer would consistantly freeze when ever I activated "startup disk." So I decide to reset the PRAM. I let it chime four times and then let it start up, but now it won't start up. I just get a disket with a question mark on it over and over again accompanied by the sound of the hard drive spinning up...and then down again. Up... and then down again.

I should mention that I had already reset the PRAM at least two times earlier that day as well. Yah, OS X can be that much of a pain to install on my revision of G3. I was told to be careful not to reset the PRAM too many times or naughty stuff might happen. One Mac guy said to only let it chime three times to be safe, another said no more than four chimes. I went with four cause I wanted to really make sure I zapped the little bugger that was messing up my boot up process. Well the little bugger got the last laugh... :(

Is there anything I can do? I have EVERYTHING pulled out of my motherboard for overnight. Maybe the Mac will heal it self, it has done that before. Any advice on what I should do, or if there even IS anything I can do?

Thank you in advance. :)

(up date regarding the question mark disket of the above described nature,
8/14/2005) I found out that the motherboard simply didn't like my thrid party hard drive any more. I had partitioned it and reformated it and moved it to other cables and other such stuff so much that the mother board didn't know what to do with it any more. The solution was initializing the hard drive to one partition and then installing a basic OS 9 on it and then starting up from it. That made the hard into a clean, one partition, simple volume that the motherboard was more willing to accept again. When installing the basic OS 9, drivers and such were also re-installed/ updated which I think was also very helpful in restoring the motherboard and hard drive compatibility. After that, I was able to make two partitions on it again and it works great now. See below for solution regarding the breaking glass...

(second update 8/16/05) In reference to my statement of xpostfacto being like poison to my particular revision G3, I didn't know at the time that the reason OS 10.3 wasn't installing was because I was using a DVD that was specific to G5s. I DID run into problems when I also tried installing 10.2 with xpostfacto though and ultimently installed 10.2 without xpostfacto, so I can't really give a valid opinion about xpostfacto at this time. Once I get Os 10.3 in the mail I'll give you another update about whether or not it works with the typ of G3 I have.)
Try resetting the PMU as well. On older Macs it was called the CUDA button and some called it the motherboard reset. It is located on the motherboard near the PRAM battery. Press it once. Then reboot. Hopefully this will work for you.

Wierd... So I put everything back in and turn the computer on. It does the startup chime and then makes a quick sound of glass breaking. I'm not kidding you. It's like my computer is made out of glass and someone dropped it, breaking it into a bunch of little glass Mac pieces with a little unhappy Mac face on each broken piece. Arrrg.

So what does it mean when the G3 makes a quick sound of breaking glass and will start up no further?

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts.......
I also checked the little battery on the board. It's outputting almost 4.0 Volts and 3.6 Volts is printed on the battery, so it's working just fine.

Something wierd I noticed was that the sound of breaking glass happens IMEDIATLY after the startup chime. The amount of time that passes between the startup chime and the breaking glass can't be much more then 1.0 seconds. That leads me to think that what ever piece of hardware that's failing that's causing that breaking glass, is one of the very first that gets checked at the startup. I'm I right? Is the ROM the first thing that gets checked, and if so, does that mean I need to by a new ROM chip?
Your G3 does not have any memory soldered on the logic board. If you have nothing but empty memory slots, then you need to put some memory back in. That's what is causing the 'breaking glass' sound. If you want to do this easy, then just add one chip at a time.
Memory is one of the first items checked, so that explains the speed of the error tone.
Thank you. That's actually exactly how I fixed the problem last night. I'm pretty sure the breaking glass was happening with the stick of memory installed. So I pulled it out, leaving no memory in any of the slots, and the breaking glass still happened. Ultimently I stuck a different memory stick in (note that I put it back into its original slot, not the slot that the faulty memory was in) and the broken glass stopped. Then just for laughs, I pulled out that one and stuck the "faulty" stick back in its original slot and it started working with the motherboard again. That was a real nice surprise as that was my largest memory stick (256MB).

I'm real happy I've been able to get the computer back to the top of the mountain of optimization. I just wish xpostfacto would work with my beige G3. Its so irritating reading about other people getting OS 10.3 to work on their second generation powerPCs with the help of xpostfacto and I'm stuck not being able to go any higher than OS 10.2, and the only reason I got OS 10.2 to work was because Beige G3s are "supported" with OS 10.2. Some might say I should be happy with getting 10.2 to run on a G3, but the hole reason I embarked on getting OS X on my G3 was to get QuickTime 7 to work so I could play H.264 format video streams and QuickTime 7 requires at least OS 10.3. Oh well.
actually, you should pull the backup battery out, press the button for a second, release, let it sit for about 10 minutes, and then put the battery back. if you leave the battery in, it is still running power to the PRAM and can still retain corrupted settings.

MLJ_osxcom said:
Try resetting the PMU as well. On older Macs it was called the CUDA button and some called it the motherboard reset. It is located on the motherboard near the PRAM battery. Press it once. Then reboot. Hopefully this will work for you.