ibook g3 boot


I just bought an iBook g3 for 40 bucks, I didn't expect much, but when i got it it booted and worked! It booted in student mode and had(has) deep freeze on it. Well now it only boots sometimes. When i hold down the option button to see the boot selections sometimes i get no selections. Then sometimes i get two different boot selections one being the student one and the other being the admin. Sometimes when I press enter it boots just fine into the admin. Other times when i press enter it just freezes. I am VERY new to macintosh, if my windows machine was doing this (which it wouldn't) I would know how to fix it. I bought this machine as a toy.
Any insight on what this crazy problem might be?
It sounds like you have a computer that had been owned by a school. It also sounds like your computer has two accounts. The one named student for student use; the account named admin belongs to the administrator. These are not boot options. When you get that screen, the computer has already booted. These are login options.

Did the seller provide the password for the admin user account? If so, then you may create a new account with administrative proivileges in your name. If not, then did you receive a grey System Restore DVD with the computer? Did you receive a colorful MacOS X disc?

If you don't have a software disc, then you need to acquire one. If you have a nearby Apple Store or an independent local shop that specializes in Macs, then you be able to get the OS disc that you need. It will allow you to reset the password. You may login to create the new user accounts that you want.
It is not a logon screen it is two different partitions of the harddrive I can see. When I let it boot with out holdijg the option key it just stays on the he apple logo spinning
Is this Mac running OS X or the "classic" Apple OS? You can tell in OS X by clicking on the to left menu item Apple symbol. It will tell you about the Mac operating system and by selecting 'More Info' to really see everything about the Mac.

Or is it running OS 9 or earlier?
The Option-boot selection screen normally shows at least 3 icons. One right-facing arrow, one curly arrow, and the boot drive (if there is one detected). And, then another icon for each additional bootable partition. There will ALWAYS be the two arrow icons on that Option-Boot screen. If no arrow icons, then you are not looking at a default boot picker, and it's probably some configuration of the Deep Freeze software, or it is the school's network boot setup - again, using something non-standard.
As with any used Mac, the best way to get that working properly is a proper erase, while booted to an installer CD, followed by a fresh install of OS X.
You don't even need to look at the info window about the system.
If your iBook does successfully boot to the desktop, the Apple icon in the top left corner will be multi-colored, indicating Mac OS 9 (not OS X)
A solid colored Apple icon in that top left corner will indicate some version of OS X.
(Yes, it's possible that icon can be modified in appearance, but I think that would be really unlikely in an institutional (school) environment - and would show as the default)
Yes it is osx tiger. And there are two thing the arrow and the refresh button so I know it is the boot select screen. I'm waiting on a power cord now and I will install a new tiger on it
You should have 3 (or more) icons.
If you only see the two arrow icons (as you call it, the arrow and the refresh button), then your hardware is not detecting the boot partition.

As a suggestion - When you have a power adapter connected, and you boot to the OS X installer, run Disk Utility, and re-partition the drive to get rid of that extra partition.
I hope that your DVD drive will still reliably read the Tiger installer DVD. I almost expect to have trouble with older DVD drives, when installing OS X from DVDs.