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Custom Upgraded Power Mac G3 MinitowersOSX Notes for Beige G3 Systemsused macintosh powermac g3 computer system

Updated 03-02-09

NOTE: It will take longer for your system to boot and synch with your monitor when booting into X. Be patient.

SPECIAL NOTE: Tiger nor Panther will not run on a Beige G3 System presently. Panther and later (10.3.x & 10.4x) was designed to run on system with built in USB ports. There are patches (XPostFacto) but they don't use the built in graphics and are not a good option (in my opinion). For now stay on Jaguar (10.2.8) if you are on a Beige System.

Perhaps it is time for you to experiment a bit with X. The benefit of the old Beige boxes is that you can certainly add OSX 10.2.8 which is stable, reliable and cheap, and get used to X while still being able to boot back into 9. While we play and test our products on OSX we think most folks on older equipment should stick with OS9 but learning X is not a bad thing. Unless you have a compelling reason to run it, it can be an expensive update. While Apple has put a great interface on it, it still is a completely different OS (it really is BSD Unix you know) and will require you a fair amount of time to be comfortable using it. It has many benefits and features but many day to day tasks will actually run slower on it. On older systems, you still have the ability to boot back into OS9 and many of your OS9 programs will run under OSX in the emulation mode. It also may not work with your printers, it disables your floppy if you are on a beige G3 (there is a patch to make it work but it doesn't work as far as I can tell) an many printers and scanners will not longer function. Just make sure you go into this with your eyes open. The full install requires 128MB of ram and 3GB of drive space. That means of course you really should have 6GB available and 256MB or ram or more. Personally I run X on a Beige DT with a 400 mhz processor, 512MB of Ram and a 60GB hi speed hard drive (properly partitioned for X of course). I have been running this same install of OSX on this machine now for over 3 years.

First off read all of the information below especially on how I installed OSX. If you screw up and have to restart the machine, you can get the machine into a state at which it no longer works at all. Pay careful attention and you won't have troubles. If you do run the reset routine I describe below. You may have to hit the CUDA switch so before beginning make sure you know how to recover your machine or don't start.

Make sure you absolutely and solidly have a backup of all data before starting.

A few folks have reported problems installing OSX 10.2 Jaguar. In particular they are using a PC monitor on the systems built in ATI card. After installing they report they cannot get the monitor to sync and some had other issues. We have customers who are running OSX with no reported problems. Before you begin though you need to make yourself aware of a few things.


A list of required firmware updates is listed on Apple's web site. Do this before installing X.

REV A or REV B etc. Beige G3 ROM?

I have installed OSX 10.2 on both G3 Minitower 's and Desktops (Type A-ROM or the later type ROM's). Other than not being able to have more than one device per ATA bus the type A-ROM's work just as well as the later ROMs.

REV A ROM's only support one internal IDE hard drive per bus. However, this limitation can be easily conquered by adding a PCI ATA card or the more modern SATA Card. In fact it really is a good upgrade since it gives you faster access to the drives and breaks down the 132GB limit. Do remember though that a machine will not boot in OS9 from a partition larger than 190GB's.

Here's how you can tell if you have what ROM version you have. Go to Apple System Profiler (OS8.5 and up). At the bottom of the front page click on Product Information. If your ROM Revision shows $77D.45F2 then you have a good ROM. This supports 2 devices per IDE bus (a Master and a Slave). If yours shows $77D.40F2 then you have Rev. A ROM and are limited to one device per bus. Add an IDE card to overcome this. The ROM chips are in short supply and are overpriced usually if you do find a B or later ROM. (There are actually many variations of the ROM including the 45F1 which work like the 45F2 for all practical purposes).

When we say a machine is OSX ready what we mean is Apple says this machine is supported and you have the necessary ram and drive space to meet the install requirements. Remember Panther OSX 10.3 only is supported on machines with bult in USB. Check the compatibility list before installing it. Before you start it is not as simple as putting in the OSX disk and pushing okay. You need to read the instructions included with any options installed on your system such as processor, graphics card, CDRW Drives etc. before starting as each require special drivers. We include an OSX version of the driver required for the 10/100 ethernet card on the Kitchen Sink. If you have a special processor check with the processor manufacturer's web site before installing.

You need to read the instructions included with any options installed on your system such as processor, graphics card, CDRW Drives etc. before starting as each require special drivers. If you have a special processor check with the processor manufacturer's web site before installing.

One fellow reported that he had difficulty installing 10.x (pre Jaguar) on his Beige G3 until I found the knowledgebase page (among other places, including the read me that came with 10.2) that 10.x has to be installed on a partition (or disk drive) that is LESS THAN 8 GB and is the FIRST partition. If you have a hard drive larger than 8 GB's it must be partitioned. The FIRST PARTITION needs to be less than 8 GB's. If you don't know how to do this get someone who does to help you install OSX. I use drive setup from 9.2.2. I then install my 9.2.2 in the first partition for use with OSX's classic mode. OSX must be installed in the first partition!

Before you install or if your machine fails and you can't get it to come back up:

Zap the PRAM and let it chime three times. Then quickly change your fingers from the P-R keys to the O-F keys, so you are holding down Cmd-Opt-O-F at startup. This may not work on early rom systems. Hold them down until you get the open firmware screen. At the prompt type:

set-defaults <return>

reset-all <return>

If that fails (or you are using a system that has the older rom) hold the CUDA switch down for 15 seconds and run through zapping the pram sequence 3 times in a row. Need help resetting your CUDA? Read Bob's Mac Tech Tips.

How much ram and hard drive do I need?:

You can work in OSX with a 300 mhz system if you have enough ram. I recommend at least a 400 mhz processor (we usually have a few but don't list them in the store so give us a call. It will run on even a 233 but we think you will not be happy working any slower. Don't let anyone kid you, all things being equal 9 is faster. Realize now that you will actually be slowing down when you install X. You need at least 256MB of ram, 384 or 512 is better. Apple's minimum is 128. More is always better. A full install requires 3 GB of drive space. With the enormously fat Applications etc, you would be quickly out of space with anything less than the 8GB. A 4 GB is marginally okay but if you can upgrade to a 6 or larger. Remember on larger than 8 GB drives you must partition the drive.


  1. I read the readme file and partitioned the 60 GB drive so the first partition is LESS THAN 8 GB (beige only). OSX MUST be installed in the first partition of this drive!
  2. Turned off the energy saver from the control panels.
  3. Set my extensions to OS 9.2 only from the clean install I put in the base partition.
  4. I ran disk repair and got a clean bill of health on the drive before starting.
  5. I did not remove any PCI cards, and I did not remove any ram. (do if you have trouble).
  6. I then zapped the pram as described above and reset the firmware.
  7. I did not press the CUDA switch (only do this if your machine fails to chime after installing).
  8. I restarted with the C key held down and the 10.2 disk in.
  9. I did a Custom Install and deselected the 12 or so languages I don't speak and only selected the printers I use.
  10. If your first run at the install fails reduce the amount of ram. I usually leave one 128 mb stick only in the first slot to install. You can reinstall the ram once you finish the install.

You really should sit through the install which is long and boring and click the menu bar of the installer every once in a while. The system tries to go to sleep without activity especially during the second CD. Including all updates to 10.2.8 it takes several hours to complete an install with all updates.

NOTE: It will take longer for your system to boot and synch with your monitor when booting into X. Be patient.

If things go well you should be able to boot in X now. Setup two accounts to start with and don't forget the passwords. One with Adminstrative access and a second personal account. Use the Admin account to install new software. You are now ready to add the updates to get your OSX and applications up to date.

TIP: Once you finish updating the system run the OSX Disk Utility and repair permissions. You should do this anytime you install new software. I like and use a shareware program called System Optimizer that performs a whole series of maintenance on your system all at once, including repair permissions.

OSX is a multiple user based system unlike what you are used to on the older OSes. Notice when you install anything logged in as a user it will only be accessable by you when you log in as that user. That goes for music, pictures etc. Understanding how this multiple user system works will help you learn to use this OS. Things you want to be accessible to all should be installed by the admin level account. Before and after installing it is a good idea to repair permissions.


After you install OS X, you'll need to run Patchburn to create a driver for the your special CDRW or DVD/CDRW or SuperDrive.

PatchBurn1.1en.sit is for OS 10.2 Jaguar


If you have a SONNET or other aftermarket processor I recommend you visit the site and download any needed patches before starting. If you have a Realtek 10/100 card you will need to install the patch (rtsmacx(110).zip) from the Kitchen Sinks OSX folder after installing X. The stock 10/100 is supported as is USB and Firewire. You may have a special graphics card or other PCI cards that need updates. ATI Radeon 7000 owners should have the latest ROM update installed and have the latest software drivers downloaded. Check before starting!


You really need a monitor capable of running 800x600. If you are on a 640x480 only monitor it is time to upgrade. I rebooted on a 15" NEC Multisync Monitor with our monitor adapter. I had to zap the pram (once) to get the monitor to sync after booting from the CD. This might not have occured if I would have went through the installation again. I did have trouble getting my SONY 17" connected via an adapter to sync. I finally hooked the system up via a 15" Multisync Mac monitor and once I finished the install it worked fine with the SONY (go figure). Keep in mind if you don't have a stock Apple monitor attached to your system you may have to borrow one to get OSX installed. It seems to work okay on most monitors after it is installed although you may have to zap the pram to get it to synch.

I also installed the driver for the Ethernet 10/100 card that came in many of the BOSS and BUBBA systems (The 10/100 card we carry) from the Kitchen Sink under the OSX folder. I simply clicked on the .tar archive and unarchived to the desktop. I then double clicked the icon and let the installer walk me through the installation. The later version is a beta and works with 10.2 and up. The Apple 100baseT cards we carry work without any additional drivers. I actually installed one in a G4 who had a fried built in port and it came straight up.

UPDATE: You had better archive your floppies using Disk Copy to a CD or Zip media. You can use a USB Floppy but remember these only read high density floppies. It is best to make disk images using Apple's Disk Copy and put them on CD or Zip media. I keep hoping a decent floppy driver will be written but it has been a long while so I suspect not.

A program called PatchBurn will let you write your own iTunes patches in OSX. We include it with our DVD/CDRW Combo mechanisms for use on OSX.

TIP: Run the 10.2.8 COMBINED update after installing 10.2. No need to run any of the earlier updates. In fact I advise against the 10.2.6 update as the newer update refuses to let you install it if you have this version on. Continue to update the Applications and security upgrades as needed.



Headgap Visitor Joe Banks Writes: I absolutely could not install OS X (even after reading all the info on your site and having the correct firmware) until someone in Nevada told me to pull the USB and Firewire PCI cards and drop the RAM down to 128 MB. That did it!!! You might want to add that info on your site for Beige G3's.

MY COMMENTS: Not sure why the ram would make any difference unless you had a marginal stick or something. I have installed X on dozens of Beige G3's and never had to pull any ram, or the cards for that matter but I am working on systems that use the ram we sell and the cards we sell. It is worth a try though if you can't get the install to work. Thanks for the tip Joe!

ADDED NOTE: It is better if you only have one stick of known good ram, either a 128 or 256 in the first slot. Do this especially if you fail to install after the first try.

TIP: If you are having trouble installing or even booting from the first OSX CD, take out the aftermarket optical you have installed and put back in a stock 24X CD for the install. Once installed you can put your later optical back in and run the patchburn program.

Using OSX Quartz Extreme with your Radeon 7000 PCI Card - Do this at your own risk!

NOTE FROM BOB: I recently added a Radeon 7000 to my G3DT system and have made this modification to my system. I works well but I really didn't notice any improvement. If I had not run the little Quartz Extreme Check program I wouldn't know that it was working. I might notice more if I played games that used Open GL. It is simple to do that and probably doesn't hurt anything. I am also fairly certain this will work with the new ATI 9200 PCI card, since all you are doing is telling the software to use your PCI card for graphics rather than the non-existent AGP.

Check out Grackle Probe X 1.4 on the OSX Kitchen Sink/Diagnostics Folder or PCI Extreme 3.1 in the Drivers Folder or do a search for it before manually setting this up.

 Enabling Quartz Extreme for PCI Macs?

A recent post to the Ars Technica Mac forums revealed it is possible to enable Mac OS X 10.2's Quartz Extreme on Macs without AGP video cards. While not necessarily game-related, many gamers have upgraded Beige or B&W PowerMacs with PCI Radeon or Radeon 7000 cards from ATI , and those brave enough can now try it out.

 The modification requires the user to change one file and restart, though please only do this if you're well aware of the dangers it could pose to your system, and understand that it's not an official Apple practice .

 While many IMG readers have verified it does work, there are reports of some glitches with movies playing in the background and stuttering on terminal transparency windows. If you're up to the task, first make sure you "su root" and follow the instructions from the Ars poster:

 Open the config file

/System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/Resources/Configuration.plist ...

Change IOAGPDevice to IOPCIDevice

 Restarting should enable Quartz Extreme, which can be verified with a simple "Quartz Extreme Check" application available at Versiontracker. Creative users are also finding they can enable Quartz Extreme on a secondary PCI card if they have something else like a Radeon 8500 in the AGP slot by adding the IOPCI line instead of overriding the AGP line, but as always, be very cautious with any such modifications. Remember to reboot and run the repair utility in X and allow it to fix permissions.

 For those concerned Quartz Extreme might negatively affect game performance, OpenGL guru Kenneth Dyke recently made a very informative post to the IMG forum explaining exactly how VRAM is used in Jaguar. He notes that for fullscreen games, the VRAM is used the same by any OpenGL application --whether it be a game or OS X 10.2-- so there is no danger of the OS "hogging" memory from a game. Check it out for the full scoop.

You may have no problems and many of our customers are successfully running OSX on custom boxes purchased from us. I now have OSX 10.2.8 on my desktop work system (Beige G3DT with a 450 mhz Processor running at 433) although I still use 9.2 most of the time. One thing I have learned over the years is not to be the first person to install a revision. Sites like and even Apple's are full of the grief people go through. Usually if you wait a short while and revisit those sites most of the problems have solutions. I would encourage you to study up before installing.

If you are totally unable to recover your machine, we will be glad to restore your machine to as it was (OS9). Simply call our toll free number 1-877-639-1543 9-6 CST M-F for an RMA number and pay the shipping both directions and a nominal $35.00 bench charge.

Check out the Jaguar OSX Read Me Notes

OSX Tips for All Users

Since OSX is a user based system designed around BSD Unix there are a few things that most Mac users haven't had to contend with. One of which is permissions. When you install software or fonts that you intend for everyone on your system to use you need to install them from the main user which is sometimes called Admin or Adminstrator account. It was the first account you set up when you first installed your software. If you install it from one of the user accounts it will only be accessible by that account.

BEFORE AND AFTER YOU INSTALL SOFTWARE and on a regular basis run the Disk Utility (in the Utilities folder) and repair permissions.

Another handy program is System Optimizer X. It is on the OSX Kitchen Sink in the Diagnostics folder. It runs all of the maintenance on your system on demand. It is a $12 shareware program but the demo works fine until you decide to register it and this one is well done, so try it and register your copy. I don't recommend SOCKS the authors replacement program and find that while it is more powerful it is much more complex.

Lose Your X Password or Need to Change It?

Boot up from the first OSX install CD by placing it in the drive and holding down the C key. When it comes up choose Reset Password from the Menu and follow the instructions.

X and Norton? NO! NEVER, NEVER!

I can't recommend Norton for OSX. You certainly don't want to boot into 9 and run a Disk Doctor version older than 6.03. Earlier versions will trash the drive since there are many changes to the drive format that X adds. I have used Tech Tool X but my best advice at this time is the use the disk repair program when booted from the original X install disk at this time. Do this periodically and it will help keep your drive healthy.


Carbon Copy Cloner ( is on the X version of the Kitchen Sink. This puppy allows you to backup your OSX drive to an internally connected drive or an external Firewire drive (this will only work for booting with built in Firewire). This will make a bootable backup! It can also be used to recover parts or all of your X install. This solved one of the main objections I had to X and why I was not an early adopter.

If you don't have an internal second drive or an external firewire drive consider purchasing one. We will talk you through the install if you need help.

TIP: On older systems like your Beige DT and MT's and early iMacs you have to use a command in the menu of Carbon Copy Cloner called Bless Old World Target Drive. This is not well documented and is absolutely essential. If you don't bless it your drive will not appear and will show up as damaged under repair programs. Remember on older systems it has to be LESS THAN 8GB partition for X to recognize it. One final note. I usually end up having to manually copy the OS9 System Folder over by hand. In fact I usually just finder copy the OS9 folders over and only use cloner on the OSX stuff.

My OSX JUST SITS THERE SPINNING THE BEACHBALL AND NEVER FINISHED BOOTING? or maybe you get the Kernal Panic Screen (charcoal gray panel with printing).

ANYTIME YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE BOOTING UNPLUG EVERYTHING FROM THE BACK OF YOUR COMPUTER except the keyboard and monitor, and of course the power plug. Fix one thing at a time. If you just installed hardware remove it.

  1. Try booting with the shift key held down. This is called safe mode. If it comes up okay then sometimes you can then simply reboot and things will work normally.
  2. Boot from the 1st OSX install disk by inserting it and holding the C key down after rebooting. Run Disk First Aid, then run Repair Permissions from the Disk Utility (from the menu).
  3. Last resort - install the OS again. Make sure you don't tell it to wipe the drive. Once you have reinstalled run the latest combined update to get your system version back up to snuff.
  4. You can always recover from the backup you made using carbon copy cloner (assuming you made one).
  5. Run Repair Permissions before and after installing software.

OSX iMac WARNING: Make sure your iMac's ROM is updated to the latest version before installing OSX. You can damage your video analog board. I have had several people report this and have repaired some damaged units.

I know how to fix iMacs with this particular problem. If you installed OSX on your iMac and no longer have video display call us about getting it repaired (without having to buy an analog board most likely). Our flat rate (not including parts) is $80 plus return shipping and insurance. We do a thorough cleaning and tuneup included in this price.

New! OSX Notes for B&W G3 Systems
New! OSX Notes for G4 Systems


We recently started preinstalling AppleJack on all OSX systems. This little utility (Kitchen Sink OSX Diagnostics Folder or downloadable from allows you to repair your disk, repair permissions, validate the system's preference files, and get rid of possibly corrupted cache files. In most cases, these operations can help get your machine back on track. The important thing is that you don't need another startup disk with you. All you need to do is restart in Single User Mode (SUM), by holding down the command and s keys at startup, and then typing applejack, or applejack auto (which will run through all the tasks automatically), or applejack auto restart (which will also restart the computer automatically at the end of the process).

The only gotcha I have found so far is on Beige G3 systems. If you had to borrow someones monitor to install X, then your other adapted monitor probably will show you a black screen at startup. Since you simply need to type applejack auto restart, I do just that blindly and then leave the system alone. It runs through the cycles and then restarts usually getting you back up and running. There are some other warnings in the documentation so read through them thoroughly before using on your system. This is an emergency repair program and I really would not run it all the time, but it has saved me more than a few times from the hours of reinstallation.


We love this business and live, breath and eat Macs. We thank you in advance for using the tech support line for out of warranty or systems and equipment you have bought elsewhere. 1-405-601-5301 is our tech support line. Thanks for paying for the call. We need you to help us with this as our toll free lines expenses are rising far faster than our sales are. We are always happy to help and we pay for the calls on in warranty products. Please let us know that you are on your dime when you get a tech online, our phone system doesn't show this at the work stations. Use our email form anytime you don't need immediate response or after hours. Make sure you identify the system you are on, the OS you are using and any other pertinent hardware facts.

We can provide you options and software for your installation if you do have trouble. Give us a call!

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