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Ask Max: 10.4.9 on a Rev A B&W G3 tower

Asked on 10/24/2016:

I have 12 blue and white G3 towers. My question is will they accept and operate correctly if I change the operating system to OSX 10.4.9? I heard that there were two editions of the G3 towers and that to use 10.4.9 the G3 version needed is the G3 rev 2 version. Is it possible you know about this and could verify the Rev2 is required for proper operation.


I had not heard about any OS limitations with the B&W G3s, so I went back to the service benches and tested it out. I used a Rev A 350MHz G3 B&W with 256MB of RAM. I installed a fresh version of OS X 10.4.3 onto the drive and then updated to 10.4.10, in addition to all the other available security updates. It runs fine, albeit a little slow. I watched some YouTube videos and other activities without errors or problems. I think you should be safe updating your computers to 10.4.10. The one limiting item of a Rev A B&W is its drive size. It will not work well with a PATA (ATA/EIDE) hard drive bigger than 6GB connected to the internal drive cable. Perhaps the people you spoke to had upgraded to larger drives, and are experiencing problems unrelated to 10.4.9. If you need a bigger drive in a Rev A B&W G3, it is recommended that you use a PCI-based hard drive controller card.

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