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Ask Max: Gray screen on Power Mac G3

Asked on 09/05/2006:

I have a PowerMac G3 that I bought from a friend. I did some experimenting and things took a turn. This Mac has a Sonnet G4 processor. I was going to try and back date the OS from OSX 10.4 to 10.2.8 in order to use an obsolete version of ProTools. Something happened during installation and now it boots to a gray screen. That's it...just a gray screen. I think it might be the BIOS but right now it's a paperweight WHAT DO I DO?? Can it be resurrected or is it trash?


There are a few things to try and it may be a simple fix. The first standard Mac fix with almost anything is to zap the PRAM. This is done by holding down the "Option," "Command/Apple," "P," and "R" keys on start up. Hold them down until you hear four chimes from the Mac. Then see what you get. If this doesn't fix anything, then try reinstalling the OS, any Mac OS will do. If the computer will not boot of an install CD or the hard drive, then it is a good idea to try and reset the Power Manager on your computer. Unplug the power and open the case. Locate and remove the PRAM battery. Near the battery is a small button 1/16th of an inch in size, press it once. Put the battery back and plug in the power cord. Boot it up and see what you get. If you are still having problems see if your friend still has the original G3 processor. If he does you are going to want to reinstall it and see if it was an issue with the processor upgrade not being compatible with OS X 10.2.Good luck and let me know how it works out.Jacob Loeb

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