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Ask Max: Help upgrading a G3 iMac to OS X 10.3 Panther

Asked on 05/02/2007:

I recently bought a copy of Panther from PowerMax to upgrade my mom's classic, front CD loading, blue iMac. When I tried to load the new program, it wouldn't load. I later read the instructions where it has to have a least 128 ram of memory. It has the memory that came from the factory. What I want to know is there anything else I need to do to upgrade my mom's computer besides adding more memory? I drove up to Santa Barbara from LA to do this before, so I want to have everything with me to complete this process before I drive up there again. Also what type of memory do I need to buy from PowerMax to upgrade my mom's computer?


Other than RAM, youre going to need software and firmware updates. If your mom has a fast Internet connection you can just bring the RAM. Otherwise, you should burn a disc with what you need and bring it with you. The most impotent thing to update is the iMac firmware. Here is a link to all the firmware updates needed to install OS. You will also want to get all the available OS 9 updates and the 10.3.9 Combo Update. All those items are free downloads from Apple's website. As for RAM, there are two main types of G3 iMacs and each take a different type of RAM. For the best performance I would suggest you buy a 256MB stick of RAM. Anything more is not going to help much, but anything less is going to leave your mom's system running slow. If the computer has a slot in the front the CD slides into, then you are going to want a full sized stick of PC133 RAM (PN R-PC133-256). If the iMac has a tray that comes out then you are going to need a SODIMM stick of RAM (PN R-WS-256). Also, if it is the latter iMac, you are going want detailed instructions on installing the RAM, as that model is hard to open. Here is a link to the instructions you will want to print out. That should take care of your mom.

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