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Updating B&W G3's - About - How To
David Anders,The Computer Guy, a freelance systems engineer in Seattle, WA.
Resolves computer problems, assists with production issues, designs and installs networks.
Blue & White Power Mac G3 UPDATES - www.versiontracker.com 9/8/99
Pick your OS version:
 
* Mac OS 8.6
* Mac OS 8.5.x
 
Updates needed if running OS 8.6
G3 CD Update 2.0 - installs new firmware on certain 24x CD-ROM drive mechanisms. This new firmware insures correct sleep and wakeup behavior. G3 CD Update 2.0 replaces G3 CD Update 1.0, and is meant for use on all Power Macintosh G3 models.
Mac OS ROM Update 1.0 - (6/28/99) replaces the Mac OS ROM version 1.4 with version 1.6, which includes the following fixes: Fixed an intermittent issue where after startup the keyboard/mouse does not respond when a mouse is attached to the top (or left) USB port and a keyboard attached to the bottom (or right) USB port. Apple recommends that this update is used on Netboot client images for connecting to Mac OS X Server.
ATI Video Software Update 1.0 - (6/15/99) The files included in this update provide improved 2D and 3D acceleration for computers with the ATI RAGE 128 graphic accelerator card or on-board ATI RAGE Pro graphic accelerator chip shipping in some iMac, PowerBook G3, Power Macintosh G3 and Macintosh Server G3 computers. Corrects the following issues: A freeze when using CPUs with high processor speeds (>=400MHz) and high screen resolution (1280X1024) after heavily using offscreen graphics memory. A crash when millions of colors are used with a high resolution monitor. Also corrects an instance with certain third party applications where scrolling could result in a crash.
FireWire 2.1 - (6/24/99) Component of Mac OS that supports the IEEE 1394 High Performance Serial Bus standard. FireWire 2.1 provides a system extension called FireWire Support. This extension adds services to the Mac OS to support the use of FireWire hardware and software.
G3 Firmware Update 1.1 - (5/11/99) Improves PCI performance on all blue and white Power Macintosh G3 Desktop systems. Do not install this on Macintosh Server G3 running Mac OS X Server. Note: G3 Firmware Update 1.1 installs the same firmware as G3 Firmware Update 1.0.2. If you downloaded G3 Firmware Update 1.0.2 and updated your firmware successfully, then it is not necessary to download G3 Firmware Update 1.1.
Ultra2 SCSI Card Firmware 1.1 - (3/29/99) If your (blue and white) Power Macintosh G3 or Macintosh Server G3 came with a single channel Ultra2 low voltage differential (LVD) SCSI card, run this updater to install firmware on the card that will yield more stable system performance. The new firmware is necessary to correct occasional problems related to cable termination that can occur when internal and external hard disk drives are connected to the card.
 
Updates needed if running OS 8.5.x
Note: Mac OS 8.5.x users can upgrade to Mac OS 8.6 for free.
G3 CD Update 2.0 - installs new firmware on certain 24x CD-ROM drive mechanisms. This new firmware insures correct sleep and wakeup behavior. G3 CD Update 2.0 replaces G3 CD Update 1.0, and is meant for use on all Power Macintosh G3 models.
FireWire 2.1 - (6/24/99) Component of Mac OS that supports the IEEE 1394 High Performance Serial Bus standard. FireWire 2.1 provides a system extension called FireWire Support. This extension adds services to the Mac OS to support the use of FireWire hardware and software.
G3 Firmware Update 1.1 - (5/11/99) Improves PCI performance on all blue and white Power Macintosh G3 Desktop systems. Do not install this on Macintosh Server G3 running Mac OS X Server. Note: G3 Firmware Update 1.1 installs the same firmware as G3 Firmware Update 1.0.2. If you downloaded G3 Firmware Update 1.0.2 and updated your firmware successfully, then it is not necessary to download G3 Firmware Update 1.1.
Scanner 4.3 - (4/2/99) Driver for Apple scanners that addresses a compatibility problem with some PCI SCSI cards including the SCSI card available as an option for the Power Macintosh G3 (Blue and White).

Notes on Adaptec SCSI in B&W G3
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G3-ZONE/yosemite/problems.html
Latest Information:
A B&W G3 owner with OEM U2 SCSI Card reports he cannot boot his system if an Adaptec 3940UW PCI SCSI card is installed (dual channel UW SCSI). I suggested Zapping the Pram, etc. but he said nothing helped. Even with no drives connected he gets only a gray screen. I'm not sure if he has applied the B&W G3 firmware update (noted to help some PCI card compatibility issues) and the card did not have the firmware update for B&W G3 compatibility, but usually that fixed the issue of booting from attached drives of affected cards as noted here previously.
 
For B&W G3 owners that have had problems with VirtualPC here's a tip from the mailbag that will help with drag and drop:
 
" Mike,
...I'm wondering if you've seen any reports about problems with Virtual PC and the G3. Specifically, I'm trying to increase the size of the standard 260MB image disk to 2Gig, and when I move the img file over the PC desktop's Eject Floppy button (as per the instructions) my G3 freezes every time. Is the G3 supposed to come with a version of Disk Copy, or is there a replacement app that I haven't figured out yet? I ask this since my machine also balks when I try to initiate a version of Virex that I've received in the img format.
--MRC
[Answer:]
The problem is being caused by a bug in one of the ATI drivers actually. As a workaround for VPC we recommend that the user temporarily disable the ATI resource manager. With the ATI Resource manager disabled, you will be able to drag and drop the disk images normally. [He later wrote this solved the problem] "
 
Adaptec 4.1B1 Firmware Update: Quinn MacDonald wrote that Versiontracker just listed the bios update. For more details see Adaptec's 2940UW Mac Page. The firmware is beta but Quinn reports it worked in his Yosemite:
" Guess what - it works! I was ecstatic to see the access light on my external HD flicker as my blue G3 booted from it (I just dragged the System Folder from my blue G3 System Restore cd disk copy image. I didn't bother using the installer.
We're almost there....
Quinn MacDonald, "
 
Adaptec 2906 SCSI Update: The 2906 is a narrow-only, SCSI-2 (10MHz/10MB/sec max) PCI Card (*Not* the same card as the OEM $49 option for the new G3s, which is the 20MHz 2930 card Adaptec tells me). I just received this from my Adaptec contact:
 
" Adaptec has published the 2906 software up on its website. This software will be added to the AVA-2906 PC/Mac kit around mid February. 2906 Mac Software will come on a CD-ROM in the AVA-2906 SCSI Card Kit. http://www.adaptec.com/support/overview/macintosh.html
[They later replied with more info:]
Yes, the bulk of the Engineering work done on the 2906 was specifically for the Yosemite G3. 2906 Also supports old PCI-based PowerMacs as well. Please note that the 2906 is a 'Connectivity' adapter, meaning that devices attached to it are not 'bootable'.
The $49 option from Apple is the Adaptec 2930U Mac. Again it is specially optimized for the Yosemite G3 Macs. It also supports old PCI-based PowerMacs as well. The 2930U has a External HD50 pin SCSI that allows it to run at 20MHz( = 20MB/sec.).
[Mike: Will the Yosemite firmware updates be backward compatible in other Mac models?] Yes, it requires that the ROM become larger as the board must support the way the old Macs booted up and the new OpenFirmware booting on the Yosemite G3's. All of the Adaptec boards (with the exception of the 2906 which has no ROM) have large ROMs to support this Old/New Macs booting. "
For more information on the 2906, see Adaptec's 2906 product page. http://www.adaptec.com/products/overview/scsi2906.html
 
ADB Keyboards/OpenFirmware Booting: Apple has a new TIL 58248 titled 'Power Macintosh G3 (Blue and White): Certain Keyboards Disallow Open Firmware Booting'. Affected models are said to be ADB AppleDesign keyboards which have a stepped Caps Lock key and say "AppleDesign" on the underside of the keyboard. http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n58248
 
All SCSI cards are said to need a firmware update to allow booting from attached drives. Here are web sites for three of the major brands of Mac SCSI cards:
 
* http://www.adaptec.com (no updates as of 2/2/99 on 2940UW/2940U2W/3940UW)
* http://www.initio.com (see their Product advisory page (linked above) for Miles/Miles 2 updates. No firmware posted as of 2/2/99 for the Miles2 (Ultra2) and Miles cards shipped before 1/15/99 will need a $50 update they say. See their MacNotes page for details.
* http://www.attotech.com (Updates available for some models there now)
 
OEM SCSI card limitations: Sean Collings sent a note to buyers of systems with Ultra 2 SCSI cards - noting that the original TIL [now revised] stated that the card had narrow and UW SCSI connectors when actually it has only the Ultra2 connector (it's an OEM version). A unique feature of Adaptec's 2940U2W (retail) Ultra2 card is the isolated UltraWide SCSI and narrow SCSI connectors which allow non-Ultra2 SCSI devices to be added to the card without affecting the operating speed of the Ultra2 SCSI devices. Other Ultra2 SCSI cards will reduce the clock speed of the card to 20MHz (UltraSCSI rate) when a non-Ultra2 device is attached to the card (Ultra2 SCSI runs at 40MHz clock speeds).

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