Access a G3 with no monitor?
April 27, 2005 9:17 PM   Subscribe

AppleFilter: I have an old tower G3 that I'd like to update, but I have no external monitor. Can I use another Mac to access the G3?

I have a few other Macs running both OS 9 and X, all with integrated monitors (eg. iMac, iBook), which I can use if such a maneuver is possible. The G3 is running either OS 8 or 9.
posted by anarcation to Technology (10 answers total)
You won't be able to put this machine into Firewire target mode, unfortunately. If you need the data off this machine, your best bet is to remove the hard drive and put it into a Firewire enclosure. Email me if you need tips (alexpreynolds at gmail dot com).
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:30 PM on April 27, 2005

Thanks for the idea, AlexReynoldds, but I'm trying to access it as a whole, not just the hard drive.
posted by anarcation at 9:45 PM on April 27, 2005

If you have SSH, VNC and/or Apple Remote Desktop services enabled, you could securely access and control the computer through those routes.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:51 PM on April 27, 2005

1. Turn off the G3.

2. Connect the G3 to a second Mac with a FireWire cable.

3. Hold down the "T" key, and boot up the G3.

The G3 will show up as a drive on the second Mac.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:05 AM on April 28, 2005

If you want to actually run programs on the Mac and use it as a server or something, you need to install a VNC server like OSXvnc. You'd also need to make sure it give it a static IP address. The way to actually do this is start up another Mac from the G3's hard drive using target disk mode as described by others. You then install the software and set it to run at startup, and reboot the G3. (Oh, I see you'll also need to install OS X. Never mind)

You'll then need to run a VNC client like VNCthing on your other Mac and connect to the IP address and port you set on the G3, which will show the screen of your G3 and allow full access.
posted by cillit bang at 4:28 AM on April 28, 2005


I don't think Target mode works on the Beige G3s.

The key to knowing whether Target mode works is if the Mac had a firewire port or not. No firewire=no target mode.

Apple remote desktop (the os9 version) ought to allow you to do this, but it's not really available. You're going to have to get a monitor for it, I think.
posted by filmgeek at 4:33 AM on April 28, 2005

Just confirming what others have said--no, it can't be used in Target mode, it's too old. And if I read you right, you want to hook it up to another Mac to use that Mac's display, which I don't believe is possible.

So yea, your only options are A) get a monitor for it, if you absolutely must use it as a full system, or B) extract the hard drive and access it on another machine to get at the data.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 6:28 AM on April 28, 2005

Erm, where does the questioner mention beige? Blue G3s have a firewire port (in fact, two) and I believe target mode.

(Beige G3s also had optional firewire, though I doubt they have target mode)
posted by cillit bang at 6:52 AM on April 28, 2005

Blue G3s will not operate in Firewire target mode. Only AGP G4s and up, with the towers.
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:36 AM on April 28, 2005

I am sitting here with two Blue and White G3's running, one as a web server and the second as an sftp server. Neither has a monitor or keyboard or mouse. I use Apple Remote Desktop to run both machines from a third Blue and White. They are connected through a simple ethernet hub ($20)

The visual response is not stellar due to the high bandwidth requirements for the display but I download and install programs, program from teminal mode, and even access other computers from them all through ARD. Timbuktu is another program that can do the same.

Two problems, one with a simple solution, one without. You need a monitor to set up the computer in the first place. I suspect that you could find a spare old monitor for free with a little work, (of course, you could just keep it if you wanted.)

The real consideration is that both software solutions cost money and I don't know whether I would invest much in updating your G3.

By the way, no firewire target mode for them.
posted by leafwoman at 12:29 PM on April 28, 2005

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