Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Help OSX install!


I have an Imac G3 which had OS X 10.3.9 with Classic installed by a local MAC Supplier in Edinburgh. On my start up menu I was able to open OS 9.2 as a choice. This I did but I now find that I can't get the apparently available OS X to start up successfully. It keeps displaying a black screen with the following text;

/etc/master.password: Not a directory
/etc/master.password: Not a directory
-sh:/etc/profile: Not a directory
-sh-2.05b ( and a hash sign)

I have tried all the help instructions to reboot etc. but I keep getting this display. Any thoughts?


Hi Ken

It looks like you may have inadvertently deleted one of the MacOSX folders that is on the same directory level as the MacOS9 System folder.

Normally when in MacOSX, these folders are invisible, but in OS9, all is revealed. They have cryptic names and can easily be mistaken for a folder to trash.

As you haven't been using Mac OSX, you won't have that much to lose as far as setting are concerned. So the best solution is to dig out the system disks that came with your computer and do a re-install choosing the option 'Archive and install'.

There should be instructions on this in the manual that came with the computer. Briefly it'll follow the following procedure:
  1. Insert the Mac OS X Install Disc and double-click the Install Mac OS X icon.
  2. Follow the onscreen instructions. In the panel where you select the destination disk, select your current Mac OS X disk (in most cases, it will be the only one available).
  3. Click Options. If you want to save your existing files, users, and network settings, select "Archive and Install," then select "Preserve Users and Network Settings." If you want to erase everything on your computer and reinstall Mac OS X, select "Erase and Install." You can't recover erased data.
  4. Click Continue.
  5. Click Customize to select which parts of Mac OS X you'd like to install, or click Install to perform a basic installation (recommended).

Many thanks Galen,

Unfortunately, the computer had the OS X system installed by our local suppliers as a result of a disk drive failure and they did not provide me with a disk for some reason. I do have a newer version of OS X which I bought for another computer. If I tried to Archive and install this newer version will it do the job? Otherwise, I have to take the computer all the way into Edinburgh and they sometimes take weeks to return it.



Hi Ken

Yes, you can use the newer version, as long as it is the standalone boxed version. Else it may be too machine specific, if it's one that came with the computer.

Also be prepared for a performance slowdown as a newer operating system will require more RAM and hard disk space to operate. In other words to up grade an operating system may mean upgrading the hardware too.

BTW, Mac OSX 10.5 or Leopard will really struggle in a G3. If this is your newer version, I wouldn't recommend it. Better get version 10.4 or Tiger from Ebay.

Good luck

Hi Galen

Thanks for your valued support. I do have a stand alone MAC OS X 10.4.11.

The only final question is should I start up OS 9.2 before I insert the OS X disk. I have tried to install from this black screen but it seems to eject the disk. Is there a prompt I should use on this screen?

I have donated £10.00. Is this OK or is the average higher?


Hi Ken

Thanks for your donation. Anything is gratefully received. It's a donation so it's up to the person to judge how valuable the support is. Some have been incredibly generous, especially a person from Aberfoyle. He said if it wasn't for our site, he felt cut-off from Apple mainstream support.

Anyway to install 10.4.11, assuming your G3 can read DVDs, you'd better boot up in OS9 so that you can get the DVD in. You can then open the DVD and click on the "Install" icon. Thereafter it'll boot-up the computer and give you prompts to follow. There should be a manual that came with the DVD, which you can follow as well.

As in my previous email:

* Click Options. If you want to save your existing files, users, and network settings, select "Archive and Install," then select "Preserve Users and Network Settings."

If your G3 can't read DVDs, as in the days when G3s were in their prime, DVD drives were an expensive option; you may have to turn to eBay to get 10.3 CDs. See this link:


Many thanks Galen,

I totally agree with the person from Aberfoyle. You have just pointed out why I can't use the installation disk. My G3 is one of the early ones.

I will donate a further £10 tomorrow.


Hi Ken

Thanks for the additional £10 donation.

I forgot to add in my last email, if you're going to bid in Ebay for the Panther disks, to guarantee a win use this sniping software. It's won us many Apple spare parts amongst other things!

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