Apple iMac FAQ
Games not Working With USB Mouse
You may need to install the InputSprocket extensions in order to let your game recognize the iMac's USB mouse. To install the extensions:
How to Force a Restart
If the iMac freezes, there are 2 ways to force the machine to restart,
1. Hold down the Command-Control-Power keys at the same time.
2. Use the reset button. To get to the reset button, open the cover - the I/O door - on the side of the iMac and locate the reset hole between the Ethernet and modem ports. It has a small triangle icon next to it. Carefully insert the end of a large straightened paper clip into the hole and push gently on the button inside. Do not use excessive force.
Apple System Profiler
Mac OS ROM File Versions Unavailable In Apple System Profiler
I have installed the iMac Firmware Update and the iMac Update 1.1 and want to confirm that they have been installed. I was told that I could see the ROM versions installed on my iMac by looking in the Apple System Profiler. When I use Apple System Profiler, I see the following:
ROM revision: $77D.44F1
Where can I find that information?
You must obtain Apple System Profiler version 2.1.2. Previous versions do not provide that information.
If you have installed both the iMac Firmware Update and the iMac update 1.1, you will see the following information using Apple System Profiler 2.1.2 under the Production information:
ROM revision: $77D.44F1
Incorrect Product Information
Mac OS ROM file version as seen in Apple System Profiler 2.1.2 under Production Information:
iMac Update 1.0 1.1.5
This is not correct. To get the correct information, use the information found in "About This Computer" or by getting the "Information" on the MacOS ROM file to see what it should say. After installing the iMac Update 1.1, "About This Computer" states that the Mac OS ROM file is version 1.2.1.
CD Drive Vibration
If you experience a problem where certain CD titles produce loud vibrations from the internal CD-ROM drive, then you need to download the iMac CD Firmware Update from Apple's website.
To install the iMac CD Firmware Update, follow these steps.
After running the update, I noticed that the amber drive activity light visible through the CD-ROM bezel no longer lights up. This light worked fine before installing the update. What happened to the light?
When Apple began shipping iMac computers, the amber activity light on the iMac CD-ROM drive was enabled. Initial customer feedback showed that this light was not necessary and detracted from the iMac cosmetically.
When the iMac CD Firmware Update was developed, this light was intentionally disabled via the new firmware to prevent this light from shining through the translucent plastics of the iMac. This was a cosmetic consideration and will not affect any functionality of the CD-ROM drive.
The normal way to remove a CD disc from your computer is to drag the disc's icon on the desktop to the Trash. You can also select the disc's icon and choose Eject from the Special menu. Removable discs are usually ejected when you shut down your computer.
If a disc is jammed, shut down your computer. Locate the small hole in the middle of the CD-ROM disc drive tray, and carefully insert the end of a large straightened paper clip. Push gently until the disc is ejected. Do not use excessive force.
If you see a message that a disc can't be put away because it is being shared, turn file sharing off in the File Sharing control panel in the Control Panels folder, available in the Apple (K) menu.
"This is not a Macintosh disk: Do you want to initialize it?" message appears
Problems Using ISO 9660 or High Sierra Discs
Discs in the ISO 9660 and High Sierra disc formats have version numbers attached to file names. Some application programs need these version numbers in order to work with files. To make the version numbers available to programs on your computer, drag the CD-ROM disc icon to the Trash. When the tray opens, hold down the Option key and push the tray back in. Continue to hold down the Option key until the disc is mounted in the drive. The program you are using should now be able to locate file names on that CD-ROM disc.
Open Firmware and Exiting to Mac OS
I have powered up or restarted my iMac computer and now there is a white screen that says,
Apple iMac Open Firmware X.XX built on XX/XX/98 at XX:XX:XX
How can I get back to the regular Mac OS?
This screen is the iMac Open Firmware screen. Beginning with Power Macintosh computers with PCI slots, Power Macintosh computers rely on firmware operating system called "Open Firmware" for controlling hardware. Open Firmware is a cross-platform firmware standard for controlling hardware and is used by all PCI-based Mac OS computers. Open Firmware is used mainly by Apple hardware developers. There is very little need for iMac users to ever need to boot into Open Firmware.
Although it is fairly difficult to mistakenly boot into Open Firmware, you may accidentally boot into Open Firmware by holding down the 'Command-Option-O-F' keys at restart or power on before any video is displayed on the screen. The iMac should never boot into Open Firmware on its own.
If you are at the Open Firmware screen and want to boot back into Mac OS, simply type "mac-boot" without the quotes at the command prompt and type the 'return' key to exit Open Firmware. The iMac should exit Open Firmware and continue booting into Mac OS.
Difference Between Install CD and Restore CD
iMac includes two CD-ROM discs: iMac Install and iMac Restore. Both CDs contain similar software, but they provide two different functions.
iMac Install - This disc allows customers to install separate software components. Customers may install Mac OS 8.1 for iMac, either through an easy or custom installation. Installers for utilities and bundled applications that come with iMac are also present, including ClarisWorks 5, Acrobat Reader, FAXstf and Nanosaur.
iMac Restore - This disc allows customers to restore the iMac's software to its original configuration. This disc includes all of the software that came with the iMac, including system software. Customers may choose to replace the software on their computer (at least the software that came with the iMac), or they may erase the iMac's hard disk --including any data files they may have saved and additional applications they may have installed. After erasing the hard disk, the iMac's software is restored to its original configuration.
Memory Control Panel
The Memory control panel reports that Virtual Memory is set to "33M." But if I pull down the Apple menu and choose "About this Computer?," the dialog box Indicates that iMac is using 36.7MB of virtual memory. Which is right ?
Both dialog boxes are correct in their own way. In the "Memory" Control Panel, you have the opportunity to set the amount of Virtual Memory you would like iMac to use. Out of the box, Virtual Memory is set to 33MB. That is, iMac is set to treat 33MB of existing storage space on the internal 4GB hard drive as random access memory, giving you more memory in which to run applications.
The 33MB reported in the Memory control panel does not however account for the 4MB of memory (approximately) required for the Mac OS ROM. That 3.7 MB of memory is reported in the dialog box that appears when you select "About this Computer?" under the Apple menu. That is, 33MB of virtual memory plus 3.7MB for Mac OS ROM equals 36.7MB.
3D Acceleration Not Working
I purchased some games that can use the iMac's hardware graphics acceleration, but they behave as if 3D acceleration is not available. Can you explain?
The iMac ships with 2 megabytes of VRAM, a configuration that allows 3D acceleration only at the lowest resolution, 640 x 480. Either reduce the resolution or install more VRAM (SGRAM).
To determine whether the iMac has more than 2 MB of VRAM installed, open the Monitors & Sound control panel and select the 1024 x 768 resolution shown. If "Millions" is an option provided in the "Color Depth" section of the control panel, the VRAM has been upgraded.
Other reasons why 3D acceleration may not be available:
The program may have installed extensions or other software of its own that did not load prior to running the program. Check with the program's documentation or manufacturer to confirm what software is required and where it should be installed.
When the program was installed, it may have replaced the iMac's existing ATI extensions with older versions. The following extensions enable video, graphics, and 3D acceleration on the iMac:
Without them, or with older versions of them, acceleration may not become enabled.
ClarisWorks Registration Info
When I launch the ClarisWorks that came on my iMac, it asks me to fill out a registration form, but I cannot find a registration number anywhere in the box. Am I missing something?
No, there is nothing missing from your iMac box. The one registration card that came with your iMac is sufficient to register all Apple products included with your computer, including ClarisWorks. Please take a moment to fill it out and mail it in, or follow the instructions on the card to register via the web.
To avoid any further inconvenience, it is recommended that you click the "Never" button in the ClarisWorks registration notice.
Using Norton Utilities
Norton Utilities 3.5.3 or earlier is not compatible with the new Mac OS Extended format of hard drives, also known as HFS+.
If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) requires that TCP/IP be configured for FreePPP, FreePPP starts and tries to connect when attempting to access a server via the Chooser. If this happens, you need to reconfigure the TCP/IP control panel. In the "Connect via" pop-up menu, choose AppleTalk (MacIP) or Ethernet built-in.
QuickTime Movie Player
QuickTime 3.0 is currently installed on your computer. Some third-party applications install QuickTime as part of their installation process. If an application installs a version of QuickTime earlier than QuickTime 3.0, make sure you do a custom install of the third-party application so you don't install an earlier version of QuickTime. If an earlier version of QuickTime is inadvertently installed on your computer, you can replace it by reinstalling QuickTime 3.0, located in the CD Extras folder on the iMac Software Install CD.
QuickTime movies and America Online
To play QuickTime movies from the Internet using America Online, the QuickTime Plug-in, version 2.0 or later, must be in the AOL Plug-ins folder. You can download this plug-in from any QuickTime supported web site.
Using Netscape Navigator 4.0.5
To set a different home page using Netscape Navigator 4.0.5, you must use the Internet Config application. To do this, double-click the hard disk icon, then double-click the Internet folder icon. Double-click the Internet Utilities folder icon, then double-click the Internet Config folder icon. Double-click the Internet Config icon to start the application. Click the World Wide Web button. In the Home Page text box, type in the full text of the Universal Resource Locator (URL) of the desired home page.
Troubleshooting USB Error Messages
Not Enough Power to Function
The Mac OS will generate a "Not Enough Power to Function" message if
What to do? If you're using a self-powered device, check to see if the device is plugged into an electrical outlet. If not, try connecting the device directly to your iMac or to a port on a self-powered hub. If you're connecting the USB device to a self-powered hub, make sure the hub is plugged into an electrical outlet.
Not Enough Power For All Functions
The Mac OS will generate a "Not Enough Power for All Functions" message if there is enough power to supply some but not all of the functionality the device is designed to provide.
What to do? As above, you'll need to see if the USB device has its own power cord and, if it does, you'll need to plug it into an electrical outlet. Otherwise, you should try plugging the cable for the USB device directly into to your iMac or to an available port on a self-powered hub. If you're connecting the USB device to a self-powered hub, make sure the hub is plugged into an electrical outlet.
No Driver Found
The Mac OS will generate a "No Driver Found" message if iMac looked in the System Folder for a driver for the USB device you just connected but could not find one. If you get this message, you may have forgotten to install the software that came with the device, or you may have put the device driver (i.e., the software that allows iMac to recognize and communicate with the USB device) in the wrong place in your System Folder.
What to do? Reinstall the software driver from the CD-ROM that came with the product, or download and install the driver from the product vendor's web or FTP site on the Internet.
USB Device Troubleshooting
Can I attach an external display as a second monitor to my iMac?
The iMac was not designed to support an external display. Making modifications to connect an external display will void the Apple Limited Product Warranty. Apple designed iMac with a very sharp, 15-inch internal display but did not include a video-out port for connecting a second display.
External SCSI/Serial/ADB Devices
I have an older Joystick that I've used with my previous Macintosh and I would like to use it on my iMac. Is this possible?
Joysticks and other devices that plugged into the ADB (or Apple Desktop Bus) ports on your older Macintosh or keyboard are not compatible with the iMac. Other ADB based devices such as third-party keyboards, mice, and modems are not compatible and cannot be used with your iMac. Apple does not support an ADB to USB migration path and will not deVelop any adapters or cables for such a purpose.
I have an external SCSI (Small Computer Systems Interface) hard disk drive (or other SCSI drive such as a Zip Drive or Jaz Drive) and I'd like to hook it up to my iMac. Can I do it? What kind of cable or adapter do I need?
SCSI hard disks and other SCSI devices such as scanners are not supported by iMac. Apple does not intend to develop an adapter or cable that would translate SCSI signals to USB or vice-versa, although a third-party company could develop such an adapter. A number of third party companies have developed USB based hard disk drives, as well as other removable media drives.
I have an older ink jet printer that connects to my old Macintosh via a serial port. There's no serial port on my iMac, is there some adapter I can use to connect the printer?
You cannot connect a serial printer or other serial device directly to the iMac. However, Apple expects adapters to be available for some serial devices, including many popular printers, and in fact, some third party vendors have already announced such devices - a partial list follows. It is also important to note that any serial printer which has a LocalTalk option either installed or that can be installed could be connected via a Ethernet to LocalTalk adapter and several third-party companies have announced such adapters.
iMac Update 1.1
The iMac Update 1.1 provides updates to the USB software supplied with the machine. You don't need to run update 1.0 first, as it has been combined with update 1.1.
Before you install,
To install the update,
After you install
If you perform a clean installation of Mac OS on your iMac after you have installed iMac Update 1.1, the update may be removed and you may need to reinstall it. To see if you need to reinstall the iMac Update 1.1, open the Apple menu and choose About This Computer. If you don't see "Mac OS ROM 1.2.1" or later listed in the upper-right area of the window, then you need to reinstall the iMac Update 1.1. Follow the instructions in "Installing the Update" above.
I have an Epson printer and I had to reinstall my system software recently. Now I am trying to install the iMac Update but it continues to loop into a message asking me to quit other active applications. I continue to click on OK but the message keeps coming up. How can I fix this?
The installer requires that all applications be quit before the iMac Update can be installed. It is likely there have been additional attempts to print so that there are items in the Epson printer queue. The Epson Monitor application will continue to relaunch as long as items are waiting to be printed.
There is no quit option available from the Epson Monitor application. The printer documents are stored in the Spool folder of the Epson folder inside the Extensions folder. Clearing the Epson Monitor of all the documents waiting to be printed or actually deleting all the documents from the Spool folder would allow the Epson Monitor application to quit.
One way round this would be to restart the iMac with the extensions off. The Epson printer drivers will not be active and the iMac Update software should now install as intended. Once the iMac is restarted, the printer queue should automatically launch, because of all the documents left in its queue.
The iMac is the first desktop computer which incorporates true Infrared connectivity. The Infrared (or IR) transmitter/receiver is located behind a dark plastic cover next to the left speaker.
The infrared lens transmits infrared light in a 30-degree radius, pointing outward from the computer. The recommended minimum distance between devices is three feet.
The iMac transmits files using the IrDA protocol, which transmits data up to 4 Mb per second and is capable of using AppleTalk and TCP/IP protocols. The iMac infrared port is compatible with some PowerBook computers including the PowerBook 2400, 3400, G3 and PowerBook G3 Series computers. Other infrared capable Apple products are not compatible because they use a different infrared lens and transmitter.
For infrared to function properly with the iMac, the following items must be installed:
Infrared Control Panel
Note: The Infrared Control Panel will not open if one of the following conditions occur:
Restarts Instead of Shutting Down
When I shutdown my iMac, it restarts instead of shutting down. What could be causing this problem?
The problem that you are describing could be caused by a USB device that is attached to your iMac. To verify whether or not the problem is caused by a USB device, disconnect all USB devices (including keyboard and mouse) and power down the iMac from the front power on/off button.
If the iMac shuts down without restarting then the problem is likely caused by one of the USB devices that is attached. Connect each USB device one by one and repeat the shutdown process until you identify which USB device is causing the problem. Once you have identified the suspect USB device, contact the vendor of the USB device for further instructions on resolving the problem.
If the iMac continues to restart even after disconnecting all USB devices then the problem could be related to the iMac itself. In this case, boot from the Software Install CD included with your iMac. Once booted, try shutting down the iMac from the front power on/off button.
If the problem goes away, reinstall your system software. If the problem continues, reset the PRAM by holding "Command-Option-P-R" on startup.
iMac Firmware Update
The update provides three enhancements:
1. Enhanced file system support. The new firmware supports all of the extent and extent overflow fields of the HFS/HFS+ file structure. Without this, it was possible for the Mac OS ROM file to stored in the extent and extent overflow fields of the HFS/HFS+ file structure which would prevent the iMac from starting up. In cases where this occurs, all of the data on the hard disk is still preserved, but the iMac won't be able start up from the hard disk until the iMac Firmware updater is run. This issue is extremely rare, but certainly important to address.
2. Dual-image boot ROM. The iMac Firmware update installs a second boot ROM image within the flashable ROM. Should there ever be a future firmware update, the second image serves as a backup should the firmware update fail. Although a firmware update failure is highly unlikely, providing the second image would allow the iMac to start up.
3. Hardware protection. After installing the iMac Firmware Update, Rev/A iMac computers will be hardware protected against unintentional firmware updates. Like iMac Rev/B units, the NMI Programmer button or Interrupt button will need to be depressed (using a paperclip) prior to starting up iMac to enable the firmware to be updated. This prevents a firmware update from occurring unintentionally.
How to Install the Firmware Update,
Error Checking Prior to the Installation
A number of conditions are required before the update will be performed. Failure to meet these conditions will result in an error condition indicated by on screen dialog boxes. Conditions which will prevent successful installation of the update are:
Firmware Update Message At Startup
I just installed the iMac Firmware Update on my iMac and now every time I start up my computer, I get a message "Your iMac's firmware is up-to-date." What is happening, and what can I do about it?
Typically the iMac Firmware Updater will place a copy of itself in the "Startup Items" folder before it updates the firmware. This problem is caused either by the copy in the "Startup Items" folder not being removed, or a file or folder named "iMac Firmware Updater" in the trash.
To make the dialog quit appearing, simply remove the file named "iMac Firmware Updater" from the Startup Items folder (if present) and empty the trash.
Can you print to a Stylewriter printer from iMac?
You have two options for using your existing StyleWriter with iMac.
If you're on a network, and you have a StyleWriter printer directly connected to a Macintosh computer on that network, all you have to do is turn ColorShare or GrayShare "on" and that StyleWriter will become a shared printer, one you can print to from iMac. The drivers you need come pre-installed on iMac and are available in the Chooser. (Please note: this option can be used with some but not all StyleWriter printers.)
Farallon also makes the EtherMac iPrint-SL adapter, for use with the Color StyleWriter 1200, 1500, 2200, 2400, or 2500 printer. Connect the cable that shipped with the printer to the adapter and the adapter to iMac's Ethernet port using the cable provided.
Slight Delay Upon Startup
When starting up, my computer momentarily displays a flashing question mark superimposed over a folder icon. The startup process resumes shortly thereafter.
Certain actions, such as resetting parameter RAM (PRAM), will reset the setting for the designated startup disk. (In addition, on the iMac, this startup disk setting will be reset following installation of iMac Firmware Update 1.0.) These actions cause the computer to search for a startup device, which in turn causes a slight delay.
To resolve this, open the Startup Disk control panel and manually select the internal hard drive as the startup disk. This action will eliminate the blinking question mark and the delay.
"Serial Port in Use" or -192 Error
Users may find that, despite having installed the printer software for their USB printer,
These symptoms are common when attempting to use serial printer software with a USB printer. Users are advised to carefully examine the instructions accompanying their printer software to ensure that it is appropriate for a USB printer connection, not a serial one. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer, who will typically make both types of printer software available on the Internet. Be careful to download only the USB version, not the serial version that may be listed adjacent to it.
IMPORTANT: The "serial port in use" alert is a very good sign that the wrong type of printer software is in use, but the other alerts may also stem from other causes, such as damaged, missing, or partially installed printer software.
World Book Encyclopedia Serial Number
During the installation for the World Book Encyclopedia software, the installer program will pause for the user to enter the 12-character CD-Key code. The regular instructions call on the user to look for the CD-Key code on the back of the disc holder containing the World Book discs.
For the iMac bundled version, the CD-Key code on the back of the "World Book Macintosh QuickStart" card that comes inside the accessory kit box of your iMac.
Input all the letters and numbers without hyphens or spaces; capitalize all letters.
Address And Illegal Instruction Errors During Startup
I sometimes get an "Address error" or "Illegal instruction" error that occurs during startup. These errors tell me to restart while holding down the Shift key.
This problem can be caused by the following,
The first thing you should try is starting up with the Shift key down; this disables extensions. If the computer starts up and displays the desktop, the problem is not with the Finder or System file.
Next, try starting up into the Extensions Manager (hold the Space Bar down and start up the computer). When the Extension Manager window appears, select the "Mac OS 8.# All" set of extensions and then allow the system to continue starting up. If that fixes the problem, then you know the problem is an extensions conflict. Troubleshoot the System Folder to determine which extension(s) to remove or update.
If the error still occurs, the next thing you should try is starting up from a different source, such as the iMac install CD or any other bootable system software volume. If the computer starts up properly from the CD (or other startup volume), then you can be confident that the computer does not have a hardware problem.
If the computer started up and ran properly from a different volume (as described in the paragraph above), then try updating the hard disk driver. After updating the hard disk driver on the suspect hard disk, try restarting. If the computer still exhibits the problem then the last step is to perform a clean install of the system software.
No Files on Hard Disk
Only one document called "Where have all my files gone?" appears on the hard disk.
If no files appear on the hard disk except for a single document called "Where have all my files gone?", you started up your computer from a CD with system software earlier than Mac OS 8.1. To see the contents of your disk, you must start up your computer from a disk with Mac OS 8.1 (or later).