AAM: Reviving a Bondi iMac

by Aaron Wright Apr 30, 2007

It seems that “way back then,” the i, as found to be a prefix for most of Apple’s products these days, was reversed to appear at the end of their product names, or at least that seemed to be the case with the Bondi (pronounced bond-i) iMac back in the OS 8 era.

It’s been so long now since the all-in-one computer/monitor combination appeared that it’s hard to imagine a computer without a screen built right in (oh wait!), but the Bondi was pretty much the first semi-successful computer to do it. One user this week has the honor of holding on to one of these, but the misfortune of not being able to get it working. With the help of Apple Matters, I hope the problem can be solved shortly.

kynetoncomputers has this week dropped a question to the How do I?... What did I? forums, asking for advice on how to get his client’s Bondi iMac back up and working again.

The problem is that when starting the computer, rather than being presented with the usual desktop scenario they are shown an alternating question mark (?) and folder. It turns out the computer was formatted and it appears there is no operating system to load. The simple solution would be to simply re-install OS 8 but unfortunately the user doesn’t have a copy at hand, and seeing as Apple no longer offers the software it’s going to be a hard task to sort the problem out.

The next solution is to install OS 9, but to offer more disappointment, the firmware is out of date and must be upgraded before OS 9 can be installed, and without OS 8 to perform this firmware upgrade, kynetoncomputers is in a bit of a pickle. What needs to be done?

Fortunately there is an article available on the internet which addresses this issue. It would involve too much to write it down here so I suggest taking a look at the link, but it appears the use of hardware rewiring will need to take place—but it can be done.

Question of the Week

Upgrading Bondi iMac firmware

By: : kynetoncomputers

A client dropped off an old Bondi iMac to the shop this morning.
She received it from a friend who had no further use for it. When she tried to turn it on she didn’t get a desktop just the alternating ? mark and folder.
It seems the friend formatted the hard drive before he gave it to her. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but he doesn’t have the original OS CD.
I have a retail copy of OS 9.0 which came with a defunct iMac a client gave me.
I tried to install OS 9 but it says I need to upgrade the firmware from the cd extras folder.
I tried to install the upgrade but it tells me that the system folder is locked, since it’s the one on the CD that’s understandable.
Is there a way around this problem or do I have to try and find an OS 8 CD?



Answer of the Week

By: BigMac

Hi David,

This is an issue that I have struggled with for many, many months.

I have been trying to revive 3 CRT iMacs since last year, and every time it’s because of the firmware. The firmware addresses a graphics card issue and if you do manage to get it to load an OS9 disc and it asks you to update the firmware, the firmware process will freeze the computer. Which will require a bigger ordeal (resetting the CPU, etc.).

Here is a resource on Apple.com that you should read first:

But the granddaddy resource on this issue is this:

Hope this helps.


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