I just bought an old wallstreet powerbook. It came with 32mb of ram and a 4gb harddrive running os 8.5. I installed 512mb of ram, and everything worked fine. Then I got a 60gb hard drive and put it in. When I turn it on I get a gray screen with a little disk in the middle with a question mark on it. I have a copy of os x 10.3 (panther, I think). What do I do? I thought I would just put the first disk in and it would read it and go from there. It just spins furiously for a few minutes and then shuts itself off. As I'm sure you can tell I've never done this before, I've only installed a newer version of os, not started from nothing. Help would be much appreciated.

Well, the reason you're getting the question mark when you try to boot is that the firmware can't find an operating system. That is, you've installed a hard disk, but you haven't installed MacOS on it yet.

Secondly, are you even sure that Panther is compatible with the WSJ PowerBook? This was made a while ago and things have changed quite a bit since then. Ideally, you should instal OS 8 or even 9 if the laptop supports it.

Hope this helps

From what I have read 10.3 is the last version officially supported on that model. I don't know what it takes for it to be officially supported, but I have an old imac with the exact same processor (233mhz g3) and it runs 10.3 fine.

How do I go about installing the an os on the new hard drive?

How do I go about installing the an os on the new hard drive?

If you want to install Mac OS X, I suggest following my Tiger install guide (which is not at all dissimilar to Panther). However, if the machine crashes when trying to boot from the CD, either your drive is bad or the machine can't support 10.3.


It could also be that the RAM modules are faulty. When you were using them initially with OS 8.5, it was likely that the modules were not all used up with stored data. Trying to boot the OS X installer from CD could be what put the RAM over the edge.