:cry: purchased g3 imac tray loading 333mhz which has os 8.6. when it boots up it's looking for a server and asking for a password? i found an url: http://www.themacobserver.com/tip/2003/06/16.1.shtml which seems to be telling me how to go about getting around this. however, when i hold down the command key (one with the apple on it?) and the s key (maybe this doesn't work for 8.6?) while it's coming on it just keeps on going to the same place and says "searching for the At Ease server volume... (can't find server on network.) and my choices are 1) pick server, 2)finder and three shut down. pick server and finder want a password. so after all that how do i get os 8.6 to boot into text-only mode? if i can get there then i can try to do what the above url suggests. stuck, any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Ew. You've got AtEase installed. That article isn't going to work.

Your next move should be to wipe out that hard drive and reinstall MacOS on it. It's a pain in the arse to remove AtEase-- Take it from someone who has attempted before. You should jump back on eBay and try to find media for that Mac, or maybe purchase some from here:

http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/software/

They sell OS 9.1, which would work pretty well on your system. If you've got enough RAM, you could run OS X, but I'd stick with OS 9.1, just to be safe.

How do you erase the hardrive if we don't have access to anything on the computer?

How do you erase the hardrive if we don't have access to anything on the computer?

In most cases, it should be as simple as inserting the Mac OS installation disk into the drive and booting off it. Somewhere in the installer you'll be allowed to erase the disk.