I recently purchased an iMac G3 (M2452) running Mac OS 8.6 from eBay for a project I'm working on, and was hoping to recover system sound files (such as startup sound, error sounds, etc) to use in the project. The machine booted fine, but once it was running I was unable to open the hard drive in Finder, which was likely related to TechTools Pro claiming there was an issue with the volume structure. Attempting to open it would freeze the machine. I didn't hear any disk activity, and let it sitting for at least an hour just to see if it would follow through, no results.

I kinda got ahead of myself and disassembled the machine to continue with my project, and now have the intact hard drive separated. Is there any way I can connect this to a modern computer, and if so, would I even be able to recover files? I can't find anything but the startup sound after a bit of digging around online, and I'd love to have the original files anyway for authenticity's sake.

Thanks in advance!


From what I can tell the drive from an iMac G3 is an IDE type. HDDs running Mac OS System 8.6 ought to be running on the HFS+ disk format.

If you get a USB HDD enclosure with internal IDE connectors you should be able to plug the drive into it, connect the enclosure to a modern Mac and see the disk contents.

If you don't have access to a modern Macintosh you should be able to read HFS+ formatted drives under windows with the software hfsexplorer.


If your G3 has a Firewire port you can connect that directly to a more modern Mac (FW400->800 or FW400->400) and run dd in Terminal to make a full 1:1 disk image of the drive's contents. Boot into Target Disk Mode on the G3 when doing this (Boot and hold down T).

Alternatively, I believe Finder can natively view the contents of the disk. Then you can just click and drag your stuff out.

If the drive is already completely taken out, you can toss it onto an IDE to USB adapter and plug that in. It would function the same way any external storage device would.

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