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I have a imac g3 and want to restore the system software for my grade school kids. Everytime I try to start up from a cd by holding down the c key the cd is ejected and the imac starts up normally.
 

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Been awhile since I've used a mac, but look in your preferences folder, and see if there's preferences for the cd rom. If so, trash them and reboot, trying the "C" key again.

Have you tried letting it boot then putting the CD in, then double click it and there's usually a re install Mac OS9X whatever you have.
That may work for a clean install (only replacing the system folder, with a new one), but for a system restore, I think it will tell you to boot from the disc. Can't swear to it though. As I said...................it's been awhile. :)
Good luck!
 

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If it will boot as-is you can (likely) go into the Control Panel or System Preferences (depending upon what OS you're using) and select what startup disk you wish to use. Make sure the CD is inserted before beginning this process so that it appears from the possible choices. Select the CD, reboot, live happily ever after. I hope.
 
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