G3 Not Booting, File Logo with Flaching Question Mark!

CortinaChris used Ask the Experts™
I have been given a G3 (and as you will soon discover) know nothing about them.
It has no software with it and (here is the bad bit) doesn't boot up.
When it starts up, I get a folder with a flashing question mark in it!
Any help would be gratefully received, would love to get it going!
Oh, and just to make things worse, I was told the CD drive may be broken, do PC ones work in Mac's?

Any Help at all will be greatfully received!
Sorry to be a complete fool.
Many MANY thanks,
Chris Tilley

(sorry about the lack of points for this, it is all I hve)
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The flashing question mark means it doesnt have a valid boot disk to boot from. The lack of a CD drive is going to make this tricky but you should have no problems getting a PC drive to work. In fact "pc drive" and "mac drive" are something of joke. Theyre all the same mechanism but some manufacturers go out of their way to make "pc only" drives by messing with the firmware. At the same time some drives labeled "pc only", arent, and work fine in a Mac. So, first task is to get a CD drive working in it. Pretty self explanatory, rip out the old one, put in the new one. Cables are all the same as what you have on a PC. Once in, insert a boot disk. Preferably an OS 9 CD. There are various places to get OS 9 cheaply. Check dealmac.com. You boot off the CD by inserting it, and restarting with the C key down. Once it finds the CD boot disk you can release the C key. Itll boot to the finder from the CD at which point you can use the tools on the CD to erase the disk (recommended even if theres nothing on it) and install OS 9.

btw CortinaChris...OOps!  

I almost forgot my now-standard opening line:
"weed is right."  :D

where was I....

You may have figured this out already, but it's probably worth your while to get your hands on a bootable OS9 disk, before getting a new CD drive - as you aren't positive yours is broken.  Follow weed's advise, and you will either find out that it works, or that SOMETHING is broken!

If you have any friends with a Mac, they will probably have one of these blue CDs you need, even if they forgot they had it.  Borrow one for this test, and then once you know how you stand hardware wise, you can go buy your own copy.

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