How to wipe iMac G3 HDD when it is not detected?
I've got an old iMac G3 700 SE. It's a slot-loading "summer 2001" model (Graphite) with a 700MHz PowerPc processor. I've got two desires for this Mac:
1) Totally wipe the memory. It was a family computer and my mom wants it securely wiped before she'll let it go. This is sort of the primary goal; if the computer isn't worth salvaging after that, I can live with that outcome.
2) Get it running OS9 if I can. If I can make this computer work, I'd enjoy using it as a retro gaming rig. (It used to have OS9 and OSX partitions on it.)
And I think its hard drive may be a goner. I've got a few questions. Here's a breakdown of what's happened so far:
- 7 or 8 years ago, the computer suddenly had the "flashing question mark / system folder" issue where it can't find an OS to load from. It was retired.
- I plugged it back in today to try to see what I could do.
- Reset PRAM, SMC. Opened start-up manager, where nothing was found.
- Loaded to Open Firmware screen and reset the open firmware settings.
- Unexpectedly found the original discs that came with the machine. So I've got OS 9 install CD, OS X install CD, 3 Software Restore CDs, a CD of Applications, and an "Apple Hardware Test" CD.
- I booted from the OS9 disc successfully, but could not install the OS as the computer still can't find the hard drive.
- I'm currently trying to run the Hardware Test CD, but having trouble with the cursor not moving. I had this trouble for a while when I was opening the startup manager. Not sure what else to try here. I've had to plug a newer optical mouse directly in the computer's USB port rather than the keyboard in order for it to work at all. The laser is on now, but no movement. Darn.
So, my question is - what now? Is this definitely indicative of a completely bricked hard drive, or are there other things I should try?
If the hard drive cannot be detected, is there a way I can be sure it's wiped of all its memory and safely disposed of? (The idea of opening up the computer to physically remove the HDD makes me a little nervous, I admit; I don't want to get shocked or anything. But if that's how to do it, I can.)
And is it worth trying to get the computer to run on another drive somehow? What would be the easiest way to do that? Would I have to install it directly in place of the apparently-broken one, or can I use an external one or something?
Thanks in advance for any help! This is turning out to be pretty challenging, but I'm determined to at least cleanly delete any data from the computer, and I'm certainly willing to continue trying to get it running functionally. I'm learning through Google searches as I go, so the more detailed responses, the better. I am not terribly knowledgeable.