the cd drive doesn't even try to load any disc. I tried pushing command+option+p+r to rstart three times and that didn't get the drive working. So I guess the main problem is to get the cd drive working first. Thanks for any help you can give me.
Firstly, Macspectrum's advice is all good... let us know precisely what the symptoms are. From your post, I'd say the most likely explanation is that the HD has blown. When this happens, it often prevents the CD drive from working as they share the link to the motherboard.
Let us know the answers the macspectrum's questions... but if you boot to a 'flashing ?' and can't boot from the CD, I would start by opening up the unit, disconnecting the HD and attempting again to boot from the CD. iMacs are a HUGE pain to open up by the way and I've had to persuade many an errant screw out of the shell. Good luck!
donut again, the machine is a tray loading imac. When I load the cd in it makes a rrrr sound and that's it...nothing. I keep getting that annoying "?" disk flashing. what started the whole thing was it had os10.2.4 and it belongs to my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law god bless her heart tends to erase files for no reason or moves them. Anyways she tried to put on game for my daughter (which required classic) the computer was saying it couldn't find classic. I found the os9 start-up folder in system preferences and tried to start the computer up in classic. Now I don't know if she erased something or what, but it wouldn't reload. I tried to start-up in osx using the control panels menus off of the os9(cd) but it wasn't there, all that was there was os9cd and network. I then went home for the night. I went over the next and she left the computer on all night with the "?" flashing, she thought the computer would eventually find it. Now the cd drive won't even register that there is a cd in there. So I am starting to think the only way out of this is to reset using the switch on the mother board, or trying to disconect the hard drive from the drive like someone(i am sorry i forgot your name) suggested.