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Old Apr 10, 2006, 03:49 AM   #1
dogsbody
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Weird Powerbook Fix

Some time ago, I bought 2x512Mb sticks of RAM from OrcaLogic for my Powerbook. About 3 weeks after installing it, the Powerbook wouldn't stay on when it was booted up. It'd chime, then spin up and suddenly switch off.

Suffice to say, I removed the RAM sticks and put the Apple ones back in. This didn't fix it. It was already out of warranty (no AppleCare) and Orca's policy is such that as the RAM worked to start with it wasn't technically faulty.

Anyway, I did all the usual stuff like resetting PRAM, resetting the PMU etc etc and then tried to boot it up in Target Firewire HD mode. It worked.

Then I discovered something really strange that I have been using ever since - to get the computer to start, I have to hold down the keys Shift + Option + Apple + Backspace just after the chimes for about 4/5 seconds. If I do that, it starts with no problems whatsoever.

Does anyone know how the hell this works???

I'm stumped, but it's a damn good security system.

Dogsbody.
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 04:20 AM   #2
mad jew
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That's the old boot-from-optical drive key sequence.

Maybe run fsck and then check in the System Preferences, under Start Up Disk, that your internal hard drive is selected. I'm not sure how this will work because the usual symptoms for the problem I'm thinking of are very different to yours.
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 04:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogsbody
...I have to hold down the keys Shift + Option + Apple + Backspace just after the chimes for about 4/5 seconds. If I do that, it starts with no problems whatsoever.

Does anyone know how the hell this works???...
I don't know why it works, but I'm just impressed you managed that key combination accurately with your hooves!
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 05:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mpw
I don't know why it works, but I'm just impressed you managed that key combination accurately with your hooves!
Hooves with no opposable thumbs are still easier than webbed fingers...
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 05:32 AM   #5
dogsbody
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mad jew
That's the old boot-from-optical drive key sequence.

Maybe run fsck and then check in the System Preferences, under Start Up Disk, that your internal hard drive is selected. I'm not sure how this will work because the usual symptoms for the problem I'm thinking of are very different to yours.
Edit: Thanks mad jew.

I thought the optical drive sequence was just 'C'?

I tried that combination because it was the alternate start-up drive sequence, but when it was connected to my fw800 drive with a valid boot partition on it booted from it's own HD rather than the attached one. (I forgot to mention that in the post).

I'll give it a try tonight when I have my PB back in front of me. I'm definitely up for an MBP when I have the cash now BootCamp is available.
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Last edited by dogsbody; Apr 10, 2006 at 05:33 AM. Reason: Forgot to say thanks!
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 08:14 AM   #6
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No worries.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dogsbody
I thought the optical drive sequence was just 'C'?

Yeah, but older Macs (pre-OSX) used the convoluted COMMAND-OPTION-SHIFT-DELETE for some reason. I dunno. I'll be interested to see what your start up disk is.
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Old Apr 10, 2006, 09:28 AM   #7
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No worries.

Yeah, but older Macs (pre-OSX) used the convoluted COMMAND-OPTION-SHIFT-DELETE for some reason. I dunno. I'll be interested to see what your start up disk is.
Strangely enough, I think I checked all that in Open Firmware at the time (it's been about 1 year now and my Mac's chimes have conditioned me like Pavlov's bells) and I just about remember resetting the start-up disk to be the internal hard drive.

Well, we'll see tonight, I guess.
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Old Apr 11, 2006, 02:55 AM   #8
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No Joy

Well, I ran diskutil from the command line last night, but didn't run fsck because I haven't backed up my HD in a while....and didn't want to risk it...

Away on holiday for a bit now, but will do it all when I get back (with my new G4 tower that I'm buying for 100).

Thanks for the help so far.

Dog.
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