My question is this: Is there a way to create a safe boot environment which DOES NOT include the network cards? I know you can set a bunch of boot instructions using the "nvram boot-args" but I have yet to come across anything that suppresses the net cards. Is there some option using that command, or something in the kernel file, the boot.efi, or kext loading that can do this? Here's my full situation: My imac (early 2008 24" 3+GHz) won't boot. I posted a more general "can't boot" topic HERE, but I've tried a lot of things and want to focus on this particular message.* Please don't reply with instructions on how to soft boot or save my hard drive. I've already gone through all the basics. *Please, read the original post*if you doubt me. But, really, I have. With that out of the way, here's whats going on: When booting, my imac gets to the apple and spinning gear screen, and after some period the gear just stops.* Booting in verbose (or single user), using all of the techniques below, boot always stops at this same line: This behavior occurs when booting in all of the following ways: -- all peripherals removed, except keyboard and pertinent boot hardware. -- booting from external HD (usb), external HD(firewire), usb key, system disks, and boot disks of a few testing programs (internal HD is blank because that's what i first thought the problem was. It's ALWAYS the hard drive, right?* Well not this time -- tried booting with all of the above in both snow leopard and lion, and tried both in safe mode and regular boot.* Oh, and yesterday I tried in Windows 7. -- Tried safe boot (both SnwLep and Lion) -- Ran hardware checking app applejack -- Tried all combinations for slot placement with my ram (tho these tested clean using applejack) -- Cleared PRAM, NVRAM, SMC The one thing I CAN do is boot into single user mode, and get to the console. I am able to run commands, but everything I've tried so far has failed. Back to the "Airport link down" message, I've been trying to find a way (maybe in SUM) to tell the boot process to ignore the network cards. If that's where it keeps freezing, let's remove it from the equation and see what happens. Any thoughts, people?