Boot Key Commands not working on PowerMac G5

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Member2010, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. Member2010 macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2013
    #1
    Hey all, just got my first Apple product a couple weeks ago - a set of PowerMac G5s from a local computer thrift shop. Got OSX set up on them okay, but I noticed that I can't get any of the startup key commands to work ("C" for the optical drive boot, "alt" for the boot list, "win+alt+o+f" for the open firmware menu). After searching around a bit, I saw some people mentioned that if there's some kind of Open Firmware password set that this can cause this kind of problems (it was a used computer after all). I went into the open firmware prompt by holding the power button down for a while and typed "setenv security-mode none" at the prompt, and it just said "ok" with no request for a password of any kind, so I'm beginning to wonder if the problem is somewhere else.

    Is there a special trick to it? Am I holding down the keys too early? Does it need to be plugged into a different USB port? Do some keyboards not work with it? The only two usb 'boards that I have are USB wireless ones that work fine within OSX and on other computers.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.

    ::
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #2
    You need a wired Apple keyboard I believe. Doesn't matter what year, so long as it's wired so it shouldn't cost much.
     
  3. Member2010 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2013
    #3
    q

    It has to be an apple keyboard? My teacher used to have a G5 and I distinctly remember when he had us set up OSX on it, we used a Microsoft brand keyboard of all things to hold down "C" to boot from the Optical drive, and that computer did have an os installed on the hard drive that it would normally boot to by default, so I know the "C" trick worked.

    But could that be it? Just a keyboard compatibility thing?

    ::
     
  4. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    #4
    Most probably is. Some keyboards are mapped differently, I would guess.

    Remember, "press" before the chime.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #5
    You could try with a PC keyboard. Supposedly the mappings are the same (don't know what maps to CMD), but I'm just trying to eliminate as many variables as possible.

    Note too that it has been my experience that "C" does not work on all Macs. I use OPTN instead, but your mileage may vary.
     
  6. Member2010 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    followup

    Nuts. I'll have to see if I can dig up another keyboard.

    If my cheat sheet is correct (and "option" means "alt"), I tried that too along with a whole host of other keys that can do different stuff, and not one had any effect.

    ::
     
  7. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    #7
    With PC keyboard as far as I can remember and if I remember it right, the ALT and Windows/CMD key are interchanged.
     
  8. macuser453787 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I believe the keyboard equivalencies go like this:

    Control (Windows) = Command (Mac)

    Alt (Windows) = Option (Mac)
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #9
    I've used non-Apple USB keyboards to acces startup options on PowerPC Macs before. The boot menu is the alt key.
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    I want to suggest resetting PRAM and NVRAM, but both require pressing keys on start up, which is what this problem is.
     
  11. Member2010 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2013
    #11
    keyboard

    The thing is (if the problem is keyboard compatibility) that I don't have any wired keyboards, or even access to one (just PS2, an interface which the G5 conveniently lacks). Will I just have to live without being able to use those boot functions?

    And I've tried that and just about every other key combo that I wrote down, and I'm just not having any luck with any of them on either of my keyboards. Does this computer have any history of keyboard incompatibility in that way?

    The second one is right, but if the "command" is the pretzel looking thing in the menus, then that's definitely the Windows key (I'm still sometimes confused by pressing "WIN+C" instead of "CONTROL+C" to "Copy" :D).


    I was able to reset the NVRAM by typing "reset-nvram" at the little prompt that comes up if you hold the power button down for a really long time.
    As for the PRAM, can't you just reset that by pressing the little button or leaving the power disconnected for a really long time?

    ::
     
  12. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #12
    No, you need to press CMD+P+R when the Mac boots. You want to keep holding it until the Mac cycles about two or three times to completely reset it.

    Am I understanding that you have NO wired keyboards? Because if that is the case then this is probably the problem.

    I'd really look around for a Mac keyboard. Again, it doesn't matter what you get. I've got a range of keyboards between work and home that go from 1999 to 2013. All wired USB and all work in different Macs. An old one shouldn't cost you more than $3-$10 if you can't swing one free.
     
  13. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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  14. Frost7 macrumors regular

    Frost7

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    #14
    Sometimes a PC keyboard will work, sometimes it won't. My Logitech Cordless Elite works just fine doing startup keystrokes on my G5 (as long as I press option for command and vice versa), but my much newer Logitech G510 gets ignored during startup by my MacBook Pro. I have to use the built-in keyboard or an Apple one.

    Generally, the first thing you should do before assuming something is wrong is get a wired, Apple-branded keyboard and try the startup keystrokes from that. 19 times out of 20, that'll take care of it.
     
  15. Member2010 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2013
    #15
    keyboard diagnosis

    I guess if I run across a different keyboard or an Apple branded keyboard, I'll give it a shot. It's not really mission critical, the only thing I was really wanting to do was try Ubuntu for PowerPC. I can obviously force it to boot from the Optical drive by disconnecting my hard disk, but who wants to do that?

    Thanks for the replies, I'll keep my eyes open for another keyboard.

    ::
     
  16. UniqueDesigns, Jul 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013

    UniqueDesigns macrumors newbie

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    Jun 27, 2013
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    USA
    #16
    As I recall, to reset the PRAM, the key command is
    Command+Option + P+R for 4 cycles
    Has that changed for Intel Macs?
    Older Apple Mac keyboards don't have an Optical Drive button to get the tray to open and close.
    The PM G5 Optical Drives don't have a button on the front of the tray door, any more.
     
  17. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #17
    You're right. I forgot to add the OPTN key in there. Thanks!

    Yeah, the G5's need the eject key to work. However, it's just a standard drive in there though. So, if you push the door in a little and then pull down you can access the drive which will have the standard button and paperclip hole set in the front.
     
  18. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #18
    To reset the PRAM, you only need to hear the startup chime twice. Any more than twice is a complete waste of time and does nothing. When using a non-Apple USB keyboard, the F12 key acts as the eject key to eject the optical drive.
     
  19. Member2010 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 28, 2013
    #19
    note

    That's probably my least favorite feature of these computers is how tough it is to open the dang dvd drive. On one of mine, the normal eject key was actually removed, so the only way to open it would be from within the operating system or with the paper clip trick.

    Even though the shortcut on the taskbar says F12 is the eject key, it doesn't actually do that. For me, you always have to click that stupid little button.

    ::
     
  20. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #20
    You have to press and hold it longer than holding down the standard eject key on an Apple keyboard. Mac OS has supported F12 as eject on all USB keyboards on all systems that can work with a USB keyboard.
     
  21. Handofblood macrumors newbie

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    Nov 8, 2013
    #21
    Im having a simallar problem but everytime I hold a key the disc drive opens
     
  22. havokalien macrumors 6502a

    havokalien

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    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Kelso, Wa
    #22
    G5 issues

    I have a G5 dual that has spar attic behavior and will not accept commands. It's basically useless which is too bad. I'm sure it's bad solder joints on the motherboard.

    Remember age and use these things go bad.
     
  23. ifrit05 macrumors regular

    ifrit05

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    Dec 23, 2013
    Location:
    Near Detroit, MI. USA
    #23
    Sorry if this is to old of a thread to reply to but I was having the same issue on my G5.

    Turn the machine off. hold down the power button. You should hear a tone and it will reboot/chime again but keep holding the button and the G5 will boot into the Open Firmware.

    From there type "reset-nvram", press enter, then type "reset-all", and then again press enter. It should reboot and begin to accept key presses/commands again.

    Doing this will wipe the stored time/date, volume setting, and monitor resolution.
     

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