Emergency help requested (booting in safe mode)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Live Steam, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Live Steam macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2007
    10.5.6 pretty much trashed my iMac. Now I would like to boot from my Leopard disk in safe mode and roll back the OS. Can someone give me a quick tutorial for this? What key(s) do I hold down to get the OS to boot from an external LaCie drive? How do I get to safe mode and then roll back to 10.5.5?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says...before going any further, maybe you can define "trashed" a bit better - there may be a simpler solution if you describe what issue(s) you are having a little better....oh yeah!
  3. melchior macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2002
    as the alcoholic in his underwear says, there's probably a better solution. but holding down the option key when you boot will allow you to choose any valid boot device.

  4. Live Steam thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2007

    Well after displaying the logo the screen turns blue and then nothing. That's trashed to me. :( I would also like to roll back to 10.5.5. Help with that would be great.
  5. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    Unplug your peripherals and try rebooting. My mac mini doesn't like to boot with any of my firewire and usb hard drives plugged in.
  6. Live Steam thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2007
    I've tried everything to no avail. Tried resetting PRAM, fsck and safe booting. It just won't get past the blue screen. I even tried to archive/install using the OEM disk, but it's not recognized. Now I have a hacked copy I utilized to make this hacked eepc I'm posting from, and that is recognized. What good are the disks that come with the unit if they are not able to be used in emergencies?

    I should have known better than to do the upgrade so soon after it's release. I always allow the OS to update itself when ever they occuerd, but I had a bad feeling about this update and my fears were warranted. Maybe it was bad karma on my part :(

  7. djc6 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I did this once to fix a mac mini that experienced a similar failure after applying the 10.4.11 delta update. It requires some familiarity with Terminal.

    I booted into single user mode (Hold down Command-S during startup).

    Once started up in single-user mode, the file system is available as read only.

    Do the following:

    /sbin/fsck -fy
    /sbin/mount -uw /

    Then I used the following instructions to disable the GUI by editing the file /etc/ttys . This way the computer would boot into multi-user mode, just without a graphical interface. This way I had networking available so I could copy the combo updater to the mac mini. Maybe you could avoid all of this by burning the combo updated to a CD - I'm not sure if you can install an OS update in single user mode.


    Once I did that, I ftp'd a copy of the 10.4.11 COMBO update (which since this incident I always use) to the broken computer, from another machine I have.

    I mounted the disk image with the following:

    hdid MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.11Intel.dmg

    which created:

    /Volumes/Mac OS X 10.4.11 Combined Update (Intel)

    I then ran the following command to install the combo update:

    /usr/sbin/installer -pkg /Volumes/Mac\ OS\ X\ 10.4.11\ Combined\ Update\
    \(Intel\)/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.11Intel.pkg -target /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD/

    Once it was done installing, the system worked again!

    I forget if I had to undo the changes made to /etc/ttys to keep the GUI from starting, or if /etc/ttys was updated by the combo installer and everything was normal after rebooting.
  8. Live Steam thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2007
    Hey thanks for this info. I'll give it a try when I get home this evening.

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