HELP! I'm stuck and don't know what to do...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by John Jacob, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. John Jacob macrumors 6502a

    John Jacob

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    #1
    Hello folks,

    Listen to my sad story.

    I have the original (867 MHz) 12-inch Powerbook. As I am down to less than 5GB of free disk space on my Powerbook, a few days ago, I purchased and downloaded iDefrag from Coriolis Systems (I thought I might be able to compact my data down and squeeze a little more free space out there). Following the instructions in iDefrag, I burnt a bootable CD containing iDefrag (from which I would boot to defragment my hard disk).

    While the instructions in iDefrag said that I should hold the "C" key while booting my Powerbook to boot from the CD, I changed the startup disk to the CD in system preferences instead (reason being that I had set an open firmware password a few years back, and I didn't remember exactly what the password was). This would turn out to be a blunder of colossal proportions, as you, dear reader, will find out in the next paragraph.

    So I booted from the CD, and my Powerbook came up in a Mac OS X GUI that contained only iDefrag. No dock, all Apple menu items disabled, no other applications accessible. When I quit iDefrag, the Powerbook shut down. So I booted once again from the CD, did the defrag and shut down. Then I turned the Powerbook on again, and once again it booted from the CD. Oops. Now how do I boot the Powerbook from the hard disk again?

    I searched the web, and found out that I could force eject the CD by holding the mouse button while booting. This tip didn't work with the trackpad mouse button, but it worked using an external mouse. But no cigar - the Powerbook showed a grey screen with a question mark, which changed in a few seconds into a happy mac icon.

    So I tried other bootable media like the Jaguar system restore DVD that came with my Powerbook, and my Panther install CD. None of them worked - same happy mac icon. It seems that the Powerbook will only boot with the exact same CD that was present in the drive when I changed the startup disk.

    None of the other startup keys work (they are all disabled by the open firmware security settings). I did some more googling and I found out that the only way to reset the open firmware password was to change the amount of physical RAM in the system, and then zap the PRAM once (according to one source) or three times (according to another source). So I got out a screwdriver and removed my RAM chip (the PB12 867 came with 128 MB of onboard memory, and another 128MB SODIMM which I had since upgraded to 1GB). Powered on the Powerbook and tried once again to zap the PRAM....

    IT STILL DIDN"T WORK.

    The Powerbook still boots from the damn iDefrag CD, and from nothing else. Is there any way for me to make it boot normally, or am I left with an expensive brick? :confused:

    Yeah, I know this is all my fault, but please give more helpful replies than "it's all your fault". I've banged my head against the wall enough times already.
     
  2. darkcurse macrumors 6502a

    darkcurse

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney
    #2
    So you zapped the PRAM how many times? Can you boot into open firmware? And how is it you can boot if you've set the OF password?
     
  3. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #3
    If I'm not mistaken, there should be an actual reset button on your logic board. Use it, then reset the PMU. Then restart holding down 'option' then select your HD.

    TEG
     
  4. John Jacob thread starter macrumors 6502a

    John Jacob

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    #4
    Well, I TRIED umpteen times. But it never worked (Apple says that the computer should restart and I should hear the startup chime again if the PRAM was zapped). That never happened.


    Yeah, I can hold Command-Option-O-F but then I get the password prompt. And I don't remember what the password is.

    It doesn't ask for the password on a normal boot (ie from the iDefrag CD). It asks for the password only if I try to force it to boot from another disk (by pressing Option on startup) or if I try to enter open firmware.

     
  5. lamina macrumors 68000

    lamina

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    From Canada, living in Seoul
    #5
    Call Coriolis Systems. They should be able to provide tech support for their product.
     

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