PPC boots up in classic instead of OS X

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by FelixMC, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. FelixMC macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2008
    First off, sorry if I posted in the wrong section :p;)
    So I've got a G4 PPC running Tiger. Last night I was backing up all my stuff to my external HD. I use classic from time to time to test how my website would look in IE or to play those good old games that I haven't found for OS X yet, like Majesty, Diablo, Starcraft or Stronghold. So I thought of baking up all my classic stuff to a CD. I dragged in the System folder, my Apps and Games. I burned them on a regular 768MB CD. Overnight I left the CD in the Mac, and I put my Mac in sleep mode. When I woke up at around 6:30, I tried to open up Safari, but noticed that I didn't have internet. I restarted the router and modem in my dad's bedroom, and to make sure everything goes OK, I restarted my Mac as well.
    When my mac booted up, I noticed it took it a bit longer. Also, the gray screen in the beginning was a bit darker, and instead of bringing me up to my OS X login window, it brought up a classic-like one. The background, is that purple that classic used to use. In the middle there's a password field. To the left of it there's "old graphics" a silver lock, and to the right of the password field there's a classic-like button with a arrow pointing right on it.
    That's pretty much it. It doesn't display anything else.
    I've tried putting in my password, my user-name, my master-password, and all sorts of other things, but none would let me in...
    I tried taking out the CD, and rebooting, but it got no better. The booting stopped at the gray screen where now it displays a classic folder with a question mark on it in the center. Every half a second or so, the question mark flashed to a pixelated Finder icon.
    I assume that I messed up some of my setting..
    How can I fix this and go back to OS X:(?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated:)...
    I'm typing this from my dad's PC, and it's a bit scary;)..........
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Hold down X to boot Mac OS X, if that doesn't work try holding down Option.
  3. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    It's a bit confusing from the way you have described everything, but I have some suggestions:

    What this means is that you Mac can't find a folder with a copy of a Macintosh System on to boot from (either OS 9 or OS X). You need to start from CD and then manually pick an startup system.


    [1] Get an Mac OS X installation disk, startup with this by holding down the “C” key, then go to startup disk panel (from one of the menus – can't remember which one, but there are only about five!) and see if your Mac OS X System directory is listed. If it is, then simple select it and restart.

    Failing this:

    What you describe below sounds like the screen for the open firmware password, rather than the OS 9 login box.

    If you really don't know the password, then you need to wipe it to get access to your system.

    Fortunately the Open Firmware password can be bypassed fairly trivially by simple changing the RAM configuration on your machine and resetting the P-RAM:
    [1] Change the RAM config (take one stick out temporarily) and reboot.

    [2] Reset the P-RAM (you may have to do this a couple of times) by holding down command-option-p-r until you hear the bong.

    [3] Next time you turn your computer, open it up and pop the RAM stick you removed in step one.

    Once the computer has started use the the startup disk control panel (Mac OS 9) or System Preferences (Mac OS X) to select Mac OS X as your startup system.
  4. FelixMC thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Thanks for all the help and responses guys :D, but I think I still need help...:(
    Okies, I've tried pressing "X" and "Option" at boot-up, but with nothing many results. The only thing that change now is that it showed the flashy folder again..:eek:
    Unfortunately, when I bought this Mac off eBay, it didn't come with the Tiger install DVD, only with iLife and some other things like that..
    I wasn't going to buy it, since I was thinking of adding some more RAM and upgrading to Leopard..
    Speaking of RAM.. My Mac came build in with only one 512MB RAM Stick, which I assume is the one deep inside, and not the one found when you just take off the bottom case. Is that one removable?, since you said I should take a stick out to reset the password..
    Should I buy a Tiger DVD off eBay? I see them priced as low as 30 bucks..
    Anything else I should be aware of, or any ideas on what to do next..?
  5. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Right, the RAM trick won't work because you only have 1 stick… didn't think of that, damm. You can't start it without RAM.

    As it doesn't appear to be asking for the firmware password anymore, then I don't think this is a problem.

    What you need is a bootable CD, any bootable CD (OS 9 or X) in order to try and startup from it.

    Do you have an OS 9 one lying around anywhere? As a note for the future, try and get original CDs when buying of ebay.
  6. FelixMC thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Well, I only have one classic CD, the one I put my Classic folder and stuff on last night.. Does that count? It's still in my Mac's CD Drive...
    On the other side, is it possible to boot up from another Mac in Target Disk mode?
    My 3 year old sister has an eMac that supports fire-wire, and it wouldn't hurt my back to bring it to my room if it solved my problem :eek:
    The only problem is that I don't have a firewire cable around the house. Can I find one at the Circuit City or BestBuy shop around the corner? Or do I have to go all the way to Tyson's Corner (no pun intended:rolleyes:) to get one?
    Maybe I could buy a OS 9 CD off eBay? Only about $5, as far as I saw...
    Thanks for the help so far man :):p
    What's up next?
  7. FelixMC thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2008

    I about 8 hours to fix my computer before my dad comes back from work..
    Thanks for the help so far guys :):)
    This is what I tried this morning..
    I got both my mac and my sister's to my room, and put them both face-down on my bed. I unscrewed the little screw that's holding the door on the bottom, and took off the little door. There was a little opening where I could see two RAM slots on both Macs. My sister's had two slots with a 256MB stick in each. Mine had only one stick, with 512MB as I though. I popped one of my sister's 256MB sticks and put it in mine. I put the door and the screw back on, put my mac on the floor, plugged in the power button, keyboard and mice, and started it up. At first glance nothing change, it booted just as before. I tried resetting the PRAM like suggested by pressing +Option+P+R but noting happened. I pressed it several times repeatedly and then just held the buttons pressed for about a whole minute, but nothing happened. Then I tried booting in Open Firmware by holding 'option" at start up and trying the PRAM thing, but nothing happened... Was there a step I missed..?

    Ok, I doubt my dad knows the Open Firmware password.. For once, he's never touched my Mac, he is a PC guy, and he fears Macs like a vampire fears holy water... And seconds, he doesn't know anything about Macs.. absolutely nothing.. he things they are too complicated for him.. :p And I don't remember setting a Open Firmware password myself.. Then again, this Mac had a previous owner, so maybe he set it up..?

    Could it be there's a problem with my Internal HD? I backed up most of my media files to my external HD, but still I have some apps and work that isn't backed up..
    I ask a whole lot of questions, don't I:p? But what should I do next..?
  8. tdhurst macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    If you're holding down the option key at startup and nothing happens, something is seriously wrong.

    Did you get that Firewire cable?
  9. FelixMC thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Well, technically, something does happen. It skips the boot image and brings up the open firmware password prompt, which isn't a considerable leap forward from where i was b4...:eek:
    I wasn't able to get the firewire cable quite yet.. I still haven't told my dad about my Mac... I'm going to try tell him when he gets back from work..
    Still though, where can I get a firewire cable from? Would I find it at any local BestBuy or Circuit City? Or do I have to go to an Apple Store..?
    I've done a quick ebay search and found them for as low as $.99
    Thanks for the help so far :):p What's next:p?
  10. FelixMC thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Ok, so I told my dad about my Mac being messed up and call yesterday, and he didn't take it half as bad as I expected. We ordered two 6 pin to 6 pin firewire cables from ebay. They were $.99 cents each, and then $3 each for delivery, and something else..
    They are coming all they way from California, so I bet they are going to take a wile before they reach the east coast. Meanwhile I try little things I read from the internet or that people suggest, to try "fix" my Mac, but with not much success. I hope I'll be able to fix it with the firewire cable in Target Disk Mode, or something, since Im running out of ideas..:(
  11. FelixMC thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2008

    So, the firewire cables arrived 10 minutes ago, and I brought both Macs to my room again, connected them with one of the Firewire Cables, started up my sister's computer, and opened the Apple instructions for using Target disk mode. Both Mac's meet the requirements, and according to this article, all I have to do is press "T" at start up on the "host" computer (my computer in this case), and the HD should appear on my sister's Mac in Finder. Although this doesn't fix much, I wanted to see if I can access any data from my computer.
    Still, nothing happened, I still only see the flashing question mark folder, instead of the firewire symbol I'm supposed to see. Did I miss something?
    And is there anyway I can set up my start-up disk from my sister's computer if they are connected with the fire wire cable? Maybe boot up o my sister's Mac from my Mac? Any help would be greatly appreciated:D
  12. m1ss1ontomars macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2006
    You do know that Starcraft is available for OS X now, right?

    Actually, Starcraft doesn't even work with Classic; it gets confused trying to find the CD. Dunno how you got it to work.

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