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Old 02-19-2010, 12:29 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2009
Posts: 87

Rep: Reputation: 17
Change Macintosh Boot order

I'm working with an employer as part of a college internship. I work on anyone's computer that brings it in. Some lady brought in a macintosh. I'm not here to give my opinion on evil, controlling corporations, but I can't figure out how to get the thing to change boot order.

It has an old and unsupported version of OSX, it's "panther" and I can't even install any firefox after 2.0. It has 256mb ram and a 1.8ghz single core so I thought to dual boot it with debian.

-Tried holding "C"
-Tried holding "option key" (alt)
-Tried holding command (windows) + option + shift + delete
-Went into system prefs and chose "startup disk" but it doesn't list the CD drive at all.

The bios, or whatever it is, is completely blank at startup besides an apple logo.
Old 02-19-2010, 02:58 AM   #2
Registered: May 2009
Posts: 181
Blog Entries: 9

Rep: Reputation: 15
Model? based on that you can try different things.

If it's an iMac G3 or a G4 desktop, there's a Reset button on the motherboard to roll back all the POST and PRAM (Apple's Motorola-Mac counterpart to BIOS, roughly-speaking) to their factory defaults. iMac G3s are fiendishly tight inside, as their appearance might hint at, but with the G4 mini-towers it's often just a matter of moving a hard-drive ribbon cable out of the way and scanning the board with a small flashlight. Some models had pin-recessed Resets that responded well to a straightened-out paper clip.

There's also Open Firmware, situated on the ROMs of all but a few rare Mac models capable of running OS X (onto which OS X has been installed a bare minimum of ... once!) for which there are probably ample tutorials on various Mac-related sites as well as It's comparable to Microsoft's Recovery Utility or Linux's GRUB or modprobe in the relative obscurity of its command library, but I have heard of numerous instances where hardware settings were at least temporarily restored by way of OF.

Intel Macs -- can't help you there.

To find out what kind of Mac this is, try one of these two sites:

Hope this was helpful.

15 years a Mac home user (5 "genuines" and one clone)
5 years in OS X (power user, never a tech)
1 year as a phone tech for an AASP

Last edited by SilversleevesX; 02-19-2010 at 03:07 AM. Reason: Misspelled "instances"; wanted to check the Mac links again.


bios, boot, macintosh, model

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