Boot options for PowerBook G4

The disk on my PowerBook G4 is going bad. This is a Bad Thing, but at least I learned how to do some cool things with my Mac at boot time. I’ve checked all these on my system running Mac OSX 10.3 (Panther). I found many other keys that might work, but I haven’t verified anything except what’s listed below:

Booting from CD — hold down the “C” key (until the Apple logo appears) while powering on the laptop. Insert a bootable CD as soon as the power is on.

Booting as a FireWire “target” — connect the PowerBook to another FW-equipped system. hold down the “T” key (until FW symbool appears) while powering on the laptop.

Choosing boot device — hold down the Option key (until the Apple logo appears) while powering on the laptop. You’ll see an icon for each bootable device (hard disk, bootable CD, network, etc). Select one of the icons, then click on the right-arrow icon.

Booting single-user — hold down the “Command-S” keys (until the Apple logo appears) while powering on the laptop.

Added 2005-12-19: Hold down the mouse button while powering on — eject CD-ROM.

About Jim Vanderveen

I'm a bit of a Renaissance man, with far too many hobbies for my free time! But more important than any hobby is my family. My proudest accomplishment has been raising some great kids! And somehow convincing my wife to put up with me since 1988. ;)
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6 Responses to Boot options for PowerBook G4

  1. Hy Y says:

    My G4 Powerbook doesn’t want to boot. I think it has MAC OSX installed and the previous owner may have had some security measures installed. I popped my OS 9 CD in the cdrom drive and cannot get to any screen where it allows me to boot from the CD. When booting, it goes to the Apple logo and then the little round icon shows it’s doing something. But…it never boots.

    Any ideas? I will be happy to hose the present OS so I can install OS 9 which I have.

    used G4 Powerbook I am considering purchasing… but it doesn’t want to boot. I think it has MAC OSX installed and the previous owner may have had some security measures installed. I popped my OS 9 CD in the cdrom drive and cannot get to any screen where it allows me to boot from the CD. When booting, it goes to the Apple logo and then the little round icon shows it’s doing something. But…it never boots.

    Any ideas? I will be happy to hose the present OS so I can install OS 9 which I have.

    Hy

  2. jim says:

    Only suggestions I have are in the body of this post. Try booting single-user, or holding down the Option key, or maybe forcing a boot from CD.

  3. dave says:

    Im having the same exact problem as the above post. ?? just restarted again and i received a long beep and the front LED button flashed quickly 6 times.

  4. Plain Yogurt says:

    Just found this via google search, and firewire mode was able to save my wife’s Xmas mailing labels….despite being a long time Mac User, I did not know this ! Thanks for this post….RIP Powerbook g4 12in…….

  5. Timekeeper says:

    Wow you get allot of spam in your post’s.. that sucks..

    I installed 10.5 server on my powerbook G4 and it installs fine, but when booting it displays allof of BSD terminal like code? and i haft to restart… any ideas?

  6. samson says:

    How do I boot from a singleuser mode to the main manue it powerbook G4

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