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Booting into open firmware problem
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Aboard the GSV 'Not Invented Here'
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Mar 1, 2001, 02:37 PM
My B&W G3 500 has suddenly started booting into open firmware at every startup and I can't get it to stop. I also can't continue booting. All I can do is restart. Why would it suddenly start doing this? Why the %@#*ing #@&* won't it stop? Oh, and why will it boot from a CD but not from either of the internal HDs.

Your input would be much appreciated.

Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
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Mar 1, 2001, 07:31 PM
Try zapping your PRAM, which will restore the default configuration.
Command-Option-P-R, on boot up, hold them down until you hear a second chime, then release and let your machine boot. If you still get the open firmware try typing boot and see what happens.
Art D
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Mar 2, 2001, 01:05 AM
Hi machdreamer,

In order to boot the computer from the hard drive, "Open Firmware" (in the boot ROM) needs to load the "Mac OS ROM" file (found in the System Folder) into memory. If that file was corrupt, it could not be loaded into memory. If, however, the Mac OS ROM file on the CD was okay, the computer could start up from the CD.

You say you can boot the computer from a CD. Is the OS version, on that CD, the same as the OS version on your hard disk? If so, try replacing the Mac OS ROM file on the hard drive with a copy of the one in the System Folder on the CD.

Be sure to check the version number of both Mac OS ROM files in the "Get Info" window (under the File menu). Make sure the versions are the same before replacing the one on the hard drive.

I can't be sure this will solve the problem of the computer starting up in firmware, but it might be worth a try.

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Mar 2, 2001, 01:24 AM
Actually, this is just getting weirder. This B&W G3, which has been running various iterations of OS 9.1 since September (when I became an ADC member) and has been running the final version for a month now will not boot with 9.1 on the HD. It'll boot from 8.5, 8.6, 9.0 and 9.0.4 (yeah, I've loaded new system software on this damn thing eight times today!) but ends up in Open Firmware *unrecoverably* with 9.1. It will boot from the 9.1 CD. I've loaded 9.1 from two seperate CDs and even downloaded the upgrade. Nothin'.

I've never been this puzzled by a Mac. Good thing I have a new 733 on order.
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Sep 1999
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Mar 2, 2001, 07:48 AM
Did you install any iteration of Mac OS X (PB+)? You may want to reformat or initialize.

When I have trouble and either cant boot or drops into Open Firmware, you know it is almost like DOS there don't you? DIR and all the device registry stuff.

setenv boot-device ultra0:,\\:tbxi
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