iMac HD boots into Open Firmware - please help

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Eric P., Oct 5, 2006.

  1. Eric P.

    Eric P. Guest


    My housemate has a hard drive that came from an iMac running OS X. He
    was told that the disk was wiped, and he wanted to install a bootable
    system on it to use it in his bondi blue iMac G3. He installed OS 9.2.1
    from his install CD, and then installed Panther (10.3.5?). The result is
    that, when he attempts to boot the system (even after selecting the
    desired OS from Startup Disk on the install CD and then restarting), a
    gray screen appears, with the following in white text:

    Apple iMac Open Firmware 3.0.f2 built on 4.23.99 at 14:31:03

    The volume name is Main HD, and it shows up normally on the desktop when
    booted from the OS 9 install CD. Inside is an unblessed folder called
    System Folder that contains many folders called "Installer Temp xx"
    where xx is a number, as well as the components you'd expect to find in
    a normally operating system folder. I made sure that Finder, Mac OS ROM,
    Panels, and System suitcase were all present. There's also a folder on
    the volume that holds OS X 10.3.5.

    Is there any way to make this HD bootable? My only guess is to
    completely erase and then reformat and reinstall, but I'm hoping for a
    less drastic solution. With this HD connected, we can't even zap the
    pram using cmd-option-p-r.

    I've never seen anything like this before, and I'd like to help find a
    solution. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks and happy computing,
    Eric P., Oct 5, 2006
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  2. Eric-

    If Panther was installed on the HD using that iMac, it should work. The
    installation program will normally refuse to work on a machine that
    doesn't qualify.

    As you say, it isn't clear how this could be happening. You didn't say
    how the HD was connected to the iMac. If it is connected internally, but
    the original HD is still there, you might have a "master slave" conflict
    with jumpers on the two HDs. Even so, some older Macs couldn't support
    two internal HDs even if they were jumpered correctly (unless there was a
    second interface card).

    If the iMac will boot an installation disk, it should be able to boot from
    some other bootable drive. When there is no bootable drive, you should
    see something like a tiny computer with a flashing question mark.
    Certainly not the Open Firmware prompt unless you held down the right
    combination of keys when booting.

    If one did boot into Open Firmware intentionally, I think there is a
    command to get it to resume booting from the HD. Try entering boot and
    see what happens.

    Fred McKenzie, Oct 5, 2006
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