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Startup oddness on first generation iMac

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I can't get my Mac to start up from CD for some reason... Please read on if you can help!

My hardware: Rev. A iMac
My software: Mac OS X 10.1.2

My problem:
I've not attempted to start up from CD since I updated to Mac OS X 10.1; at that time I had just figured out that in order for my iMac to start up from CD I had to zap the PRAM first (this has been verified by my other iMac friends that they have to do the same, in fact they informed me of it). Then it would start up from my OS 9 startup CD, or my OS X 10.0 CD.

Now, whether I zap the PRAM or not, it will not start up from my OS 9, OS 9.2.1, OS X 10.0, or OS X 10.1 CDs. Why do I want to do this? Because a third party theme "uninstall" method has apparently screwed up some login screen that it previously modified and now my machine starts up fine, but never gets past the blue screen to login--and I am pretty sure that means I have to reinstall my system software.

I'm really at a loss here--no matter what I do, I can't get OS X to start up (which means that, since I can't tell it to start up from my OS 9 folder to check things out, the hard drive by itself is not going to be usable until I reinstall), and I can't get ANY CD to start up, which means I can't fix anything, or even begin to figure things out.

If anybody has any ideas of stuff for me to try, or a possible workaround for this, or something I might be able to do remotely (it is OS X, so..), I would be very thankful for the input! This is my main machine, and, what a time for it to go down (right before MacWorld)...

Thanks in advance, everybody!
art may imitate life, but life imitates tv.
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art may imitate life, but life imitates tv.
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post #2 of 7
How are you setting it as your startup disk? Are you using the System Preferences panel or holding the C key? Have you tried both?
post #3 of 7
If you have access to another mac pop out the hd try to format/ fix it on the other mac. if it still does not boot up on your box your board may be going . OR it could be a bad cable or conecter <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />
A Apple a day keeps the pc's at bay
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A Apple a day keeps the pc's at bay
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by cooop:
<strong>How are you setting it as your startup disk? Are you using the System Preferences panel or holding the C key? Have you tried both?</strong><hr></blockquote>

After I uninstalled said OS X theme per the author's instructions, I restarted, to see if it had worked. I have not been able to even get to a login screen since--it boots up, looks as if it has fully started up, but it stalls on a blue screen and I never get to a login prompt. Thus there is no way I could have gotten to the System Preferences panel to tell it to start up from CD.

In all of my tries to start up, I've held down the "c" key. I have four bootable (to my knowledge) CDs at my disposal, and for each of them I tried holding down the "c" key after a cold startup, as well as zapping the pram and then holding down the "c" key. It hasn't worked on any of them.

I don't even know for sure what the problem is here, a ucked up login.nib or somesuch file that I could fix by reinstalling system software, or some odd HD problem that Norton could fix if I could just start up from CD.
art may imitate life, but life imitates tv.
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art may imitate life, but life imitates tv.
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by jaydog:
<strong>If you have access to another mac pop out the hd try to format/ fix it on the other mac. if it still does not boot up on your box your board may be going . OR it could be a bad cable or conecter <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" /> </strong><hr></blockquote>

All I have is my mom's iMac, and I'm afraid since this problem isn't a hard drive failure, and my CD-ROM seemed to work fine a day or two ago, that I would have the same problem if I chucked it in her Mac. This is why I really wish I had a tower, heh, I could just chain the drive and reinstall OS X on it , then pop it back in.

Also, since it accesses the drive just fine, and OS X is apparently fully starting up (just not getting to the "Login" screen), I don't think my hardware is the culprit.

Wait, I have an idea. Do you guys think that if I got a new drive (I've been meaning to replace the measly 4gb one in that iMac currently), I would be able to start up from CD, initialize, and install OS 9, then 9.1, then 9.2.1, then 10.0, 10.1, and update to 10.1.2? I don't see why I couldn't--though the problem then would be getting all of my old files off of the drive... Does anybody know if there are any retailers selling HD enclosures with an IDE-to-USB bridge? I thought there were a few years ago... maybe I could plug it in with that and get all my files!

BTW thanks guys!
art may imitate life, but life imitates tv.
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art may imitate life, but life imitates tv.
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post #6 of 7
If you have another iMac, why not try to connect them with a cross over cable and boot it off the other drive. I think this can be done, but not 100% sure.
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." -- Albert Einstein
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"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." -- Albert Einstein
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I don't have one, plus I have never heard of that.. maybe Netboot, but don't you need Mac OS X Server for that? And even then, ...how? I never really understood how Netboot knows this, or that, or even really how it works on the client side. But I digress... Maybe I'll go get one and try it. If it doesn't work, not a big loss. If it does, woo hoo!
art may imitate life, but life imitates tv.
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art may imitate life, but life imitates tv.
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