Won’t Boot

If it won’t boot, don’t panic.

As you own an beige Old World Mac (right?!), you probably have not done any signicant damage. This is all assuming you didn’t mess with load-base in ways that I didn’t recommend (especially on a new world Mac).

Simply Won’t Boot

All you see is a black screen, your keyboard does nothing. Or you just get a white screen, some kind of open firmware boot prompt, and your confused.

The universal anwser is zap your PRAM (Parameter RAM). Yes, this resets all your boot settings, and messes up your color and
networking settings in Mac OS.

The way to zap your PRAM is to hold the following keys down 5 seconds before and after you hit the power button on your Macintosh (I tell people this, so there is no confusion when to hold down these keys):

command + option + p + r

White Open Firmware Screen

This may be confusing for beginners. If you see a “ok >” prompt or something similar, then you are in OpenFirmware, and it’s waiting for you to tell it something. The commands you most likely want to type are boot (go to your default boot type) or bye (go to Mac OS).

Or you maybe seeing the quik prompt. Type the name of your default quik configuration — maybe linux or debian.

If none of the above work, or you’re just confused, hit the power button your Mac and reset your pram.

Kernel Panic on Boot

Probably you screwed something up when you compiled your kernel. I’m guessing you forgot ext2 support, or are using an experimental kernel. Do you have quik set up so you can boot off another kernel? This is always good to have.

Worst comes to worst, reset your PRAM, boot into Mac OS, and use Bootx or miBoot (on your PPC Linux CD or Mac OS partition).

Quik is Unable to Find Root or Kernel

You probably messed up quik configuration, somehow, so the default boot type isn’t working. Reinstall quik, or modify the quik.conf by booting a different way (miBoot or BootX).

Another possiblity, is you upgraded to ext3 and you have an unclean filesystem. Quik only supports ext2 or a clean ext3 (backward compatible with ext2) disks. See quik and ext3 notes.

Last Resort: Bug People

If you nicely ask on the #ppclinux channel, they may be able to help you. Also try searching (and emailing) your distribution’s mailing lists.

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