5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 21, 2007 12:11 PM by troplin
troplin Level 1 (0 points)
My PowerBook G4 starts only when I hold down the COMMAND key at startup. This alone would not be such a problem, and it also was not for some time but now I'm running into the 'famous' setup assistant loop of Leopard and this is where the problem begins:

Holding down the COMMAND key at startup prevents me to hold down some other key, i.e. I cannot hold down the SHIFT key for booting in save mode, the 'C' key for starting from the installation CD or the OPTION key for selecting a start volume. I cannot even run the apple hardware test because of that.

In details what happens when NOT holding down the command key:
startup chime
screen remains black
after some seconds the HD seems to spin down and clicks
powerbook seems to be shut down again since I can repeat this

When holding down COMMAND key:
Everything seems to be normal (except for my bad system but this is another problem)

When holding down COMMAND + some other key(s):
startup chime
screen remains black
nothing happens, but the powerbook is still running
on releasing only the other keys except COMMAND, it continous starting up just like I never had holded down the other keys
on releasing all keys, HD seems to spin down and click, and pb seems to be shut down.

I hope someone has a solution to this, I cannot escape from the setup assistant loop and the laptop is not usable like that...

Message was edited by: troplin

PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • arnie Level 5 (4,065 points)
    as a wild guess, it could be failing hard drive.
  • troplin Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't believe that, because I can boot normally if I press COMMAND. I was able to work with this issue for more than a year, and I have also reformatted the hard drive several times, and reinstalled the OS. So a hard drive defect is very unlikely.
  • eww Level 9 (52,980 points)
    Troplin: Have you ever tried starting up the Powerbook with an external USB keyboard connected? I don't have one to test with, but I think connecting an external KB will disable the built-in KB. If there's a fault in the latter that causes your dificulty, perhaps this test will sidestep the fault and thereby reveal it.
  • troplin Level 1 (0 points)
    Eww, you're my heroe!

    This did not really solve my problem, but now I can use my PB again.
  • troplin Level 1 (0 points)
    For everyone with the same problem, here is not a solution but a workaround for starting into safe mode (probably works also for starting from CD or other key kombinations)

    Plug in an external keyboard
    Press the COMMAND key on the internal keyboard and the desired key kombination on the external one while starting.

    A side remark:
    I noticed that on the external keyboard the CAPS LOCK was glowing, so I pressed CAPS LOCK (while not releasing COMMAND and SHIFT. I don't know if this was necessary but that worked...

    I'm so glad that I don't have to buy a new computer. I have already ordered a new one today, but fortunatly not payed yet.