11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 24, 2010 5:39 AM by Kurt Lang
Addes Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
Guys. I'd appreciate your advice very much - this concerns my main system. 

MacBook 3,1 with OSX 10.5.? (latest)

Did: activate single user boot in Onyx; reboot
Problem: stuck at boot (apple logo & spinning wheel  on gray background for 2hours+). Persistent across reboots. 

No different results for this key combinations: cmd-opt-p-r, power button for 5 sec whilst without battery/cable, cmd-s, C (possibly not recognized due to firmware password) Power button held down from switch-on moment makes the light flash a few times, produces a beep but no improvement. 

Interestingly pressing alt lets me choose the os (HD or Leopard install disc) but gets stuck the same way regardless. It boots into Ubuntu tho. 

I have a TIme Machine disk that I can restore from, and can read from the internal Leopard HD while in Ubuntu.

So, please: how do I get it to boot? I'd set the nvram bootargs="" but from where...
     

MacBook 3,1, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • 1. Re: Stuck while booting in single user mode. How to go back?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)
    Sorry, don't know how you'd recover from the apparent limbo you're in, but this would agree with the explanation you already hit upon.


    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1352

    Features of Open Firmware Password Protection

    Intel-based Mac computers Power PC Intel
    Blocks the ability to use the "C" key to start up from an optical disc.
    Blocks the ability to use the "D" key to start up from the Diagnostic volume of the Install DVD.
    Blocks the ability to use the "N" key to start up from a NetBoot server.
    Blocks the ability to use the "T" key to start up in Target Disk Mode (on computers that offer this feature).
    Blocks the ability to start up in Verbose mode by pressing the Command-V key combination during startup.
    Block the ability to start up a system in Single-user mode by pressing the Command-S key combination during startup.
    Blocks a reset of Parameter RAM (PRAM) by pressing the Command-Option-P-R key combination during startup.
    Requires the password to enter commands after starting up in Open Firmware, which is done by pressing the Command-Option-O-F key combination during startup.
    Blocks the ability to start up in Safe Boot mode by pressing the Shift key during startup.
    Requires the password to use the Startup Manager, accessed by pressing the Option key during startup (see below).
  • 2. Re: Stuck while booting in single user mode. How to go back?
    roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)
    WZZZ:
    If Open Firmware was in place he would be presented with a password dialogue box to enter that into. This isn't the problem, it is just freezing up.

    Features of Open Firmware Password Protection...
    ...Requires the password to use the Startup Manager, accessed by pressing the Option key during startup.

    Also he says he can press Option and is given the choice of startup disks, which would not be presented on an Open Firmware password protected setup.

    So it seems to be something else.

    Addes:
    Did: activate single user boot in Onyx; reboot

    Why did you feel the need to do this? Was it acting up in some way?

    Have you tried Starting up in Safe Mode?

    Message was edited by: roam
  • 3. Re: Stuck while booting in single user mode. How to go back?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)
    Oops. Thanks Roam. Was reading carelessly.
  • 4. Re: Stuck while booting in single user mode. How to go back?
    Addes Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Thank you for taking the time and - apologies for being unclear - I do get the firmware password input box, after which I can choose what to start up from.

    I've run a memtest and it found over one thousand faults so I've swapped the ram with new one, but to no improvement. Safe mode is not bootable.
    I've run the Diskwarrior boot disk but it's unable to mount the internal HD in write-mode.

    Firmware restoration CD doesn't start the process, possibly because it's an older version (?).


    I'll continue trying stuff, and if you get ideas please share them!

    P.S.: it was behaving fine before, I attempted to try single-user mode out of curiosity...

    Message was edited by: Addes
  • 5. Re: Stuck while booting in single user mode. How to go back?
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)
    Hello Addes,

    Try booting to your Leopard installation disk. From the help page linked to above for enabling a password:

    For Mac OS X v10.5.x, start from the Leopard Install DVD and choose Firmware Password Utility from the Utilities menu, then skip to step 5.

    Once started up to the DVD, launch the Firmware Password Utility and see if you can disable it. If you can, then restart and zap the PRAM.
  • 6. Re: Stuck while booting in single user mode. How to go back?
    roam Level 6 Level 6 (13,545 points)
    ...and I was reading to literally - apparently it does have Open Firmware. You're intuition was good WZZZ.
    Keep on posting
  • 7. Re: Stuck while booting in single user mode. How to go back?
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)
    apparently it does have Open Firmware.


    I was surprised to see that, too. I've read here and in Mac related magazines that there is no Open Firmware for Intel based (EFI) Macs. More precisely, it's that there's no way to access it directly as you could with a PPC Mac by holding down CommandOption+OF during a boot or restart.
  • 8. Re: Stuck while booting in single user mode. How to go back?
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)
    *Addes Wrote:* Did: activate single user boot in Onyx; reboot


    Block the ability to start up a system in Single-user mode by pressing the Command-S key combination during startup.


    Don't know if that means no single user boot is possible, or just the boot into single user from the keyboard combination. Perhaps Addes got stuck trying to boot into single user from Onyx? Something to do with booting from Onyx when it wasn't possible with Firmware Password enabled? Onyx went ahead anyway, and this resulted in a partial, stuck boot which flummoxed the boot loader?
  • 9. Re: Stuck while booting in single user mode. How to go back?
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)
    Hi WZZZ,

    Onyx went ahead anyway, and this resulted in a partial, stuck boot which flummoxed the boot loader?


    Probably so. Which is why I hope he can boot to the Leopard DVD to disable the Open Firmware password. Then he'd be able to perform many of the functions it blocks when on, like Option booting to the Mac partition and zapping the PRAM.

    OnyX was not the way to do this to start with. Should have just held down the S key after entering the Open Firmware password.
  • 10. Re: Stuck while booting in single user mode. How to go back?
    Addes Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    The Leopard DVD gave me the same error as the internal HD..

    A new 10.6 instead got me, directly upon boot from disc, into SU mode. There I changed the nvram to "-v" and upon reboot got to the install, removed the firmware password, zapped PRAM and did a clean install (I figured I might as well). I'm now recovering files from TM, so it's all good.

    I can't see why it would get stuck on boot from both Leopard DVD and HD tho, both corrupted possibly?

    Thanx guys.
  • 11. Re: Stuck while booting in single user mode. How to go back?
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)
    Whew! A lot of work to get past the issue, but at least you're there.

    I can't see why it would get stuck on boot from both Leopard DVD and HD tho, both corrupted possibly?


    I don't think so. Everything was fine until OnyX was used to force Single User mode. That's one of the modes having an Open Firmware password for is supposed to block. So your Mac was essentially stuck in limbo. The Open Firmware password says you can't go into SU mode, but OnyX said you can. I think that pretty much left the password block in a state of confusion.