14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 27, 2007 8:26 AM by Vernon Alexander
Iron Monkee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I just bought a old iMac 233Mhz and it come without mouse or keyboard so I bought a cheap USB PC keyboard with the Windows keys, not a Apple one, so it doesn't have the Command and Option keys. Unfortunately the hard drive on my new iMac is completely erased and when I press the "C" key during the boot it doesn't want to boot from the CD. I figured I need to go into the OpenFirmware to boot manually from the CD. The procedure to boot into the OpenFirmware is to press the Command + Option + "O" + "F" keys during the boot but as I said my keyboard doesn't have Command and Option keys... How can I access the OpenFirmware? I tried Right Alt+Left Alt"O""F" but it didn't worked... Help!


iMac 233Mhz, Mac OS 8.6 or Earlier
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)
    I believe

    Alt key equals Option (Mac KB)
    Windows key equals Command (Mac KB)

    See if that works...
  • Iron Monkee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    No that didn't work... It must be the wrong keys...
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)
    I found this article


    which indicates the previous information was correct (at least for most non-Apple USB keyboards).

    Try pressing just the Option (I guess that would be Alt) key during startup. That's supposed to use Startup Manager, which let's you select the startup disk. Hopefully, you CD will show up and you can selec it.
  • Iron Monkee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    No nothing of this work... I tried with the left Alt and the right Alt and no one worked... My keyboard seem to be functioning correctly, all the lights open at startup... I don't have another USB keyboard to try, but it worked fine a few days ago on that same machine before I erase the hard disk...

  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)
    It's hard to say what's wrong... Generic USB keyboards may be different enough so that they are not properly recognized during the initial start up process, before the "real" OS takes over control. So it may work fine after startup, but the severely limited functions when the computer first starts may not see it properly.

    I have a non-Apple keyboard myself, but it is a Macally, so it made to be compatible with Apple keyboards. Another company with Mac-specific products is Kensington.

    There are always dozens of sellers on eBay selling used Apple USB keyboards. The shipping is often more than the selling price. You may want to get one for compatibility purposes. Don't get the latest Pro keyboard (the one with the really thin outer edge); I don't think it has a power button (not needed but nice to have). The older "Pro" keyboard should be fine. The original iMac keyboad is fine too, but it is small and is missing some functional keys, and the feel is really "mushy." I don't like it, but it does look good with the iMac.
  • Iron Monkee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Okay I will buy a Apple USB keyboard, unfortunately I don't have a credit card so I can't buy one on eBay but there is a Apple store near so I will check the price of a new iMac keyboard and a mouse while i'm there...

    Thanks for your help, I will post a message here to give the results...
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)
    If you have any computer surplus stores nearby, give them a quick call. They may have used Apple USB keyboards.

    I didn't realize Apple USB keyboards only cost $29 these days. That's not so bad. The product page says Mac OS X 10.2 or later is needed. That's probably for the special functional keys (volume control, CD eject, etc), but you may want to ask the Apple Store folks what that means, exactly. Hopefully, the resident "genius bar" tech will know the answer.
  • Iron Monkee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Just to say I didn't buy a keyboard I bought a whole new computer, a Power Mac G4 AGP 450Mhz for 300$ canadian bucks...
  • freefour Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    Question befor you go and get that keyboard , what cd were you trying to boot from . If you bought a used iMac and it came with out a keyboard and mouse well it didn't come with cd's either more than likely and if you ar useing a cd for a apple that is machien specific it may not boot to cd (gray cd) or is it a universal cd (Jaguar X ,10.2 leppared X, 10.3 or black crome X 10.4).
  • Kenichi Watanabe Level 7 Level 7 (30,465 points)
    That's a good one. Unlike your old iMac, that Power Mac has lots of potential for future upgrades. Have fun...
  • Iron Monkee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I tried to boot from the MacOS 8.6 CD, then I tried the OpenBSD-PowerPC 3.9 CD and the FreeBSD-PowerPC 6.0 CD, all of them booted fine when I pressed the "C" key before I erased the hard drive, but after nothing worked...
  • Iron Monkee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Unfortunately it comes without keyboard, mouse and monitor but my cheap PC keyboard work fine, I will buy a true Apple keyboard next month when I get more money... I will also try to find a AGP graphic card because the graphic card is PCI presently, even though the computer have a AGP slot...
  • s2loco Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    "command" (mac) = "control" (pc)
    "option" (mac) = "Alt" (pc)

    I thought the same as you that "command" would be equal to the windows key, but after some searching i found out different! hope this helps
  • Vernon Alexander Level 2 Level 2 (450 points)
    Just a not on this subject.

    I found that really cheep PC keyboards do not work with Macs.

    The key equivalent to command and option won't work.

    Best advice, don't use a PC keyboard on a Mac running OS9.

    Unless there is a OS0 version of doublecommand?