Option-booting does not present OS9, only OSX

Eolake

Registered
I have an iMac and a G4, and on both of them I have the same problem: When booting pressing option, I am supposed to be able to select OS9 or OSX, but I am not. There is only the icon for OSX to select.

Why the heck would this be?
 

lethe

Registered
i believe that option startup will only show you a choice os OSes if they are installed in separate partitions. this is due to the fact that only one folder can be blessed at a time.
 

adambyte

Registered
Agreed. Wish they'd fix that, though, and make that feature available. Who REALLY wants to go to the Startup Disk preference pane/control panel? Not me!

Is this feature possible?
 

lethe

Registered
well, i believe you can specify which OS you want to boot by manually specifying the boot file from the OF prompt. it would look something like this:
Code:
boot hd:5,\System\Library\CoreServices\BootX
for OSX. i m not sure which file is the boot file for OS9 (and i no longer run OS9, so i can t go looking for it), but one of the files in your System Foler (Mac OS 9) should work. maybe there is a BootX file in there?

in that command, replace hd with the OF device name of your boot volume. the number following it is the partition number of the OS. it will depend on how your system is installed. if OS9 is installed there will be more partitions than if it is not.

hold down option-command-O-F at startup to get to the OF prompt.

as to the question of whether it is possible for apple to include this functionality, in theory it is. they could assign a key to do a forth script that executes just what i described, and then update everyones firmware.

i don t think this will happen, however. the way the mac os boots, is to look for a blessed folder. this method is more reliable than just specifying a file name to boot.

since it is only possible to have one system folder blessed, there is no way to know that two OSes are bootable on one partition.
 

Eolake

Registered
I'll tell you why I need to know: there is an Apple app called Open Firmware Password, which makes it impossible to use another startup disk or to use the machine as Target Disk.

This is great, but if the system is fucked, how do you then get at the disk? The software says that with a password you can boot from a different volume, but I don't have one. (And with new macs, how do you put a CD in a dead Mac anyway?)

(This is not theoretical, I had a fucked system recently because I used a corrupted JPEG as desktop image. I had to put the iMac into Target disk mode to fix it.)
 

lethe

Registered
go to the OF prompt, and type
Code:
setenv security-mode none

it will prompt you for your OF password, and then it will turn security off, allowing you to boot from any disk you want, including in firewire target mode.
 

lethe

Registered
this is not UNIX. this is a firmware level command line. to access it, hold down command-option-O-F while the computer turns on.

from there you can change the password. realize that the firmware password app that you used was just a frontend to this firmware utility. if you can t use the app, then do it manually.
 
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