Mac startup options

I know that many of you use Mac's so I'll just start posting a few tips and tricks on how to use them. If you need more specific tips or help please feel free to contact me.

Boot / Startup Options on newer Mac systems.

  • C : Forces most Macs to boot from the CD-Rom drive instead of the internal hard drive. Only works with Apple ROM drives and with bootable CD discs.
  • D : Forces the first internal hard drive to be the startup disk.
  • N : Netboot – Looks for BOOTP or TFTP Server on the network to boot from.
  • R : Forces PowerBooks to reset their screen to default size (helpful if you’ve been hooked up to an external montior or projector!)
  • T : Target Disk Mode (FireWire) – Puts machines with built-in FireWire into target Disk mode so a system attached with a FireWire cable will have that device show up as a hard drive on their system. Very useful for PowerBooks!
  • Mouse Button Held Down : Ejects any mounted removable media.
  • Shift : Start up in Safe Boot mode and temporarily disable login items.
  • Option : Shows you the boot devices, Operating Systems appear as hard drives, OS-X and Windows, CD/DVD and you can chose which one you want to boot from. If you press N the first bootable network volume will appear!
  • Space bar : Brings up Apple’s Extension Manager.
  • Command-V : Boots Mac OS X into "Verbose Mode", reporting every console message generated during startup. (similar to Windows Safe Mode, you'll see all the whistles and bells being loaded during boot).
  • Command-S : Boots Mac OS X into "Single User Mode" – helpful to fix problems with Mac OS X, if necessary.
  • Command-Option : Rebuilds the Desktop.
  • Command-Option-P-R : Erases PRAM if held down immediately after startup tone. Your machine will chime when it’s erased the PRAM, most people will hold this combination for a total of 3 chimes to really flush the PRAM out.
  • Command-Option-N-V : Erases NVRAM (Non-Volatile RAM). Used with later Power Macintosh systems mostly.
  • Command-Option-O-F : Boots the machine into Open Firmware.
  • Command-Option-Shift-Delete : Forces your Mac to startup from its internal CD-ROM drive or an external hard drive. Very helpful if you have a 3rd party CD-ROM drive that is not an Apple ROM device.
  • Command-Option-Shift-Delete-#(where #= a SCSI DEVICE ID) : Boot from a specific SCSI device, if you have your 3rd party CD-ROM drive set to SCSI ID 3, you would press "3" as the # in the combination.
  • Eject, F12, or hold the mouse button : Will eject any removable media.

If the computer acts up a little it's always a good idea to clear the NVRAM and PRAM. NVRAM is non volitile RAM which means the settings will not be cleared upon shutdown. If the RAM has been corrupted the computer will load this corrupted state, thus giving you problems.

Other Options after startup

  • Power : Bring up the dialogue for Shutdown-Sleep-Restart
  • Command-Q : Quit active program
  • Control-Command-Power : Unconditional reboot
  • Control-Command-Option-Power : Fast Shutdown

 

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