Powerbook Boots To Open Firmware

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
BDub's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 703
Powerbook Boots To Open Firmware

I have in front of me a Powerbook G4 12" 1GHz. When it attempts to boot, it goes into open firmware and gives me:

"Floating Point unavailable at %SRR0: ff85af10 %SRR1: 00001000"

When I type mac-boot, it's unable to find a suitable bootdisc, even when I have an OS 10.3 or Techtool CD in the drive. Holding down C does not make it boot from CD either.

Suggestions? I'm at a loss.

-BDub

h3ch4's picture
Offline
Last seen: 13 years 10 months ago
Joined: Nov 10 2004 - 15:36
Posts: 82
power button?

I'm not sure, but if powerbooks are anything like some imac dv's, then perhaps the power button is stuck? I've had this happen a few times on an imac.

Offline
Last seen: 19 years 1 month ago
Joined: Feb 6 2005 - 09:30
Posts: 34
I can only hint. OF uses ali

I can only hint. OF uses aliases to boot from devices so when you hit "C" it looks for whatever alias was associated with it. Same with default boot device. These are all stored in nvram. Yours must have lost them. Did you try to reset PMU, nvram and clear PRAM?

BDub's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 703
Re: I can only hint. OF uses ali

I can only hint. OF uses aliases to boot from devices so when you hit "C" it looks for whatever alias was associated with it. Same with default boot device. These are all stored in nvram. Yours must have lost them. Did you try to reset PMU, nvram and clear PRAM?

That did it. Thanks.

So it essentially had a corrupted boot loader?

Offline
Last seen: 17 years 3 months ago
Joined: Aug 20 2004 - 18:02
Posts: 76
I wish I could get my 1400c t

I wish I could get my 1400c to boot to Open Firmware! >;]P

M

Offline
Last seen: 19 years 1 month ago
Joined: Feb 6 2005 - 09:30
Posts: 34
>So it essentially had a corr

>So it essentially had a corrupted boot loader?
I know OF can execute arbitrary user code before going into main boot procedure, so maybe you just had some data corruption and OF was trying to execute it. That is probably the reason for that strange floating point failure you have seen.

Sometimes it is easier to fix than explain. Look at Windows, for example!

BDub's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 703
Naturally, it's landed on my

Naturally, it's landed on my bench once again, exhibiting the same symptoms. Apparently it booted fine a couple times (rebooted once every few days I assume) and then began booting to firmware or blank screen.

I tried the same bit that worked before, no luck. The fellow tells me that he occasionally has to reseat his airport card as it seems flakey on him, so that got me thinking possible logic board issue?

I pulled the Airport card and suddenly the machine would boot. Ok, something with the card is causing a conflict. So I put the card back in to verify and it's still booting. I rebooted two or three times to check and it seems to be running fine now. Techtool is currently having a full scan at it, but the hardware tests didn't show up anything, and I don't expect the file structure to impact this at all, given that it doesn't even seem to touch the disk when this happens.

Does anybody have any insight on this? I'd like to give it back to the client today as he's got a use for it this weekend 'if at all possible', but not if it's just going to end up on my bench again Monday.

-BDub

dankephoto's picture
Offline
Last seen: 12 months 17 hours ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 1899
client's usage?

Not to discount hardware issues, but . . .

Did you talk with the customer about what they're running on the 'Book? Is it possible an app or third-party 'extension' is messing with the nvram (or pram - whatever?) How about security, did the customer (mis?)install an OF password setting or something similar?

Also, why are they rebooting anyway?* Is it crashing or have other problems during use? If so, when does it crash?

-------------------
Also, you did reset the nvram in OF, right?
boot into OF (during boot, hold keys cmd-opt-O-F)
type "reset-nvram", return
type "reset-all", return
it'll reboot
-------------------
Also, reset the power manager:
during boot, press the key combination ctrl-opt-shift-power
Warning: Make sure you do not hold down the "fn" key when resetting the
power manager. Resetting the power manager means you will also need to reset the
date and time (using the Date & Time control panel).
-------------------

dan k

* Normal 'Book usage has it sleeping between uses, not shut down.

BDub's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 703
I haven't thought that it mig

I haven't thought that it might be software related. The client is fairly intelligent, so I'd assumed he would have mentioned any messing he may have done in the OF prompt. He's reporting no crashes.

I know under OS X it's good to leave it on all the time, but I really don't feel right saying "It works, just don't restart it so much!" to a client.

Of course I ran through all the standard stuff when confronted with an OF prompt. Reset PRAM, NVRAM, PMU.

I'm just curious as all get out that pulling the airport card seemed to make it happier this time. And resetting the PMU did the same last time. And from a quick look around his app folder, OmniOutliner is the most nonstandard thing he's running. Somehow I doubt keeping good notes encourages firmware evilness.

Techtool came back with some minor file corruption, but just the standard bad dates and stuff like that. I repaired it of course, and now I'm rebooting it about a dozen times to assure myself that it's ok before I hand it back to the client.

I have a feeling that it's going to land right back on my bench despite how nicely it works for me.

Offline
Last seen: 19 years 1 month ago
Joined: Feb 6 2005 - 09:30
Posts: 34
Maybe totally wild shot, but

Maybe totally wild shot, but did you check PMU battery voltage (if it exists in iBook)?

tmtomh's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 568
My thought too

A PMU/PRAM battery that is around half normal votlage - i.e. neither full-strength nor totally dead - can cause some real problems. Unlike a dead battery, I've found that a half-strength battery can cause corruption and make it "stick" -i.e. prevent an NVRAM or PMU reset from actually working.

Matt

BDub's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 703
Re: Maybe totally wild shot, but

Maybe totally wild shot, but did you check PMU battery voltage (if it exists in iBook)?

It's a Powerbook 1GHz 12", which MacTracker kindly informs me has no PRAM battery.

Log in or register to post comments