View Full Version : Mac OS / Bootdisk

10-03-2005, 12:22 AM
As those of you who read my previous mac thread, you will know what the story is, for those who haven't - it doesn't matter anyway.....

Mac tries to boot OS but stops with floppy disk and flashing '?'

I have searched mac sites and have tried all sorts to get it loading, to no avail.

For testing purposes to see if the machine can actually boot something properly, I need a boot floppy, or CD - and preferably some sort of HDD diagnostic tool as I think the HDD is stuffed.

Does anyone know where I could download such a thing? (and of course a mac OS installation CD wouldn't go amiss either, but whatever)


10-03-2005, 06:28 AM
The “?” flashing basically means your system has encountered corruption. There is a solution to zap the parameter ram (ZPR)… To do this you need to turn your machine on while holding down “Alt”/ “Apple cmd”/ ”p” and finally ”r”. When you turn your MAC on you normally ear a start up noise. While holding down the (ZPR) keys wait until you here the startup noise at least three times then let go and see if it boots in ok.

That might work, other than that you need to get your hands on the System restore disk – (should have got this with your Mac…?) then boot using the CD as startup disk - holding down c will allow you to boot into your system, also when the Mac face appears – hold down the shift key and this will turn your extensions off temporary, until you are finished - in there you can fix your system errors with system utilities option (This normally always works, If it doesn’t then think you may look for a new HD).


10-03-2005, 08:19 AM
Hi agent
I may have missed something as i am unsure of what o/s you are using on the mac, but you can get a system 7.5 bootdisk which has disk tools on it here (http://home.earthlink.net/~gamba2/bootdisks.html) (I don't know if it works, as i ended up downloading and reinstalling the os, my mac was older though) also system 7.5 is a free download from apple which may be an idea if you can't get an os 8 or 9 disk

I assume you have tried booting with extensions off etc

Good Luck

10-03-2005, 08:33 AM
JohnEire; I had to reset the PRAM since the thing needed a new battery anyway - so no change doing that again anyway

Tried the extensions thing but still no luck it seems (although I will try it again anyway)

The mac was second hand from my friend, and he got it from someone else but didnt want it. there was no OS or Bootdisk with it.

Nigel; Thanks for the link - I had been wanting to find something like that but just couldn't seem to

Thanks for your help

10-03-2005, 09:50 AM
You could save yourself a lot of trouble if you could get a System 7 or 8 CD and boot from that as there could be some complications downloading Mac files on a PC and trying to transfer to the Mac using a floppy. Especially as you don't know what OS is on the computer or even if there is anything installed.

What area are you in, are there any Mac suppliers around where you could borrow a System CD or someone here might know someone using Macs in your area that could give you something useful.
If you are really stuck I could possibly send you a CD as I have both system 7 and 8 installation disks here.

10-03-2005, 06:20 PM
I have tried to make some boot floppies, using the instructions provided on this page: http://macfaq.org/software/macos.shtml#Q1.1.6

But so far the mac just ejects them and refuses to boot.

I am probably doing something wrong, does anyone have any ideas?

10-03-2005, 09:11 PM

Finally managed to write a boot floppy image and got the mac booting :D

I can access everything on the harddrive, it seems to be OK but it still won't boot from it.

Suggestions anyone?

11-03-2005, 12:36 AM
install new o/s would be my vote
If you can get the O/S to boot from floppy(is that what you were meaning) and are happy using it that way then do so, system 7.5 is free but it's also quite old it should run like a rocket on your machine but I guess it would be less compatible with more modern software etc, It depends on the o/s on the mac if it is system 7 vintage you won't loose anything by replacing it, I think your machine could run any o/s from 7.1 to 9 something.

It really depends how much time you want to spend on it, for me with my mac I spent ages trying to fix my boot problems and then gave up and reinstalled the o/s and it has run fine since, and most of the programs that were on the machine still worked after the reinstall
I know with system 7 If I held down a certain key with the boot disk i had the option for various types of installs, i think i replaced the system folder and that solved all my problems

sorry if this seems like a big ramble, but just finished some frustrating php mysql stuff that didn't want to work, all because of a carriage return in the code, and my brain has had it

11-03-2005, 03:27 AM
You can now access your HD... is the startup disk pointed to your Mac OS? or CD? Apple, Control panel, Startup. If you have to install a new OS ... go for OS X (10.3.8) had for nearly a year with no problems

11-03-2005, 06:23 AM
Might be pushing it to install OS X on that computer John.

As well see if you can access Disk First Aid and run that.

Download link if you need it for Disk First Aid

11-03-2005, 06:35 AM
The requirements needed for MAC OS X are not too bad, worth considering... Besides most companies now will not produce software for Mac 9.2 or below, waste of developers time - Quark, Photoshop etc...