William H. Magill on Mon, 30 Jun 2003 14:27:04 -0400

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Re: [PLUG] OS 8.6 to 9 and X

On Sunday, June 29, 2003, at 08:03 PM, Bradley Molnar wrote:

The last two Macs I purchased had OS 9 and OS X pre-installed, and
booted into OS X by default.  I don't know the secret magic key
to boot into OS 9, so I never booted into it.

There is no magic key sequence. In the System Preferences control
panel, there is a panel called "startup disk." You select the OS9
partition and reboot.

To get back to OS X from OS 9, you do exactly the same thing.

I think that newer machines (G4 towers and newer, and probably most iMacs)
all you have to do is press and hold the option key during startup (after
you hit the power button). These machines were built to know about OS X and
will scan the disk for both os 9 and os X start up disks.

But, here is the catch, the older ones (early G4's) only know to look for
one system folder per partition. The newer ones can handle multiple system
folders on the same partition. I do not know which ones are which, but, I
would assume that if you have a 'quicksilver' era G4 tower or newer, it
knows to check for multiple system folders on the same volume.

This does take a few seconds to locate all system folders, but it is much
faster than booting into one OS just to switch the startup to the other one.
The mouse works too.

Holding down the Option key causes Open Firmware to scan the device chains for bootable devices. Depending upon your configuration, "a few seconds" can equal 2-3 minutes... especially if you have twelve 9-gig scsi drives attached to a G3!

However, the purpose behind the "startup disk" control panel is to avoid this problem, especially if you are booting from something other "0,0". It sets the default "boot-device" environmental variable in the nvram. ("nvram -p" if you want to see what's there.)

As for multiple system folders in one partition, while they can co-exist, there can only be one "blessed" folder per partition. ... and once again, the issue of "blessed folders" has become an issue. Apple, just last week" issued instructions for how to bless a folder after a system restore has been done, thereby making the disk bootable.

If you are talking about OS X and OS9 in the same partition, the Option key has always seen the two. For a while, it was the only way to switch Rhapsody back and forth reliably.

[I vaguely remember that "Open Firmware" = "New World", but I'm not positive.]

William H. Magill
# Beige G3 - Rev A motherboard - 768 Meg
# Flat-panel iMac (2.1) 800MHz - Super Drive - 768 Meg
# PWS433a [Alpha 21164 Rev 7.2 (EV56)- 64 Meg]- Tru64 5.1a

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