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PowerBook doesnt want to enter Open Firmware mod

Recently I bought PowerBook G4 Titanium very cheap and I want it for my personal collection. PowerBook was sold as “for parts”, so unfortunately I do not know much about its hardware condition (from the outside, it looks almost like brand new, almost no cosmetic dents or scratches).

When I power it on, only blinking question mark folder shows up, which means there is no OS, so I decided to open it up. I find out, that there is no hard drive inside, but I at least wanted to try run OS X installation. Since I dont own OS X installation CD and I dont have device with DVD drive, I decided to boot instalation of OS X from USB. I created OS X Tiger installation USB using TransMac and find guide which tell that I need to enter Open Firmware by pressing Command + Option + O + F and then Power button to allow boot from USB. But there is a problem. When I do it, nothing happen, PowerBook again shows only a questionmark folder. Also Option + PowerButton to see boot priority doesnt work.

What could be wrong? Would startup key combinations work, if I use external USB keyboard? (since I dont know if the build-in keyboard works). Couldnt be a problem that there is no hard drive inside?

Thank you very much for every answer

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Technically, the PowerBook’s G4 don’t have the needed firmware to boot from USB drives.

I only know of G5 based systems having a tweak within its release of Open Firmware that could do it, but there are a few issues just the same! You need a USB 2.0 drive and the file system needs to be the older HFS not the HFS+ to work.

If you want to pursue this I would recommend you locate the grey disks that came with the system or OS-X Leopard (10.5.8) retail disk set. Then you can boot up under the CD/DVD that come in the set (depending on what optical drive your system has). Your other option is finding a FireWire drive that is setup with a bootable OS-X Leopard on it.

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I found a lot of videos and articles on the Internet about the PowerBook G4 being able to boot from USB. It is only necessary to enable it in open firmare. But even if it couldn't do it, what could be the reason why the keyboard shortcuts don't work at startup? I can't enter open firmare or display the boot menu. Could it be because there is no hard drive inside?


@Andrej Pracovný účet - Bad keyboard?

Best to ask the people who have done it as I never could on my G4 Powerbook


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