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What are the Mac hardwares various startup key sequences?

On the older Macs, Shift used to be start without extensions, Ctrl-Apple-O-F would boot to OpenFirmware, (but didn't the Intel Macs switch to EFI BIOS's?)

If the shortcut is hardware specific, please note it.

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I think can use these links 1- 2- – Am1rr3zA Sep 13 '10 at 13:01
I think this would make a great Community Wiki topic. – Jason Salaz Nov 9 '10 at 23:11
@VxJasonxV Community Wiki is for semi-offtopic posts or posts where a lot of people are editing the answers. Unless we're going to have each key combination posted in a separate answer, I don't see the need for this post to be Community Wiki. – Kyle Cronin Nov 9 '10 at 23:18
Why don't we have each key combination (and their use requirements) in a separate answer? – Jason Salaz Nov 9 '10 at 23:34
@VxJasonxV It's not necessary to do that – Kyle Cronin Nov 9 '10 at 23:53
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Google is your friend:

  • Bypass startup drive and boot from external (or CD): commandoptionshiftdelete
  • Boot from CD (Most late model Apples): C
  • Force the internal hard drive to be the boot drive: D
  • Boot from a specific SCSI ID #. (# is SCSI ID number): commandoptionshiftdelete#
  • Zap PRAM: commandoptionPR
  • Boot into open Firmware: commandoptionOF
  • Clear NV RAM. Similar to reset-all in open Firmware: commandoptionNV
  • Disable Extensions: shift
  • Rebuild Desktop: commandoption
  • Close finder windows (hold just before finder starts): option
  • Boot with Virtual Memory off: command
  • Trigger extension manager at boot-up: SPACE
  • Force Quadra av machines to use TV as a monitor: commandoptionTV
  • Boot from ROM (Mac Classic only): commandoptionXO
  • Force PowerBooks to reset the screen: R
  • Force an AV monitor to be recognized as one: commandoptionAV
  • Eject Boot Floppy: Hold Down Mouse Button
  • Select volume to start from: option
  • Start in Firewire target drive mode: T
  • Startup in OSX if OS9 and OXS in boot partition: X or commandX
  • Attempt to boot from network server: N (Hold until Mac Logo appears)
  • Hold down until the 2nd chime, will boot into 9?: commandoption
  • OSX: Watch the status of the system load: commandV
  • OSX: Enter single-user mode (shell-level mode): commandS
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These all look to be Power PC based Mac commands. My question was meant to be slightly more subtle and look for Intel based vs Power PC based as well. – geoffc Sep 13 '10 at 16:33
Actually most of those work across both architectures and the page is current (March 2010). Other than the Open Firmware specific keys, the Mac Classic specific keys and the Target Disk Mode key that does not work on non-firewire MacBooks regardless of architecture, what isn't covered? – Asinine Monkey Sep 13 '10 at 23:11


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