I couldn't boot into single-user mode on my iMac 2007 with Mac OS X 10.5, so I forced it to do so with sudo nvram boot-args="-s". However, now my Mac won't boot and sits there with the spinning icon under the Apple logo.

Obviously, being an older OS there is no Internet recovery or normal recovery partition to boot to.

Icing on the cake is, it's a 2nd hand iMac with no recovery disks.

I have tried resetting PRAM and NVRAM, alas to no avail, does anyone know how to remedy this?

  • "2nd" is that to be read 2nd hand? The boot-arg should not stop your mac from booting, after NVRAM reset it should be gone anyway. Try again an NVRAM reset until you here 2 chimes (in case there were other variables). Does Cmd+s on bot work? What happens when you boot from an external drive/stick? (Just bootable, an installer, a clone, TargetDisk mode) Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 2:07
  • 2nd hand yes my mistake. However this is all moot now, transpires the esc key was stuck down stopping any keyboard commands on boot! Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 13:06
  • Well, why not update your Q and write up an answer? As it is it sits as an unanswered question in the lists. Someone might have a stuck key in the future, but comments might not survive for so long. Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 14:45
  • Now that it works, go buy an 80Gb hard drive for $19 amazon.com/100-gb-hard-drive/… and make a backup. dd should do it. Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


Turns out this was as simple as a stuck key was stopping any boot up commands.

Plugged in a different keyboard and everything was just fine.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .