I'm working on a PowerMac9,1 (Late 2004 PowerMac G5 with single core) that refuses to recognize any external boot devices on the option/alt boot manager screen, including Debian and the Mac OS X Leopard install disc. It only recognizes the internal Leopard install on the HDD. When booted to the Leopard install itself, it's able to mount external devices. For example, when using the Leopard install disc, the installer will open but upon rebooting will just go back to the HDD install.

Whenever it's booted into OpenFirmware, the fans run at full speed. Any attempt at using any boot commands off of USB or CD will hang or Using the reset-nvram and reset-all commands had no effect on either. Additionally PRAM has been reset.

When commands such as

dev /chosen

are run, the device chosen shows as non-existent (which it appears should reference the automatically selected boot device).

This device also has firmware version 5.2.2f5, which has very few references when searched. It's not referenced on any official Apple sites leading me to think it was an unannounced update at a point.

Is there a way I could downgrade the openfirmware version, or have some further troubleshooting steps to have this current work?

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    OF also has a boot manager. Hold Option/Alt - it should detect anything that's bootable. – Allan Jun 2 '18 at 14:57
  • @Allan I forgot to mention I had already tried that, updated question. Thank you for the suggestion however! – Spotlight Jun 2 '18 at 15:05
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    It's been a long while since I messed around with OF, but you should be able to get a listing of all OF devices. See netbsd.org/ports/macppc/faq.html#ofw-dir-listing – Allan Jun 2 '18 at 15:18
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    devalias shows a cd and cd1. Running dir cd:,1 results in Warning: sector size mismatch! and then ok. I don't have the Leopard disc to try out right now, but I wonder if my debian disk is burned incorrectly. `cd1:,\` shows invalid device. – Spotlight Jun 2 '18 at 15:39
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    That could be the issue. I would love to try out the commands, but I don't have an OF machine anymore. I was able to boot a G4 Xserve with a USB stick - give that a shot; it's much easier than creating an ISO – Allan Jun 2 '18 at 15:46

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