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eject button at start up

Message #1 - Posted 2006/03/16 - Merlin

I just started my PowerBook G4 (10.3.9) and held the CD eject button down - silly me, I thought this would eject the CD which was in the slot. It didn''t. Instead I heard a long tone, the "sleep" lamp flashed several times, and then the machine started up - apparently as normal.

I have looked in a number of places to find out what the key combination does with no success, can anyone help me find out please?

Thanks

Merl

Message #2 - Posted 2006/03/16 - Anton Dahlén

To the best of my knowledge, any new Mac should eject the CD/DVD if you push the button (and hold) when you hear (not while pressing the power button, that is) the start up sound. Can you eject the CD at all when the computer is running?

Message #3 - Posted 2006/03/16 - Bill Stevenson

On 2006-03-16 04:53:53 -0500, Merlin said:

I just started my PowerBook G4 (10.3.9) and held the CD eject button down - silly me, I thought this would eject the CD which was in the slot. It didn''t. Instead I heard a long tone, the "sleep" lamp flashed several times, and then the machine started up - apparently as normal.

I have looked in a number of places to find out what the key combination does with no success, can anyone help me find out please?

Thanks

Merl

Hold the mouse button down / trackpad button while starting up until the drive ejects.

Bill Stevenson
Mac OS X Product Release Group
Apple Computer
bstevenson at remove this text dot apple dot com

Message #4 - Posted 2006/03/16 - Merlin

Bill Stevenson wrote:

On 2006-03-16 04:53:53 -0500, Merlin said:

I just started my PowerBook G4 (10.3.9) and held the CD eject button down - silly me, I thought this would eject the CD which was in the slot. It didn''t. Instead I heard a long tone, the "sleep" lamp flashed several times, and then the machine started up - apparently as normal.

I have looked in a number of places to find out what the key combination does with no success, can anyone help me find out please?

Thanks

Merl

Hold the mouse button down / trackpad button while starting up until the drive ejects.

Thank you, and thanks to Anton too!

However I wasn't clear in my question I'm afraid. I had sorted the ejecting problem, but I want to know what I did by holding down the "eject" button during startup.

I have a list of startup key combinations but this one isn't on it. Given the long tone and the flashing "sleep" lamp I'm concerned I may have done something undesirable!

Hope you can help!

Merl

Message #5 - Posted 2006/03/16 - tacit

Previously, Merlin wrote:

I have a list of startup key combinations but this one isn't on it. Given the long tone and the flashing "sleep" lamp I'm concerned I may have done something undesirable!

Nope, not at all. You simply told the computer that if a program tries to change the computer's firmware, that's OK.

"Firmware" is software embedded inside a chip rather than recorded on a disk. Your computer has a small firmware program in its ROMs; this firmware is responsible for running the computer's self-test, scanning for hard drives and other devices, and then loading the boot program from a hard drive and booting the computer.

From time to time, Apple releases updates for the firmware program in your computer. The computer is capable of changing this firmware program, though you may rarely or never need to do this.

Now, an evildoer could completely destroy your computer beyond repair by writing a program that erased the firmware in your computer, which would render it totally unable to boot or operate. To prevent people from doing this, Apple came up with an ingenious idea--the computer never allows anything to change its firmware unless you specifically say that it's OK.l When you start the computer, if you hold down the Eject key (or the Programmer switch on some computers), the computer lets out a long tone; that means "Until the next time this computer is restarted, it is now OK for a program to change the computer's firmware." If you install an Apple firmware update, you hold down the Eject key when you restart, then the firmware update does its thing, then you restart again.

You did this accidentally, but nothing changed; you did not run any programs that tried to change the computer's firmware, so it's no big deal. The next time you restarted the computer, the ability to write to the firmware was turned off again.

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Message #6 - Posted 2006/03/16 - Merlin

tacit wrote:

Previously, Merlin wrote:

I have a list of startup key combinations but this one isn't on it. Given the long tone and the flashing "sleep" lamp I'm concerned I may have done something undesirable!

Nope, not at all. You simply told the computer that if a program tries to change the computer's firmware, that's OK.

"Firmware" is software embedded inside a chip rather than recorded on a disk. Your computer has a small firmware program in its ROMs; this firmware is responsible for running the computer's self-test, scanning for hard drives and other devices, and then loading the boot program from a hard drive and booting the computer.

From time to time, Apple releases updates for the firmware program in your computer. The computer is capable of changing this firmware program, though you may rarely or never need to do this.

Now, an evildoer could completely destroy your computer beyond repair by writing a program that erased the firmware in your computer, which would render it totally unable to boot or operate. To prevent people from doing this, Apple came up with an ingenious idea--the computer never allows anything to change its firmware unless you specifically say that it's OK.l When you start the computer, if you hold down the Eject key (or the Programmer switch on some computers), the computer lets out a long tone; that means "Until the next time this computer is restarted, it is now OK for a program to change the computer's firmware." If you install an Apple firmware update, you hold down the Eject key when you restart, then the firmware update does its thing, then you restart again.

You did this accidentally, but nothing changed; you did not run any programs that tried to change the computer's firmware, so it's no big deal. The next time you restarted the computer, the ability to write to the firmware was turned off again.

Thank you Tacit, that's a great explanation. It will be added to my list of things you can do at start up. It's strange that there are still some of these which are relatively unknown, you would have thought there would be a repository for this sort of stuff and / or a list on the Apple web site, but it all seems to be distributed in the places where the key combination is required (in this case firmware updates!).

Many thanks

Merl

Message #7 - Posted 2006/03/16 - Steve Hix

Previously, Merlin wrote:

I just started my PowerBook G4 (10.3.9) and held the CD eject button down - silly me, I thought this would eject the CD which was in the slot. It didn''t. Instead I heard a long tone, the "sleep" lamp flashed several times, and then the machine started up - apparently as normal.

I have looked in a number of places to find out what the key combination does with no success, can anyone help me find out please?

Hold down the mouse/trackpad button during start up.

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