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The Bootcamp that wouldn't die


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#1 Bootchump

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 12:02 PM

Hey, Battle Cat here.  I'm trapped in a Bootcamp that won't give me OSX Yosemite back.  I need to get back to my Mac admin account before all the people I've agonized here give me a blanket party with baseball bats!

Here is how it went down.  Bootchamp was reporting an error when I tried to start Windows from it.  I tried to reinstall it but it reported the same error, some long ass error message that was completely unmemorable.  I mean LONG ass, it started at the Bootchamp doohicky in the menu bar and went almost to the bottom of the screen.  So I went into the system utility to change startup disks to the Bootcamp disk and restarted.  I mean, hell it would always start into OSX when I Bootchamped into Windows then did a restart from Windows.

No such luck.  It keeps, for the first time, rebooting back into Windows.  I've tried the option key on startup but it just hangs there with a black screen and no startup chime.  I left a coffee mug on the option key like I do with Dirty Harry's Agonizer button and wandered off to do stuff for awhile, came back half an hour later and it was still sitting there with a dark screen.  If I give the power button a light tap the power light goes out and it is in off mode.  I've used this method before but if I recall, I had the same problem the last time.

That leaves me with two options that I know of, choose a startup disk from Windows 10, or yank the Bootcamp disk out of my CPU box.  The second will work I'm sure, but I would much rather choose a startup disk from Windows.

A Get Out of Agonizing Free card for the person to help me resolve this.

#2 Frost

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 06:57 PM

This is what happens when you agonize your moderators and two of them are ACMTs. Sic semper tyrannis!


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#3 Bootchump

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Posted 21 May 2016 - 08:31 PM

Pathetic non-nerd response:  What is a recovery partition?  I have a Tech Tool partition on my main drive that I boot into to run tests and do disk repairs, I can't access it from here.  Do you mean reboot while holding Cmd-R?  I never heard of that one but I never knew all the startup keys.  Pretty much Shift and Option or Return reboots do it all for me.  Don't even know if Return works anymore.  So are you telling me to reboot while holding Cmd-R?

And why the hell isn't my option key working?  I guess I can figure that out after I get Bootchamp figured out after I get getting back figured out.  Meanwhile all this stupid computer can do is to play fraking awesome games all day long.  Oh the pain.

#4 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 12:11 AM

Hold down X when booting, that forces the machine to boot into an OSX partion.

Regarding the option key, then yes, it should work no matter what. You didnt hold down command?
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#5 Bootchump

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 01:20 AM

I was all prepared to give you a big Bugs Bunny kiss on the lips but both of those startup keys take me right back into Windows.  So you win, I lose.  BTW, we will forget this conversation and never mention it again.  Oh... ::waves hand like a Jedi::

#6 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 02:17 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 22 May 2016 - 12:11 AM, said:

Regarding the option key, then yes, it should work no matter what. You didnt hold down command?

Yes it always work, or there's something terribly wrong with the Mac's EFI. It's also labelled "alt". Hold it right after power up (or reboot), until you see the grey screen with startup volumes.

#7 Bootchump

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 04:32 AM

I have two keyboards, a typing keyboard and a gaming keyboard.  The gaming keyboard has an "Alt" key, it does the same as the option key, hangs on a black screen after a startup chime.  What is an EFI and how do I fix it.  Or did my ex-wife send you?

#8 Janichsan

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 05:02 AM

View PostBootchump, on 21 May 2016 - 08:31 PM, said:

What is a recovery partition?
It's a small dedicated partition for… well… system recovery. Apple introduced it when they switched to download-only distribution of their operating systems, and it can be used to repair or re-install the OS installation. You should be able to see it among the options when starting up your Mac while holding down "alt" – if that would work for you…

View PostBootchump, on 22 May 2016 - 04:32 AM, said:

I have two keyboards, a typing keyboard and a gaming keyboard.  The gaming keyboard has an "Alt" key, it does the same as the option key, hangs on a black screen after a startup chime.  What is an EFI and how do I fix it.  Or did my ex-wife send you?
EFI is the modern equivalent of the old PC's BIOS or PPC Mac's Open Firmware. I don't think Apple offers a way to access the EFI.

Regarding the keyboards: are those Mac specific keyboards or Windows ones? If I recall correctly, in the latter case, it could (rarely) happen that the modifier keys behave differently on start-up than they should. Then usually the "alt" and the Windows keys are swapped.

I have also found that plugging in the keyboard in a different USB port could make a difference.

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#9 mattw

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 08:49 AM

If problems persist definitely use a Apple Keyboard and connect it to a USB port directly on the Mac, as long as you have a GPU with Mac EFI (i.e not a PC ROM only card in a Mac Pro) then you should see the boot disk selector when holding down alt.

If not then there is likely a hardware issue so grab a known good bootable disk and remove anything else to test booting from that.
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#10 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 09:34 AM

View PostBootchump, on 21 May 2016 - 12:02 PM, said:

Hey, Battle Cat here.

/snip Yet another tragic winders story of pain and suffering...

I left a coffee mug on the option key like I do with Dirty Harry's Agonizer button and wandered off to do stuff for awhile....

Instant Karma's Gonna Get You! In fact, it seems it did!

We're so sorry, Uncle Battlecat
We're so sorry if winders caused you any pain
We're so sorry, Uncle Battlecat
But if any ideas come up we'll be sure to give a ring....
Yeah, yeah... yeah, yeah...

We're so sorry, Uncle Battlecat
But we haven't played that bloody Borderlands all day
We're so sorry, Uncle Battlecat
But Ultima IV for iOS just installed and we're so easily called away...
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

#11 macdude22

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 11:03 AM

Did you reset PRAM(NVRAM)? This can resolve some issues with startup disk selection. I will note I have occasionally had similar issues to the kat where my Mac Pro does not appear to respond to option boot correctly and gets stuck at a grey screen.
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#12 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 02:52 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 22 May 2016 - 05:02 AM, said:

Regarding the keyboards: are those Mac specific keyboards or Windows ones? If I recall correctly, in the latter case, it could (rarely) happen that the modifier keys behave differently on start-up than they should. Then usually the "alt" and the Windows keys are swapped.

Good point. On PC keyboards, alt is physically located where command is on Mac keyboards (just left of the space bar), and the Windows key is where option is on Mac keyboards. So with PC keyboards used on OS X, without drivers or key remapping, these keys are swapped compared to the Mac keyboard behaviour. That's the case here at startup, so if you press the key labelled alt, even though it's where the command key would be on a Mac keyboard, it will still send the alt/option code to the computer.
Caution if the keyboard is wireless: I had an old Logitech one which required to stop pressing and quickly press again for the key to keep registering; basically, a keypress couldn't last more than a few seconds (only at startup, when the driver wasn't loaded yet).

View Postmacdude22, on 22 May 2016 - 11:03 AM, said:

Did you reset PRAM(NVRAM)? This can resolve some issues with startup disk selection. I will note I have occasionally had similar issues to the kat where my Mac Pro does not appear to respond to option boot correctly and gets stuck at a grey screen.

Mine too sometimes freezes on the grey screen, but fortunately that's not frequent.

#13 Bootchump

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 03:02 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 22 May 2016 - 05:02 AM, said:

Regarding the keyboards: are those Mac specific keyboards or Windows ones? If I recall correctly, in the latter case, it could (rarely) happen that the modifier keys behave differently on start-up than they should. Then usually the "alt" and the Windows keys are swapped.

I have also found that plugging in the keyboard in a different USB port could make a difference.

Both.  The gaming Keyboard, a Wolf King Warrior, was created for Windows but works great on a Mac and one of those nice flat white little keyboards that Apple bundled with a new computer.

Switching the USB plug from the back to the front made no difference, I got a startup chime and then an endless hang on a black screen.

View Postmattw, on 22 May 2016 - 08:49 AM, said:

If problems persist definitely use a Apple Keyboard and connect it to a USB port directly on the Mac, as long as you have a GPU with Mac EFI (i.e not a PC ROM only card in a Mac Pro) then you should see the boot disk selector when holding down alt.

If not then there is likely a hardware issue so grab a known good bootable disk and remove anything else to test booting from that.

Check: Apple keyboard connected directly on my Mac both front and back USB ports, a hang after a chime.

I have no bootable disk other than the hard disks which I have no way of booting to. My last option is to open my CPU box and remove the Bootcamp drive leaving 3 bootable hard disks to automatically start up from.

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 22 May 2016 - 09:34 AM, said:

Instant Karma's Gonna Get You! In fact, it seems it did!

We're so sorry, Uncle Battlecat
We're so sorry if winders caused you any pain
We're so sorry, Uncle Battlecat
But if any ideas come up we'll be sure to give a ring....
Yeah, yeah... yeah, yeah...

We're so sorry, Uncle Battlecat
But we haven't played that bloody Borderlands all day
We're so sorry, Uncle Battlecat
But Ultima IV for iOS just installed and we're so easily called away...

I think I'll have something special cooked up for you by the time I get back, my little dumpling.  I've been wondering if it's possible for the Tantalus device to just take a bite out of someone instead of sending them to the cornfield.  I think I found my crash test lab rat.  I'll put a little aluminum helmet on you first so it looks scientific.

View Postmacdude22, on 22 May 2016 - 11:03 AM, said:

Did you reset PRAM(NVRAM)? This can resolve some issues with startup disk selection. I will note I have occasionally had similar issues to the kat where my Mac Pro does not appear to respond to option boot correctly and gets stuck at a grey screen.

I forget how to reset the PRAM.  Would you please refresh my memory?  I have hopes that this solution is directed at the root of the problem as it sounds to me like there is some internal logic board befuddlement going on in my Mac.

#14 macdude22

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 03:28 PM

https://support.appl.../en-us/HT204063

I will say when my boot business got messed up like this I ended up pulling the Windows drive, it only could boot to the OS X drive, and it all settled out.

I am not sure what the deal is with these cheese graters but ours are not the only ones I've seen have issues with option boot sometimes.
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#15 the Battle Cat

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 04:28 PM

It worked well enough for me to come up on my nightly backup disk.  From there I set the startup disk and booted onto my main drive.  It was a long ghastly boot too let me tell you, I had to go off and do something.  I haven't tested to see if my Option key on startup works again.  It's good to have my cornpooter back.  Here is your Get Out of Agonizing Free card.  Not good on Weekends and holidays.  Thanks and a tip O the Battle Cat hat!

And you Dirty Hairy...  oh hoo hoo hoo I've got something cooked up for you.  I wore a chef hat and everything so it's official.  How high can you sing the alphabet song?  Never mind, moot question.  Be finding out soon enough with science as my ally.
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#16 the Battle Cat

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 04:50 PM

And an "Option" key reboot has improved somewhat, it hangs on a gray screen instead of a black screen.  You say our model Macs tend to have this problem?  Any fixes?  I'd like to have this important feature back.
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#17 Bootchump

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 04:51 PM

POST COUNT +++!!!

#18 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 11:45 PM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on 22 May 2016 - 04:50 PM, said:

And an "Option" key reboot has improved somewhat, it hangs on a gray screen instead of a black screen.  You say our model Macs tend to have this problem?  Any fixes?  I'd like to have this important feature back.

Other than try again, nope. Well, it seems my Mac Pro has less issues now that I've cleaned up my boot drives: I used to have 5 or 6 bootable partitions (10.6, 10.7 or 8, 10.9, 10.10 or 10.11, Windows XP, Windows 7), and I reduced to 3 (10.6, 10.11, Windows 10) and remade my bootcamp partition in the process. So if you have a plethora of boot drives, it may be time to destroy some.

#19 Frost

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Posted 22 May 2016 - 11:59 PM

I think this would be a good time to open up Disk Utility and run those disk checks and permissions repairs on your Mac OS drive. Make sure everything is a-okay in that department. You really should not have had anything like that problem in the first place, so that's why that worries me.
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#20 mattw

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 05:49 AM

If there is a disk on the way out you can get these freezes, i.e it is trying to recognise it.

Can anyone lone or make a USB flash drive to boot from or do you have a compatible older OS on DVD?
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