Hi all. New to the forums, but learning a bit about my laptop.

First things first, it's a Powerbook g4 Aluminum, 12 inch 1 ghz. I think it's the DVI model but Im not sure.

Well a while back I had the whole thing apart to replace the screen. The only scary thing that happened during that process (which I really would rather never repeat again), is that the "pips" that hold the spring loaded heat sink screws onto the logic board, became unattatched. I got one back in, ok, and the other one I sort of jury rigged with a sheet metal screw. I couldn't tell if the pips shouldv'e been soldered to the logic board or not.

So I knew this thing wasn't going to be perfect, but I have no idea if it explains my current out-of-control problems.

So I got it all back together, and it worked fine.. I decided to upgrade the Panther system to Leopard (I didn't have Tiger install DVD's).

It worked OK, but it was a bit slow, and too much for the computer. And I was having some sleep issues. mainly if you wanted it to go to sleep, you'd have to unplug it and close the lid. If you kept it plugged in It would keep waking itself up, and the DVD drive would keep making that annoying ejecting noise. Irritating, but I'd be happy to have that back compared to now.

So I thought the reasonable solution would be to zap the pram, or go into open firmware and do the reset-all, reset-nvram. But no keyboard boot keystrokes would work. It would ignore them entirely.. Once the desktop appeared, it would make that keyboard beeping noise like your cat was sitting on the keyboard. Testing in various apps proved that all those keys worked..

So I decided that maybe I should just boot from the OSX system DVD and run disk utility, or something- anything. Well, the only DVD it liked was the Leopard DVD, and it didn't seem to care if I held down "c" or not. It would indeed recognize it. I wouldn't recognize and boot from the Panther DVD that it came with new (that says powerbook g4 12 inch on it). And actually, it DID recognize and boot from a Powerbook 15 and 17 inch DVD that had hardware test on it.. But I'll get to that in a minute.

I ran Disk utility and it could not repair the drive. It somehow unmounted it and for a while couldn't even find it. The errors were all like "keys out of order". I don't recall. I tried to do everything but a total erase, but I might've done that in the process.

But getting back to Hardware test, I ran that, certain that it would tell me that my logic board was the culprit, since you know, I have a sheet metal screw holding down the spring loaded heat sink.. Well, according to hardware test, EVERYTHING is totally fine.. I ran the quick test, and the long test. No issues.

But with the drive (that worked fine before I ran Disk Utility!) now dead and unrecognized, I didn't have anything to install Panther, or anything on (keep in mind that the only install DVD it likes is tha Panther one, not the one that came with it, as for any other DVD, it ignores the "c" key being held down, and goes straight to the broken hard drive. It's just grey screen and ticker going a round and round and round forever.)
So at this point, I wasn't quite sure what to do. I didn't have a firewire drive to boot from, so I was poking around on the Leopard DVD looking for some other way to boot this thing.. Well, there was this thing called "Network Startup disk" or something like that.. Not knowing what that meant, and out of options (and I had it connected to a few other macs, I thought, hey, maybe that'll work), I tried that

So now, I get the flashing globe for a while, then it goes straight to finding/failing to do anything with the hard drive. No boot key commands work (though I did hold down option/command/n/v and get a crap load of text..), so I cant force it to boot from the DVD, and it won't even find the panther DVD anymore (which it always found).

So pram zap doesn't work
open firmware doesn't open
safe mode, or anything involving holding any boot keystroke down makes no difference, it just goes to "flashing globe", then ticker going round and round. It won't find the Leopard DVD at all, or the Hardware Test one that it liked before either.

The irony is that a few hours later I did scrape up a firewire drive, and I was able to succesfully make a bootable firewire drive from my other laptop (powebook g4 17), that that was using the panther dvd that came with the 12 inch. But it won't boot up the broken powerbook because like all other boot keystrokes, it seems to ignore the fact that I'm holding down "T". if i hadnt ever told it to look for a network startup, I'd probably be able to have told it to boot off the FW drive by now...

I can't get it past the determined idea it has in it's head that it's gotta find a network startup disk, and then try to boot off the HD that's in the machine. I'm convinced that I can still salvage some data off it. If only I could boot from the firewire, or even the leopard DVD (and then tell it to book off the firewire drive)

And Hardware Test said everything was ok.. I really don't want to take this thing apart, and dare not do something like put the drive from the 17 into this one.

Someone said that they thought it was a virus that would make the boot key commands not work.. And yes, I have tried all this with an external USB keyboard too.

Any suggestions?

Other things I have tried- holding down the power key for 5 seconds while starting it up. I don't recall offhand what that was supposed to do, but It didnt do much of anything

Here's what the white on black text tells me when i try to start by holding down option/command/n/v

Darwin Kernet Version 9.0.0 tues oct 9 21:37:58 PDT 2007; root:xnu-1228-1/RELEASE_PPC
standard timeslicing quantum is 10000 us
vm_page_bootstrap:189206 free pages and 7402 wired pages
mig_table_max_displ = 79
replacing extension "com.apple.driver.AppleUSBComposite" with newer version (2.1.4 ->3.0.0).
Loading security extension com.apple.security.TMSafetyNet
calling mpo_policy_init for .TMSSafetyNet
Security policy loaded: Safety Net for Time Machine (time Machine (TMSafetyNet)
Loading security extension com.apple.nke.applicationfirewall
Loading security extension com.apple.security.seatbelt
calling mpo_policy_init for mb
Seatbelt MACF policy initialized
Secutiry Policy loaded: Seatbelt Policy (mb)
Copyright (c) 1982, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993
The Regents of the University of califormia. All rights reserved

Mac Framework successfully initialized
using 3932 buffer headers and 3932 cluster IO buffer headers
Extension "com.apple.driver.ApplePMU" has immediate dependencies on both com.apple.kernel and com.apple.kpi components; use only one style.
Firewire (OHCI) Apple ID 31 built-in now active, GUID 000a95fffeeedf9e; max speed s400.
Security auditing service present
BSM auditing present
rooting via boo-uuid from/chosen: 2C882FE7-99E2-307C-A0B0-BECCB4D0B6A0
Waiting on <dict ID="0"><key>IOProviderClass</key><string ID="1">IOResources</string><key>IOResourceMatch</key?<string ID="2">bot-uuid-media</string></dict>
ADB present:8c
Got boot device = IO service:/MacRISC2PE/pci@f4000000

etc.. dang.. not having the ability to cut and paste really stinks..

etc.. WTF?

Oh, hey, while I was painstakingly writing this down, it's doing something. Its spewing out a bunch of code..


I'm seeing my desktop image, and well, it's sort of working. At the very least not only is my HD there, so is the DVD and the firewire drive. (time to back up, i think)

Well, I'm still posting this, would love to know what the heck just happened, and how I can get my boot key commands back...