Blog /How to p0wn an iBook

February 20, 2009 07:53 +0100  |  Geek Stuff 5

I inherited an old iBook from a coworker a few weeks back and finally got around to trying to install Linux on it. In my many trials however I discovered how to reset the passwords on an existing OSX install (10.3+) and I thought that I should log it here for my own records:

  1. Hold command-S when booting
  2. /sbin/fsck -y
  3. /sbin/mount -uw /
  4. /usr/libexec/register_mach_bootstrap_servers /etc/mach_init.d
  5. cd /var/db/netinfo; netinfod -s local
  6. /sbin/SystemStarter

I'll append to this post as I work my way further through the mac-cruft ;-)


One fun problem I ran into immediately following the boot was that just hitting "enter" at the boot: prompt resulted in a DEFAULT CATCH! code=300 error. Attempting to manually launch the 3 available kernels all failed as well, the first two (labeled G5) dumped the aforementioned error, and the last one (labeled ppc32) just made the screen go blank. So I did what any good geek would do: I trolled the intarwebs for that error message.

Unfortunately most of the information you find on that error pertains to a very old mac problem regarding the size of hard drive partitions and a whole bunch more suggested I upgrade the firmware to make it work. However to do that I'd need to install OS9 (the iBook was running 10.3) just to run the update. That, my friends is Apple "support" :-(

Well downloading a torrent of os9 just to install it for a 20min firmware upgrade seemed a bit crazy, even for me, so I went back to the attempted Gentoo install and lo-and-behold, I had a brainwave: the ppc32 kernel was working, but the video signal (being pushed over a proprietary Apple dongle to my old monitor) was freaking out at the default drivers being used. The following command worked:

boot: ppc32 video=ofonly

And then it was 3am. I shall continue this post later :-)


Lara Dwyer
23 Feb 2009, 6:32 p.m.  | 

Is p0wning a whole separate thing from pwning?

Also, thank you for making me aware of the existence of the word "dongle".

25 Feb 2009, 8:01 p.m.  | 

Heh. I have no idea what the "right" way to spell "p0wn" is. seems to be ok with either, though "pwn" has far more girth to it's page.

Also, you're welcome for your new wordage :-)

26 Feb 2009, 6:15 p.m.  | 

Well I had always assumed it was based on the typo of typing P instead of O when typing the word "own". So "pwn" makes more sense to me .. though "p0wn" gives a better sense of the correct way to pronounce the non-word. Heh.

6 Mar 2009, 9:42 p.m.  | 

Thank you soooooo much for this. I was installing gentoo on an old G4 of mine and had the exact problem you described. I had all but given up when I came across your post. Thank you so much for sharing this information!

13 Mar 2009, 4:22 p.m.  | 

1) "p0wn" is lame. "pwn" FTW. srsly.

2) urban dictionary is a terrible source, as they allow pretty much anything.

3) the 0 in your title looks like an "o" making it thatmuchmore weird.

4) You are pretty.

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