I do not own a Mac (yet) but I do administrate some at work and have used this list a number of times. Macs dont have a bios per se but they do have keyboard shortcuts that can kick off various functions during boot. Ive used the T one to boot from an ipod once (I had to install Tiger on a machine that didnt have a DVD drive).
Ive found two lists, one for Mac and one for Mac Intel machines.
- X during startup – Force Mac OS X startup
- option – (eventually) brings up a screen with startup volume choices
- Option-Command-Shift-Delete – Bypass primary startup volume and seek a different startup volume (such as a CD or external disk)
- C – Start up from a CD that has a system folder
- N – Attempt to start up from a compatible network server (NetBoot)
- T – Start up in FireWire Target Disk mode (very handy for plugging your Mac into another as an external hard drive)
- Shift – start up in Safe Boot mode and temporarily disable login items and non-essential kernel extension files (Mac OS X 10.2 and later)
- Command-V – Start up in Verbose mode.
- Command-S – Start up in Single-User mode
- cmd-opt-p-r – Zap PRAM. Hold down until second chime.
- cmd-opt-n-v – Clear NV RAM. Similar to reset-all in Open Firmware.
- cmd-opt-o-f – Boot into open firmware
- hold mouse click – force eject a CD/DVD
- This site is also useful for other tech-type questions.
Mac Intel [credit]
- Press C during startup Start up from a bootable CD or DVD, such as the Mac OS X Install disc that came with the computer.
- Press D during startup Start up in Apple Hardware Test (AHT), if the Install DVD 1 is in the computer.
- Press Option-Command-P-R until you hear two beeps. Reset NVRAM
- Press Option during startup Starts into Startup Manager, where you can select a Mac OS X volume to start from. Note: Press N to make the the first bootable Network volume appear as well.
- Press Eject, F12, or hold the mouse button Ejects any removable media, such as an optical disc.
- Press N during startup Attempt to start up from a compatible network server (NetBoot).
- Press T during startup Start up in FireWire Target Disk mode.
- Press Shift during startup Start up in Safe Boot mode and temporarily disable login items.
- Press Command-V during startup Start up in Verbose mode.
- Press Command-S during startup Start up in Single-User mode.
- Press Option-N during startup Start from a NetBoot server using the default boot image.
Tim Williams has been a freelance writer for years, and now also writes for everythingtech.tv. He likes to write about topics such as Web browsers for computers and mobile devices.