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Some tips that would have saved me half an hour of troubleshooting tonight…

If you are trying to start Mac OS X and it hangs with a black screen instead of the happy Mac, the OS X kernel may be panicking before BootX can initialize the video settings. If you start up in Open Firmware first (command-option-o-f), then type 'mac-boot', OF will initialize video first, and you should be able to read the panic message displayed on top of the happy Mac screen.

Don't forget to unplug external devices if you're having startup problems. Mine turned out to be an external FireWire drive which needed some repair because I had unplugged it from my TiBook without unmounting it first. The panic message included IOFireWireFamily, which was an obvious clue.

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