When in Doubt – Zap Your PRAM

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Date: Thursday, March 7th, 2002, 01:00
Category: Archive

Last night my TiG4’s internal DVD drive died, or so I thought.

It refused to mount CDs or DVDs, and then it would not eject a disk, including ignoring the F12 button, ignoring a reboot with trackpad button clicked, and ignoring the emergency eject button. I went to various discussion groups and tried all the tricks mentioned, including pushing F12 while the computer was upside down (?!), none of which worked. I figured I’d wait until morning, and have a short call with Apple Technical Support that would result in them shipping me the carton for a hardware repair cycle.

The friendly Apple tech asked me to zap PRAM (hold down cmd-opt-P-R during a cold boot), and I reluctantly agreed… and it worked! Not only that, a few minor stubborn problems have evaporated, the most important of which was that my hierarchical menus in OS 9.2.2 had stopped working. The technician was at a loss to explain why PRAM reset could have restored the functionality of the internal DVD drive, but it is his practise to always try it as a last resort and he has been amazed at the variety of things on which it has worked.

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