machead3 - not sure whether I thanked you properly for your earlier help - was all very useful. I have some updates so am putting it here, rather than a new question. The trick with the T key held down worked - I simply needed to hold it down longer when the Firewire was on. So I could move files over to the new computer alright. Also took the sick computer to an authorized mac repair shop and they diagnosed the problem as the Inverter. Alas, Apple no longer makes inverters for this computer (PowerBookPro G4) so now I am in the market searching for a part. I think I can find someone to help install it (for a price) but need some suggestions as to where to go for the part that's reliable. I was able to find the serial number also in the battery case and can provide that. Any advise as to where to find an inverter, how much it costs and who may be able to help (I live in the Audtin, Tx area). Thanks again for all the hints and support.