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2009 Mac mini-"partial boots, then hangs"
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Jedi Knight
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2009 Mac mini 2GH Core 2 Duo purchased as refurb from Apple Mar 4, 2010. Used as entertainment Ctr with Sharp 52" Aquius LCD. Added memory to "max" in 2010 from OWC.Used to access internet; Hulu+ and Netflex. Added APC brand UPS Back Ups Pro in 2012. Time Machine back ups were on a 3 TB Hatachi, networked to backup a 24" iMac too.A glitch in Apple software(computer name# kept changing) kept canceling out back ups. Never resolved this issue. Internal DVD became unreliable- used an OTC external via USB2.OS was Mountain Lion.
I tried using the original "restore disk" on startup, holding down the D key as instructed- the OS seemed to load a bit further, then stopped. I powered and removed the disk. I put the original instal disk in the DVD drive, powered up the iMac-both seemed to power up, I saw an apple logo again, with a spinning symbol below it...then it stopped.I powered down, removed the DVD, and plugged in a Gdrive mini with a SSD containing a fully operating OS 10.9 system. The Gdrive powered up first, then I powered up the Mini, again getting the Apple logo, with an indication of something spinning under it- then it stopped. So, what do I do next to diagnose what is wrong with the mini? Any advice on what I can do diagnostically would be appreciated. It just seems like it loads part of the OS, but you never see the white screen "blink" or change tone as you'd normally see part way thru the boot process. Oh yes, I've tried the "Safe Boot" process too. The fact that I get an Apple logo- does this mean my drive is OK? Thanks for any help you can offer, and forgive the long post. Paul
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Commerce Township | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Dave
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Since the Original Restore disks would be 10.6 at best... are you still on 10.6 currently?

If you have upgraded the OS, you don't need that startup disk. Have you tried starting up the Mini while holding "Command + R" keys???

Using the external G-Drive, you should be able to hold down Option while powering on the Mini and you should see both your internal HD and the G-Drive on the screen. If you don't, then my thought would be a bad internal HD in the Mini.

Give my suggestions a try and let us know how it works out.


Dave McGuire
President - MacGroup Detroit

"What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?"
 
Posts: 2106 | Location: Orion Twp, Michigan | Registered: July 25, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
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When I power up the mini I get an Apple logo, which to me indicates it has "found" a viable OS. It was running Mountain Lion. The issue is it never completely loads. I had read your previous mini post and tried the Command + R. Same result- an apple logo with a frozen perogress wheel below it. When I try a "safe boot" I see the progress bar go about 1/3 way across the screen,then the bar disappears and a frozen loading symbol appears. So, a bad HD is your educated guess?
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Commerce Township | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
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Your Option =G drive suggestion worked. I have the G drive, OS9 Recovery both on screen. Will Try Recovery first, knowing I can access the G if necessary. Thanks. Now I can at least run diagnostics.
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Commerce Township | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
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Hi Dave. Progress report: Ran the OS9 Recovery-it locked up after running a while. Switched to the G drive- same result. Then tried G drive in "safe boot" - seemed to run longer, got the screen to go black, come white again, continue loading- then it stopped. One observation- the load rate seemed slow for a SSD in a FW800 configured enclosure. I'm thinking my next step is to remove and clean contacts on computer RAM. If no improvement I can go back to the original Apple RAM and try that too? Any other ideas? Given the same behavior on my known good drive as on the internal I wonder if the problem is something other than the internal drive? Unit has never been dropped, no water spills, etc. Either on APC Surge protector or APC UPS it's entire time in my use.
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Commerce Township | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
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I doubt if this is relevant, but a month ago we had to change over from AT&T 6MB DSL to AT&T Uverse Internet(12MB). The modem passes a DCHP signal thru to our Apple Airport Extreme(N)located at the other end of our home. The mini is connected via ethernet cable strung thru our basement. The install was supervised by James Cutler, as was the set up of our home Network.We have 2 iMacs wired into the same system. It also services two iPhones and 2 iPads via wireless.
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Commerce Township | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of James R. Cutler
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Paul,

All your diagnostic results point to a hardware problem. By swapping the memory, you can determine if the third-party memory is the problem. The remaining possible problem sources would include a logic board failure, an internal drive failure that interferes with any startup (perhaps by never completing the boot time hfsck test), or some problem with the power brick. Also, you could try using USB for connecting an external drive.
 
Posts: 1966 | Registered: January 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
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Brian Stone invited me to bring the mini to his home for a look see. Plugged it in, turned it on and it booted! His friend Brian had a copy of Drive Genius 4 and ran it- the internal drive is fine. He then cracked open the case and suggested it needs a good cleaning, as it is dusty. That might explain why I lost sound? That is as far as I've gotten, but this is a lot of progress since not being able to boot at all this morning.A work in progress.
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Commerce Township | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Dave
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Glad to hear your progress...

My first thought is HD, followed by memory then logic board. Sound loss would be either an unplugged cable or bad logic board. Dusty insides usually cause a heat buildup that brings about early HD failure.

Since the HD checked out, I would suspect reseating the RAM. The car ride over may have been enough to wiggle it back enough to boot again.

Because of the age of this Mini, I cannot recommend spending the money to fix it if it needs a logic board. In Apple's eyes it is Vintage and parts are no longer available. You have more than gotten your moneys worth out of it by now. Do what you did originally and pick up another refurb unit from Apple.


Dave McGuire
President - MacGroup Detroit

"What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?"
 
Posts: 2106 | Location: Orion Twp, Michigan | Registered: July 25, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
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The mini is home, plugged back in and everything is working except the Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard and Trackpad (both Apple). The strange thing is the "Caps Lock" light on the keyboard doesn't light up? Removed the rechargeable batteries and replaced with Alkalines- no difference. Removed batteries overnight- no difference. Won't accept either device as new either. Could the "glitch" that prevented the OS from loading caused corruption in the remote Bluetooth devices? Very strange that these two items would fail at the same time the OS wouldn't load in the mini, yes?
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Commerce Township | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Poobah
Picture of Dave
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Paul,

You may need to unpair and then pair up both the keyboard and mouse to determine if this the Mini causing the problem. Since it was opened, there is a possibility that a cable was unplugged.


Dave McGuire
President - MacGroup Detroit

"What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?"
 
Posts: 2106 | Location: Orion Twp, Michigan | Registered: July 25, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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