Cannot install Snow Leopard on 2009 Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by California, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Leopard 10.5.8 runs fine on this 2.26ghz Mac Mini.

    BUT every time I try to install Snow Leopard, with about ten minutes left in the installation process, I get a kernel panic.

    The only thing I can think of that is doing this is either

    1. I am driving a 30" Cinema Display through a mini dvi to dvi adapter on the Mini -- reducing resolution but still running it fine

    (I do this with my 12" Powerbook 1.5ghz as well, doing it now as a matter of fact. It makes the picture huge but fine for me at moment)

    2. 3rd Party Ram bought at Fry's Patriot 2 x 2GBs ... but passed hardware tests and no problems in 10.5.8.

    3. I have not done all the imovie/garageband/idvd/remote desktop/itunes 9 updates in Leopard. I have done all the other updates to 10.5.8 and don't use these apps, so can't see how this is affecting a Snow Leopard update.

    Any thoughts? It quits and kernel panics during the Snow Leopard update.

    It was kernel panicking in Leopard, too, when using iPhoto a few weeks ago.

    Wondering if it is something to do with the Mini Dvi to Dvi adapter (not dual link) to 30" Cinema Display?
  2. almac68 macrumors member


    Oct 8, 2009
    My guess is its the ram giving you issue. Try taking out the suspicious ram or replace with the original ram the mac came in and see what happened. Doubt very much the DVI to LCD has anything to do with it.
  3. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Might be the RAM. Could you boot the mini in Firewire target disk mode and install Snow Leopard from the Powerbook?
  4. California thread starter macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    That's interesting but not sure how it will interact with a PowerPC machine.

    I'm booting the now unbootable Mini through the Powerbook's hard drive right now. When the Snow Leopard install fails, it screws up the underlying Leopard OS, forcing me to have to re install Leopard and then Snow Leopard after that. Already taken two days out of my life.

    Doing it the other way around, booting the Mini through the Powerbook, not sure if it will work at all with Snow Leopard.
  5. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    I'm not sure that I follow your explanation, but you're probably right, Target Disk mode probably wouldn't work from a PowerPC since Snow Leopard only runs on Intel Macs.

    Okay, next idea. My understanding is that kernel panics are usually hardware based, so, do you have any un-necessary peripherals attached during the upgrade? If so, maybe you could try disconnecting them.

    Have you tried verifying/repairing the disk with disk utility? Have you tried repairing permissions? I'd do both before attempting the upgrade.
  6. California thread starter macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    I need to take it into apple certified tech place.

    If it is the 30" Cinema Display, they will figure it out, if not, and it's the ram, I don't want to take apart the machine one more time.

    Know I'll have to get the dual link dvi to mini display adapter one of these days. As I am not a designer or artist, I'm just groovy with the mini dvi to dvi link up at moment.

    Apple wanted me to make sure I had done all the updates, forgot to mention that. I did not do all the 10.5.8 updates, but only the important ones for me. Just did not want to waste hard drive space on garageband which I never use.

    I'll let you know. Mad at wasted time on numerous installs.

    P.S. Just realized what it might be... the Mac Mini EFI memory firmware update. I think I'll try one more time to reinstall the whole Leopard/Snow Leopard process, but I'll do the updates off Apple's site.
  7. California thread starter macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    It's got to be the ram. Funny it performs fine when booted into my Powerbook, but I called Patriot memory yesterday.

    They said that all Apple certified ram by Patriot ends in an "N" or an "A".

    Mine had neither. Thanks, Fry's.

    Setting up an RMA replacement,then will try for an "A" set of ram from them.
  8. HellDiverUK macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Belfast, UK
    I'd go RAM as well. The OP's other two suggestions make no sense.

    I run my Mini on a 23" hi-res monitor and had no issues, and didn't have any of the junkware installed either (and still don't).

    Mine's upgraded using Crucial RAM.

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