Help, my mac is half dead

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kirmokin, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. kirmokin macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2011
    Hey. So yesterday my brother delivered my good ol' mac mini to my new crib in a different city, and in the first hour I manage to accidentally unplug the plug to the .. multi-plug bus thing, which my mac mini was connected to.

    Note my mac was turned on when this happened, and seemed to be working as normal. When I started it up again however, it was stuck on the grey loading screen with the spinning animation.

    A few restarts later and instead of seeing the apple logo there was a folder icon with a questionmark on it. This only lasted a few seconds before the apple logo appeared though. Safe mode didn't seem to do much, the progress bar was completely empty, even after 10 minutes. I reset the PRAM and still no go.

    Borrowing a friend's laptop and using a firewire to firewire cable, I used disk utility to try to repair my harddisks permissions, it would run for a little bit before stopping and showing some kind of error stating that the operation couldn't be completed. When that happened, another copy of my harddrive appeared (there were now 2 showing), and when I tried repairing that one it also stopper mid operation, and also creating another copy of my harddrive in the list.

    I spent the next half hour attempting to backup stuff onto a harddrive, using the laptop as a medium for this, but I found that whenever I tried doing two transfer operations simultaneously, something happened and I no longer could either transfer files or open any files on my computer. I would have to restart my computer (forcing an ejection cause it just wouldn't eject from the laptop) in order to transfer files again, and I eventually gave up on backibg my stuff up cause my friend was leaving and it was taking too long.

    I did the safe mode startup again and just left my computer for a while. Half an hour later the progress bar was at 50%, amazingly. I had to go to sleep but left the computer on, at whichpoint it was at 70%.

    I woke up this morning and it was still at 70%.. I restarted it in normal mode this time and left for school. To my surprise when I came home, it had reached the login screen. Halleluja. But upon logging in, my computer spent way longer than usual loading everything.

    My computer is back.. As a slow zombie mac of some sorts. It is ridiculously slow, maybe at 5% of it's normal speed, and I'm afraid of opening more than one application

    I did all the repair permissions in disk utility as soon as I logged in, and although there were many permissions repaired, this didn't seem to help the situation at all. The repair button on the right side is also unclickable, I'm not sure if that's normal or not.

    Activity moniter shows nothing suspicious whatsoever, except for around 58 threads and 300mb ram being used by the kernal thing, but if i remember correctly those are not abnormal numbers.

    So yeah.. My zombie mac mini needs help! Where's a priest when you need one?

    Also some extra info: I'm using 10.6.8, and the sluggishness can be described as the computer stalling and showing the spinning beachball for an excessive amount of time. Using the finder interface and scrolling etc, moves at normal speed.

    Alright thanks guys, whoever read through this entire thing is a champ, it wasn't that easy on my part either having to write it all on my iphone since safari is barely usable on my computer.
  2. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Repair Permissions is a fairly specialised tool that generally does very little.
    You DO want to Repair DISK (on the right hand side). However, as you observed, it's greyed out because you can't repair a disk and run the system from it at the same time. You need to boot to another disk (or use Target mode) and repair the disk from there.
    You can use your 10.6 installer disk and run Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.

    All-in-all, it does sound like your hard drive is dying. Make sure that you HAVE got everything backed up.
  3. MDARFUS macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2007
    Patience is a virtue... especially after an abrupt power outage to a Mac. If you are not patience and don't allow the Mac to "heal" itself on the first re-boot (which can take a very long time), you propably caused more harm by turning it off and on again several time before it was finished.

    I had a similar experience, and ended up using the application Alsoft DiskWarrior to rebuild my startup drive's directory. But you will need to access your drive from another Mac using target disk mode (sounds like you're familiar with that).
  4. kirmokin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2011
    Thanks for some solid advice guys, much appreciated. I'm in the process of backing all my shizzle up, but unfortunately wont have access to the 10.6 disc until a couple of weeks.

    A select few of the files I'm backing up serm to be corrupted or something, cause they just wont transfer onto my harddisk (producing an error that the file cannot be read or written on), despite seeming completely fine when I use them. Also iPhoto just wont start whatsoever. Sometimes the screen turns completely black except for the spinning beachball cursor, before returning to "normal", but a few times it has become stuck in that mode afterwhich I would hold the powerbutton to shut it down.

    If by target disk you mean holding in the T button when booting my computer then yes, I got dat handled, hopefully the repair disk fixes my computer. If not will I need to reformat it or is it just completely ****ed?

    Also do you guys recommend limiting my use of the computer to a minimum until I'm able to repair it, or would it be able to withstand the use just fine?

    Thanks again!
  5. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    Solid advice from all users in this thread.

    You shouldn't have to reformat if you use the repair tool once you get your disk, however a reformat wouldn't hurt.

    Also, to reinforce the advice given here, on any Apple or Windows machine, if the power goes out, they'll go through a repair process on bootup, always let the machine do that.
  6. kirmokin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2011
    Okay so I didn't get to repair my disk, since I had no access to another mac or the 10.6 installation disc. Now my harddrive is apparently failing, with the SMART status showing "failing", and in disk utility text showing:

    "This drive has a problem that can't be repaired. Back up as much of the data as possible and replace the disk. See an authorized apple dealer for more information."

    I've backed my stuff up now so that's no biggie.

    So now, I figured I have two options, either go to an apple store and have them replace it, or order a harddrive and replace it myself. I found this guide which would help me with that process:

    I'd rather do the latter since I'm assuming it would be quite expensive to have it fixed at the apple store (I live in norway).

    I have one concern though, my mac mini has not been able to accept discs (CDs, DVDs etc, they go in and are ejected after 10-30 seconds) for probably 2 years, and I'm worried that this would prevent me from installing an OS X once I do replace the harddisk.

    What do you guys think?
    And again I really appreciate the help

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