Mac Boot Experts Required: Help me save my firstborn Mac!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by speg, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. speg macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2006
    It's been nearly six years since that fateful day in January 2005, when Steve unveiled the $499 Mac Mini and I promptly bought my first Mac.

    Flash forward to a few days ago, and the hard drive started making some awful noises hard drives should not be making. It was six years, my first real drive failure. It was time.

    So I ordered a replacement drive and it arrived today, however I am having some difficulties.

    The new drive is installed and there is a OS X 10.5 *retail* dvd in the optical drive, but I can't boot into the installer.

    • holding 'C' on boot does nothing - after a grey screen I eventually reach the flashing ? mark / Finder folder
    • holding 'T' on boot does nothing - a black screen and then the computer shuts off
    • holding mouse/buttons or F12 to eject disk does nothing
    • holding Option+Command+P+R DOES reboot the computer and (I assume) reset the PRAM
    • holding Option DOES get me to an (empty?) boot screen. All that is displayed is a refresh button and a right arrow button
    • Holding Option+Command+O+F gets me into open firmware where I have no clue what to do. I did reset-nvram reset-all in here and it said "ok" as if it worked. "eject cd" did NOT work from here.
    • Command V on boot does nothing.

    So I'm running out of ideas on what to do next... I don't understand why some of my boot keys don't seem to be working. I thought maybe it was because of Open Firmware, but I can get into OF just fine.. and the boot screen when holding option on boot loads (empty) and does NOT have a lock/password field.

    So am starting to suspect something might be up with optical drive too. Coincidence they both stop working at the same time? My backup plan was to boot into target disk mode, but that isn't working either :(

    Any ideas?
  2. tehpwnerer1918 macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2010
    If I were you I would take it back apart and make sure that I connected everything snug on both the drive end and the motherboard end. It sounds like perhaps you might not have as it should recognize the both of them if they were installed correctly, especially with a brand new hard drive. Once they are installed correctly hold OPTION while booting and select the CD. That is where I would recommend starting.
  3. speg thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2006
    I do have a question about that... the drives (both old and new) have 24 columns of pins. The connector only has something less than that (19/20?). Now, it's so tight in the case that there's basically only one way for them to line up... but I'd like to know for sure.

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