Mac Mini boot stalls randomly at spinning wheel

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by njb2808, May 3, 2015.

  1. njb2808 macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2015

    I have a Mac Mini, early 2010, running Snow Leopard with all updates installed.
    I have a strange problem which I haven't found exactly reproduced anywhere else, hence this post.
    Generally, it runs well, but it sometimes gets into a cycle of doing the following: when I switch on in the morning, it stalls on the boot screen with the Apple logo and the wheel spinning - it just stays like this until I power it off by pressing and holding the power switch. When I start it again, it boots normally.
    It has just started doing this again: I haven't added any new peripherals, or applied any updates. Onyx told me that the start-up disk needed repairing, so I ran Disk Repair and it reported it had corrected the fault. The same pattern showed itself again afterwards though. I've run the hardware test, which says everything is OK; I've tried unplugging all the peripherals and plugging them back in one by one - there is a flaw to this, though, which is that the fault always fixes itself on second boot, so not sure how useful this has been.
    I only have Dropbox and ClamXav sentry in Login items.
    Anyone have any ideas about this?
    Thanks in anticipation
  2. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    Try repairing permissions on Disk Utility. I used to get beach balls when resuming from sleep after installing a SSD on my Mini.
  3. njb2808 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2015
    Thanks for the reply. I've tried that and it doesn't seem to make a difference.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4


    Feb 20, 2009
    Could it be a symptom of bad blocks on the hard drive?

    The spinning beach balls might indicate repeated attempts by the OS to access portions of the drive that are damaged.

    My suggestion:
    1. Clone the contents of the internal drive to an external drive.
    2. Boot from the external clone.
    3. Re-initialize and test the internal drive.
    4. If it tests out ok, "RE-clone" the external drive back to the internal drive.
  5. njb2808 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 3, 2015

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