Mac mini freezes during startup [HardDrive locking?]

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Dekema2, Mar 26, 2013.

?

What would the price range for a repair be

  1. Free if it is software

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. $1-$50

    0 vote(s)
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  3. $51-$100

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. $100+

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. Dekema2, Mar 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013

    Dekema2 macrumors 6502a

    Dekema2

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    WNY or Utica
    #1
    Hello, I have a Mid-2010 Mac mini with a 2.26 ghz core 2 duo, and 2 gigs of RAM. It usually runs fine for the most part, and I haven't had any major problems with it since I bought it in July of 2010, until now. I was playing a popular online game as my computer suddenly froze completely. There had been lag in the game, but I realized much of it was client side (coming from me). Now as I tried restarting my computer, I got many different results depending on what I did to start it up. I tried booting in Safe Mode, and got a loading bar beneath the spinner, so following directions from an Apple post, I tried to restart it regularly. This time it did not sound a chime, and the grey screen didn't appear. I tried holding down option to select my hard drive. My hard drive, and a "recovery drive" appeared on the gray screen. I tried selecting mine with my keyboard, but the system froze as I tried to do this (I don't think my batteries died). Finally, I let it cool down a while so I could come back and boot it up. It did, and got to the gray screen and even the Apple w/spinner. Yet it froze again. My gut tells me I need to upgrade my RAM (tried to reset PRAM too) but is there another problem? Thanks.
     
  2. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #2
    Two things:

    1. Safe Boot will present a loading bar. You should let it run.

    2. A lack of RAM should not cause these problems.

    It could be a hardware issue. Verify and Repair your system disk (boot to Recovery Partition and run Disk Utility. Run Repair Disk (not Permissions)).

    If Safe Boot does work, then that suggests you have some installed some extra software that might be conflicting with the system in some way.
     
  3. Dekema2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dekema2

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    WNY or Utica
    #3
    Well, I waited a few days to let it cool down, and I can tell you it's working right now. However, when I first turned it on this morning, it wouldn't start up again. The second time, it did start up, and I was able to login. But I went into Activity Monitor, and I saw this:

    [​IMG]

    I don't know if it has anything to do with a start up, because you said it shouldn't do this to the computer, but it seems alarming.
     
  4. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #4
    Problems resolved by letting the machine cool down are likely to be hardware related.

    As for Activity Monitor: You haven't said what OS version you're running. Regardless of that, 2Gb is not a lot of RAM, and you can expect most of it to be eaten up. You would certainly benefit from more RAM, though it's not yet clear whether the machine can be fixed without cost, or whether you do have a hardware issue.

    Which of my comments are you referring to? I didn't say anything relevant to Activity Monitor.
     
  5. Dekema2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dekema2

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    WNY or Utica
    #5
    Freezing again

    This problem has come back to haunt me. In fact, it may freeze while I'm typing. I think that the hard drive is locking for some reason, or may be scratched, and this bothers me becuase I have a lot of data on here that I wouldn't want to lose. In addition, when my computer freezes, if it does start-up, the WiFi antenna may or may not show. I also haven't been able to successfully restart my computer since this has been happening as well. Any ideas on how to fix this? I'm out of them.

    ----------

    This problem has come back to haunt me. In fact, it may freeze while I'm typing. I think that the hard drive is locking for some reason, or may be scratched, and this bothers me because I have a lot of data on here that I wouldn't want to lose. In addition, when my computer freezes, if it does start-up, the WiFi antenna may or may not show. I also haven't been able to successfully restart my computer since this has been happening as well. Any ideas on how to fix this? I'm out of them.

    ----------

    I am using 10.7.4, so I should also update.

    Edit: I did do a repair and verifiy of my hard drive, both the one that says "Toshiba" and the one that says "Hard Drive."
     
  6. Dekema2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dekema2

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    WNY or Utica
    #6
    I hope my last post wasn't misleading when I said I did the repairs, because I am still in a major conundrum right now, and my computer still freezes, and threatens my work. If anyone could help, I really need it!
     
  7. Dekema2, Jun 7, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013

    Dekema2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dekema2

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    WNY or Utica
    #8
    I'll run one soon, however I booted up smcfancontrol, and it hasn't frozen since I increased the fan speed to about 4000 rpm. What would that indicate, if anything?
     
  8. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #9
    Possibly a component is failing at lower heat levels than it should. Raising fan speeds brings the temps down below normal where the component is still functioning for now. Not a permanent fix for sure, if a component is getting heat-sensitive it could very easily worsen.
     
  9. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    #10
    You likely have heat issues.

    Download istat and report heat levels under load and at idle. We may find something is drastically wrong with the way its monitoring heat (especially since running your fans on high appears to solve your problem).

    You do need more ram. 2gb is really insufficient for just about any popular online game, particularly in light of the fact you're paging out and appear to be maxed out.

    My gut says you have a larger hardware failure on the horizon. I would really urge you to back up the data on your hard drive as a precaution.
     
  10. Dekema2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dekema2

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    WNY or Utica
    #11
    Idle testing:
    -At 4200 rpm for the fan, the SEN has a range from about 107 to 115 degrees.

    Load testing:
    -At 4200 rpm, running iMovie, iPhoto and GarageBand, the SEN has a range of about 111 to 116 degrees. iMovie didn't even respond when I tried to open all three.

    I'll test it at normal exhaust speed, but I'll have to do it later because the computer may freeze again doing this.
     
  11. Dekema2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dekema2

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    WNY or Utica
    #12
    At 4200 rpm for exhaust running Minecraft causes the CPU to go up to 140 degrees, and the RAM is about 135...
     
  12. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #13
    You need to backup your machine. It is giving you a warning. If the HD fails you could lose your data. Use this time while it is still running to back it up.
     
  13. gvboy, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013

    gvboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    #14
    Possible solution

    I've had the identical problem... Mid 2010 mini (2.66GHz) w/ 500GB HD.
    It was freezing... tinkered, nothing... took to Genius bar and of course it worked fine while I was there.. took it home and started freezing again. I too set the fan to 4000 rpm and that fixed it but noisy and not satisfying. I too at first thought it might be RAM trouble but at one point I pulled up console and noticed disk I/O errors galore.
    I just this weekend swapped the hard drive (upgraded to 1TB drive) and now it seems to be working fine... NO FREEZING! I've had it running about 4 days now and not a glitch, so hopefully that fixed it. It must have been a faulty drive that errors out at relatively low temperatures. I never had any temperature readings over the norm but when it seemed that when the HD temp got above 100F it would fail.... but not always.

    If I encounter any further problems I'll be sure to post an update, but that fixed it for me. I just did a clean install as I didn't have any important data on it.

    You could let it cool down, and boot it in target mode (assuming you have another computer to do so) and copy off the data or clone the drive either to the new drive replacement in an enclosure, or use another method. Other people may have better suggestions on that part.

    Hope that helps.

    UPDATE:
    10 days later and still no freeze... I definitely think that fixed it.
     
  14. Dekema2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dekema2

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    WNY or Utica
    #15
    You're saying you can run this new hard drive at regular fan speed? How did you swap the hard drive?

    By the way, AHT extended testing showed no flaws found in any hardware in my computer. Running with fan at low speed showed it increase to over 180 degrees under load.

    The problem has been getting worse lately. I should probably restore and swap mine while I still have a chance.

    ----------

    In addition, would reinstalling/wiping my hard drive and reinstalling Lion correct the problem?
     
  15. gvboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    #16
    Yes, fan is now at default speed (1800 rpm,etc.). I simply bought a standard laptop SATA 2.5" HD from Best Buy (since they were close and I'm always impatient) and followed the replacement guide on iFixit.com ( http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac+Mini+Mid+2010+Hard+Drive+Replacement/3113/1 ). Pretty simple just need a Torx T6 and T8 screw driver, which I already had.

    When mine was hanging, I didn't really see any temperatures extremely high at all, but noticed that when I increased the fan speed to 4000 rpm it seemed to fix it. I suspected a faulty temp sensor or something. I was tempted to try replacing the hard drive when I had opened up Console (in Utilities folder) and saw it reporting alot of I/O disk error messages during the freeze states.

    I thought for $70 it was worth a shot and I could upgrade the drive while I was at it ( 500GB to 1TB ). It is still going strong and no freezing or fan manipulation... had done a clean install of Lion (10.7) (which I had done before the swap to no avail) and didn't even reinstall the extra fan control software.

    Your case may be different as I didn't have any temperatures near 180, although from what I read 180 is not too high compared to what other people were running at normally with no problems.

    If I were you, I would make a backup of any important data, do the swap with clean install and then copy back the data. If you also get an external enclosure for a 2.5" SATA drive, you could do the swap first, install your old drive in the enclosure then either backup restore from that, or do a clean install on the new drive and then copy the data over from the old.

    Hope this helps. Let us know what you do and how it turns out.
    Good luck.
     
  16. Dekema2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dekema2

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    WNY or Utica
    #17
    I will take this advice. However, I have been having some more problems over the past couple of hours, including freezing when I go to click on the AirPort menu, freezing when I turn my computer on with no Airport while attempting to turn it on from the AirPort menu, and freezing during the AHT probe. I also got one of these for the first time:

    Not sure what to do now...
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Dekema2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dekema2

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    WNY or Utica
    #18
    I know believe that some kind of "kernel panic" is recurring. Why the AirPort is mixed in with this, I'm not sure.
     
  18. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #19
    More likely than not its a failing hard drive. It will cause freezes and flakey operation, and is the component that is most likely to fail. I've just (today!) had my third hard drive of the year fail. Note that I've got more than one computer, so don't feel too bad for me.
     

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