Mac Mini ground to halt

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by urbanmojo, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. urbanmojo macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2009

    My wife's Mac Mini was giving her the rainbow wheel and I've been working on it while she is at work. Couldn't tell which app was the problem--went and did a force quit on everything. Tried a relaunch on finder but that wouldn't work. Eventually I gave up and forced a shutdown with the power button. Now during reboot it takes 30 minutes in the gray apple screen, then eventually gives a blank desktop background, and completely unresponsive.

    -Snow Leopard (I think)
    -Should be tons of disk space and RAM, and her files are on a separate partition.
    -apple bluetooth keyboard and magic mouse (I imagine I will need to wire up a USB keyboard to do any tests, correct?)
    -computer isn't used that much

    What tests should I run in what order? Any other info you need? I Imagine if it could show a desktop background the disk must not be completely broken...

  2. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK
    When you can get in, i would first suggest running a repair disk and then repair permissions on the boot drive from within Disk Utility.

    If those dont help then it may be time to start looking at the logs.
  3. urbanmojo thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2009
    was able to start booting in verbose mode--safe mode didn't seem to work. Get missing thread records, a repair to a minor volume header issue, lots of missing directory records, then is looking for missing directory records in the "lost and found" directory.

    Maybe disk repair is needed? Wasn't able to boot into that before...should I quit verbose mode and try again? Or is it actually "repairing" things now?
  4. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    How old is the computer? When you mention Snow Leopard then my thoughts are towards that it might need another HDD - I never have had a lot of luck with running 2.5 " HDD more than about 2 years in laptops - I started to replace them automatically after a year since my data is worth more than the cost of a HDD, not to mention the time to recover and be without a machine. Time is money too.
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    That does sound like a bad drive.

    Try booting from the installer DVD (hold D when booting) and run Disk Util and a repair disk. Also try running the Apple Hardware Test. Bad RAM can also cause data corruption on a disk like this.
  6. urbanmojo thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Well it managed to boot up but is acting weirdly. Finder keeps trying to start but crashes, when I "OK" the crash report it gives me another one. Chrome crashes when I try to launch it, Word just hangs.

    I suppose I should run the disk utility. Can I still do that from the UI? Remember I don't have Finder to access the applications folder and Disk Utility isn't in the dock. How can I run it and/or run Terminal to launch it in the state the computer is in?

    OS is 10.6.8, by the way.


    and Launchpad isn't in the dock and the function keys on the Windows keyboard attached don't work.
  7. JootecFromMars macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2012
    Also in Disk Utility, select the drive and check the SMART Status. This can identify a failing drive.
  8. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    SMART is overrated - statistically Google found it to be next to useless: it has no predictive value, only an "after the fact".
  9. urbanmojo thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2009
    tried to run the apple hardware test from boot but it says it has to check the hardware before it can run the test--it keeps checking but the check never finishes (let it check overnight). Trying to see how to run disk utility--I don't have the install disk.
  10. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Based on a quick skim through this post I'm going to say that it sounds like a failing HDD. Hopefully you have a backup.
  11. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    Totally agree. I have had a few drives start to fail over the years with bad blocks. SMART never picked up anything, while Drive Genius 3 would pick up the bad blocks as they came up every few months. SMART never came up with any error.

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