Mac Mini Hard drive AND dvd drive not recognized

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MikeEvans, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. MikeEvans macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2008
    Hey guys,

    I have a Mac Mini G4 1.5Ghz, 10.5.3., DVD burner. I have a LaCie external hard drive that I use for backup purposes which has 10.4 installed on it.

    Last night, before I went to bed I set up the computer to transfer a large number of files from my internal hard drive to my external (for backup). My wife got up before I did, to find that the process had frozen. She canceled the transfer, but everything froze up. She didn't want to wake me, so she unplugged the computer (I have since lectured her that it is NOT a good idea to ever do that!). It wasn't until it restarted and gave her only a gray screen that she decided it was time to get me up. ("Next time, wake me up BEFORE you pull the plug, honey")

    The computer wouldn't start up... there was just a grey screen, no apple or anything. No "power on" chord either (which I took as a bad sign)... it wouldn't read the boot-up CD I put in. It ejected the CD the first time, but the second it held onto it. I held down the option key to try to boot up from my external drive and I got this message twice: Invalid Memory Access.

    ...except that when I tried that again it actually worked, and I was able to start up with 10.4 on my external hard disk.

    Where I'm at now: I can boot up from my external HD using 10.4. However, the computer doesn't recognize that the internal hard drive OR the dvd drive exist at all. I can't get the CD to eject, not booting up with the mouse button down, not through the terminal... nothing. If I turn off my external HD and try to to boot up the computer using the internal one, I hear the dreaded "click click click" of a doomed hard drive for a few seconds, then nothing. The CD doesn't spin up at all. On the bright side, the "power chord" startup sound has come back. :rolleyes:

    So, I'm thinking that my hard drive died, but why isn't my dvd drive working at all? And what was up with that "Invalid Memory Access" error message that I was only able to get twice? That's a usually a problem with RAM or the logic board, right? I don't even know where to start with all of this!

    Thanks for any help you guys might be able to throw my way...
  2. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Sounds like a fried chipset or IDE Controller. You might be able to reseat everything inside and get it to work, but I doubt it.

  3. chipchen macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2002
    I would concur... I think it's the controller board. Inside a Mac mini, there's the logic board, then there's another board that plugs into the logic board that connects to the Hard Drive and Optical Drive. You might just need to reseat it... or, it could be dead. To open up a mac mini isn't too bad, just get a 2 or 3" metal paint scraper tool. There are plenty of videos online or on youtube that will show you how. Here's one...
  4. SwitchingtoMAC macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2006
    it could possibly be one of 2 things the interconnect board(it connects the cd and Hd to the logic board) or the logic boars itself
  5. MikeEvans thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2008
    Thanks for the help so far.

    I have the computer apart and I have reseated the interconnect board... as suspected, no go. Is there any way to tell if it's that vs. the logic board? It looks like I can get the connect board for about 50 bucks, but a new logic board would be so expensive I might as well get a new computer.
  6. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    take it to the apple store and see their reaction. maybe they'll tell you what's wrong
  7. MikeEvans thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2008
    I did more research online, and found an interesting occurrence. Sometimes, but not always, when a hard drive goes out on a Mini, it will keep the optical drive from working. And since I was hearing the "click of doom" on the hard drive, I thought maybe that it might just be that.

    ...Turns out it was. I replaced the hard drive, thinking I'd take it back if it turned out to be something a lot more expensive, and that solved everything.

    Thanks anyways, just thought I'd share for future reference!

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