Mac Mini will not finish boot after chime

grinerswife

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 22, 2017
5
0
Hi.
I have a Mac Mini mid 2011. When I start it up, this is what happens...

chimes

gray screen

apple logo

spinning underneath apple logo

apple logo and spinning disappears

screen stays gray



will not boot to safe mode - chimes, goes to straight to gray screen, no apple logo

will not boot to recovery mode - chimes, goes straight to gray screen, no apple logo



reset pram

reset SMC



did file system check (sbin/fsck -fy) -- start holding down COMMAND-S

first time through, it says ***FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED***

immediately type sbin/fsck -fy again

second time through, it says ***The volume appears to be OK***

type REBOOT, it goes to gray screen



Run the whole thing again

first time through, it says ***FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED***

immediately type sbin/fsck -fy again

second time through, it says ***The volume appears to be OK***

type EXIT, it goes to gray screen



ran the Apple Hardware Test (hold D at start up)

ran extended test

no trouble found

mac mini 5.2

dual core intel core i5

CPU Speed 2.50Ghz

L2 Cache 256Kb

L3 Cache 3MB

SMC 1.75f0

OS 10.7.5

I have replaced the PRAM battery

I took this poor video of start up in verbose mode hoping maybe someone would be able to translate it into human for me...

Any translators out there?
 

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
5,346
10,797
Try to start up from an external drive. If you don't have one, start up from a bootable USB drive. If you don't have one of those, make one. If you can't make one, buy one on Amazon. Search "MacOS". If you then still cant boot the mini from an external drive, either the RAM is acting up or the mini is toast.
Try reseating the ram.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,338
2,736
Delaware
Can you boot to Internet Recovery?
Restart, holding Option-Command-R
You should see a spinning globe (NOT the Apple icon), and the boot can take several minutes. You do need to have a working internet connection to use Internet Recovery, as it boots to Apple's servers.
If you get to the menus, you can try to check the hard drive from the Disk Utility/Repair Disk.

You can ALSO reinstall OS X from internet Recovery, which would offer the same OS X version that it shipped with. Lion, so would be the same as what you have now.
 

grinerswife

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 22, 2017
5
0
I tried booting from internet recovery. The globe spins and I get a countdown at four minutes. The countdown makes it all the way to 1 minute and appears to load, but then my screen goes black for a couple seconds and then to gray with nothing happening.
I tried booting from an external drive, but the same thing happens (minus the globe). It gets so far and then the screen goes black to gray.

I was looking at the verbose mode video and I see where it gets stuck. I see a stall at "BootCacheControl: Unable to open var/db/BootCache.playlist 2: No such file or directory"

Then there is "SMC::smcinitHelper ERROR: MM10 regmap NULL fall back to old SMC

Then after checking for touchpad drivers, the last thing that shows is "macx_swapon SUCCESS "

I have attempted internet searches and blindly attempted some of the things I've read, but have been unsuccessful.
I read something about virtualization technology and disabling that, as that seemed to work for others, but I couldn't figure out where or how.

I have also removed the batteries from my trackpad to see if that would help, but not so far.

My next plan is to find a firewire and attempt a target mode boot up.

I don't have a disc/disk because the mini doesn't have a drive. I have a disk for Snow Leopard from an old MacBook and an external cd drive (Super Drive), but I was thinking the mini wouldn't be able to revert backward. Any thoughts on this particular idea?

Thanks for helping me troubleshoot.
 

tibas92013

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2013
467
83
Costa Rica
I had somewhat of a similar problem last year with my MM(Late 2012); so, I took it to a Apple Dealer here in Costa Rica who stated that my internal files on my HD were messed-up. They somehow reinstalled the OS "El Capitan" and now works great at a cost of around $125.00.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,338
2,736
Delaware
How long did you wait for a stalled boot to continue?
I would let it go for at least 30 minutes before giving up.

Your mini shipped with Lion, and that's the version it originally shipped when new.
You can't go back to an older system, such as Snow Leopard.
Systems since then, including your Lion system, have been downloadable from Apple, not on DVD.
There ARE DVD installs of most later OS X systems available through eBay, or even Amazon.
Apple doesn't supply those, so not sure if I could recommend that, but they are available for sale.
 

grinerswife

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 22, 2017
5
0
Cannot find a firewire to attempt Target mode.

I'm going to download Mountain Lion from my App Store purchases and try to get it on a USB stick and give that a try.

About unplugging the monitor - that did not work. My monitor goes to sleep like it is not receiving signal from the computer.

Thanks for your help. I'll repost if I have any success.
 

grinerswife

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 22, 2017
5
0
Well, I can't even get the mac to load the USB recovery drive.

Just tried Internet Recovery again and couldn't even get to the globe. It seems like it is getting progressively worse.

Thanks for your help. I guess it is beyond me and my internet searches at this point.
 

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
5,346
10,797
2011 Mac Mini shipped with Lion OSX 10.7. It can't boot to Snow Leopard 10.6. The last Mac Mini that can boot from SL was the 2010.

Sounds like your Mac Mini is toast. Pick up another on eBay if you're strapped for cash.

Find one that is in stock configuration. Stock ram, stock HD (not SSD). Mac Minis that have upgraded parts that are for sale were (for the most part) more likely used by enthusiasts who used the computer more (more worn out). Stock minis likely were delegated to light duty usage, as the previous owner didn't really care about performance.
 

Richard8655

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
1,243
605
Chicago
As tibas92013 recommended, just take it to your local Apple Store if you have one nearby. I had very similar symptoms with my late 2012 Mini, and the Apple Store Genius Bar gladly solved the problem at no charge. They determined the OS was corrupted and quickly reformatted the drive and installed El Capitan. I was out of there in 45 minutes and everything has been smooth since then.

Sometimes better to bring it to them than spend days trying to resolve yourself.
 

ZMacintosh

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2008
1,237
338
ever change out the RAM? possible ram or internal disk issue. either that or a mix with a corrupt installer.
 
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