Mac Mini Wont boot, Folder with ? in it.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by 3s1k, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. 3s1k macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    #1
    I bought a Current Gen Mac Mini from a classifieds. Well the guy didn't reformat it and it has a password so I couldn't change any settings. Long story short I think i reformated the start up disk and now when I start it, it shows this.
    [​IMG]

    It just keeps flashing. I tried using a timemachine backup from my Imac but didn't work because its was from a different kind of machine. My wife is super pissed and I don't feel like sleeping on the couch all week. Any ideas?

    Things I have tried:
    I have Mac OS 10.8 on a flash drive so I'm trying to make a bootable external hard drive to see if that works. Its still in the process of making it so havent tried it yet.

    I restarted the Mini and held "Control + Command + P + R. It chimed 3 times and then i shut it off using the button. Restarted it and held the shift key and nothing happend. I found that info on this page.
    http://www.justanswer.com/mac-computers/2sblv-mac-mini-display-file-folder-question-mark.html
     
  2. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #2
    Folder with a question mark means that it can't find a bootable OS.
     
  3. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #3
    I believe that if the mini had OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on it when it was originally purchased then the license for the OS transfers with the hardware when it's sold, therefore you should be able to recover (reinstall) a fresh copy by using one of the methods listed in this Apple doc:

    OS X: About OS X Recovery
     
  4. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2013
    #4
    The bootable drive didn't work. When I selected it, it just showed the circle with line through it "No access symbol".

    I restarted it holding "Command+R" and it took me to a Spinning globe. I put my wife credentials in and now there some sort of progress bar and the spinning globe. Is this a good sign?
     
  5. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #5
    I believe that is the Internet Recovery option mentioned in that Apple doc. This Macworld article explains the various Recovery options:

    Hands on with Mountain Lion's OS X Recovery and Internet Recovery
     
  6. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2013
    #6
    I clicked on install OSX and I think its downloading it and installing it onto the MacMini 500GB had. It says " Downloading additional components. Your computer will restart automatically". The it shows a picture of a Hard Drive and a timed status bar. Oh man I hope this works, wife came home and was pretty P/O'd haha.
     
  7. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #7
    I hope that your wife is only PO'd because of the mini being non-operational and not because of the fact that you purchased it, because I think this will only be a temporary setback and eventually it will be a good thing.

    I believe at this point it's recreating the Recovery Partition and once that's done will boot into it and allow you to download Mountain Lion and install it. As I'm using a MacBook Pro running OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard my only knowledge of using a Recovery Partition is from what I've read, but I believe this will work. If it doesn't work do you have a Apple Store nearby as I believe that they can get it back up and running for you.
     
  8. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2013
    #8
    Yea, she's only mad at me cause its not working and I just bought it. Hopefully it will take my thumb drive that i use for an install disk for my iMac.

    Before when I click on the thumb drive to install OSX it just give me the "no access symbol" and then sit there and do nothing.
     
  9. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #9
    It depends on the exact version of 10.8 that's on your flash drive (right down to the build number). If the build version that the mini was released/shipped with was newer than the one you have then it won't boot from your flash drive.
     
  10. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #10
    Right. The 2012 Mini needs either the specific Mini versions of 10.8.1 or 10.8.2, or the released version of 10.8.3, which works with all the current Macs.
     
  11. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2013
    #11
    Well, if I have to purchase a newer version that's fine as long as I get it working. I'm guessing it will ask me if I want to purchase a new copy? I'm in class now so won't be able to check on it for a few hours.
     
  12. glen e macrumors 68030

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    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale
    #12
    same thing happened to me and after all the stuff tried above it was a bad logic board.....
     
  13. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    #13
    It was working today but in the process of trying to do a fresh install I managed to screw everything up. I went into the disk utility and I reformated the drive thinking I can just boot from my USB drive and it would install it. Obviously I was wrong and ended up with a nice paper weight.:mad:
     
  14. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #14
    The version on your thumb drive shouldn't really matter as it will download and install the version of OS X that it shipped with probably 10.8.1 and then you should be able to bring it up to current via Software Update.
     
  15. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #15
    thumb drives are next to worthless. don't think that you can useone with your mini and you iMac and your mac book pro . many times the osx will only work on the one computer. time machine is also next to worthless. buy a cheap external drive , use a free cloner and make an external booter.

    this hdd

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136994

    this download will clone a booter

    http://www.shirt-pocket.com/ instant recovery. BTW a network download on dsl is over 5 hours. on a fast network it is about 2 hours.
     
  16. 3s1k, Mar 26, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013

    3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
  17. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2013
    #17
    When I came home It was asking me to setup everything up with apple id and user name. Everything seems to be working fine and its updated with 10.8.3 already. Wife's happy and so am I thank you guys so much for the guidance. Gonna upgrade it with 16gb of ram since I only spent $340 on it.
     
  18. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #18
    Glad to hear that you're up and running again and that your wife is no longer PO'd. Congratulations on getting what sounds like a good deal, enjoy.
     
  19. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #19
    good deal. here is a ram link

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148614

    note discount code:

    EMCXTVP44


    here is a backup external drive

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822178106


    note discount code

    EMCYTZT31562
     
  20. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2013
    #20
    Just ordered some of that ram. I noticed the ram specific for Mac's are almost $20 more. Thanks for the find. I got 4 external WD drives I use for backups. Learned my lesson when a drive failed and lost a lot of family photos.
     
  21. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2013
    #21
    Thanks for the assistants. Glad I got it, I almost built a PC before I picked this up.
     
  22. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #22
    yeah photos lost = very very annoying. try the free cloner program. it is a very good thing to have a clone of your boot drive.
     

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