Messed up my wife's Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by scottmcll, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. scottmcll
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    macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2012
    #1
    Today I tried to set permissions on my wife’s mac mini HD (Snow Leopard) to be read and write accessible to ‘everyone’ and clicked the option for it to ‘apply to enclosed items’, after which I got the horizontal barber poll, and after about 15 minutes got a pop-up alert that something wasn’t installed correctly (I really don’t remember what it said), and when I clicked to close it, there was another similar alert about a different file/extension, then another, and another. Clearly my trying to set the permissions that way had caused all these alerts. After clicking out of about 40 of the alerts, I decided to just force shut down the machine, and I haven’t been able to get it to boot up normally since. I get the logo screen with spinner and it never goes any further. I have a Windows Boot Camp partition and I can boot into that and work in Windows just fine.

    Here’s what I tried to no avail:

    Safe Boot – I get the progress bar under the logo, which gets to about half-way then disappears and nothing more happens.

    Booted into Single User Mode and ran /sbin/fsck –fy. Got “Macintosh HD appears OK”

    Booted to the install CD, which is OS 10.4.10, and ran disk utilities to repair disk, verify disk, repair permissions, verify permissions with all checking ‘ok’.

    Reset the PRAM several times in a row.

    Tried to reset nonvolatile firmware, and I just get the logo and spinner – no command line prompt.

    The only other suggestion I’ve found it to “test the kernel” by reinstalling the OS. Unfortunately, I do not currently have the Snow Leopard upgrade disk, and if I were to reinstall, would that delete all my files on the HD?

    Any assistance would be GREATLY appreciated as I am typing this from the proverbial doghouse.

    Thank you, Scott
     
  2. hfg
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    macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #2
    You might be able to create an external FireWire boot disk, then use it to access your internal disk user account and try to use Migration Assistant to pull your data off, or simply use a manual drag and copy to recover as much of your data as possible to the external disk.

    Once you are satisfied that you have saved as much as possible, you could take the steps of re-installing the internal disk OS and trying to rebuild your wife's account to get back where you were.

    Good luck!

    Next time ... don't do that! Or at least restrict the permissions changing to just her "User" directory. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    -howard
     
  3. scottmcll
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    thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2012
    #3
    Thank you hfg for the reply. I should also mention that I have an iMac with SL, if that opens any possibilities.
     
  4. hfg
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    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #4
    If you can get your Mini into "Target Disk Mode", connect it with FireWire cable to your iMac, then try to drag her user directory over to the iMac user directory (effectively creating an account for her on the iMac). If that works and her data is accessible, you can attempt to repair the Mini OS and restore her apps and environment to it.

    The advantage of trying the external boot disk is that migration assistant might be able to recover all of her application program files as well and you will have a new running copy of her old system environment. Then, once you have reinstalled the OS on the internal Mini drive, you can recover it again (or use CCC to simply clone your runnable external drive back to the internal drive).


    -howard
     
  5. scottmcll
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    thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2012
    #5
    Thank you, so much, hfg. Those sound promising. And what is "CCC" for cloning?
     
  6. philipma1957
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    macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #6
  7. Brian Y
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    macrumors 68040

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    Oct 21, 2012
    #7
    You'll need to do an archive and install. Either take it to an Apple store and have them do it - or buy a SL disk off of eBay
     
  8. scottmcll
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    thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2012
    #8
    Thank you BMA. Question - I had upgraded the mini with a SL upgrade disc (legal, purchased at apple store) but can not find it. Do you know if I can use a friend SL upgrade disk to do the archive and instal?
     
  9. monokakata
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    monokakata

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    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #9
    I'm pretty sure that any upgrade DVD will be generic enough to work on any Mac with the appropriate hardware.

    When Snow Leopard came out, I bought a family pack SL distribution DVD and used it on a Mini, a Mac Pro, and a couple of Macbook Pros.

    So if you can borrow one, you should be fine.
     
  10. scottmcll
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    thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2012
    #10
    Thanks, so much, monokakata. The disc I had was the same 5 upgrade deal. I only had two macs to upgrade, so lent it to a friend to use on his mac, and never got it back. Apparently it's not supposed to only be used on computers in the same household, which I didn't know at the time, but someone on another forum informed me of that. So I sure hope you're right.

    Thanks, again!
     
  11. Snowy_River
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    Snowy_River

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    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    #11
    Don't know if you've got it sorted out, yet, but what you've got should make it possible to fix things just using CCC and migration assistant, if you've got enough free disk space.

    Another alternative, before I get into the convoluted process of fixing things, is to upgrade the Mac Mini to Mountain Lion. Is there a reason not to? (This is a serious question, as I didn't upgrade until recently when I was able to replace some mission critical software that required Rosetta to run with a newer version that didn't.)

    If not, follow these simple steps:

    Purchase and download Mountain Lion. (You might also want to create a ML install thumb drive or SD Card at this point. A quick trip on Google will let you know how to do this.)
    Start up your Mini in Target Disk Mode and hook it up to your iMac.
    Run the ML installer and point it at your Mini's hard drive.
    Once you're done installing ML, shut everything down, disconnect your Mini from your iMac, then start it up by itself. The install process should have fixed the issue that started all of this.

    If, however, you need to stay with SL, here's what I would see as your quickest solution:

    Again, connect your Mini to your iMac in Target disk mode.
    Run Migration Assistant to transfer all files (applications, documents, user settings, etc) from your Mini to your iMac. This will create an account on your iMac that will look identical to your wife's account on the Mini.
    Now, format the Mini's hard drive.
    Next, run CCC to clone your iMac's hard drive onto your Mini's hard drive. (Make sure to select the option to make the cloned drive bootable.)
    Shut everything down, disconnect the two computers, then restart the two machines independently.
    Finally, you can delete your wife's account off of your iMac and delete your account off of your wife's Mini.
    And, presto, you'll be pretty much back where you started.

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. scottmcll
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    thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2012
    #12
    Hello Snowy River, and thank you so much for taking the time to reply in such detail. I sincerely appreciate it. Q: wouldn't it be possible to install SL using the iMac using the same steps you outlined for installing ML? Or wouldn't that work?
     
  13. Snowy_River
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    Snowy_River

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    #13
    Unfortunately, no. You can only buy and download ML from the Mac App Store, not Lion or Snow Leopard. So, the only way that you can have a SL install available is to have an install disk. And if you've got an install disk, then you don't need to use the whole Target Disk mode business at all.
     

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