Mini Mac (Serious!) Memory Jam?

steveclark855

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 23, 2015
6
0
I've had my mini for a couple years. Lately, it seemed to be working slower so I started thinking about the possibility that it had memory issues, but I'm not technically savvy enough to really know what to do. Then, before I did anything, it quit working with my router and reconfigured the desktop to eliminate my screen image. Next thing, when I attempted to save a Word document to my desktop, it said I didn't have enough space (but I was able to save to a memory stick via the USB port). Then, it locked up on me. I couldn't do anything, so I shut it off and rebooted. Now, nothing comes up except the apple logo and the rotating circle indicating that something is loading. But, no matter how long I wait, it goes not further. I can't get to my desktop, nothing. Does anyone have any idea what's going on and what I can do?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
Next thing, when I attempted to save a Word document to my desktop, it said I didn't have enough space (but I was able to save to a memory stick via the USB port). Then, it locked up on me. I couldn't do anything, so I shut it off and rebooted. Now, nothing comes up except the apple logo and the rotating circle indicating that something is loading. But, no matter how long I wait, it goes not further. I can't get to my desktop, nothing. Does anyone have any idea what's going on and what I can do?
It sounds like your drive may be full, corrupted or failing. It has nothing to do with your memory (RAM), but rather your storage (internal drive).

This may be helpful: OS X: About OS X Recovery
 

steveclark855

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 23, 2015
6
0
I've been unable to start up the mini mac in recovery mode by holding down the control and R keys while booting. The apple logo comes up but nothing further. I have a Logitech keyboard without a command key so I tried using the control key and also tried using the Windows key between Ctrl and Alt. Of course, it's impossible to open the mini to check to see if the command key is the control key, but since I never attempted any keyboard re-map, I assume the mini would have set the command to the control key. Is that a reasonable assumption? Any alternative suggestions?

Also, if my hard drive is failing, can it be readily replaced? That's probably not something I can do. Who does that kind of work?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
Also, if my hard drive is failing, can it be readily replaced? That's probably not something I can do. Who does that kind of work?
Yes, it can be replaced. It's not a difficult task, if you follow instructions and are patient. A Google search will likely reveal instructions for drive replacement on your particular model, possibly with a video to show you how.
 

Johnlpi

macrumors member
Feb 17, 2015
36
4
Try disconnecting all of your peripherals except for the keyboard. Put the USB cord of the keyboard in a different USB slot, then try the Cmd + R.

Also, have you tried resetting the PRAM? Cmd + P + R.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,182
5,536
Here's but one more instance where if the OP had a bootable cloned backup close-at-hand, he would be in a much better position to get back up-and-running, rather than flopping around like a fish out of water.

At the very least, it would indicate whether the internal drive (or the OS on it) had failed, vis-a-vis the computer itself (something other than the drive).

OP -- just wondering -- is your keyboard wired or wireless?
 

niteflyr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2011
910
136
Southern Cal
I've been unable to start up the mini mac in recovery mode by holding down the control and R keys while booting. The apple logo comes up but nothing further. I have a Logitech keyboard without a command key so I tried using the control key and also tried using the Windows key between Ctrl and Alt. Of course, it's impossible to open the mini to check to see if the command key is the control key, but since I never attempted any keyboard re-map, I assume the mini would have set the command to the control key. Is that a reasonable assumption? Any alternative suggestions?

Also, if my hard drive is failing, can it be readily replaced? That's probably not something I can do. Who does that kind of work?
On my Logitech keyboard, Windows key=Command key and ALT= Option key.
 

steveclark855

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 23, 2015
6
0
Here's but one more instance where if the OP had a bootable cloned backup close-at-hand, he would be in a much better position to get back up-and-running, rather than flopping around like a fish out of water.

At the very least, it would indicate whether the internal drive (or the OS on it) had failed, vis-a-vis the computer itself (something other than the drive).

OP -- just wondering -- is your keyboard wired or wireless?
It's wired...and, yes, I am flopping around like a fish out of water. I'll try the suggestion to unplug the other peripherals and switch the keyboard to a different USB.
 

steveclark855

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 23, 2015
6
0
Try disconnecting all of your peripherals except for the keyboard. Put the USB cord of the keyboard in a different USB slot, then try the Cmd + R.

Also, have you tried resetting the PRAM? Cmd + P + R.
Tried switching up the port to no avail. As to the PRAM, since I can't start the computer, it doesn't seem that I can reset it. Perhaps, you meant that I could use Cmd + P + R when I turn it on, but that didn't work either.

I welcome other suggestions. Also, guidance about how I could get the computer checked out and repaired. If I bring it like this to repair person, is he or she likely to be able to open the computer or fix its problems?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,182
5,536
[[ It's a Mac Mini. OS 10.6.3. ]]

At the very least, you should download the OS 10.6.8 "Combo" updater and update your system to 10.6.8.

My guess is your hard drive is getting near capacity, and that the files and "remaining free space" on it are hopelessly fragmented.
 

steveclark855

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 23, 2015
6
0
[[ It's a Mac Mini. OS 10.6.3. ]]

At the very least, you should download the OS 10.6.8 "Combo" updater and update your system to 10.6.8.

My guess is your hard drive is getting near capacity, and that the files and "remaining free space" on it are hopelessly fragmented.
If the mini won't boot up, I assume there's no way to download the combo updater, right?

I've tried starting it with the installation disk in, but it rejects the disk. When it boots, it just comes to the Apple logo and goes not further.

I'm not sure when I last dumped the trash (which suggests it may have been a while), but I can't dump it unless it boots.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,328
44
Colorado
If the mini won't boot up, I assume there's no way to download the combo updater, right?

I've tried starting it with the installation disk in, but it rejects the disk. When it boots, it just comes to the Apple logo and goes not further.

I'm not sure when I last dumped the trash (which suggests it may have been a while), but I can't dump it unless it boots.
FWIW, on two separate Macs in the past I experienced what you are experiencing. Flaky hard drive performance followed by the inability to boot the machine past the grey screen. Even attempts to boot from external images failed: boot install DVD, bootable USB stick all failed to boot. It turned out to be a failed internal hard drive in both cases. Why that impeded external boot devices, not sure, but all was well after replacing the internal drive. Hopefully you've got current backups.