Mini will restart

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by penguy, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. penguy macrumors 6502

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    #1
    My 2009 Mini will not restart...I believe it was updating the beta s/w last night...and I found it hanging about 3/4 of the way through the start up bar on the white screen. It will not sit there until it shuts itself off. I've tried safe mode and various other options, but so far, it won't respond to any keyboard inputs. Thoughts?
     
  2. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Were you updating El Capitan 11.11.5 beta? I haven't used any OSX beta's - it there an option to automatically update? (When you say "I believe" - it sounds like you don't know this happened as a result of the update procedure or not.)

    If it fails with the update, it might be that the 2009 Mini is a "corner case" and Apple hasn't actually tested the update procedure for the 2009 Mini and there's something there that's causing a problem. It could also be that the drive has started to go bad.

    Have you tried starting in verbose mode? When the chime sounds, press command(⌘)-V. See what the last messages are. Sometimes that can help pinpoint a cause, sometimes not.

    You might need to restore back to before the update was started. If there are files that were created/modified since the last backup, you'd need to copy that before doing the restore. Having a bootable clone (or any bootable disk) will help.
     
  3. penguy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Thanks for the reply!
    I said "i believe' because it restarted on its own...I know there were available updates...so, I think that's a safe assumption. I've been in the beta program for years and it's never had any problems...so I doubt it's a 'corner case'

    When it boots, I don't hear the chime...and none of the boot options has yielded any change...so I'm beginning to think its the boot drive, is there a way to tell if its the drive or something else? say the board?
     
  4. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    That's a bit strange that verbose mode won't work when the progress bar has progressed 3/4. If you've also tried single-user mode (command-S), and you don't have either a firmware password or filevault (unlikely, but this is Apple says to look for if verbose mode and single-user mode don't work), then the next option would be to try resetting NVRAM/SMC and/or booting from either the install DVD or a bootable HDD. Also, if you're not using a directly-connected, wired keyboard, you might want to try that.

    I did a search and guess you can auto-update a beta OSX. But since you have no firm indication that was actually what happened, I would guess it's some hardware issue.
     
  5. penguy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I left it sit this past week...when I tried today, the other options are working...verbose and safe mode. Safe went slowly through the checks, but quit at the same point.
    I was able to try disk utility which indicated there is a problem with the partition that it could not repair.
    verbose mode worked, but I didn't see a clue to the problem.

    I tried to select the time machine backup, but it said that drive is locked...which it isn't, I plugged that drive into my laptop ... and it does not appear to be locked...I'm stumped
     
  6. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    My guess would be that there's a problem with the drive and that's what's stopping it from booting but it's not reporting the problem.

    A poster from the Apple discussion forums suggested this for a locked disk. Run the following commands from Terminal:

    sudo chflags 0 /Volumes/*

    sudo chmod a+rx /Volumes/*

    I would suggest specifying the TM disk name instead of doing *.
     
  7. penguy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I finally brought it in and the genius confirmed the drive was failing. So I bought an SSD. I've installed it and am attempting to get the OS installed now. I've run into a few problems!

    At this point, it went through the install and said that my install disk May have been corrupted. I then made a new one (16gb sub), but I can't seem to reformat the SSD. DISK utility shows the OS X image and won't let me erase it.

    Any ideas?
     
  8. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Some SSD's have problems with Mac systems with the NVidia MCP79. Looking at the specs for the 2009 Mini (early and late), I think all of them have the MCP79 chip. I have a late 2009 and it has it. You can check the System Report under the Hardware->SATA ... to make sure. You can then search for your SSD and "MCP79" and see the results. Some SSD's will run, but only at SATA1 speeds. Some SSD's have problems running reliably. What SSD do you have? If you have a compatible SSD, you might try formatting it elsewhere first.
     
  9. penguy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    It is from OWC. They have always stated it is compatible
     
  10. penguy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I placed the SSD in an external case and connected it to a macbook...it popped right up. Can I just format and setup as a bootable drive and then reinstall in the Mini?
     
  11. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Try installing the OS in the external enclosure and then putting it back in the Mini. If it doesn't work in the Mini, that suggests that it's the MCP79 problem or perhaps the cable needs to be replaced. The cable issue is a common one in the MBP's - I'm not aware of similar problems in the Mini. In any case, OWC charges enough that you should be able to ask them what they think the problem is - ask specifically about the MCP79 issue and if they say it's compatible, ask if people have problems with the drive cable in the 2009 Mini's working with SSD's.
     
  12. penguy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Thank you so much for your help. I will try both!
     
  13. penguy thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Installing the OS while attached as an external drive worked...the mini now works great! I just have to figure how to get what's on the time machine back!

    Thanks again!
     

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