Need help to resurrect MacMini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by relee54, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. relee54 macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2011
    Have a 2008 Mac Mini that takes 30 minutes to boot up.When it finally boots up to the sign in screen I can log on, but anything I try to do after that brings up the spinning wheel of death. Tried all the various start up options and zapping PRAM to no avail. Won't restart from the start up CDs or Techtool disk. If I connect it to my MacBook Pro it target disk mode, the firewire logo shows up on the MacMini Screen, but the disk does not mount on the MacBook desk top. It was a highly used machine. Any suggestions on what to do?

    Thanks for the suggestions!
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Sounds like the hard drive is toast, or close enough to dead that it doesn't make much difference now.

    Your next step is replacing the hard drive with new. An SSD is a good choice, with prices continuing to fall, and will give you better performance on that 8-year-old mini than new.
  3. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    You should be able to create a startup usb drive, replace the existing drive format that and then download the OS from the internet for a clean fresh install. If there is data you want on the old drive you can put it in a usb caddy and see if you can get anything off it.

    As for new drive yes an SSD or a 7200rpm hdd (say western digitial black whcih I have and am happy with). My 2009 Mini came with 120gb - now has 750. Note not sure what osx you are running but the later versions are more ram hungry imo, in this regard an ssd should help as well as having modest expectations about performance.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    You didn't tell us which version of the os you're using.

    Whenever I face a Mac that won't boot, or won't run well after it does boot, the first thing I do is...
    ... Connect an external drive with a good copy of the os and try to boot that way.

    Both posts above are good.
    See if you can build a USB flashdrive with a bootable os installer on it.
    You might need a new hard drive, buy the cheapest SSD you can find and put it in there.

    Then, boot from the flashdrive and install a clean copy of the OS.
    If you get a USB3 enclosure or adapter "Dongle", you can connect the old HDD and attempt to get your data from it.
  5. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    If you are swapping out internal hard drive note the small connector going to the motherboard. Use ifixit for photos.
    The rest of the swap is very similar to 2009 Mac Mini.

    Get a newer drive or SSD (any used SSD will do).
  6. grcar, Aug 23, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016

    grcar Suspended


    Sep 28, 2014
    Sounds like a logic board problem.

    There is no 2008 mini so I gather you have a 2007 model worth about $50. You can take it into an authorized repair shop. They will diagnose the problem for about $100 / hour (minimum 1 hour). So it is time to buy a new or used machine. I hope you have backed up the system with Time Machine.
  7. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    At this point I suggest you open up the unit and see if anything is loose. I have seen MANY Apple optical drives go bad (mechanically they are OK but the laser does not read anymore).

    Remove the internal hard disk and see if you can physically mount it on another computer via USB.
  8. dogslobber macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    50 bucks including free shipping according to eBay. Those are giveaway prices.

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