Permanent kernel panic, Mac mini won't boot

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Dreamkatcha, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. Dreamkatcha macrumors regular

    Dreamkatcha

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    #1
    I'm on the verge of taking my Mini in for a service, but wanted to get a second opinion before throwing away money on something I may be able to fix myself.

    The trouble started when I tried to copy a movie to a CD-R using Burrrn. The disc started spinning and vibrating like crazy and sounded like an aeroplane taking off. The computer froze so all I could do to avert meltdown was turn it off by holding down the power button for five seconds.

    When I tried starting it up again I was faced with the kernel panic of death screen. I can't boot it up via the primary HD or DVD using the startup manager. My OS X Tiger DVD fails to boot (the grey screen, Apple logo and spinning gear appear, but it won't progress beyond this stage) and I can't run the hardware diagnostics test from the install disc. I've tried all the usual tricks: clearing the firmware, disconnecting and reconnecting everything including the power plug, starting up in safe mode/single user mode and so on, and still I can't get into the operating system.

    I'm at the end of my tether. Could someone please do me a favour and take a look at the screenshot below showing the verbose mode log and tell me if there's anything I can do to salvage my defunct Mini?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    If possible, test the RAM by swapping it out. Otherwise take it back to Apple. :eek:
     
  3. Dreamkatcha thread starter macrumors regular

    Dreamkatcha

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. Is there a memory testing boot CD I can use? I know about Memtest, but you need to have access to the OS to run that.
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    The Apple Hardware Test includes a memory tester (I think), but these software-based tests aren't brilliant and often neglect to find fault with dodgy hardware. If possible, it's better to take a chip out at a time and see how things go. Obviously if you only have one chip of memory this isn't possible though, so the AHT may have to suffice. :eek:
     
  5. Dreamkatcha thread starter macrumors regular

    Dreamkatcha

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    #5
    My problem is I can't get AHT to run. If I could ascertain that it's the RAM that's at fault I'd buy another stick, but I don't want to just guess in case it's the logic board or something else.

    I'd be surprised if the boot HD and optical drive are both faulty, yet I can't boot from either of them. It's so frustrating because if it was a PC I could use an emergency boot disk to establish what the problem is and fix it myself.
     
  6. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #6
    -Dreamkatcha

    My suggestion is that same as mad jew's. Take the RAM out, and attempt booting, rotate RAM chips in and out until you've tested every possible combination.

    If still no joy, take 'er in.

    Question: How well has it been ventilated? I have a fear...
     
  7. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #7
    If it's still it's warranty, don't open it up. All you'll do is void the warranty...
     
  8. Dreamkatcha thread starter macrumors regular

    Dreamkatcha

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    #8
    I think it was ventilated well enough. It was sitting on a flat wooden desk with plenty of space between the walls and the unit. I live in Britain so I haven't got sweltering temperatures to contend with.

    I bought it in May 2005 so the warranty has long since expired.

    I believe PPC Minis from this period come with a single RAM slot and I only have one 512mb SIMM to try. Not sure if it's worth taking it out and re-inserting it. I've never attempted to open the case before.

    On a positive note I live close by to two Mac repair centres so I'll take it there as a last resort.
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9
    Yeah, that was my worry. You can't swap the RAM out unless you find another chip somewhere 'cause it won't boot if there's no RAM. Do you have another Mac handy? If so, try booting into Target Disk Mode using a Firewire cable. :)
     
  10. Dreamkatcha thread starter macrumors regular

    Dreamkatcha

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    #10
    No, I've only got one Mac to work with unfortunately.

    I borrowed a 256mb stick of RAM from my brother and tried booting with that. My Mini reported an access problem and refused to boot. Not surprising really considering he bought it from one of those untested bargain bins at a computer fair for £1.

    Next I tried my 512mb SIMM from the Mini in a Dell PC to check if it's faulty. It worked perfectly which suggests to me that the Mac's logic board is kaput. If that's the case I think I'm better off buying a new computer as the cost of a repair and parts would be astronomical.

    Thanks for all your help guys.

    Oh, through this ordeal I discovered that steel spatulas are very useful for prising open Mac Minis without damaging the case. You don't really need to use two at once which is lucky because I only had one that was a suitable shape.
     

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