Windows XP Destroyed my Mac...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by psychomelody, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. psychomelody macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan
    #1
    So a bad Windows disc during a boot camp install screwed up my poor mac mini...

    I'm a pretty Mac savvy guy. I've owned both Windows and Mac machines all my life... and I just ran into a problem that has really floored me....

    Last night I went to install Windows XP Professional using Boot Camp on my Mac Mini. It seemed like a pretty basic process so I guess I wasn't paying too much attention. I formatted my partition, popped in my XP disc, and got all the way to where the installer restarts the computer.

    Then Disaster.

    I get the famed error "Disk Error Press any key to restart" after the line asking me to press any key to boot from a disc.

    Then nothing.

    I read that this happens when your XP disc doesn't give you the option to reformat the partition or something. That's fine. But I had another really serious problem.

    Nothing worked. No keys on the keyboard, no startup discs, no nothing. No key combinations will bring up a choice of boot disc, verbose mode, target disk mode, or anything. I have tried booting with an XP and Leopard disc in the actual DVD drive on the Mac Mini and a USB DVD drive. Discs that go in the machine's drive will not come out and the computer has to be cracked open to extract the disc.

    With the Leopard disc in the external it spins and thinks for about 15 minutes and then eventually goes to the same "disk error" message.

    I can't get it to go back to OSX. I took the drive out and put it in an enclosure and deleted the XP partition and the drive is fine. Booted fine from my macbook. But after painstakingly putting the machine back together, I set it up, turn it back on, and hoped to see that wonderful apple logo!

    Nothing. I get the "boot volume can not be found, insert boot CD" or something... So I do so... Nothing. I take it apart, take out the disc, put it in the USB external... it spins for about 10 minutes... then it goes to a blinking cursor ala PC DOS... nothing. I tried resetting the PRAM and nothing happens.

    I'm at a loss here, people... I AM the computer guy to other people. I have nobody to turn to.

    Please help...
     
  2. LTX macrumors regular

    LTX

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    #2
    At first glance it looks like it MAY have installed to the wrong partition, possibly screwing up the EFI boot partition in the process, but you say it boots fine on the Macbook. I haven't seen this problem before, so I am going to guess and say it screwed up your BIOS (but I don't even know if that's possible, since I have heard that Windows on a Mac uses some kind of emulated BIOS).

    I'm a technician too, but I have no idea. :( If all else fails, take it in to your local Apple Store and see what they can do.
     
  3. thagomizer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    The OSX volume on the disk is fine, right? As you said, it boots up your macbook if you swap out the drive.

    So the problem isn't the disk, but the fact that the Mini doesn't see any boot volumes and doesn't respond to keys like Option or T at startup?

    Can the machine at least boot into the EFI menu?

    The problem described on this page sounds a lot like what you are seeing:

    http://www.maconintel.com/news.php?article=110
     
  4. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4
    I assume you've tried this but since you haven't explicitly stated it: Try booting while holding Option at the chime (keep holding it for a minute). If that doesn't work, try holding the mouse button (can also take up to a minute).
     
  5. psychomelody thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2009
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan
    #5
    But I didn't do anything abnormal!!!! All I did was open boot camp assistant, format my partition, insert my Windows XP disc, and it installed up until the first restart. THAT'S when all of this hell began. I didn't tinker with anything nor did I hard boot anything until this happened.

    If that IS the case I'm going to be furious. I need that machine and I don't have any money for a new one. There should be no risk of bricking a computer while trying to install Windows.

    This is ridiculous.

    I have tried everything and have been very patient. It seems that nothing on the keyboard works.

    How do I get to that?
     
  6. psychomelody thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2009
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    Yokohama, Japan
    #6
    Update:

    I put the XP disc in for ha has just to se what happens. Surprisingly, I get a new error message:

    INF file Ttxtsetup.sif is corrupt or missing, status 2.

    Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit.


    Not sure if that helps. And none of the keys work anyway. Nothing new happens after that. Just the same error message or nothing at all.
     
  7. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    New Zealand
    #7
    I believe that the previous poster is referring to the menu that should appear when you hold Option.

    Are you able to reset the PRAM? (Cmd-Opt-P-R at startup and let it chime three times). I would also give this a go.

    Edit: I guess if you've had the system in pieces then you've probably managed to reset the SMC already!
     
  8. psychomelody thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2009
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan
    #8
    I have tried every option and variation of keys to get it to do something. Nothing happens. The keyboard seems to do nothing.... and it works fine, I've been using it with my Mac all day.

    I got tired of putting discs in the main DVD drive because they do nothing and then won't come out... then I have to crack open the system again.

    External DVD drives just think and whurr for about 15-20 minutes each time. About half of that with a white screen and half with a black screen... then it goes to the blinking prompt.

    If I do nothing I get the chime, it checks the external drive for a disc, stays white for a bit, display turns off, turns back on, black screen, flashing "_" and nothing more.

    The hard drive in it is fine. The RAM is fine. I honestly don't know what I can do.
     
  9. msevild macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    Schaumburg
    #9
    A question and possible solutions for you. I have seen this issue myself previously. Are you using the apple thin aluminum keyboard? If yes, I would suggest trying a different USB keyboard, borrow one if you have to. I tried forever to get it to work and then I tried a different keyboard altogether and that worked first time I tried it. And I know it sounds weird but try using the option key on the right side of the keyboard, not the left to see if that will bring up the startup manager for you. If another keyboard is the solution, I would also suggest resetting PRAM right away so the system stops trying to boot to the Windows partition. Let me know how it goes and if you have any further questions/issues.
     
  10. Yamcha macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    #10
    Good Luck with the problem, I always find that this is exactly why PC's are better when it comes to fixing a problem, because with a Mac if something goes wrong, and the usual thing doesnt work, your screwed, but with a PC you have more then one way of fixing it.
     
  11. mkelly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #11
    That's a bit of FUD there my friend. I think what you really mean to say is that you're more familiar with fixing PCs and are therefore more comfortable doing so, knowing alternative ways to do things, etc.

    I was a Unix sysadmin for years, and I'm pretty comfortable fixing Macs - there are tons of alternative ways of doing things, if you know how. Just like with a PC. Granted, you can't easily run down to the local computer shop and buy a new motherboard ... but aside from that they're just as flexible. It's usually the users who aren't.
     
  12. mkelly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #12
    As others have said, if you're using the standard aluminum keyboard, then try a different USB keyboard (even if yours *does* work on other machines).

    Next: rather than cracking the case to remove DVDs/CDs, have you tried holding down the left mouse button on power-up? This will generally force a Mac to eject a disk. No keyboard required.

    It sounds as though your problem is very similar to this one.

    I'll do some more digging on your behalf to see if there's any way out of this. What version of XP were you installing? Was it a Pre-SP1 disk?

    Here's a couple more resources:

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1687966&tstart=0 - there is discussion here suggesting that trying a PRAM reset with no RAM in the machine may do the trick. I doubt it, but worth a shot.

    Also, you can try resetting the onboard SMC controller, as described in this thread:

     
  13. psychomelody thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2009
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan
    #13
    I am using the thin keyboard... I will grab an array of windows/Mac keyboards from work and return at lunch to try them. I hope that's it. I really really hope it's something as stupid as this... I'd rather it be something stupid than something that can't be fixed...

    Gonna try the keyboard this afternoon, but I must make note, pressing the mouse button did nothing.

    As for the link it IS similar, but I DO get a chime when it starts up and the screen does turn on. Also, it does recognize discs, just won't bring up Mac boot disc menu...

    Taking out the RAM is going to be a last resort... the machine takes a long time to take apart.

    Also, I was installing a brand new Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 disc.

    Thank you for all of your help! Hopefully it's the keyboard and when I come home for lunch I'll have a working Mac again.
     
  14. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #14
    Can you take the HD out and put it in another Mac and format it there. Once done the mini might be able to boot from the DVD. For some strange reason it might be trying to boot from the DVD and reading a file from the HD. Just a thought...
     
  15. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #15
    You need to format the windows partition as NTFS.

    Hold OPTION key when you turn on your computer. What do you see there?

    Boot into the windows install cd (not the installed harddrive partition), format, and try again.
     
  16. psychomelody thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Location:
    Yokohama, Japan
    #16
    Fixed!

    OH WOW... It was the damn keyboard!

    I was all set and brought home a regular Mac white keyboard, a oldschool G3 keyboard, and a Dell keyboard just in case... and the first one worked!

    That's so dumb but I am so happy! I'm typing on the Mac Mini right now. I'm keeping the old Mac keyboard here just in case... I'm still going to attempt to install XP on this machine, heh... and eventually Windows 7 Beta.

    Thank you everyone for your help!
     
  17. mkelly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #17
    Definitely not an ordinary experience when setting up Bootcamp (I've done many, many a Bootcamp install with nothing like what you've described). Must've been frustrating as anything for you!

    Glad to hear that all is well and you're back up and running.
     

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