Resolved Wiped HDD and a few questions

Discussion in 'macOS' started by r0k, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. r0k, Jul 28, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011

    r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #1
    I tried upgrading my wife's Mini 2.1 to Lion and got the dreaded "You need more RAM". So I went to Crucial, ordered the RAM and waited. It came today so I got out my putty knives. They were crusted with old plaster and mortar. Since I didn't want that stuff rolling around inside my wife's mini, I cleaned the putty knives.

    I opened up her mini, popped in 2 gig of RAM, took it back up stairs to reboot and ... nothing. Got a spinning clock for a very long time, got tired of waiting and switched off the machine. Switched on again and got even less. Just a blinking folder with a question mark. This can't be a good sign. Went back downstairs and popped in different RAM. Still no go. Third time put back original RAM. No go. Called Apple. Out of AppleCare but my recent purchase of Lion gives me a brief consultation.

    So here is where it gets interesting. After zapping PRAM left me still stuck at the blinking folder he wanted me to find the original system disk. I would rather use my Snow Leopard DVD but couldn't find it. So at the Apple guy's suggestion, I popped in my vintage Leopard CD and booted the machine with the Apple guy on the phone. He says to run disk utility and you know what? The partition map is gone. Just gone. So rather than cry over it I create a partition and let Leopard install. (In the back of my mind I'm running down the list of SSD drives and what time the places close that sell them).

    Leopard installs and the Apple guy tells me I can use migration assistant to restore from Time Machine and her Snow Leopard will come back. I tell him I don't think so but he insists. I decide to humor him and let the install finish. A leopard install is pathetic and slow and you have to insert 2 CDs. Now that leopard is on the machine and it boots I tell him thanks and promise to run migration assistant as he suggests just as soon as I put the bigger RAM back in the machine.

    Once I hang up, I go back downstairs, put the 2 gig back in the machine, boot back up and now I find my Snow Leopard disk. Darn. I've got precious disk space wasted on MS Office 2004 trial because I couldn't find the darn SL disk while I had the Apple guy on the phone. Maybe Apple is right. To heck with the friggin' disks. Anyway now I installed Snow Leopard and let all the updates run. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the 10.6.8 combo update right now.

    Then I'll launch migration assistant and bring back all my wife's stuff (hopefully) from our Time Capsule. I think Lion can wait a few days until I decide if I want to replace her HDD with an SSD before I put her mini's top cover back on.

    So my questions are as follows...

    ** Did I somehow wipe the drive by some clumsiness when I took her mini apart? ( You have to pry the case open from the bottom with a putty knife, take out 4 #0 phillips screws, unsnap and move an airport antenna, disconnect a 2 pin connector in front then swing the optical and HDD assembly up and out of the way to get to the RAM. Then reverse the process just to power the mini up to see if you broke anything. ) Those of you that get the new mini with the ram door on the bottom you are so lucky! :rolleyes:

    ** Does Migration Assistant bring back apps, data AND OS? I know disk utility brings back all of the above when you restore from a dmg but I don't think restoring from a TM backup can bring back an entire OS. I think the Apple guy was blowing smoke on this one. :confused:

    ** I have 2 more minis to upgrade but they aren't backing up to TM yet. I guess I should let them back up to our TC before I try to do another RAM upgrade, right? :eek:

    EDIT: Changed title to resolved Wiped HDD and a few questions, was Crashed HDD and a few questions.
     
  2. Gramp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    #2
    So contrary to the title, it wasn't a physical HDD crash at all.

    I'd suspect that prior to receiving the message about insufficient RAM, the Lion install procedure had already (logically) deleted your Snow Leopard partition.

    You would think that backing out should have allowed that to be undone, but maybe not.

    Not too surprising that only the original Leopard install disk(s) would allow booting and getting into Disk Utility.

    So I think it was unlikely anything to do with putty knives or the RAM upgrade.
    Possible that a static discharge caused a problem - but those original Minis must have been opened up routinely without such issues.
    Accidental disconnection of components maybe, but nothing too catastrophic.

    That addresses your questions 1 & 3. You didn't "wipe the drive", and no need to be concerned about RAM upgrades on your other Minis.

    Don't use TM so won't comment on on Q2.
    (With CCC, yes the OS along with the apps. and data would be restored, of course.)
     
  3. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #3
    Machine kept working for days after the attempted lion install, but never booted during that time so maybe it was lion...

    TM restore failed. Says the backup is corrupt. So now I'm restoring from crashplan. What a pain. I still think I need to back up the other minis. This time I think I'll use something other than TM to TC via wifi.
     
  4. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #4
    Decided to upgrade to ssd while i had the cover off. What a difference! I think I'll spring for ssd for our other minis. I'll keep my hybrid ssd in my macbook which is fast enough but nowhere near as fast as ssd.

    For instance... Open office takes 2 minutes to launch at 5400 rpm and 30 seconds to launch on my hybrid ssd but only 5 seconds to launch on a full ssd. We are talking about older core 2 duo machines that geekbench in the 2500-3300 range. Ssd makes a huge diff. After crashplan and time machine are done backing up the ssd, I'll install Lion for her. This time it will work.
     
  5. r0k thread starter macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #5
    More updates

    Now 2 of our 3 Intel Minis are running Lion. Waiting on the third SSD to arrive in the mail to do the last one. I was able to use the 2 GB I took out of my Macbook to upgrade RAM in one of the minis. Normally replaced memory goes to waste. Now I gotta find homes for 3 sets of 2 512 MB 200 pin memory sticks. They'll probably rot in a drawer somewhere.

    I never got TM working right via wifi on my wife's machine and after some quality time with Apple support over intermittent wifi issues, I figured out all our Minis have 802.11g. :eek: The guy was about to talk me through using the "enabler" but sadly there is no N hardware in our Minis and to buy it costs over 50 bucks. :mad: I've spent enough between the SSD's and the RAM. With G wifi, no wonder TM was so slow and broken. It was taking over 24 hours to back up 26 gig. I broke down and ran a gigabit ethernet wire to her Mini and the TM backup finished in 55 minutes. I won't let the kids use TM. G wifi is good enough for crashplan but not for Time Machine so all they get is crashplan. BTW: To find our your "real" wifi connection speed, hold option while clicking on the airport/wifi icon in your menu bar. On our minis, the speed reported were 54 MB but on my Macbook it shows up as 270 MB.

    While my Momentus XT "hybrid" is fast, it's not as fast as pure SSD so I now have the dubious honor of having the slowest Mac in the house (not counting the G4 chugging along on Leopard in the basement).

    @gramp, btw I consider an unscheduled wipe to be a lot like a crash but you are right, the HDD was still "good" but I can breathe a sigh of relief now that the rotating media is in its rightful place on the work bench in the basement where it can do no more harm.
     

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