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  1. #1


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    Mac Mini stuck at loading screen, please help
    Hi guys i have a problem.

    I booted up my Mac Mini a couple of days ago to find for some reason it is now stuck in that loading screen which displays a grey background, the apple logo and a round loading swirly sign.

    I have tried running disc utility and trying to repair it but it dosent detect any errors, i also tried clearing the PRAM according to Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM and still no joy.

    Last night i decided to do a total reinstall of OSX and went through an hour and a half of erasing and reinstalling osx from its supplied discs, however still it wont get past the loading screen.

    I can access safe mode without a problem which makes me think the problem must be software based but i don't understand why a full reinstall hasn't cured this.

    I have done numerouse hours of searching the web without any luck to a cure to my specific problem, so am posting this as a last attempt to see if any of the more technology minded guys out there know of or can help me work through a solution, if you could i'd be eternally greatful as i use my mac mini quite alot.

    Specs are Mac Mini 1.66GHZ intel duo core 2, 1gb ram, 10.6 OSX (upgraded from 10.5) 100gb hard drive

    I have also started up in Verbose mode and got alot of info that i dont really understand but looked like there was a kernal error, ive attached a screen shot of where the loading screen gets stuck in verbose, not sure if its bad?

    Thanks in anticipation of your help
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muffiee View Post
    Last night i decided to do a total reinstall of OSX and went through an hour and a half of erasing and reinstalling osx from its supplied discs, however still it wont get past the loading screen.

    I can access safe mode without a problem which makes me think the problem must be software based but i don't understand why a full reinstall hasn't cured this.
    Actually... the fact that you did (or have attempted) a complete reinstall of OS X and still can only access Safe Mode tells me you probably have a hardware problem. Have you run the hardware test off the original install discs?
    Intel-based Macs: Using Apple Hardware Test

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  3. #3


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    Quote Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
    Actually... the fact that you did (or have attempted) a complete reinstall of OS X and still can only access Safe Mode tells me you probably have a hardware problem. Have you run the hardware test off the original install discs?
    Intel-based Macs: Using Apple Hardware Test
    Thanks for that, have just followed the steps in the link however the results have turned up "No trouble found". Looks like the trouble must be in the software i guess then?

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    Thanks for that, have just followed the steps in the link however the results have turned up "No trouble found". Looks like the trouble must be in the software i guess then?
    Not necessarily. The AHT will sometimes find the more obvious hardware problems - IE: bad hard drive, bad memory, etc. But it overlooks many of the others that are more difficult to trouble shoot. You may have a marginal hard drive that's failing but not detected by the AHT. Or, you could have a problem with the logic board itself or the GPU which is integrated on the logic board. But that is less likely.

    Is your Mini under any kind of warranty? It might be time to take it on in. Or, if you can do the work yourself, you might try a new hard drive.

    Regards.

  5. #5


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    Unfortunatly it's out of warranty.

    Have gone back and tried to reinstall OSX again to see if it made any difference, still the same loading problem however that Kernel error isn't appearing anymore when i run in Verbose mode.

    Took a couple of shots of the data it loaded in Verbose before it got stuck, i tried restarting the system 4 times so i could see if there was any pattern





    Makes me wonder if the airport device is faulty (think this is the bluetooth?) as it keeps stopping at this point as per the screenshots, does this sound likely?

  6. #6

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muffiee View Post
    <snip>
    Makes me wonder if the airport device is faulty (think this is the bluetooth?) as it keeps stopping at this point as per the screenshots, does this sound likely?
    Well at this point, anything is an open possibility. One thing to try… do you have access to an external drive, or an 8GB or larger thumb drive, that you could install OS X to? If you do and can successfully install to one of those, then it will look more like your drive is at fault.

    BTW… try verifying your drive with Disk Utility off your install discs.
    Using Disk Utility to verify or repair disks

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  7. #7


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    Quote Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
    Well at this point, anything is an open possibility. One thing to try… do you have access to an external drive, or an 8GB or larger thumb drive, that you could install OS X to? If you do and can successfully install to one of those, then it will look more like your drive is at fault.

    BTW… try verifying your drive with Disk Utility off your install discs.
    Using Disk Utility to verify or repair disks
    Thanks, I tried verifying from the install cd's the other day but it didn't turn up anything to repair. Pritty sure i have an old usb hard drive somewhere around the house i can use, will try later on and let you know how it goes. 4am in UK at the moment so gotta catch up on some sleep

  8. #8


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    I tried installing the mac osx onto an external hard drive as suggested however even though the installation completed it is stil stuck at the loading screen when trying to boot up from that drive, so not a hard drive error i guess

    Any other suggestions which can help me locate where the fault is at?

  9. #9

    chscag's Avatar
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    It appears that your hard drive is probably OK. It's beginning to look like you may have a problem with some other hardware on the Mini. Without any kind of warranty or Apple care, if it turns out to be the logic board that can be an expensive repair. Certainly not worth doing with a Mini. If you have an Apple store nearby or authorized Apple repair, you can always take it on in and ask for an estimate before deciding to fix it.

    Regards.

  10. #10


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    Thanks, the mac store is quite a drive away but i guess if i cant find anyother way of curing this its my only option bar getting a new one.

    Though after looking at the boot screen in verbose mode a number of times im thinking maybe the fault could lie in the airport card. It always hangs where it has a command to do with airport.

    I'd like to try and disable this airport card so the mac mini dosent try and load it in boot. After reading this article "http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20031206194417678" i tried following the steps but for some reason terminal says "interface en1 does not exist". as per below screenshot.

    Does anyone know why it says this?
    or maybe there is another way of disabling the airport card?


  11. #11

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by muffiee View Post
    Thanks, the mac store is quite a drive away but i guess if i cant find anyother way of curing this its my only option bar getting a new one.

    Though after looking at the boot screen in verbose mode a number of times im thinking maybe the fault could lie in the airport card. It always hangs where it has a command to do with airport.

    I'd like to try and disable this airport card so the mac mini dosent try and load it in boot. After reading this article "http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20031206194417678" i tried following the steps but for some reason terminal says "interface en1 does not exist". as per below screenshot.

    Does anyone know why it says this?
    or maybe there is another way of disabling the airport card?
    The Airport card is certainly as good a culprit as any. I'm not sure how to disable it, but opening up the mini and removing may be an option.

    There's one other thing to try… it just occurred to me that this is strikingly similar to a problem I had once. Unplug everything from the mini… all USB devices, everything except perhaps the keyboard and mouse. Then reboot the machine and see if it comes up. I had a really odd problem once in which my bluetooth headset, while connected for charging, was apparently defective and the Mac was trying to boot from that. Seriously.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  12. #12


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    Afraid no luck, i tried disabling the airport in terminal with a command found at Mac Stuff Turning your Airport Card on and off

    But it comes up with this error within terminal:
    cp: /library/preferences/systemconfiguration/preferences.plist.old: permission denied
    Wireless is not available
    **error wireless is not currently available on this machine


    If i cant find another way looks like my only next step will be to open up the mac mini and take it out but not sure how easy it is to get at the airport card for the intel mac minis, anyone have experience at this?

  13. #13

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Here's one guide with pictures demonstrating how to take apart a Mac mini. It's from 2006, so may be a bit outdated.
    Intel Mac mini: Take Apart Guide (RAM & HD) | Applefritter

    Here's a video tutorial dated from 2009:
    How to repair an Intel Mac Mini - Bottom case removal | Video « Wonder How To

    And a second video illustrating how to remove the airport card:
    Mac Mini (Intel) Repair Guide Service Manual

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  14. #14

    chscag's Avatar
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    I'm just wondering if maybe your airport card is in fact defective and that's the reason why you can't turn it off in terminal. Note that the error is also saying that there is no wireless. That indicates to me the card is dead.

    Open up your System Profiler from Applications, Utilities, and tell us what is says about Airport.

    Post back.

    Regards.

  15. #15


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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    I'm just wondering if maybe your airport card is in fact defective and that's the reason why you can't turn it off in terminal. Note that the error is also saying that there is no wireless. That indicates to me the card is dead.

    Open up your System Profiler from Applications, Utilities, and tell us what is says about Airport.

    Post back.

    Regards.
    Hi, in system profiler under airport it says "No information found"

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