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Retired Mini, plugged in today worked fine. then broke.
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gigaguy
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:34 pm    Post subject: Retired Mini, plugged in today worked fine. then broke. Reply with quote

Hi, I have a 2.0 Mini with upgraded RAM and hard rive, I used for years and retired it 6? months ago. A friend wants to buy it so I hooked it up and it worked fine for over an hour. then I shut it down.
Later, same day, I go to wipe it and reinstall and it's now stuck on the grey screen with gear running. I tried all the basic things, like PRAM reset, SCM? reset, tried to boot from install disc, unplugged, tried diff kbs.
I get full start up sounds, unit got warm. Could feed in install disk. but won't boot now. I'd understand if it did this first time restarting, but it did it second time restarting. I know checking ram and hard drive might help, and may take it apart, but I don;t really want to. but I did want to sell it, just lost my job..
but just seems odd it worked and then didn't. but maybe the hdd just went out.
I'm kinda glad, cause I didn't really want to worry if a friend bought it and had problems later..
strange tho...
Any ideas. It was a good machine with 4gb Ram and 320hdd. hmm.
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gigaguy
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if anyone is interested. I took the Mini apart, put the hard drive in a caddy, used Disk Utility, said the partitions and sectors were okay. I decided to try repair, and it started but seemed to get stuck on the progress bar, but maybe I didn't wait long enough, it was 5-10 min. I then decided to try to erase the drive and it did that fine. I loaded some files on it, worked fine.

I then checked the ram. I popped it up and reseated the 2 2gb sticks.

Put everything back together, and now the Mini just beeps and flashes the on light. I took it apart again and see the RAM is loose. I can not get the RAM chassis to tilt up. I was able to get the sticks out but the ram chassis is locked down. I don't know what it is with me and RAM, I always have trouble with the RAM chassis release.

Now I'm thinking from before there must be something wrong with the motherboard or something I don't know about. It's definitely inoperable now cause I can not get the ram back in.
Too bad, it was a nice Machine. I guess I will just sell it for parts. I have the box, all discs. I'm gonna zero erase the hdd in my caddy, or maybe just sell it w/o the hdd. ugh. frustrating.
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marv777
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:37 pm    Post subject: MM Reply with quote

gigaguy wrote:
Well, if anyone is interested. I took the Mini apart, put the hard drive in a caddy, used Disk Utility, said the partitions and sectors were okay. I decided to try repair, and it started but seemed to get stuck on the progress bar, but maybe I didn't wait long enough, it was 5-10 min. I then decided to try to erase the drive and it did that fine. I loaded some files on it, worked fine.

I then checked the ram. I popped it up and reseated the 2 2gb sticks.

Put everything back together, and now the Mini just beeps and flashes the on light. I took it apart again and see the RAM is loose. I can not get the RAM chassis to tilt up. I was able to get the sticks out but the ram chassis is locked down. I don't know what it is with me and RAM, I always have trouble with the RAM chassis release.

Now I'm thinking from before there must be something wrong with the motherboard or something I don't know about. It's definitely inoperable now cause I can not get the ram back in.
Too bad, it was a nice Machine. I guess I will just sell it for parts. I have the box, all discs. I'm gonna zero erase the hdd in my caddy, or maybe just sell it w/o the hdd. ugh. frustrating.
Time to retire it I would say to you.
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gigaguy
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right I guess. just was odd the sequence of events and it was working fine for a while yesterday. My friend was excited about getting it.
thanks for reading.
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gigaguy
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I managed to get the ram seated and now, miraculously, the Mini is booted and 'checking the install disk' progress bar is up. wish I knew what caused the grey screen before, but I'm not near finished yet..

edit- seems to be fine, installed Leopard and apps.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would venture to guess that maybe you were moving it around, and after checking it to see if it work, maybe bumped and something came loose.

When you put it back together, everything was good and tight, so now it works.

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Cypher
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:54 am    Post subject: Re: MM Reply with quote

Unfortunately I can't hold my thoughts on this one

marv777 wrote:
Time to retire it I would say to you.


Why do you bother replying some times. Twisted Evil all you seem interested in is getting your post count up and add short one line entries to posts that you didn't need to reply too.

Yet again you have tried to come across as an experienced user which could have ended up costing this guy his Mini. Thankfully he ignored you and tried again Sad

Well done on sorting it out gigaguy Cool
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gigaguy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, still curious on what caused a grey screen after it worked fine for an hour after first start up in 6 months. I suspect something about it being unplugged for 6 months? 2nd start, no action or function, just grey screen with a gear.

In the caddy I have, (Phil gave me a while back, thanks) the 320 drive seems to be working. I am zeroing it out to put it back in. I do want to sell it working fine.

I did Disk utility checks. it said partition maps were ok. I then did repair disk and after 10 min it seemed to stop progress but maybe I did not wait long enough. I loaded some data on and it seemed to work ok. just trying to see if the hdd is faulty, I don't know much about checking it, but it seems to work fine in the caddy afaik..

since it wouldn't boot from install disk does that mean it might not have been the hdd anyway?

The Mini is working with the orig 120gg drive it came with, but I want to put the 320gb back in, that's my next step.
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gigaguy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeroing out the 320 hdd in Disk Utility on my other mini. Took 2 hours via USB caddy, but it is stuck now at '5 min left' and is not progressing or finishing.
The 320 drive is hot, and I jiggled it a little and now the min. left are counting down again and finished.
Does that mean the drive is faulty?
Verify and Repair shows no problem.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you recap where you are at. From what I understand the mini work fine with the 120GB drive, now the only issue you are having is with the 320GB drive.

My guess is the 320GB has bad blocks. I assume you don't have Techtool Pro.

I'll have to ask at work what sort of free alternatives there are to Tech Tool Pro. That's if I remember. I'm always insanely busy, so are our techs.

Perhaps someone on the forum knows of a free utility that will scan a HD for bad blocks.

Sounds like the problem is pretty minor now that you have isolated it to the HD.
Nothing that an SSD won't cure Smile Why don't you just put the 120GB in and your friend can worry about their drive of choice, or they can buy a drive and have you put it in. An SSD will make that little mini rock.
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gigaguy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THanks Bill, the mini is working with the orig 120gb drive back in. I reinstalled & reformatted and loaded Snow Leopard, no probs. Just curious why I got a grey screen yesterday with the 320gb in there that's been in it for 2-3 years I guess. just grey screen after it had been working fine for an hour. I removed the 320gb drive and erased in Disk utility it seems to be working fine on it's own.
I want to sell the Mini and troubleshoot any problems before a new owner buys it. I'd like to not spend any money and possibly use the larger 320 hdd in it.
I'm willing to leave the 120hdd in if the 320gb drive is problematic.

I'm going to put the 320gb back drive in and load Snow L on it, and test. I just don't know if the drive has a glitch or is ok. just trying to troubleshoot it. I am not that experienced at troubleshooting hard drives, these 2 seem to be both working.

I want to sell it with the best chance it will not have a problem. I think this is something hard to predict, esp at a distance. but thanks for the checkin. Just wondering if there are signs that a drive is failing. Both drives seem to be happy, and the mac is working fine. I'll just keep checking it, unplugging it etc for a while and see if it happens again.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gigaguy wrote:
Just wondering if there are signs that a drive is failing.


Yes bad blocks.

I see 100's of machines go through our trade in diagnostic program, that have hard drives with bad blocks. Most often people were not aware that their hard drive was failing.

Again if I remember, I'll ask my techs if there is freeware that scans HDs for bad blocks. For all you know the 120HD may have issues you are not aware of.
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gigaguy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, the 320 was in it when I got a stuck grey screen yesterday. then I reinstalled the orig 120gb drive it came with. no problems. the 320 is acting ok in the separate caddy I put it in to erase it and test it as best as I know how.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far I haven't found freeware that does a surface scan of the HD.

Apparently if you zero a drive with Disk Utility it will map out blocks that it was unable to write a zero to. Apparently this isn't a very accurate way to do it as it is supposed to be tested with random reads and writes, but it sounds like a decent way to get a general idea of the condition for free.
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hackersmovie
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You said you got a grey screen with a "gear" on it? I've never seen that screen. Normally, if the EFI can't find an operating system on a Mac it will display a grey screen with a face, then a question mark, alternating. That is a sign that the HD is corrupt or your OS is.

Having a bad HD will have NO effect on it booting from an external source. I've boot Macs with no hard drive installed at all.

What ever you saw on the grey screen most likely was telling you there was a hard drive/OS problem. Even in this state, the normal "bong" sound and activity light will work as normal. They will only sound/light up differently if there is a hardware malfunction like EFI, RAM, etc. but, not a hard drive failure.
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