10 Replies Latest reply: Sep 11, 2005 9:07 PM by Jason Bang
Rick Thompson Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
I became a new owner of a Mac Mini last week. Starting just two days ago however, after booting it up, it now gets stuck at the gray apple screen and Tiger never fully loads. I think my mini may have a defective hard drive because when I can boot from a startup disk and try to either run Disk Utility, or reinstall Tiger all I get is a spinning beach ball. Is this a common problem and can anyone offer advice on how to fix this? I have run the hardware diagnostic disk, and it tells me my hardware is not defective.
  • 1. RE: Frozen at startup
    Patrick Abuzeni Level 4 Level 4 (2,675 points)
    Welcome to the Apple Discussion boards and sorry for your troubles.

    Is it a grey screen with or without the Apple logo?
  • 2. RE: Frozen at startup
    Ben Sutton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    hey there,

    as of this morning, the same thing has happened to me. the mini won't/can't get past the grey screen, with an apple on it, and the rotating/spinning wheel below it. any ideas?

    are my tears of frustration warranted?!


    ps. just ran the apple hardware test and everything was fine...and it still won't start up. boo hoo.
  • 3. RE: Frozen at startup
    Patrick Abuzeni Level 4 Level 4 (2,675 points)

    Try starting up from the install CD and select Disk Utility and repair disk. If you get any errors, repeat the repair until you get the all clear. If that fails you may need to resort to a 3rd party utility such as DiskWarrior to do the repairs.

    Of course you can also use the fsck, but Apple seems to be recommending the disk utility over fsck if you are using Tiger.

    Let us know how it goes.

  • 4. RE: Frozen at startup
    Greg Plassmeyer1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having the same problem. System stops the boot process during the pinwheel. Brought my mini into the Apple store the "Genius" connected it to an old 15" CRT and boom, it started up, no problem. I brought it home and got the same old thing startup freezes during the pinwheel. So it is monitor related.

    I have a optoma rd50 display with a DVI input. I am fortunate enough to have a powerbook as well and when I plug that into the the same display using DVI I am able to get to the OS.

    Any thoughts? I wish Apple would see this.
  • 5. RE: Frozen at startup
    Patrick Abuzeni Level 4 Level 4 (2,675 points)

    I didn't find your monitor on this user created list but perhaps you could contribute to that list.

  • 6. RE: Frozen at startup
    AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
    I've seen this same problem reported a few times, and it seems associated with the monitor detect signal that the Mac tries to read from most modern displays.

    First thing to try is to start the mini up with the monitor disconnected completely - you should be able to tell from the drive noises if the startup proceeds correctly or not. Assuming the Mac starts up correctly, then connect the display. It will likely open at a lower resolution, but you should see the Mac's desktop. Go to the 'displays' preference pane and click the 'detect displays' button. If the name of the display (or part of it) appears in the title of the displays window, the display has been detected correctly, and once the preference pane is closed, the Mac should restart correctly.

    If this doesn't work (ie, the display is not correctly detected or the system still doesn't start up correctly after the dispaly is manually detected), you might try downloading and installing the new ATI driver set from www.ati.com (under the 'drivers & software' tab).
  • 7. RE: Frozen at startup
    Rick Thompson Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thank you all for the suggestions, however I don't believe the monitor to be at fault. I have tried accessing the drive using a firewire cable with the Mac Mini acting as a target-disk and even then the drive was unavailable.

    Its very strange, when I boot from a install cd, I am able to get to the "Choose your language screen", but after selecting one and clicking the "next" button, I once again get the spinning cursor. Thinking that the drive might just be slow, I've left it alone over night, and found that when I woke up, it was still stuck.

    I have tried getting Apple and Mac Mall (where I bought it) to replace it with a new one, but both have turned me down. So needless to say, I'm very frustrated with this problem.
  • 8. RE: Frozen at startup
    Patrick Abuzeni Level 4 Level 4 (2,675 points)

    Hang in there a while longer. If you have a Gen 2 Mac mini, you should be well within your one year warranty. Call Apple again and insist on resolving this "under warranty" problem. And even better if you can take it to a nearby Apple store. They'll be able to help you out.

    I just had an eMac do the exact same thing. But in my case it was self inflicted. I tried to start the eMac on battery backup power when there was no power and Katrina was passing over Florida. It didn't start and made an agonizing beep. And after that the drive was unavailable and I was unable to re-install because it would stall like yours is doing. The eMac is still in the shop, and so far they found the HD to be useless. Don't know if anything else is wrong like the motherboard. I'll let you know as soon as I find out. Either way, you should still be covered ubder your warranty.

  • 9. RE: Frozen at startup
    Jason Holzman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having a similar problem, only worse - my machine starts up, and the apple comes up, then the spinning disk, but then the screen goes black and i'm in a unix shell, which (after a minute or so) begins flashing a message that says something like "single user shell terminted".

    i've tried getting the machine to boot off the mac os x disk, and it won't even do that.

    I have a bad feeling about this, but does anyone have any ideas?
  • 10. RE: Frozen at startup
    Jason Bang Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    1. Do you restart and get a blank grey screen? Or you see the apple logo and no spinning circle?

    2. Constantly see spinning ball. Everything just to move slow?

    3. Freezes?

    Its the hard drive. So start saving your files. I believe some minis have hard drive issues. I should have sent mine in to get it fixed but I went ahead and just replaced mine.