12 Replies Latest reply: Feb 21, 2014 7:15 PM by oregon48
Bi-noix Level 1 Level 1



My 2009 Mac mini doesn't boot anymore : all I get is a blank screen, I can't even chose to boot on the restoration drive.


From your experience, what do you think it could be linked with ? motherboard ? RAM ? It doesn't looke like a hard drive issue.





Mac Mini (feb 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10
  • Bi-noix Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you Carolyn


    Alas I can't even get it to run AHT (blank screen)

  • Steve Ar Level 1 Level 1

    Hello! I'm having, what sounds like, the same issue.  Everything was working fine, until I ran a combined update, as prompted, for 10.8.2.  After the normal reboot, the computer boots to a plain, white screen with no Apple.  The computer is not responding to any keyboard command at startup, be it any of the reset commands, 'C' to boot to the optical drive, or option to select the startup destination.  When pressing the Caps/Num lock keys, I notice that none of the LED lights will turn on on the keyboard.  The piggybacked optical mouse is not showing it's red light from the bottom either.  These tested fine on my MacBook Pro, however, and have always worked with the Mac Mini.  Connecting and reconnecting the devices does not help.  I know how to run all of the hard disk repairs, the permission fixes, etc., but it appears as though something is stopping my USB devices from being utilized (or even powered) at startup.  I work in IT, and I support Apple computers every day (point being, I do know my stuff).


    I opened the case and disconnected the hard drive from the logic board, thinking a potential hard disk issue is to blame.  Upon restart, I still get the BONG (chime), but the machine will still not respond to any keyboard commands.  Plugging in a USB stick that was created as a Mountain Lion boot device in Disk Utility with the InstallESD.dmg doesn't yield any results (as I am unable to 'tell' the computer to boot from it).  The system disc that was packaged with the Mini is in the optical drive, but the Mini won't boot to that either.  I'm at a complete loss.  This is a 2010 model which was purchased new in December in that year.  I'm using HDMI directly to an HDTV.  The cable is working, the TV is working, the optical drive works in another machine, and the hard disc makes the necessary sounds (but not anything out of the ordinary).


    To reiterate, this happened IMMEDIATELY after installing the combined 10.8.2 update.  I am seeing a lot of posts about this issue, but no actual solutions.  The dialogue seems to die somewhere after, "Reset the PRAM."



  • RRFS Level 5 Level 5

    Sounds like a hardware issue    Take it in and have the genuis bar have a look at it.

  • Bi-noix Level 1 Level 1

    I'm not sure it will help you Steve, but it turned out in my case that the hard drive was dead, so dead sa it was preventing the mac mini from choosing another boot volume at startup...

    I changed the hard drive and everything is OK.

  • Steve Ar Level 1 Level 1

    That's so sad :-(


    This machine belongs to my parents who don't have discretionary funds at their disposal.  I INSISTED they get this machine, and a hardware issue after 20 months...man! I know things happen, and I'm not dogging Apple.  I just can't help but think that update did SOMETHING that I can reverse... :-(

  • RRFS Level 5 Level 5

    Really the only thing I can think of:




  • Steve Ar Level 1 Level 1

    That's one of the keyboard commands that doesn't work (as no keyboard commands work).  For the record, I did perform the reset where you unplug everything, let it sit, plug in holding the power button, reboot...etc... Oye :-( Thanks for the quick replies!

  • spinepro Level 1 Level 1

    For future inquiries, indeed, this is a hard drive failure symptom for the Late 2009 Mac Mini. It will start will slower performance and a lot of spinning beach balls, particularly after a restart. Running Drive Utilities will show multiple errors even running it every several days— or worse, will show no errors and complete a repair within 10 secs. If you can boot the drive and don't have a backup, BACK UP IMMEDIATELY. If you can't back up but can still mount the drive, copy your critical files to a USB Drive or other media.


    Replace the HDD.


    I strung out my replacement for as long as I could. The drive became symptomatic about 8 months before actual failure (turn on to chime and black screen, restart would default to drive recovery). I replaced the original Fujitsu 320 GB 5400 SATA II with a Seagate 5400 SATA II from a 13" MBP (Mid-2011) that I had after replacing its drive with an SSD (OWC). I had used a 2 TB USB Western Digital drive all along for Time Machine so restoration was simple (although it took 3 hours for the restoration to complete).


    For a step-by-step on how to do the replacement, you can search YouTube for the video from Other World Computing (OWC). It is rated as Advanced but really isn't too difficult if you are careful and patient. They suggest it takes 40 minutes but really it takes about 10.


    Good Luck.

  • Niklas2000 Level 1 Level 1

    I had the exact same problem. I just now changed the HDD and Im back on track
    And as someone said above, it's much easier to do than you think. Just follow the guide on Youtube and you'll be fine!



  • oregon48 Level 1 Level 1

    My 2010 Mac mini turned on but would not boot. The monitor was black but said it was not getting a signal .i checked all connections and tried many other remedies offered on this web site. Had  apple store hook up my mini to their monitor. They did it free and my Mac worked. The problem was my cable from the Mac to the monitor. I replaced and it works fine

  • oregon48 Level 1 Level 1

    Had the same problem. It was the cable from the computer to the monitor per my comment below