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Old 24th September 2012
Olybirder Olybirder is online now
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Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

I have a problem. My Mac Mini at work won't boot up today. It chimes and starts the process but then goes to a blue screen and won't progress any further. This is the third time it has happened - every time on a Monday morning. Initially it started all right and I managed to open Firefox. However, when I tried to open Mail it ground to a halt and wouldn't go any further.

I have tried the Apple suggestions of zapping the P ram by holding down 'Command - Alt - P - R' on start up but this hasn't helped. In the past I have found that the only solution is to reinstall the operating software but this takes several days to get everything working properly. In the meantime there are some urgent jobs locked away in the computer which I need to acess. Do any of you Mac geniuses have any alternative suggestions which might work?

i am posting this from my extremely flaky old G4 which doesn't have any of the required applications installed.

Ron
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Old 24th September 2012
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

Do you have everything backed up to an external? If you do why not boot up from that. I suspect bad RAM or maybe a dieing hard drive.
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Old 24th September 2012
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
Do you have everything backed up to an external? If you do why not boot up from that. I suspect bad RAM or maybe a dieing hard drive.
I have got all my work files backed up but not a full system back up. I decided to bite the bullet and have reinstalled the operating system. I am now going through the tedious business of downloading and installing all the software updates and finding the various bits and pieces which will allow the printers and everything else to function as before. I usually keep finding broken things for a couple of weeks afterwards.

This is the third time in two months that it has happened so I need to find a more permanent solution.

Ron
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

That's a terrible record. I've never had to re install any version of OS X. I'm still running Tiger on one of the last G4's so the OS install must be 6 or 7 years old.
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

Hi Ron,

If it keeps happening it could be a hard drive failing.

What version of OSX are you running ?

I suggest you get an external hard drive and get some software - super duper or carbon copy cloner - to make a bootable clone on the hard drive. That way you get a full backup and ability to externally boot together.

Forgive me if you've covered this - Have you run disk utility to repair permissions and verify disk ? Is your SMART status verified in Disk Utility ?

You can also boot from your install disk and run disk utility that way.

If you ever had Apple Care then Tech Tool Deluxe comes with it and has some diagnostic tools to run. Other software can be bought to run tests or fixes like Disk Warrior, Tech Tool Pro and Drive Genius.


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Mark
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

Thanks Mark. Yes, I am beginning to suspect that it could be the hard drive playing up. I am running OS Leopard 10.5.8. I tried booting up from the OS installer disk and running disk utility to verify the disk and repair permissions but it didn't make any difference. I think it would be a good idea to get a bigger external hard drive so that I can back up the entire system in the future.

Ron
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Old 24th September 2012
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

Did you Repair the disk as well as Repair Permissions using the DVD booted system.
How old is the Mini.

Did you search through the options I PMed you with
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

I clone the internal to an external weekly. I have 2 externals and rotate them when backing up, keeping one off site.
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

Hi Ron

I am a little late to the discussion here I'm afraid.

However, it might be worth noting that you should really use a time machine backup, to backup your Mac Mini, and if anything like this happens again you need not have to re-install all the apps or data - simply do a full restore.

I have used this only once, when I upgraded the internal HDD. When I replaced the internal HDD I simply restored the new HDD from a time-machine backup - thus totally replicating what I had on the original HDD - with bags of space spare.

You can use any HDD to backup using time machine. Def worth it.
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

Thanks for all the useful suggestions. I have only recently got the Mac running and updated again so I hadn't seen your PM until now Derek. I will take a look at the Apple Support Community pages. When I tried it this morning it was undergoing maintenance to complicate matters further.

I think the immediate answer is to purchase a new HDD back up and use time machine as suggested. It is such a pain sorting out all the fonts, print drivers colorsync profiles etc.

Ron
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

Time-machine is not my first method of backup as you do not have an instantly bootable system. I use SuperDuper to create an identical drive each evening that is a clone of the main drive. It is then possible to boot from the backup drive and so carry out other recovery activity - eg searching for and purchasing a replacement drive, that can then be cloned back to using SuperDuper from the back up drive. I also user Time Machine to back up the system to recover from accidental deleting of files.

The SuperDuper clone activity is quite fast once you have created the first clone as it only copies across only the files that have changed or new.
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

Thanks Derek. I will do some research on SuperDuper.

Ron
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

I use both SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner. Haven't found one to be better than the other so just use whichever I feel like at the time.
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

With Super Duper you can set it to run to a schedule and to do a smart update so that it only copies new or changed files to the back up device, This means that the processing only takes a few minutes if not much has been changed.
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Re: Urgent! Mac computer won't boot up.

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Originally Posted by DerekW View Post
With Super Duper you can set it to run to a schedule and to do a smart update so that it only copies new or changed files to the back up device, This means that the processing only takes a few minutes if not much has been changed.
I use Super Duper the same way, doesn't take long to smart update

Ron as you are using this for work I would get 2 external drives - one for Time Machine and one for a bootable clone - for the reasons Derek stated above.

How old is your mini ? Some older Macs struggle to boot from USB external drives and need a Firewire drive. If you have an Intel chipped Mac it should boot from a USB drive.
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