Mac Mini (OS X) Won't Boot After Running Disk Warrior

Discussion in 'Apple' started by jazzbrew, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. jazzbrew

    jazzbrew Guest

    Greetings all. I'm new to Macs and need some help. I work in
    Information Technology but all of my experience comes from PC based
    Windows systems. I really love my mac mini (running OS X) and I'm
    tempted to leave the Windows world forever. Unfortunately I have a
    serious problem..

    I noticed that my system was behaving strangely (long time for
    applications to load, lock ups, etc) so I ran the disk utility to check
    out my hard drive. The utility found several errors but was not able
    to repair them. After doing some research online I found that Disk
    Warrior was probably the best way for me to go.

    I ran Disk Warrior and it found several problems. There was a message
    during the repair that stated performance would be slow due to errors
    or something like that (I apologize for not having the exact words).
    After it completed there was list of items that it was going to fix and
    I allowed it do so.

    Now I can't my boot from my hard drive. When I power on the system I
    see a folder icon in the center of the screen with a question mark
    flashing on top of it. I'm not sure what that means but I'm guessing
    it isn't good. How can I get my system back and keep my mail and music
    in tact? Can I run a repair re-install of OS X from the CD?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
    jazzbrew, Jan 25, 2006
    #1
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  2. jazzbrew

    matt neuburg Guest

    It is odd that DW made things worse, but it sounds like things were bad
    to start with, so perhaps that's not entirely DW's fault. I think we may
    assume that the disk is basically readable; it just isn't bootable right
    now.

    Step one is to boot while holding the Option key down. If the disk shows
    up an as option, you should be able to select it and boot from it. If
    not, that means the computer no longer sees a viable system folder on
    the disk.

    In that case, you could re-install the system; if you use Archive and
    Install, nothing will be lost. The problem is that this won't fix
    whatever is wrong with the disk. What I suggest is this. Boot from the
    installer disk and use Disk Utility from there to see if the disk is now
    okay. If it is, re-install the system, doing an archive and install, and
    then do whatever you need to do to get yourself set up as before.

    If the internal disk is not okay, then you might want to just start all
    over: install the system on an external firewire drive, start up from
    that drive, back up to that drive, and now do a clean install (erase and
    install) onto the internal drive, start up from it, and restore stuff as
    desired. m.
     
    matt neuburg, Jan 25, 2006
    #2
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  3. jazzbrew

    JazzBrew Guest

    That may be what I will be looking at eventually. So disappointing.

    I followed Matt's directions and I was able to boot from my hard disk.
    The problem now is it doesn't recognize my old password to login to the
    system. Any ideas? I'm about to start researching now... I'm sure
    there is an easy fix for this one...
     
    JazzBrew, Jan 26, 2006
    #3
  4. jazzbrew

    JazzBrew Guest

    Used the reset password utility on the Install Disc. Looks like I'm up
    and running now. So far it looks like I'm missing a ton of mail...
    other than that... not too bad. Thanks everyone for assistance. I
    need to start backing this thing up in case I have a serious hard drive
    failure. Any suggestions? Online solution perhaps?
     
    JazzBrew, Jan 26, 2006
    #4
  5. One of the options in the System installer on the Mac OS X Install CD
    is to reset the administrator password. Try rebooting from that CD
    (restart the machine with the C key held down, and the CD in the
    drive), and look for that command.
     
    Garner Miller, Jan 26, 2006
    #5
  6. jazzbrew

    JazzBrew Guest

    Thanks very much. Even though my system booted up I noticed several
    things wrong and missing. I will probably need to follow the
    directions that Matt provided in his final paragraph. I just order a
    LaCie 160 Gig firewire drive and will configure it as you described
    after I get things up and running properly. The drive should be here
    on Friday and I will get started then. If I run into any problems I
    may ping the list again.

    Thanks everyone!
     
    JazzBrew, Jan 26, 2006
    #6
  7. jazzbrew

    JazzBrew Guest

    My new drive is going to arrive today so I can begin the
    rebuilding/reinstall my OS. The computer is still up and running so I
    should have no problem getting my data prior to blowing the drive away.


    I'm fine getting my documents, iTunes music and other files but what is
    the best way to export my address book information and mail so I can
    import it into my fresh install? I'm at work and don't have my mac in
    front of me. Is there an export option in those applications or should
    I just copy everything to the new drive (160 gigs) and work from that
    as needed?

    Thanks for the assistance.
     
    JazzBrew, Jan 27, 2006
    #7
  8. jazzbrew

    Mamamia Guest

    There is indeed an option for an "addressbook backup" and an option for
    your to restore your new addressbook in the menu. See the FILE menu with
    addressbook open.
     
    Mamamia, Jan 27, 2006
    #8
  9. jazzbrew

    aaJoe Guest

    If a Mini hard drive is definitely dead, and its not under warranty,
    think before you replace it. For $18 US you can purchase an 2.5" to
    3.5" IDE adapter that allows you to use a cheaper, faster, and far
    larger 7200 rpm full size hard drive that will always be faster than any
    firewire drive, and of course will blow the doors of that silly notebook
    drive originally supplied with it. Not to mention the Mini will run so
    much cooler without all that stuff in it. Also you can ditch that
    notebook optical device and get a cheap DVD burner as the IDE channel
    has a Master and Slave. Remember to cut the 66th wire in the 80 pin IDE
    cable otherwise the Slave may not be recognized. Unfortunately there
    seems to be no adapter to make use of the notebook output to the optical
    device. Then you need backup. Grab a firewire external case, put a
    mobile rack in it with your backup hard drive and you have a hot
    swappable backup that is cheap and quite fast. Now you can keep your
    backup data offsite, protected from fire and theft. Use the power from
    the external case to also power the hard drive and burner. Just don't
    use the backup drive at the same time as the burner since 3 devices
    running might task the little power supply of the external case too
    much. Or get an old ATX or AT power supply and shunt a couple of the
    wires on the motherboard connector to have it on all the time. The
    switch on the back is used for on/off. To make those loud power
    supplies whisper quiet, disable the fan, take off the top, and use wires
    to anchor a 120mm fan (which you are going to run at 7 volts instead of
    12 volts so its totally inaudible) with a cushion of rubber or other
    soft material so there is no vibration or resonance from the fan against
    the power supply chassis. Cheaper, faster, and a lot quieter. Just
    don't cram all those components into a tiny case. And of course don't
    use the power supply to cool the case. That has got to be the stupidest
    computer case idea ever. Make a blowhole. Funnel cool outside air
    directly to the cpu fan so its not using warm case air to try to cool
    itself. Mount the Mini motherboard (you won't need the Mini case) close
    to the side of the case so warm cpu heated air is directly vented
    outside. Never use fans less than 120mm and never use them at voltages
    higher than 7 volts. Then you will have the joy of silence. A heatpipe
    heatsink could also be used to replace that awful tiny cpu heatsink in
    the Mini but that would take some modifying (drilling is all if you get
    one that is less than 1.85" width. The length doesn't matter. Be
    careful of the weight of them so the Mini motherboard doesn't crack.
    Have fun!
     
    aaJoe, Jan 27, 2006
    #9
  10. [...]

    Dude, the "return" key is under your right hand, near the pinky.
     
    void * clvrmnky(), Jan 27, 2006
    #10
  11. Exactly how dead is your old drive?

    After you do all your other backups, consider doing one last backup:
    Turn on FileVault. When it's done, log in as another user and back up
    your .sparseimage file. This file contains all of those hidden files in
    your home folder.

    The reason to complete other backups first is that if your drive is
    right on the verge of dying a horrible death, the FileVault encryption
    process might just kill it.

    If you get the sparseimage backed up, you can actually restore it and
    have your whole home directory and with it all preferences, application
    settings and data for applications like Address Book back like you never
    switched hard drives.
     
    Steven Fisher, Jan 27, 2006
    #11
  12. jazzbrew

    Mamamia Guest

    I thought maybe he'd had a little too much caffeine when he wrote it.
    <grin>
     
    Mamamia, Jan 27, 2006
    #12
  13. jazzbrew

    JazzBrew Guest

    I'm honestly not sure how dead it is. The system is booting up fine
    now but I'm missing a big chunck of email and Safari won't even launch.
    Also - when I run the Disk Utility it finds problems that it cannot
    fix (even though I have run Disk Warrior multiple times). I'm guessing
    something is seriously out of wack.

    The drive that I purchased is a 160 Gig external firewire. I'm hoping
    I can perform a fresh install of the OS back to the internal drive and
    then use the external drive as extra storage space and a full backup
    (using Carbon Copy Cloner).

    I do like the idea of using FileVault...
     
    JazzBrew, Jan 27, 2006
    #13
  14. jazzbrew

    aaJoe Guest

    If a Mini hard drive is definitely dead, and its not under warranty,
    ??? Please explain. Is the line too wide? If so, adjust the
    preferences in your newsreader. Mine displays fine.
    I thought someone might post a somewhat more constructive comment. But
    I guess some people here definitely don't "think different". They just
    except poor and compromised design and shell out their hard earned and
    quickly spent cash supporting mediocre engineering. Just because a
    company is superb at making mp3 players and operating systems, doesn't
    mean they make good choices when attempting to put together a computer.
    If only Apple would focus on making a stable and intuitive OS that runs
    on any hardware the public can throw at it while leaning to the creative
    side of society, leaving Microsoft to focus on the gamers. Dual
    bootable with Mac accessing the net with its virus free interface being
    a sort of firewall for the MS programs that are always run offline.
    Most people would get both OS's and everybody would be happy. What a
    wonderful world that would be. Maybe in a few years....
     
    aaJoe, Jan 30, 2006
    #14
  15. jazzbrew

    aaJoe Guest

    Dude, the "return" key is under your right hand, near the pinky.
    OK - will do in the future. Thanks.
     
    aaJoe, Jan 31, 2006
    #15
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