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Old 05-23-2012, 01:01 PM   #1
pfhannan
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Hard Drive failing on my Mini

On my Mac Mini pre intel, when starting up i get the dreaded smily, then "?", then opens up in a window with a big apple logo. Does this mean it can't find my HD, but mother board is working?
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:58 PM   #2
DeltaMac
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The alternating folder/? means that your Mac is looking for a bootable partition, and temporarily can't find one.
There's several possibilities:
boot files on a working system are not loading easily.
Some system files are damaged, or missing.
There's no bootable system installed on the hard drive.
Hard drive is dead, or missing.

Does your system eventually boot on its own? Give it 15 or 20 minutes to fail.
Without a complete boot, you are left to reinstall OS X, or possibly replace a failed hard drive.
Boot to your OS X installer DVD, and test the hard drive by opening Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. Your hard drive should show up in the list on the left. Choose it, then click the Repair Disk button. If it does NOT show up, then that's another indication that the hard drive has failed.
Keep in mind that some kinds of hard drive failures will prevent booting to ANY device, so if you can't boot to your OS X installer, and get much the same result, then the hard drive is even more likely completely gone, and you may not get any boot until you get that internal hard drive out.

And, could also mean that the internal ribbon cable is faulty, or could be a failed drive controller chip on the logic board. Best test is to replace the hard drive, which would be the more likely failure.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
pfhannan
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My gut tells me its the Hard Drive, I don't have the specific install disks, so can't test it.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:11 PM   #4
DeltaMac
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If a G4 mini - You don't need the specific installer (the grey DVDs that came it) just for Disk Utility. You can use Disk Utility booted to any 10.4 or 10.5 installer.
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