Need to boot in order to repair but how?

Rosinante

Registered
I have OS 10.6.8 on a Mac Mini and lately it suddenly became extremely slow, so I ran the application Onyx after not finding any other faults anywhere.

It tells me that the startup disk needs to be repaired by booting from my OS disc, but I don't have one. It came preinstalled. If there was any DVD with it I cannot find it.

Also my DVD drive seems to only work once in a while (even though I've only ever used it a couple of times). It won't burn anything but I may be able to boot from something. But what?

So I try to buy an OS disc but they don't exist anymore. Will a downloaded new OS from the App Store repair my disk while installing?
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Your Mac mini came with a restore DVD (two DVDs in a set), and (if 10.6.x) the disks are white label, with a graphic of the Snow Leopard on the label.

You can get a replacement set from Apple, either by calling AppleCare, or I think an Apple retail store can generally supply a restore set for most recent Macs.

And, you can still purchase the commercial Snow Leopard install from Apple's online store:
http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC573Z/A?fnode=MTY1NDAzOA
 

Rosinante

Registered
OK, thank you! I guess there must be discs here somewhere. I always keep such things. Can't find the box either. The problem with something called a Mac Mini is that the box is probably fairly mini as well.

I don't think that I've seen that snow leopard image on any discs tho. I bought my Mac Mini the very day before they came out with a new model. But there are always discs, I know.

Maybe somewhere in the attic. One more place to look and then it's repurchasing from Apple.
 

jbarley

One more, for the road!
You can repair your boot drive while started in "Single User Mode".
Start your mini while pressing and holding the 'Cmd+S' keys.
At the command-line prompt type:
/sbin/fsck -fy

if you receive a report that the file system was modified then repeat the above command.
 

Rosinante

Registered
Well, that killed it apparently. It said that the disk was repaired successfully so I typed exit and now it won't boot.

There may have been some mentions of file system modification but if so I didn't understand it and I misunderstood you and thought I had to start all over if it didn't work. So I should have typed the command again BEFORE attempting to reboot maybe?

I've finally been able to get back to the command line prompt after many failed attempts and it's been repairing for about an hour and a half now. The first time it was quick.

disk0s2: I/O error it says. Also invalid record count and invalid node structure. Starting to feel despair here.
 

Rosinante

Registered
Thanks, I've finally found the system CD in the attic and also a USB keyboard, but the Mac won't read the CD. It spits it out again.

It could be that the keyboard has died of old age since safe mode doesn't work either. The power on button on the keyboard does nothing so that may be a sign of a dead keyboard?

Sigh. What do I need to buy here? A new keyboard? Will any do or does it has to be an original Apple one?
 

DeltaMac

Tech
A USB keyboard power button has not been supported on any Mac model for at least 10 years, and certainly not on any Mac mini. Use your power button on the back of the mini.
If your system is corrupted, or your hard drive has died, then booting to safe boot mode is also unlikely to work, as it uses the same boot system. That problem is not a keyboard problem, but is a failure of your hard drive. If you want to attempt a repair of the directory on the hard drive, you can try a more capable disk repair utility, such as Disk Warrior, which is a commercial software.
 

Rosinante

Registered
Yes I know it's an old keyboard. I just now bought a new PC USB keyboard, figuring that the shift and C keys should at least be the same. No response. Seems like the fsck procedure bricked it completely. There is this warning in the help document:

"Important: If you're using Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you should use Disk Utility instead of fsck, whenever possible."

If only I had found the original install disc yesterday.
 

djackmac

ACMT
Seems like the fsck procedure bricked it completely. There is this warning in the help document:

"Important: If you're using Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you should use Disk Utility instead of fsck, whenever possible."

If you are worried about what folks tell you to do online, then don't take their advise. Bottom line, there were problems to begin with. That's the Os was telling you your disk needs to be repaired in the first place. Using disk utility from the startup disk was not going to make the results any better.

But for future reference, if you don't have your data backed up, then don't try any kind of disk maintenance like you did or like others suggest you do. My opinion is your HD is bad and most likely needs replaced (disk I/O error). So if you are concerned with anybody being able to get your data off of that drive and onto another, don't try anything else or its likely just going to make matters worse as far as data retrieval goes.
 

Rosinante

Registered
OK thank you, I do have a Time Machine backup unit, however I have never attempted to restore anything from it so I worry since all previous backup solutions I have tried in my life have never really worked out as advertised when restoring. There is always data loss.

Anyway, I'm looking at new Macs now. But I would love to hear a confirmation first to that a regular PC USB keyboard should have worked as far as pressing the C key on it to boot from a DVD. Would be kind of silly to buy an entire new Mac if the old one could have been saved. :)
 

Doctor X

Registered
e9677b70.gif
Here.

--J.D.
 

Rosinante

Registered

What do you mean? This does not address my situation. It doesn't boot from the installation disc. Should it do so with a PC keyboard or do I need to get an Apple specific keyboard in order to hold down the C key?

PS, I have Disk Warrior, which doesn't help if I cannot boot from it.
 

Doctor X

Registered
It doesn't boot from the installation disc. Should it do so with a PC keyboard or do I need to get an Apple specific keyboard in order to hold down the C key?

The Apple OS will tend to find the OS . . . otherwise, yes, you do need to direct the computer to boot from what is essentially an external disk.

--J.D.
 

Rosinante

Registered
The Apple OS will tend to find the OS . . . otherwise, yes, you do need to direct the computer to boot from what is essentially an external disk.

--J.D.

...and you could use any keyboard for that direction, even a PC one? See, I'm trying to make sure that the problem of not getting the Mac to boot from discs at all isn't just a question of using a keyboard that isn't recognized.
 

Doctor X

Registered
You are asking a "magufin" question: there is no way to answer that unless one knows that a particular PC brand of keyboard works with the Mac computer. One either knows that, for certain, because it has worked in the past, or one knows that "X PC USB keyboard" is recognized by "Y Mac mini."

You are not in that position. However, USB keyboards that work with Macs are fairly cheap with a quick look at Amazon.

You may consider taking it to a Mac Store to see if you can try out a keyboard to see if it will boot off DW or an Installation Disk.

--J.D.
 

Rosinante

Registered
OK fair enough. Unfortunately all Apple stores where I live resemble hair salons and they do not help customers that directly. One would have to hand in the Mac, wait a couple of weeks and then pay through the nose for it. Or buy their keyboard and try it at home.

If I can't find a Mac confirmed keyboard I can borrow, or another Mac to try out this keyboard on today, I'll simply buy a new Mac tomorrow.

Thought about simply replacing the hard drive itself, but I don't have the energy to do that sort of thing anymore. I have done so at least 6 times in the past. But I don't think I have it in me to dive into these things anymore.

Thanks for all your help everyone!
 
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