Please help a newbie


Ok I have been using OS X Tiger on a mini for 1 month now but have a very strange problem, which has been there from the start.
Basically at random intervals my machine fades to blue and after a few seconds (sometimes up to 30) it fades back to normal activity.
When it happens (about 2 or three times in the hour) there is no cursor, absolutely nothing apart from the blue screen. I could be in any application at the time.
It would first appear that a screen saver is comming on , but all my power options are set to 15 minutes, and my disc sleep turned off.
The white light is still shining, so the machine isn't going to sleep.
It appears that no applications are crashing and there is nothing in any log.
Please help a windows swither :-( this problem is making me cry.
Many thanks
Is it a completely solid blue screen, or do you just see your desktop? If it's the latter, then it could be Expose being activated somehow. If it's the former, then you might need to run Disk Utility and run a disk check on it. Also be sure to repair permissions using Disk Utility.
It is a solid light blue. No graphic image or cursor, just plain blue. It seems odd that it fades in, then back OK when we get back to normal. Sill question but what is Expose? Ok, I shall try running Disk Utility and run a disk check. I will also repair permissions (What does this do exactly) I have not done either of these before on a mac. I am an experienced UNIX user, but this is the first month I have used Macs, never mind even seen them running!
Many thanks azzo
Sorry for the silly question, but I can't find disk check in disk utility.
I have run verify disk and this has done something (not sure if it has fixed the problem)
Many thanks
Yes, I have found Disk utility, but there is no disk check option, just "Verify/Repair Disk Permission" which can be pressed and "Verify Disk/Repair Disk" which are greyed out. These are all under 'First Aid' pane. Could it be if there is nothing wrong with the disk then you cannot select these options?
When I said "disk check" I ws just using that as a generic term. The option is there to repair the disk (the name isn't coming to me now, but it IS in Disk Utility).

Actually, to repair the disk you have to boot off of the Mac OS X CDs and do the repair. You can also go into Single User Mode by rebooting your Mac and holding down the Apple key and the "S" key at the same time after you hear the boot chime. Hold them down until the OS goes into a command-line state, and follow the directions on running fsck once they are displayed. After the system runs fsck, type exit and it will go back into Mac OS X's Aqua interface.
This blue screen behavior could possibly be OS X attempting to change screen resolution. When it's asked to change screen depth or resolution, OS X first fades to a light blue screen and then makes the change. The same thing occurs before a shutdown. Experiment with the Displays pane of System Preferences.

The question is, is something changing the screen res or depth?

** By the way, if your mini is new, use your 90 days of tech support! Call Apple right away.


P.S. After you solve your blue screen problem, try pressing F9, F10 and F11 (function keys). That's Expose'. It's very cool. You can even press F11, click and hold on a file or folder, press F11 again and drag the file / folder to an open window.
doug, thanks for all of your advice, my next step was apple, didn't realise I had 90 days free support! The problem is very frustrating, but it does seem like something is running to possible change resolution. I will try playing with the graphics options next, at least I can see what a screen change looks like and compare. I think it does this after the machine wakes up.
I am starting to play with expose' makes windows look very dated. There are probably many things it can do I just need to find out. what!
I still haven't run an fsck yet as I haven't had that much time to look at this, these things normally take hours if I remember rightly.
Anyway thanks everyone,
WLYK how I get on
Keep in mind that if you boot from your system disc (hold down C and start the computer or reboot) and run a disk check, you _are_ running fsck. Disk Utility just calls fsck, if I remember correctly.

You can also start in single user mode (Apple key + 's' key and power on or reboot), then fsck -yf

Diskwarrior and Tech Tool Pro are the top disk recovery utilities for the Mac, by the way. Many Mac users buy both. Both are very powerful. Avoid Norton Utilities for Mac or Systemworks at all costs. They are, I believe, no longer supported. They were always quirky anyway. Norton on Mac = bad. I wish I knew that when I switched. I bought NU. Waste of money.

Thank you all for the advice, Alas I am getting no where.
I called apple and they suggest the follow.
option+command+p+r to clear the Program Ram (or something like that)
run fsck
run hardware diagnostics.
I have done all 3 and have they have uncovered no hardware problems.
I thought that the problem had gone away because I hadn't got the problem for a couple of days, but it is back.
I think it might be related to the machine sleeping. If the machine is powered up, rather woken from sleep, I don't hink it does it. (although I may be mistaken)
I can't believe I am the only person with this problem.
I will next try creating a new user to see if it user specific.
Thanks again. Any one else seen this problem on a mac mini?
This blue screen happens normally on resolution changes or while connecting/disconnecting additional displays in mirrored mode. I'd check _all_ cabling from mini to monitor, maybe try out a different monitor, if you can, for a couple of hours. I don't think it's simply a software issue.
Do you, for example, have your speakers plugged into the audio/ntsc video port (is that what the mini has? no time to check right now)? Unplug them and see if the problem goes away (as Fryke wrote).

Perhaps it's a faulty cable that's making the mini think you're plugging in a cable for ntsc video. At that point, the Mac would go to blue and change to video mode.

hi everyone, I do not have any speakers (shame on me, I know)
The effect is similar to a resolution change, however the fading is to blue, a pause of 3 to 50 seconds and the fades back again. In between, there is no temporary black screen that accompanies a resolution or frequency change.
I have screwed in tightly the cable, it's a DVI cable connecting to a neovo F419 19" monitor. I will let you know how I get on.
Many thanks

Call Apple back. This sounds like a hardware problem to me. Explain what you've already done to try and fix the problem. Explain you've already talked to techs. Give them the code they gave you before, if you remember it.

This shouldn't be happening.

Some more ideas:

Did you disconnect everything you could, USB or Firewire hubs, try different keyboard and mouse, try lower resolution?

The only thing I have connected (other than monitor, keyboard and mouse) are a printer which is turned off) and a network connection to my router.
I will see how it goes, it hasn't happend for a few sessions now, but I havn't been using my machine for more than a few minutes at a time.
Good to know this isn't normal :) At first I though it may have been a 'feature'
Knd Rgds
OK, just to let you all know that the problem has gone away.
I can only think that the monitor cable wasn't pushed in far enough.
i.e. I haven't actually changed anything other than screw the cables in.
Thank you all for your efforts.