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discmeister discmeister is offline
Posts: 35
Join Date: Feb 2009
Default Baffling problem - 08-20-2009, 02:19 PM

Hi all,

A colleague of mine has a UK Vodafone-spec Mini 9, running the Dell 3G broadband card. He's been running 10.5.6 but I've also reinstalled and had the problem described below with 10.5.7.

Basically every other time his machine tries to boot up it will end up at the pre-desktop blue screen with a mouse showing, but the mouse will refuse to move and the machine will hang. OR he won't get the mouse at all. Also, if the machine is moved around a lot - balanced on two fingers, for example - VERY occasionally the screen will go completely manic and end up 4:3 format with some sort of corrupt display in the middle (a bit like you'd get with 10.5.7 upgrade and a non-safe boot install immediately after it). It didn't do any of this for me last night, when it was plugged in; it only seems to do it on battery power.

This has me completely baffled. I've now installed Ubuntu on there and it's working fine; I can find no screen corruption at all. And to my knowledge, he hasn't done any dodgy upgrades; it just started doing this a couple of days ago.

What does anyone reckon? Hardware - screen, battery, touchpad? Software? The only, final thing I have to try is that he's running A04 bios, not A05 - so I'm going to upgrade it tonight.

Any thoughts, anyone?

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  (#2) Old
underwhelmed underwhelmed is offline
Posts: 1,375
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
Default 08-20-2009, 08:46 PM

I would upgrade the BIOS, and re run the DellEFI, custom install,reinstall dell mini 9 extensions, and remove the dsdt.aml file, then run it again, custom install, generate custom dsdt.aml file. Then re-boot.(Or shut down and restart if it has rebooting issues)

Sounds like maybe he has the old mirror friendly GMA kext installed, don.t enable that, unless you need it to hook to an external monitor.

It is known to cause artifacts on the screen.

Also, is Legacy USB enabled in the BIOS? Or wake from USB? These also can give problems starting up or resuming from sleep.

Mini 9 | OS X 10.6.7 | NBI 20100616212351| BIOS 05 | 32 GB Runcore | 2 GIGS RAM
10V | OS X 10.6.7 | NBI 20100616212351 |BIOS 06|160 GB|1 GIG RAM| 6 Cell Dell Battery
Functioning Hibernation

Back up Mini 9| OS X 10.6.7| NBI 20100616212351| BIOS 05 | 32 GB SuperTalent | 2 GIGS RAM
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  (#3) Old
discmeister discmeister is offline
Posts: 35
Join Date: Feb 2009
Default 08-24-2009, 04:27 PM

Okay, I've tried pretty much everything I can with this.

Now running A05.
10.5.7, DellEFI 1.2 (1.1 just results in a hang at bootup).

To recap, it will get as far as the blue screen before the desktop; then it either hangs at the blue screen itself OR gives me a mouse pointer which may move for a second or two, then hangs OR boots into the desktop, then hangs after an indeterminate number of seconds OR boots up fine, then hangs after an indeterminate number of minutes.

These problems appear to be linked to being on battery power - I've yet to replicate them when the machine is plugged in - but I've tried it with my battery and it does the same, so I don't think the battery itself is at fault.

Everything points to a hardware fault of some kind - but Ubuntu installs perfectly...

Has anyone any final thoughts before I cast this machine into the parts bin?

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