Dell Mini 9 OS X Discussion Discussion for installing and setting up Mac OS X on the Dell Mini and Vostro A90

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patg patg is offline
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Exclamation Mini shuts down after grey apple logo screen! HELP! - 12-08-2009, 03:54 PM

I seem to have the same problem as the people

http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/gene...le-screen.html

http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/dell...ad-screen.html

It boots up to the spinning wheel at the apple screen and then powers off completely. I was using the mini fine all day yesterday. I played halo on it last night. The only thing I can think of is perhaps it doesn't have enough free space to boot? I shut it down with about 200-300 MB is all....)EDIT: ubuntu says it has 474.8 MB free. this should be plenty no?

It is a Vostro A90 running 10.5.8, using DellEFI method. BT off, LAN on, USB Legacy Disabled,

I tried playing with some stuf in the bios like quickboot, but no joy.

I have tried -x, -f, -x -f, with no success, I can see a bunch of text when I use -s. alot more when I use all three together.

EDIT: Okay, using -v and restarting about a dozen times, here is some output I have gathered, hope this can help something. These are not word for word, the text moves REALLY fast.

ApplePowerManagment Initialized.
ATA checkdisk cookie not valid (this I saw once)
Synching disks...killing all processess
continuing
done
CPU halted
Airport something link: BAM SHUTS OFF COMPLETELY (this line doesnt appear when I turn WLAN off in the bios.

EDIT AGAIN: Also, the power light doesn't come on when I plug it in and its off. It used to.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR REPLIES!

Someone please help me!
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ian ian is offline
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Default 12-08-2009, 05:24 PM

No specific advice, but in that situation I would try to boot from a USB stick (first on OSX one, then an Ubuntu one if that failed). If that was successful then I'd run some hardware checks on it. Well, check the disks first, then look at other hardware. I'd also look at the system.log file on the SSD (assuming I can see it) to look for clues as to what went wrong.

Basically, I'd be trying to see if the OSX install is the problem or there's an underlying hardware problem (like a disk fault).

Note that if your Mini is turned off, the power light only comes on when it's actually charging and not if it's plugged in but the battery is fully charged.


Dell Mini 9 | OS X 10.5.8 | DellEFI 1.2a5 | BIOS A05 | 16GB STEC SSD
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patg patg is offline
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Default 12-08-2009, 06:37 PM

Thanks so much for your reply! I am putting Ubuntu on a flash drive right now to see how that goes. Good info about the power light. I didnt realize that.

Also, it would seem that we have a very similar mini config. (A90, 10.5.8, DellEFI, 16GB STEC SSD,) my Bios is a04. Should that matter? I see yours is a05

---------- Post added at 01:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:38 PM ----------

Ok, the mini seems to boot up Ubuntu 9.10 from a USB just fine.
I also got the usb to show up next to the apple in chameleon; didnt know that was possible. Couldn't boot from it from there, but still cool.

Ill test as much as I can from Ubuntu. Any help is GREATLY APPRECIATED!

---------- Post added at 01:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:21 PM ----------

okay, I thought maybe if I free up some space on my SSD through Ubuntu then perhaps I could boot again, but it turns out Ubuntu mounts Journaled HFS+ Drives as "read only" and the only way to turn off jounaling is from OSX.

fail.

Any Ideas?
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ian ian is offline
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Default 12-09-2009, 11:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by patg View Post
Also, it would seem that we have a very similar mini config. (A90, 10.5.8, DellEFI, 16GB STEC SSD,) my Bios is a04. Should that matter? I see yours is a05[COLOR="Silver"]
I think that A04 and A05 are both good. In fact, I ran for ages on A02 - only upgraded to get rid of the annoying low battery beeping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patg View Post
Ok, the mini seems to boot up Ubuntu 9.10 from a USB just fine.
I also got the usb to show up next to the apple in chameleon; didnt know that was possible. Couldn't boot from it from there, but still cool.
Yep, the Chameleon bootloader recognises Linux volumes and will let you boot them up, but you'll need your Linux bootloader set up to work with it. But I guess a discussion of dual booting isn't exactly what you're after at the moment :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by patg View Post
okay, I thought maybe if I free up some space on my SSD through Ubuntu then perhaps I could boot again, but it turns out Ubuntu mounts Journaled HFS+ Drives as "read only" and the only way to turn off jounaling is from OSX.
There are two possibilities which occur to me. Either create a bootable OSX USB stick and see what you can do from there, or use Ubuntu to copy your file store and save your files then reinstall OSX.

The first of these is probably trickier, but less extreme for your system. The second is easier, but more extreme.

There may be other possibilities, but I'm pretty much exclusively an OSX kinda guy so don't know what tricks Ubuntu could offer to help here. Perhaps a more Linux-y kinda person would be able to offer suggestions.

Taking my first suggestion, I'm not up to speed on NBI technique, so I can't really help much with the best way to create a bootable OSX USB stick. My approach uses Disk Utility and a manual install of Chameleon ... check out the guides here which should give you a better way of doing it.

Once you have a bootable USB OSX stick, boot up your Mini from that. Choose "english" as your language (or whatever you'd like) and then you will reach the standard install screen. Don't go any further! Now, there should a "utilities" menu (or something similar - been a while since I've done this) and you should be able to choose "Disk Utility" from that. Using Disk Utility, you can verify your disk and check that it's all okay. If that doesn't give any clues, quit Disk Utility and go back to your utilities menu and select "Terminal". Unfortunately, you don't have access to the Finder from the install disk, so you'll need to use shell commands to check around your system - this is why I said that this will be trickier (if you are not used to using the command line).

The second suggestion is more straightforward. Since you can mount the filestore read only under Ubuntu, you should be able to copy all your files onto another disk. Then you can reinstall OSX and then copy your files back. I don't know how well this will work - never tried it - but it would be better than losing everything (but not as good as getting everything working again).

Hope these pointers are useful.


Dell Mini 9 | OS X 10.5.8 | DellEFI 1.2a5 | BIOS A05 | 16GB STEC SSD
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jaiden jaiden is offline
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Default 12-09-2009, 12:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ian View Post
Once you have a bootable USB OSX stick, boot up your Mini from that. Choose "english" as your language (or whatever you'd like) and then you will reach the standard install screen. Don't go any further! Now, there should a "utilities" menu (or something similar - been a while since I've done this) and you should be able to choose "Disk Utility" from that. Using Disk Utility, you can verify your disk and check that it's all okay. If that doesn't give any clues, quit Disk Utility and go back to your utilities menu and select "Terminal". Unfortunately, you don't have access to the Finder from the install disk, so you'll need to use shell commands to check around your system - this is why I said that this will be trickier (if you are not used to using the command line).
I think I'm having a similar problem, except instead of shutting down, my mini 9 keeps restarting. But never gets past the Apple logo & spinner page. I can't boot into safe mode. I created a new boot stick with the NBM and get the screens mentioned above. But when I get to the page to select the disk I want to install to, there's no disk that shows up. When I use Disk Utility, I see the mini drive & the OSX volume. DU tells me both volumes are fine and don't need to be repaired.

Any ideas? I've scoured this forum and the 'net for the past four days. I really need a couple files off the drive so I'm trying to avoid just erasing it & reloading.
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ian ian is offline
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Default 12-09-2009, 01:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiden View Post
Any ideas? I've scoured this forum and the 'net for the past four days. I really need a couple files off the drive so I'm trying to avoid just erasing it & reloading.
Well, if you really need a few files, just copy them off your drive using Terminal. This is really tricky if you've not used the command line before, but the commands you need to know are "cd" (change directory), "ls" (list files in a directory) and "cp" (copy file).

So, basically, assume that your SSD is called Mini9, your username is fred and the file you want to save is called important.numbers and it is in the top level of your Documents folder. To see it, you would type the following:

cd /Volumes/Mini9/Users/fred/Documents
ls

That should list all the files in your Documents folder.

Suppose also you have inserted a USB stick called "Recovery". If you wanted to copy your file, you would need to type:

cp important.numbers /Volumes/Recovery/

Note that you are doing things without the protection that OSX normally gives you, so it is quite easy to get a command wrong and overwrite an existing file, etc. So you might be best off doing a bit of Googling about the OSX command line (or even just Linux/Unix command line) first.


Dell Mini 9 | OS X 10.5.8 | DellEFI 1.2a5 | BIOS A05 | 16GB STEC SSD
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patg patg is offline
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Default 12-09-2009, 07:11 PM

Thank you everyone for your input and support!

I made a usb key and ran disk utility. It told me that I have an "Invalid Node Structure" (whatever that means.)

I didn't have anything important on it. (thank you dropbox) So I just wiped it and did a fresh install of Snow Leopard. (I had been waiting to take the plunge)

First of all, let me say; extreme props to Meklort, Mechdrew, and everyone else involved in NBI. The last time I did any of this was back on DellEFI and the process has been improved so much. Multitouch trackpad drivers were included. (had to add these seperately under DellEFI). Sleep works WELL. just had to disable USB legacy in the BIOS. (I also ran a command in terminal that tells it to never make a hibhernation file, not sure if that was necessary or not.)

I installed 10.6.0 using NetbookInstaller1 method. ran NBM

Updated to 10.6.1 and then 10.6.2; was having some issues but then came accross this tidbit on meklorts blog:

NOTE: To Installer 10.6.2, you must run NetbookInstaller 0.8.3 in *normal* mode (before you install 10.6.2). do *not* use safe mode at this time, there is a bug with NBI and safe mode.

So I wiped and started over. No biggie. Ran NBM after each update.

I am on 10.6.2 now. It only uses 5.24GB of space even with a bunch of apps installed. Everything works except the headphone jack, and the on board mic. The mic jack may or may not work. I don't know, I've never needed it.

I would love some pointers on how to get these last few things working. Overall I am extremely happy with the outcome. I am very impressesed with how sturdy and simple this whole (obsession?) has become. Thanks to everyone involved and to this whole community. I am proud to be among you.
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jaiden jaiden is offline
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Default 12-10-2009, 03:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ian View Post
Well, if you really need a few files, just copy them off your drive using Terminal. This is really tricky if you've not used the command line before, but the commands you need to know are "cd" (change directory), "ls" (list files in a directory) and "cp" (copy file).

So, basically, assume that your SSD is called Mini9, your username is fred and the file you want to save is called important.numbers and it is in the top level of your Documents folder. To see it, you would type the following:

cd /Volumes/Mini9/Users/fred/Documents
ls

That should list all the files in your Documents folder.

Suppose also you have inserted a USB stick called "Recovery". If you wanted to copy your file, you would need to type:

cp important.numbers /Volumes/Recovery/

Note that you are doing things without the protection that OSX normally gives you, so it is quite easy to get a command wrong and overwrite an existing file, etc. So you might be best off doing a bit of Googling about the OSX command line (or even just Linux/Unix command line) first.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I can't even get it to recognize the cd command. I've been trying various commands to get info but it keeps telling me it can't find the command or directory. Any other thoughts?
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patg patg is offline
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Default 12-10-2009, 03:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiden View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, but I can't even get it to recognize the cd command. I've been trying various commands to get info but it keeps telling me it can't find the command or directory. Any other thoughts?
perhaps you need to be root?

try sudo cd and enter your password when prompted.
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ian ian is offline
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Default 12-10-2009, 09:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaiden View Post
Thanks for the suggestion, but I can't even get it to recognize the cd command. I've been trying various commands to get info but it keeps telling me it can't find the command or directory. Any other thoughts?
Do you have a space in your disk name? If so, you will need to use double quotes. So, something like ...

cd "/Volumes/Dell Mini 9/Users/fred"

If you don't do that, it will look for a volume with a name up to the first space (and won't be able to find it).

===== EDIT =====

Just had another thought ... you should be able to use Disk Utility to copy everything, rather than trying to use Terminal. Just use the restore option in Disk Utility to copy your entire SSD to another disk.


Dell Mini 9 | OS X 10.5.8 | DellEFI 1.2a5 | BIOS A05 | 16GB STEC SSD
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