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Mike, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 2186
Experience:  Apple trained Technician, A+ Certified, 20+ years of Mac support, repairs, training, and consulting
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My mac miniis stuck with a black screen. disconneced all other

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My mac miniis stuck with a black screen. disconneced all other devices, manually shut down, re startd and nothing. I get this long message. HFS- Swap BTN:invalid foward link node- 18874 file id =4 cant exec/bin/sh for single user: input/output invalid

Let's go through these methodically and make sure one was not missed or completed wrong.

Start with this one and then we'll see what happens.

To run disk checking utility without booting from a CD/DVD do this:

Shut down your Computer.

Turn it back on and hold down the 'Command' and 'S' keys at the same time. Command is the Apple key.

Release the keys when you see a lot of text scrolling up the screen.

When the text stops and the Mac appears to be waiting for something, type in the following command EXACTLY:

/sbin/fsck -fy (note the space between fsck and -fy)

Hit return and the disk utility should run.

Let it finish. If it returns any errors, make a note of them and then run the command again.

When it finishes and there is no error, then type in reboot and hit return

Let the Mac boot up and see if it is still giving you problems.

If so, then try this, Turn on the Mac and hold down the OPTION/ALT key on the keyboard. Keep down until you see 2 arrows on screen.

Let me know what is in that screen besides those arrows.

Mike and 4 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Didn't work so I tried holding the alt option key it and it shows Macintosh HD and a pic of it with a smal circle and X on it.

That means there is no valid OS to boot from on that volume.

Do you have you install disks for this Mac?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

yes. I do. I tried putting disc 1 of 2 in but then i couldnt get it out so...i pulled the cover off and pulled it out myself. It has a scratch on it now. But I'd like to give it a try. Disc 2 is still like new.


What happened when disk was in? Did the Miini see it or boot from it?

If on the screen with the icon/arrows, insert the Install 1 disk then press the curved Rescan arrow and the Installer disk should show up.

Click on it and then click the right arrow.

The Installer should run if the scratch has no effect. Once in the Installer, you can choose the install type (Archive & Install - Preserve Users & Settings, install options).

Then just finish the install and when done, and it restarts, go straight to Software Update and make sure to get all updates. Run it until it says no more updates.

Please do not try to use the System yet. Do not open your Apps or go to the Web until all updates are done.

When done, you will have a new OS X and all your files intact. That should take care of it.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hey Mike, I got the disc to show up on the screen with the arrows. The disc schows up but with a small circle with an X like the Harddrive priture. I clicked on the disc and i can hear the dics spin but then after a bit it goes back to the black screen with errors again. i supose the disc is not being read and damaged. Will I need to purchase another installer disc or should i try disc 2?

By the way I appreciate the help. Cant thank you enough.


Disk 2 only runs if Disk 1 needs it.

You will need to get a new one. It can either be a replacement installer set from Apple (serial number is XXXXX) or a new retail upgrade to a newer OS.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Mike, looks like i hadn't clicked on the disc icon first. I've done so and I can hear the disc. Sounds like its doing something but i'm on the apple screen with the loading picture that spins. ....I've waited a few minutes and now the computer shut down.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

oh i forgot once i get the new disc which will be later today, how do i get the old disc out? Would they have the disc i need at teh apple store?

They might have a installer set for you there, but typically they directy you to a website and you order it from Support.

They definitely will have a newer version if Snow Leopard did not come with your Mac. You can probably pick it up pretty cheap.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

i got an old Mac mini. its the 1.25ghz with 256 ram. I think I'm going to pick up the new Core duo 2 today. I can use the installer disc from that right?

Thanks so much for you help Mike.


No, probably not. Apple makes the installers machine specific.

That older one is a G4 or G5? Newer Intel will be not be compatible with the older Mini.

You'll need a copy of Leopard ort the original Installer disk.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.


I ordered the original from tech support. $17. Wont be here for a week. Thanks for your assistance. Once i get the disc I hope it works.



Come back here if you need anything relating to this topic or the install.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Mike, I finally got the install disc from Apple support. When i loaded it the disc showed an X on it also. I thought oh no, Not again. But I clicked on it anyway and thats it. It just loaded up. Thanks again.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Well i take it back this thing is still giving me a hard time. The disc runs but at the end it says it has errors installing. What i did notice is when i get to the select destination to install OS X. It says cannot instal mac osx on this volume without chaning your install settings. Click options to change settings. A newer version of Mac OS X is installed.


I click on options and i have to choose to archive and install which moves system files to folder named Previous system.then install new copy of osx. You can not start computer using previous folder.


Erase and install.


Under the archive there is the option to "Preserve Users and Network settings.


what i really want is all the pics in my iphoto of my son. everything else i dont really need. If i Erase and install will it delete my little boys pics?



Yes, it seems there is something more going on with that Mac.

And yes, you will lose everything if you rease and Install.

Also, Archive & Install will not show Preserve.... if it is done twice. The first time fails and there is no user in the new system, so no user to preserve if done twice.

I think the Hard Drive may be damaged and this is now a recovery. Do you have another Mac to use to copy files onto?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes i just bought a new mac mini. How would i transfer the files?

You will need a Firewire cable to connect the 2 together.

It will need to be one with the proper connectors on each end.

Once you get that and connect the 2 together, then startup the old mini and hold the T key at the same time.

When yous ee the logo floating around, release the key.

Go to the new Mini and the drive should be there. Open it up and start copying the files you need.

Disconnect the old Mini by dragging to the Trash on new Mini. Then disconnect the cable.

That's it.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
K, I'll run and get a cable this morning. let u know how it goes.
Cool. I'll be here
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hey Mike, I go the firewire connected on both. I held the T key and i did get the floating logo. I go to the new mini but nothing comes up. I looked in the Hard drive as well. Any idea what i might be doing wrong?

You are not doing anything wrong. It seems to be connected properly. So, if the drive does not show up on your Desktop on new Mini as a Firewire icon looking Drive, then the drive in the old Mini is shot and cannot be used to recover files from in this manner.

There are two recovery options available at this point. You can get a data recovery application like Data Rescue, or you can send it in to a drive recovery service like DriveSavers and have them recover what they can.

Otherwise, it seems the drive has seen better days.