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Crashed HDD and a few questions

I tried upgrading my wife's Mini 2.1 to Lion and got the dreaded "You need more RAM". So I went to Crucial, ordered the RAM and waited. It came today so I got out my putty knives. They were crusted with old plaster and mortar. Since I didn't want that stuff rolling around inside my wife's mini, I cleaned the putty knives.

I opened up her mini, popped in 2 gig of RAM, took it back up stairs to reboot and ... nothing. Got a spinning clock for a very long time, got tired of waiting and switched off the machine. Switched on again and got even less. Just a blinking folder with a question mark. This can't be a good sign. Went back downstairs and popped in different RAM. Still no go. Third time put back original RAM. No go. Called Apple. Out of AppleCare but my recent purchase of Lion gives me a brief consultation.

So here is where it gets interesting. After zapping PRAM left me still stuck at the blinking folder he wanted me to find the original system disk. I would rather use my Snow Leopard DVD but couldn't find it. So at the Apple guy's suggestion, I popped in my vintage Leopard CD and booted the machine with the Apple guy on the phone. He says to run disk utility and you know what? The partition map is gone. Just gone. So rather than cry over it I create a partition and let Leopard install. (In the back of my mind I'm running down the list of SSD drives and what time the places close that sell them).

Leopard installs and the Apple guy tells me I can use migration assistant to restore from Time Machine and her Snow Leopard will come back. I tell him I don't think so but he insists. I decide to humor him and let the install finish. A leopard install is pathetic and slow and you have to insert 2 CDs. Now that leopard is on the machine and it boots I tell him thanks and promise to run migration assistant as he suggests just as soon as I put the bigger RAM back in the machine.

Once I hang up, I go back downstairs, put the 2 gig back in the machine, boot back up and now I find my Snow Leopard disk. Darn. I've got precious disk space wasted on MS Office 2004 trial because I couldn't find the darn SL disk while I had the Apple guy on the phone. Maybe Apple is right. To heck with the friggin' disks. Anyway now I installed Snow Leopard and let all the updates run. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the 10.6.8 combo update right now.

Then I'll launch migration assistant and bring back all my wife's stuff (hopefully) from our Time Capsule. I think Lion can wait a few days until I decide if I want to replace her HDD with an SSD before I put her mini's top cover back on.

So my questions are as follows...

** Did I somehow wipe the drive by some clumsiness when I took her mini apart? ( You have to pry the case open from the bottom with a putty knife, take out 4 #0 phillips screws, unsnap and move an airport antenna, disconnect a 2 pin connector in front then swing the optical and HDD assembly up and out of the way to get to the RAM. Then reverse the process just to power the mini up to see if you broke anything. ) Those of you that get the new mini with the ram door on the bottom you are so lucky! Rolleyes

** Does Migration Assistant bring back apps, data AND OS? I know disk utility brings back all of the above when you restore from a dmg but I don't think restoring from a TM backup can bring back an entire OS. I think the Apple guy was blowing smoke on this one. :confused:

** I have 2 more minis to upgrade but they aren't backing up to TM yet. I guess I should let them back up to our TC before I try to do another RAM upgrade, right? :eek:
07-29-2011, 12:10 AM
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