Apple Logo would not display and Hardware test problem?

HI all, sorry i am new to posting here, so apologize if my answer to the below is in this forum but i could not find it. What it is:
My mac mini when I started it up today, was not displaying the apple logo, it was just showing its white screen and it just would not move from it. I tried doing an apple hardware test by re-starting holding the button D while re-starting nothing happen. I had to disconnect all external items such as my external HD and ipod and then it became back to normal.
1st question is, why did this happen and how?
2nd question is, how come my apple hardware test does not work?
I have tried apple hardware test using the install disc for a mac pro which has leopard on it, for my mini as i don't have the install for my mini any more. But even then I should still be able to use the apple hardware test without the discs though shouldn't i?
Please note though my HD has been replaced twice before by apple. Can anyone give some input?
Also my mac is an intel based back got its late 2006 model.
I have also run disk utility and it has found nothing wrong at all with my mac.
Thanks in advance for your replies.

If AppleCare gives you a Tiger Install Disc for your system, accept it, since it's the way to perform the AHT on your machine (also, it's free!).
About the Leopard disc, I don't know which OS you're running, since you changed your profile info from 10.5.6 to 10.4.10. Are you using Tiger Or Leopard?
If you're running Leopard, you'll need a Retail Leopard Install Disc (the one you can pick up from a store shelf) to do an Archive and Install. Your machine was made in 2006, before the release of Leopard, so there's no Leopard machine specific disc for your model.
Archive and Install is the way to reinstall the Operative System without loosing your files and settings.
Also, if you ever need to repair your startup volume with Disk Utility, you'll need to boot from the install DVD, and you can only do it with the install disc of the OS you're currently running. You can't use a previous version OS install disc, as it could have nasty consequences on the directory structure integrity.
If you want an "el cheapo" Leopard Retail Disc, you can search for it on the web. Also, when Snow Leopard hits the street, some retailers will probably sell out the previous version inventory.
Good Luck.

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