2011 mac mini acting a little strangely

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Sossity, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Sossity macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I know I have this post in another section, but after over 100 views, and the only reply I got was an ad for parallels desktop 9, I though this section might be better.

    Recently my mac mini has been acting just off, doing light tasks gets the fans spinning, I have noticed the fans spinning up more often, and when I tried to get my screen back from a period away from my desk, pressing one of the keys on my keyboard did not wake it up right way with the screen back, like it normally does, I had to press a key a few times to get it to wake.

    I am running a mac mini 2011 with lion, 10.7.5, with dual drives installed; a solid state drive and a regular drive.
  2. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    How much RAM you have?

    Check whether there is a build up of dust on the wifi grill. If it has never been clean it may be a little blocked.

    Have you ever tried a fresh install?
  3. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I have 16 gb of ram, how can I tell if there is not enough ram?
  4. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    If you have 16GB RAM then you definitely have enough RAM. You simply cannot have anymore than that.

    Check your Activity Monitor in Utilities. Is there something (app) hogging the CPU? The fan normally only spins up if the CPU is being pushed so there may something running you are not aware of. It is unlikely there is anything using 16GB of your RAM but check the Memory tab anyway.

    Also are you running a virtual Machine like Parallels in the background? They can hog both RAM and CPU is the settings are wrong.

    Another possibility (but unlikely) is you may have a faulty RAM SODIMM (chip). You could try running the mini on one 8GB chip by itself and then the other by itself for a few days to eliminate them from the list of problems.

    Also boot into the recovery drive (CMD-R) and run Repair on the Macintosh HD. If you have block failure on the drive then you can lose parts of files that cause corruptions. Although 'Repair' doesn't necessarily pick up block failures, it may pick up other errors.

    If all of the above is normal then your OS may be unwell. You might have to look at trying a reinstall of the OS and a rebuild/install of apps from the base.

    If the OS install and all of the above does not fix it then you may have a logic board issue, although I am putting my money on a fresh install of the OS as fixing the problem.
  5. SoCalReviews, Oct 31, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2012
    I'm running a base model i5 2.3Ghz 2011 Mac Mini upgraded to 16GB, with Mountain Lion 10.8.5 and Parallels 9. It's running great. I installed a new version of Mountain Lion as a Parallels virtual machine yesterday. I can't say whether Parallels 9 runs differently in Lion than it does in ML but some of the behavior you describe such as taking a little longer to wake from sleep state, slight sluggishness at times and the cooling fan spinning more often is normal behavior if you are running one or more active VMs (with Windows XP, 7, 8, Linux, etc.). The more active VMs you have running the more likely you will experience that behavior because you are essentially using up more resources to run each VM.

    What you can try is to experiment by allocating more or less memory and increasing or decreasing the number of CPUs for each of your VMs in your Parallels 9 configuration settings. I have found that 2-4GB works well for the VMs and 1-2 CPUs is also good. Keep in mind that the more VMs you use then the more likely you will use up your available system resources of 16GB and 4 CPUs (i5 CPU is dual core with hyper threading for a total of 4 CPUs available for your main OS X system and for your VMs in Parallels combined). Don't allocate too many resources to the VMs. Your main OS X should have at least 4-8 GB left to it to utilize after you open all the VMs you want to run at one time. You want to make sure you have enough resources for your main OS X system while all your VMs are running.

    If there is no particular reason why you haven't upgraded your OS X you could consider upgrading from Lion 10.7.5 to ML 10.8.5. As usual you should back up your system before the OS X upgrade. You could also make a clone of your current Lion 10.7.5 in Parallels 9 before doing the backup or you could create the VM with the backup you made before upgrading to ML. I will be doing the same procedure before I upgrade from ML to Mavericks. I know Apple charged $20 for the ML upgrade but Mavericks is free. If you want to test for compatibility before upgrading your base OS X system... You could also install Mavericks in a Parallels 9 VM and experiment with it before upgrading (Install Lion as a Parallels VM and upgrade that Lion VM to a Mavericks VM).

    Finally... checking the integrity of the RAM chips is a good idea and the SSD shouldn't be a problem but you could run a SSD diagnostic test on it to make sure it's healthy.
  6. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    Yes, I was running and do run a virtual machine, parallels desktop 7, with windows xp pro on the virtual machine.

    When this happened, I shut down the virtual machine & this seemed to calm my mac down, I also notice Adobe shock wave flash does this as well, make the fans spin up. I often go into activity monitor, & have to quite this process.

    I also have tech tool pro 6, should i run this?

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