2011 Mac Mini i7: reboots on wake from sleep

MattA

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 15, 2006
408
116
Orlando, FL
I've had my Mac Mini for just over 5 years, and it has developed a strange problem. It reboots itself when it wakes from sleep. It will then continue to reboot itself 3-5 times with a black screen, then it will boot with the gray screen and go to the desktop as normal. It will also do the strange rebooting procedure when powering it up.

For troubleshooting, I replaced my 16GB of memory with the original 4GB to see if that was the cause. The problem persisted. I then tried removing my 30" ACD, as I thought perhaps the mdp->dual link DVI adapter could be causing something. Still nothing.

I then tried a full reinstall. I wiped the disk and put a fresh and clean copy of Sierra on it. The problem is still there. I then pulled the 750GB HDD and replaced it with a 320GB one I had with Lion on it. I reinstalled Lion (the OS the Mini came with), and sure enough... it rebooted again on wake from sleep.

I've basically tried all new hardware that can be replaced, as well as fresh installs of the OS without any success. My question is, is there a BIOS/SMC flash for this thing? If something is corrupt, it might fix the issue. Otherwise, I'm looking at a logic board/processor replacement, and Applecare ended a couple of years ago. I'm not really in a financial position to be buying computers right now, so I'm in a bit of a crunch.

Thanks in advance!
 

Trusteft

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2014
618
581
Does it reboot and does the whole weird behavior when you do not make it sleep?
 

MattA

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 15, 2006
408
116
Orlando, FL
Occasionally. In fact, last night it was just sitting idle, and BOOM. Reboot. It hasn't done that before (that I know of).
 

Trusteft

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2014
618
581
Occasionally. In fact, last night it was just sitting idle, and BOOM. Reboot. It hasn't done that before (that I know of).
I am no Mac expert but that sounds more like a hardware issue. Perhaps there is something causing a short. Any chance you opened the case before it started doing this? Perhaps something moved or something entered and causing this.
If not, no idea.
 

MattA

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 15, 2006
408
116
Orlando, FL
Yeah, it sounds like a hardware issue to me as well. I was hoping there was a bios/smc flash for it, but the only thing I've found is a security firmware update. I'll probably try it, as it can't hurt.

I've only opened the machine once in its entire life, and that was to upgrade the memory from 4GB to 16GB. If it was damaged, it wasn't because of anything I did. It's connected to a UPS, so a surge is unlikely, though not impossible.
 

MattA

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 15, 2006
408
116
Orlando, FL
One thing I hadn't thought about was a possible power supply failure. This would make sense, as when it's trying to boot/start up from sleep, it acts like it wants to start working and then powers off to start again. It's possible that the power supply is starting to die.

I've got a new one on order ($20), so we'll see if that fixes the problem. If so, I'll report back here.
 

MattA

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 15, 2006
408
116
Orlando, FL
The new power supply arrived, and I've installed it. The machine still has the same issue. It's definitely something with the motherboard/processor. Oh, well.

On a lighter note, some friends of mine caught wind of my computer plight. Since we aren't in a position to replace it right now, they and some other friends set up a fund and purchased me a new 2014 Mac Mini 2.6Ghz to replace this one. I was truly humbled by their generosity. It's currently up and working flawlessly. It's surprisingly snappy, even with the 5400 RPM drive in it. Down the road, I'll pick up a PCIe SSD and set up a fusion drive on it.
 

markswi

macrumors newbie
Oct 1, 2017
2
1
The new power supply arrived, and I've installed it. The machine still has the same issue. It's definitely something with the motherboard/processor. Oh, well.
Exact same issue here with the exact same config. i gently replaced the power supply too, and clean installed high sierra. Still having the same problem. Very very frustrating. Some other forums have suggested there's a motherboard hardware issue with the 6630 graphics that might have emerged over the years.
So far out of warranty that I don't know if it's worth Genius Bar'ing it.
 

MattA

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 15, 2006
408
116
Orlando, FL
Exact same issue here with the exact same config. i gently replaced the power supply too, and clean installed high sierra. Still having the same problem. Very very frustrating. Some other forums have suggested there's a motherboard hardware issue with the 6630 graphics that might have emerged over the years.
So far out of warranty that I don't know if it's worth Genius Bar'ing it.
This was such a frustrating problem, and no one had any answers at all. It's like it never happened to anyone but me. I'm sorry it's happened to you too, as these machines are still very viable today. Unfortunately, looking for the exact problem is like looking for a needle in a stack of needles. Basically, it just needs a new logic board.

I'm going to keep my eyes open for a new logic board for it, as it's a shame to waste the rest of it which works so flawlessly. Hopefully down the road I'll be able to do that.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,084
6,530
I'd like to offer a workaround.
It DOES NOT "fix" the problem.

Like the old adage goes:
Patient:
"Doctor, it hurts when I do this..."
Doctor:
"Well then.... don't do that."

If the Mini reboots when waking up from sleep...
... DON'T put it to sleep in the first place.

In energy saver, set sleep to "never".
When you're going to be away from it, just turn the display OFF, and let everything else run.

Again -- doesn't solve the problem.
Just sidesteps it.
 

MattA

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 15, 2006
408
116
Orlando, FL
I actually tried that, but when it's on for a long period of time, it just spontaneously reboots itself. That alone became an annoying factor in this whole saga.
 

markswi

macrumors newbie
Oct 1, 2017
2
1
I actually tried that, but when it's on for a long period of time, it just spontaneously reboots itself. That alone became an annoying factor in this whole saga.
I've 'solved' the problem to the best of my ability.
After repairing the disk, formatting, and fresh installing High Sierra from a USB I still had the problem.

Once I turned off any form of 'sleep' in energy saver settings the problem went away.
Not ideal, but it has allowed me to keep my i7 machine running flawlessly for about a month.
With no mac mini refresh in sight, this should keep anyone with an older model running smoothly.
A clean format and reinstall speeds things up considerably too.
 
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