Advice requested about what to do with this new/old Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by CrickettGrrrl, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #1
    I helped a friend with her Macs recently and she gave me one of them, her “brand-new” mid-2007 Mac Mini 2,1 —Core 2 Duo, 2.0 GHz, 120GB HDD, —now with 4GB RAM (really 3GB) which I upgraded myself. It had Tiger 10.4 installed and I also updated it to 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. According to MacTracker it’s 64-bit and still supported and can go up to Lion, but I’d rather have ML or SL rather than Lion, so sticking with SL.

    It’s “brand-new” because my friend bought it new in late 2007 but never unpackaged it, set it up or anything. Well, it did also have a new Mac smell somehow when I set it up, everything was still covered in that peely plastic. :)

    The only real quirk is with the wifi antenna. When I first set up the Mini (and I hadn’t yet opened it up to change the RAM) I had a lot of trouble getting it to recognize the home network. It just kept rejecting it outright, or begrudgingly remembering it once I managed to get it working. Then one morning it was great. All bars, no problems. AT. ALL, it just hooked up to the wifi network on its own & I was able to get massive amounts of updates downloaded. Unfortunately since then, it either only gets 2 or 3 bars max. Or it sees the home network but says it can’t connect.

    I used Migration Assistant to move over my friends files and programs from a cloned image (2006 Core 2 Duo iMac). —Just wondering if something from that disk image could be wonking things up. In the meantime, I have also wiped the HDD and reinstalled fresh copies of Tiger and Snow Leopard. Still some problems with the WiFi and then I reinstalled my friend’s data again.

    So, advice needed regarding this wifi problem AND (if I have to go through the pain-in-the-butt of opening this Mini up again to check out the antenna) I’d like to upgrade the HDD to something larger than 120GB, so I’d really appreciate advice about that too, please. I think the limit is 1.5TB for this model??

    And I'm not sure whether to keep this just for CS3 or as a HTPC.

    Heh, this is the cute little Mac Mini <3 of my dreams back in 2007-2009. :)
     
  2. Kryckter macrumors 6502

    Kryckter

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #2
    HTPC and Plex! :cool:
     
  3. CrickettGrrrl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #3
    Okay, thanks Kryckter, I'll place your vote in the HTPC column. :cool:

    --Still don't know what to do about the wifi and HDD though. I'm looking at some of the other Mac Mini threads as well.
     
  4. Kryckter macrumors 6502

    Kryckter

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    #4
    Sorry, didnt know the answers to the wifi and HDD. However, its a standard 2.5" HDD, check out some popular sites for some large HDD, they are getting pretty cheap these days.

    Good luck!
     
  5. mr.steevo macrumors 65816

    mr.steevo

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #5
    Hmm,

    I seem to remember 10.6.8 causing a load of issues with WiFi connections for Mac users. One suggestion I remember was downloading the 10.6.8 Update Combo and installing that instead of the usual update method. Worth a shot. http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1399

    The other option would be to bite the bullet and go all the way to Lion and see if that helps.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #6
    Cloning form one Mac to the other rarely causes problem for things like what you're describing. Did you make sure you properly reattached the Airport antenna to the correct connection on the Airport card when you closed it back up? Those Minis don't have a maximum drive size limit that is currently within reach by modern technology. You could cram a 4TB drive in there (if a 9mm 4TB drive existed) and it'd work just fine.
     
  7. CrickettGrrrl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #7
    Terrific! I'll order a nice big HDD then. I thought there was a 1.5TB limit based on something I read. Yes, I'm curious now re the airport card because I couldn't reattach the spring thing on top without having to wind the cable around (I think) the duct the other way. It was 3 weeks ago and I've already forgotten almost everything but the dread.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #8
    Make sure when you replace the hard drive to move the little T shaped foam piece from the old drive to the new drive in the same place. Without it air doesn't move around properly and it causes those Minis to run hotter than normal.
     
  9. CrickettGrrrl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #9
    Thanks for the link, that's worth a shot. The wifi is so sporadic, it was actually pretty good this afternoon then fizzled out again.

    I'm leery about Lion because I thought it was pretty inefficient with RAM (if I'm remembering correctly) and 3GB wouldn't really be enough would it?

    ----------

    Thanks for that tip!
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #10
    I have Lion running on of of my old 2006 Mini's with a Core2Duo upgrade and 3GB of ram. It runs alright, not as amazing as Snow Leopard or Tiger. But well enough for it to be usable for what I need it to do.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    If you're still having problems with the WiFi, would a "wired" (ethernet) alternative be possible ??
     
  12. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I had Wifi issues when I changed the HDD on my 2009 Mini, make sure all the connections are back on properly. As per @Fishrrman youcould use a power-link wired Ethernet if it still won't work.

    As an aside I've found the WD black 7200rpm hdd very good, been running with it a year now.
     
  13. CrickettGrrrl, Jun 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014

    CrickettGrrrl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #13
    No, unfortunately. :(

    Today I cannot get the Mini to connect at all. And it seems more of a software glitch. I'm constantly ticking the "Remember to Keychain" button for the password yet it never remembers anyway.

    The Mini can also see other Macs on the network.

    --------------------
    June 25th: I also tried to set up a new network with Network Assistant, and every time I entered the (correct!) password, I got a pop-up error message stating that the password was incorrect. This reminded me that the same thing happened over & over on first boot, setting things up, out of the package.
    :confused: :confused:

    ---------------------
    June 25th later: This morning I got 1 bar and downloaded the Snow Leopard combo update, installed it, and now have 2 bars. Which definitely beats 0 bars as per yesterday.
     
  14. Drich290195 macrumors 6502

    Drich290195

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    #14
    Just a thought when you pulled it apart to upgrade it you may have slightly pulled the antenna away from the card causing sporadic signal as the ariel is flakey. I would open it up and make sure it is connected properly. I have just upgraded the processor and ram on a 2006 and broke the clips of the heatsink. It was a nightmare opened it up about 4 times in the end so I feel your dread.
     
  15. CrickettGrrrl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #15
    Thanks Drich290195, yes, I'm terribly curious about it but am still waiting on delivery of the HDD I ordered. I only want to open up this Mini one. more. time. Knock wood!

    Now, if the antenna is slightly pulled away ---is it a plastic connector I can push down, or is it a soldered connection? Which is not happy at all. Or would I have to buy & install another wifi card?

    Yes, it's been intermittent. Yesterday & today though, absolutely 0 wifi connection.
     
  16. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #16
    It's a metal snap connector. Like a clothing snap. Only in the worst cases would you have to solder it back on to the board. Most of the time it just need to be snapped back on.
     
  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #17
    Wow, a brand-new Core 2 Duo mini. That is really awesome.

    The signal strength issue typically means poor reception. Is the mini on top of a metal desk? Or perhaps in an enclosed space? If it's on 10.6.8, I'm not sure what the issue might be. Have you tried using another mac as a "router" (i.e., sharing an ethernet connection over wifi)? Also, make sure your wireless router can broadcast to 801.11g. Some non-Apple routers have trouble stepping down to g if they are using the n protocol. Otherwise, make sure the antenna is securely connected; partial connection may look like it's right, but it's not.

    Also, the single best thing I did to get my C2D mini snappy was to replace the HD with an SSD. I don't think I'll ever use a spinning hard disk again, except for media storage.
     
  18. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #18
    I'm for the HTPC as well :cool: Get a bigger hard drive in there and you've got a great movie/music mini!
     
  19. CrickettGrrrl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #19
    Hi Cave Man,

    I wondered if there could be interference from something. The mini is sitting on a wood bureau about 3ft away from my iMac. It was closer but I shifted it to the edge of the bureau to check for signal improvement -none.

    I'm using a 1st Gen Airport Express 802.11n, which happens to be on the other side of the wall (regular drywall & 2x4s), next room, baseboard level.

    I did try to share wifi with my iMac but I may not have done it correctly, it didn't work, but the Mini was able to get sporadic connections on its own & I didn't try again.

    I wiped the disk and reinstalled SL and it's stuck on 10.6.3 currently as I can't connect to get updates.

    I should be getting a much larger HDD tomorrow so I will check the antenna connection when I open up the Mini. I toyed with the idea of an SSD --but would rather get the wifi sorted first.

    Yes, thesimplelogic, leaning toward an HDTV --yet also toying with giving it to my parents for their computer. They are still using a 1.83GHz CoreDuo white iMac w/ 2GB RAM, so this would be a step up, especially going from a 17" display to a 20" monitor would be nicer for them. (Hmmm, although they hate change.)

    Yeah, :eek:, I'm being indecisive... This IS an awesome little Mini, so damned CUTE, I'd love to keep it for myself.
     
  20. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #20
    If your iMac is connected by wifi and you have an ethernet cable, you could connect the Mini to the iMac by ethernet, then turn on Internet Sharing from wifi to ethernet on your iMac. Your Mini should then be connected to the internet for doing the updates.

    Alternatively, you could also download the 10.6.8 Combo Update on your iMac, put it on a flash drive (or boot the Mini in target disk mode if you have a firewire cable), then install it onto the Mini.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1399?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

    Unless you need a lot of space (i.e., as your dedicated HTPC) you should really consider the SSD. The spinning hard drive is so slow that it is the bottleneck for the entire system. A Core 2 Duo Mini with an SSD is actually pleasant to use. I found the performance improvement so good that I just ordered a 2.33 ghz T7600 as a replacement for the 1.66 ghz Core Duo in another Mini I have boxed up. It, too, will get an SSD.
     
  21. CrickettGrrrl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #21
    Yay, thanks Cave Man! Dug up an ethernet cable and I'm now downloading the Combo update. This shall do well until I can get into the Mini again this coming week.
    :)
     
  22. CrickettGrrrl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #22
    :D Hooray!!!!! :D

    That was the world's tiniest snap I've ever seen! I could barely tell it even was a snap. But it was completely loose when I opened up the Mini this afternoon. It's amazing I was able to get any WiFi at all for a few days...

    Anyway, I installed the new HDD and repaired the antenna connection. Yesterday evening I cloned the old HDD to the new one --and decided to partition it and install Lion as well. I started up the Mini this evening and (knock wood) everything is working, I instantly had WiFi and full bars :cool: and I quite like Lion now --I'll see how it handles with only 3.3GB RAM.

    Things were a bit easier this time, getting into the case anyway. It was very difficult to be really delicate yet apply enough force to connect stuff. This time I made sure to use a magnetic screwdriver.

    Thanks everyone for all of the help, I greatly appreciate it!
    :)
     
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #23
    It's great you could work it through. I'm sure an SSD is in your future. ;)
     
  24. CrickettGrrrl thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #24
    Thanks Cave Man,

    Yes, definitely thinking about tackling that for my iMac now. :cool:
     
  25. Drich290195 macrumors 6502

    Drich290195

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011

Share This Page