Failing Drive, Apple Care, Late 2012 - What to Expect?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by newellj, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    The original 1TB HDD in my late 2012 is failing. The Mini is still covered by Apple Care. The OS is installed on a second drive (SSD), and I only use the 1TB spinner as a backup drive so honestly if I lost all the data on the 1TB HDD it wouldn't cause any problems. I assume the best way to get this taken care of is to make an appointment at a local Apple Store (rather than sending it in to Apple)? If that's correct, do they replace the drive while you wait, or am I going to have to leave it? Do they take care of data transfer, or should I clone the drive and wipe it then clone the data back? I am sure that the self-installed second drive (the SSD) will not be a warranty problem, but if anyone thinks otherwise, please speak up.
  2. DFWHD macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2011
    I would suggest calling apple support first and getting a case opened so the Apple Store has clear instructions. Else, if the stores diagnostics come up with no issues, they will send you home with not having achieved anything. I went through this last winter and learned the hard way.
  3. whodatrr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    Last time I had a drive replaced by AppleCare, it was on an iMac. If memory serves, I believe it was out of commission for about a week. They did absolutely nothing with data transfer, but merely advised me to backup prior to taking it it. In this case, the drive wasn't yet completely toast, but it was headed that way and had a recall.

    FWIW, I brought it into an authorized shop and not the Apple Store, as AppleCare phone support quoted the same turnaround and the authorized shop was closer. Another reason is that I was hoping the shop would allow me to replace the old spinner with an SSD or an SSD/HDD combo, which they refused to do, even though I offered them additional money to do it. They said that, pursuant to the terms of their apple relationship, they could make no changes.

    But as a newer iMAc is a bit more complicated to do this on than a Mac Mini, your turnaround may be much faster. As the poster said above, call Apple first. You may be able to get it R&R'd while you wait?
  4. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    apple diagnostics DOES NOT test for failing drives. you need to verify the drive is actually failing by an error message, clicking sound, ticking sound, or a smart failure.

    a beeping sound indicates that the drive is not spinning because it doesn't have enough power.

    when in doubt , back up the hard disk, and then do a full erase ( 7 to 35 passes ) , this will weed out any bad sectors. if no bad sectors are found, then the drive is presumed to be good

    full erase is not applicable to SSD

    applecare will not allow you to mail in a mac mini, but if you pester them, they will send an onsite person to your house

    check the smart sensor by using a free utility or you can see what it is by using system report. in the old days the smart sensor was shown in disk utility, but no more

    apple diagnostics only tests for the PRESENCE of a hard disk drive. it does not actually test it

    hard disks have error correction. all hard disks are manufactured with errors, and its up to the drive to automatically correct them. if the computer or operating system sees those errors, that then means the hard disk is shot and it must be replaced, period.

    a full erase will test each sector and make sure the drive is good
  5. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    if the mac mini reports the drives smart status is "failing" then thats all you do. just back it up and have them replace the disk and take a picture of that error message, case closed. the drive is bad. if they try and tell you to erase pram, clear the smc, and reinstall os x , they are full of it, and your drive is bad and none of that stuff will fix it

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