Fan on full a sign of impending doom?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by philelzebub, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. philelzebub macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2013
    I picked up a 2nd-hand Mac Mini (2007, C2D 1.83, 3GB ram, OSX 10.7. From a reputable UK based refurb company) to use as my secondary work machine at home.

    Booted fine but the fan was running on full pelt from the start. smcFanControl gave it a speed of 5500rpm even though the processor was only at 26 degrees C. An SMC reset didn't fix the issue.

    The company I bought it from have taken it back and are running some tests. This makes me think it's nothing as simple as the cable needing plugging back in... Anyway, I've read elsewhere but wanted some kind of clarification, if possible:

    Could the fan running at full whack all the time be a sign of impending Logic Board death?

    If it's a 'yes' then I might just get a refund and continue searching for another Mac. I have a 12 month warranty from where I bought it but, if the LB is going to die, I'd rather it be MUCH later rather than sooner...

    Thank you :)
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Yes and Yes.

    There is a fan cable that attaches to the daughter board. There is also a cable that attaches to the motherboard that is a heat sensor for the hard drive. If either of those were not attached right (say they replaced the hard drive in their "refurbing" process) then either of those can cause the fan to run at full tilt. I know. I've forgotten to attache the hard drive cable before.

    As for your question about the mother board going. It could be this as well. Anything is possible. Remember, this is almost a 6 year old computer at this point anything could die. However, I have two 2006's that I boot up regularly and have no issues so....

    Edit: Thinking about it, if the fan cable wasn't connected then the fan wouldn't run at all. So most likely it is just the hard drive sensor cable.
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    if it is the cable unplugged it is a 5 minute fix. Personally the machine is really old I would return it. Ask for a 2.26 or a 2.53 from the 2009 models.

    they can take up to 8gb ram after the firmware upgrade. they were the first good minis.
  4. Acronyc macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    Last year I picked up a 2007 mini for really cheap because of the same issue. Installed iStat and the HD sensor was at 0 and the CPU was always at 100. Checked both sensors and the HD was unplugged and that fixed one issue, but the CPU was still high. So I opened it up again and reapplied new thermal paste to the CPU and that fixed everything. CPU temps went back to normal and fans went back to humming silently at about 1500RPM. I then was able to resell it for a profit. Thermal paste is pretty cheap so it's worth a shot.

    Though I would also agree with philipma1957, if you can get a 2009 mini they are much better. I have two of them running almost constantly without any issues.
  5. philelzebub thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2013
    Thanks so much for the pointers, guys! (more helpful than the official support forum, actually...)

    I'll work some of these into my update request email later. They had the Mac delivered back to them on Monday and apparently were running tests yesterday so I would expect if it was fan cable, HDD sensor or thermal paste needed on the CPU that they would've realised this by now :D

    Unfortunately I checked out their stock of 2009 Minis and they're comparatively priced with the 2011 models I can get as refurb direct from Apple UK so there's a quandary. Obviously these guys seem to be pricing things to encourage the older stuff to leave the shop first or something...
  6. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    While the 2006 and 2007 Machines are still selling for 100-250, I would not say a 2006 is really worth it and a 2007 would really only be worth it at the lower end the of spectrum. In retrospect the GMA950 really was as bad as people make it out to be. And really, newer stuff is competitively priced with the old used stuff.
  7. philelzebub thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2013
    Thanks for that info :)

    Refurb company got back to me with an update that they were still testing the fan so couldn't say if it would be repaired or replaced as yet! So I've just asked for a refund as I'm still in my cooling off period...
  8. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    the 2009s are substantially better and similarly priced. If cost is the primary concern and quality is 2nd, the 2009 is probably the ideal place to be for you.
  9. philelzebub thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2013
    Unfortunately not at the place I got my recent Mini from. Their 2009 models are priced similarly to the 2011 models I can get direct from Apple as a refurb so I'm currently thinking it best to just get a 2011 model from Apple, unless you guys know something about them that means I should stay clear?? :D
  10. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
  11. philelzebub thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Laptop Centre in the UK... They don't just sell laptops, though, obviously :D

    Actually, just noticed their stock has been updated...
  12. ratsg macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2010
  13. Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    Those prices seem unreasonably high. Shop around more, you can probably do better.
  14. philelzebub thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2013
    Funnily enough, of the more reputable refurb places over here, Laptop Centre where the cheapest!

    I'll keep my eyes on the Apple Store from now, I think. Unfortunately I missed out on a 2011 model yesterday morning that went for £399...

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