Is my Mini dead?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by bigbaba, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. bigbaba macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2015
    #1
    I have a Mac Mini 2,1 with Lion and 2 gigs of ram installed. I have had this in the bedroom for the past couple of years as a htpc. Lately after an intermittent amount of time the display goes black and the mini is unresponsive. The power light stays on but the keyboard lights stay off (caps lock key won't turn on if I press it). I have file sharing turned on and I can't access my files from my other computers.

    My only recourse is to hold the power light and force a shut down. If I try to start up immediately I hear a short whine of the fans starting, no chime, and then it shuts down on itself. If I leave it for a few minutes the mini will start up and work until it decides to shut down again.

    I've run AHT and the quick scan revealed no errors. When I tried to run the extended test, the mini quits on me in the middle of the scan.

    I've tried resetting the SMC and PRAM. All I have plugged into the mini is a dvi cable and 3.5mm audio cable. Mouse is bluetooth and I've dug up a microsoft usb keyboard to help with diagnosing this issue. I've tried a clean install of lion and it seemed to work better for a couple of days but that could have been my imagination.

    Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    Lucky Country
    #2
    My first guess is that the fan (and inside generally) needs a good clean - it's overheating. If you can open it up, I think you will be surprised at the amount of muck inside.

    Good luck.
     
  3. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #3
    Yes, clean it first.
    If problem persists then you may have a serious problem. It could be the GPU or maybe CPU solder connections have cracked causing a poor connection.
     
  4. bigbaba thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2015
    #4
    Thanks @OLDCODGER and @poiihy. I'll get a can of compressed air and give it a try. I'll post the results later today when I'm done.
     
  5. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #5
    Compressed air may not really work well. I suggest a paint brush.

    Assuming you are cleaning the mini while it's open, brush around vigorously with the paintbrush to loosen all the hard dust, then blow it out with the compressed gas duster (it's not air).
     
  6. bigbaba thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2015
    #6
    Well I tried cleaning my mac. I didn't use a paint brush, just a can of compressed gas and it didn't do much.

    I had a hard time starting it back up though. I pressed the power button and my mini booted up to the apple logo and then the screen went black. I tried unplugging the power source and powering it back up again but then I got a lot of failed powerups. At times I would press the power button, the light would come on, then I would hear a whine as though I'm doing a forced shut down and the power light shut off. Other times the power light would just come on and I wouldn't get a chime.

    Pretty much as it is the mini doesn't want to stay on for more than 5 minutes at a time. Should I scrub it better? Does this sound like a logic board or ram failure?


    Thanks.
     
  7. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #7
    Sounds like GPU failure. RAM and CPU are also possible but not very likely. Do you have the Apple Hardware Test DVD for it? if so then try to do a test. If not then you may want to try to bring it into an Apple service place and they will diagnose it.
     
  8. bigbaba thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2015
    #8
    I ran a quick scan on AHT and it said no troubles found. When I try to run an extended scan my mini quits on me.

    When I do start my computer I noticed "gear wind up" sound the computer normally makes is slower fwiw.
     
  9. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Hard drive, then, by the sounds of it. If you still have access to an install dvd, try running that for awhile - if successful, this would eliminate logic board problems, and point to hard drive.
     
  10. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #10
    No, not hard drive at all. If it were the hard drive then the machine would not act like that. It would not shut down while doing the Apple Hardware Test. If the hard drive was going bad then it would only happen in the OS and it would just sort-of freeze with beach ball while it waits for the hard drive.
     
  11. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Unless it was the hard drive overheating and shutting the m/c down - I think. However, I am not certain by any means.
     
  12. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    Oct 17, 2014
    #12
    Very unlikely the hard drive has anything to do with the OP's problem, especially since they mentioned the machine failing to chime.
     
  13. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Agreed - if he starts it immediately after it shuts down, otherwise it seems to chime ok. Nevertheless, a dvd boot would tend to isolate the problem.
     
  14. bigbaba thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2015
    #14
    After all my anguish yesterday my mini started to run fine all night. I haven't done anything which is weird. It's set to sleep right now while I'm at work. I'm at a loss. If the GPU was failing wouldn't AHT detect it?


    Thanks.
     
  15. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #15
    Not necessarily... If all the GPU's pins have contact then AHT cannot detect it as everything is fine. But then if one or some of the pins loose connection, it may crash the whole machine.

    Your machine uses the "Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950" graphics chip. I don't know if these are notorious for failures or not.

    It could also be the CPU, or RAM. If you want to rule out RAM then test it with Memtest86.

    You can also go to an Apple service place and they can diagnose it (for free I think) with their special diagnosing thing.

    I've heard these Mini Macs before 2009 have socketed CPUs and maybe GPUs. This means the chip is attached to the board with a socket, and you can remove it or replace it. If it were not socketed then it would be soldered directly to the board. I'm not sure about this though so can someone confirm this?
     
  16. bigbaba thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2015
    #16
    I wish I knew they diagnosed for free before I started this thread :eek: . I just made an appointment for saturday and will post their findings when I get them!

    Thanks for your help!!!
     
  17. bigbaba thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 10, 2015
    #17
    Thank you @OLDCODGER and @poiihy for all your help. After my appointment the apple genius said that it was my logic board that bit the bullet. Too bad my computer is a couple years out of support. Can't even order parts from apple if I wanted to.

    Great help though. I appreciate all your input!
     
  18. OLDCODGER macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Sorry for your loss - and that I was wrong. A Drive replacement would have been an easy out.
     
  19. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

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    Aug 22, 2014
    #19
    In that case it's probably better to get a new (used) machine.
     

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