Mac Mini 2014 dropped dead

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by darkmatter343, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. darkmatter343, Oct 17, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017

    darkmatter343 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    #1
    I was scrolling through the forums yesterday and my mini must have seen a post it didn't like because it dropped dead. The screen froze except for the mouse, so at first I thought it was just the browser crashing, but the dock, desktop, etc, nothing worked. Then the mouse froze. So I then powered off the mini, powered it back on and after about 2-3 minutes of nothing, I now get the question mark folder.
    I've tried all key combinations to boot into restore, reset pram, nram, but nothing is responding. When I turn it on, it just sits at a black screen for the few minutes and then finally shows me the question mark folder. And no key-combos to start up in restore, T, nothing is working.

    I have the 2014 Base mini but I upgraded the hard drive a few months back to a 240GB SSD from Western Digital. There have been zero issues since upgrading the drive, nothing that would lead me to think a failure was imminent.

    I should also add that I'm no longer getting the question mark folder as of this morning. Just a black screen (back lit), the monitor has the signal light green so it's receiving some sort of signal. Also, I no longer get the chime.

    I'm going to drop it into Apple, but I'm wondering if I should drop the stock 500gb back in, or leave my SSD in there?

    Ideas? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    "I have the 2014 Base mini but I upgraded the hard drive a few months back to a 240GB SSD from Western Digital. There have been zero issues since upgrading the drive, nothing that would lead me to think a failure was imminent."

    My guess is that the SSD failed (could also be something loose in the drive connection cable).

    Unlike HDD's (which often give "evidence" that the drive is nearing a failure), an SSD can just "go dark" when it fails. No prior indication, nothing, just.... gone.

    Instead of re-opening it to put the old HDD back in, why don't you get either
    - an external USB3/SATA "adapter dongle", or
    - an external USB/SATA dock, or
    - an external USB3 enclosure.
    Then, put the old drive into it, connect it, and see if the Mini will boot that way.

    Here's one of the adapter/dongles:
    https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-2-5-...478&sr=1-2-spell&keywords=sabremt+usb3+to+ssd
    (this particular one is USB3.1 but should work with USB3 as well)
     
  3. darkmatter343 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. I guess my 2nd question is why can't I at least boot into Recovery Mode? I wanted to run the disk util and terminal to do some further checking. No chime, no keyboard-combo keys working. Just a black screen until eventually the ? shows. I figured I would be able to boot into Internet Recovery.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    OP wrote:
    "my 2nd question is why can't I at least boot into Recovery Mode?"

    Recovery mode is on the SSD, as well.
    If the SSD has failed, you probably can't get to recovery, either.

    Can't get into Internet Recovery?
    That -could be- in the Mac (not the drive).

    Again, surest way to "isolate" a drive-related problem is to attempt to boot from... another drive.
     
  5. darkmatter343 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    #5
    ok thanks, I'll try that tonight. I still have the original 500gb with the osx installed so I'll try to boot and post back.
     
  6. darkmatter343 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    #6
    I tried booting off a USB with the Sierra Installer but still got nothing, so I removed the SSD I had installed WD Blue 250gb, put the 500GB 5400 drive back in, and vola! Back in business... which a much slower drive :(
    I'm really interesting in knowing if the SSD dropped dead, or if somehow the files/partition were deleted by a malicious program. The problem I have now is the SSD was updated to HS, with APFS so now I also have to update the 500gb to HS so I can try to read the SSD. Thanks for the help.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    OP wrote:
    "I'm really interesting in knowing if the SSD dropped dead, or if somehow the files/partition were deleted by a malicious program"

    Then you need one of the three types of devices I mentioned in post #2 above.
    The "dongle/adapter" connection is the cheapest...
     
  8. darkmatter343 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    #8
    I have/had one of those sata dongles for laptop drives, used it all the time, greatest adaptor I've owned... until I lost it. It actually came from a Seagate external 500gb and the sata connector pops off. I'll have to grab another one today.

    goflex_usb3.0cable.gif
     
  9. darkmatter343 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    #9
    Looks like the WD is dead... I've placed an RMA.
     

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8 October 17, 2017