Mac mini HD Fail.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Designed4Mac, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Designed4Mac macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2013
    I Wish I Knew
    Ok. So here's the thing.

    Back in January in done a DIY fusion on a mid 2012 i7 Mac mini. Everything was working fine till a few days ago when I started getting the dreaded beach ball after it was left on overnight.

    Wasn't really a problem, just had to restart and all was well again, but being the perfectionist that I am thought I'd do a fresh install of everything and see if there was a specific app that was causing the problem.

    I decided to split the Fusion drive in case that was what was causing it but in the rush of it (I only had a few spare hours to do it in) I forgot to make a bootable drive first to reinstall OSX with. By the time I realised what I'd done it was too late.

    It split the drives and also formatted them into an unusable state. (Hence why I needed a bootable drive to access disk utility to format them and do an Internet recovery with). After 48 hours of pulling what hair I and left out, I gave up and took a drive to the Apple Store.

    This is where it gets interesting.

    The guy in the store hooked it up, tried to do the Internet recovery and also failed. Then done a diagnostic check and found that both drives, 256 SSD and 1tb stock drive were red. He then went on to tell me that both drives had failed.

    Now knowing that this happens when you split or make a fusion drive I tried to blag it that if he could just sell me a bootable drive I could sort the problem my self. As I didn't want to tell him that I'd done a DIY fusion just to be told that my warranty was void.

    He then proceeded to put my beloved Mac mini behind the counter and told me that it would have to be repaired. Filled in the relevant docs and said it would be free of charge as it was under warranty. Sent me a confirmation email to confirm that the drives needed replacing and it was a free repair.

    Now I'm wondering that when they take it apart they will realise that I've added my own drive and try and charge me or will it stay as a free repair as that is what it was put through the system as.

    In 3-5 days ill know the outcome but just wondered if any of u had experienced a similar scenario and what your outcome was.
  2. Omnius, Jun 14, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013

    Omnius macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2012
    I'd be shocked if they gave you the same level components.... If the SSD is aftermarket and installed, I would be stunned if they just gave you a new 256gb ssd. If they replace an aftermarket SSD with a new apple branded SSD, I'm still pretty stunned.

    I'm more stunned that you posted this because it sounds like you're defrauding a business...
  3. Designed4Mac thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2013
    I Wish I Knew
    So I take it you'd be stunned?

    Firstly the SSD that's in there, although installed by myself is the same one that apple use in their Fusion Drives

    Secondly, how do you figure that I'm defrauding a business. For one nothing has even happened yet and if they do replace both drives surely that would be their own fault for employing "Genius Staff" who aren't that much of a genius to know that I've installed my own drive.

    And I suppose that if by some miracle they do replace both drives and you were in my position, when you went to collect it you'd say "hold on a minute, you've made a mistake, here's 400 for the new drives"

    Me thinks not.
  4. philipma1957, Jun 14, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    Since when does apple use a 256gb ssd in a mac mini as a fusion option? I am looking at the usa store and only see a 128gb ssd with a 1tb hdd. Here is a screen shot of the uk fusion and it is not with a 256gb ssd.
    Although the genius should know this fact. "The apple mac mini fusion is a 128gb ssd with a 1tb hdd."
    So I do not think you are defrauding him. I just would think they are being nice to you.

    Attached Files:

  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    With a 2012 Mac Mini, you should've been able to use OS X Internet Recovery to boot your Mac and run Disk Utility and then install OS X on to your Mac.

    If they look up the configuration your system shopped with, they will realize that you've made those changes yourself. So it all depends on what the teach at Apple does or if he notices you've modified the computer due to something you did inside.
  6. Designed4Mac thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2013
    I Wish I Knew

    Sorry. didn't word it properly. What I meant was the same model of SSD only mine was a 256gb and you are correct that apple only use a 128gb.

    When the technician opens it up there's a chance he won't notice the size difference as in my experience with apple, not all are the experts that they make themselves out to be.


    When you split a fusion drive both drives are displayed in red when you go into DU and the recovery drive is deleted so the only way you can go into internet recovery is by having an external bootable drive so that you can use it for IR then choose where you want to install OSX. Which would be on one of the two drives that you've split.

    The guy at the Genius Bar was trying to tell me that both drives had failed when they hadn't. They just needed repairing with disk utility.

    I'll find out what they do in a couple of days and post back.
  7. Designed4Mac thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2013
    I Wish I Knew
    Well, for those interested, picked my mini up last night.

    Repaired under warranty free of charge. Before i left i ask them to plug it in so i could double check before i left the store. Plugged it in and both drives failed again.

    To cut a long story short i spent 2 1/2 hours in the store where i told 3 members of staff that i had indeed added my own SSD to the top bay. After booting from an external drive then repairing the "failed drives". Reinstalled OSX and now all is working fine.

    So it seems that even if you do open the Mac Mini and add your own drives you are still covered by the Apple Warranty.

    I would have put this down to luck if it had not have been for the technician who replaced the stock drive and the 3 members of staff who spent the 2 1/2 hours with me to get it up and running again. :)
  8. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I wouldn't generalize from your experience. I'd say you received a favor that others might not necessarily receive.
  9. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    If the op is fully honest and the apple store was fully honest the machine will break again. the idea that apple fixed it and it broke if true can only mean there is an undetected issue that will reoccur. I would guess my guess is more then 90% chance of being correct. op let us know if it breaks. if it never breaks again the apple store techs could not have restored it correctly when they told you they did.

    i think there is a cold solder in your gear. if you unplug it for a day i believe the problem will happen again.
  10. sfxguy macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I had the same thing happen on my 2012 mini that I did a DIY fusion drive on 6 months or more ago.

    I started responding slowly, then a few days later gave me the Circle at bootup.

    I decided to take it in to the Apple store as is, they tested it and said it looked like they stock 1TB drive ha failed.

    They told me to go home at take out the SSD I put in, and they would fix it no problem, no cons, just it had to be out when they worked on it. They even pre-ordered that drive for me so i could take it in when the part got there.

    When I opened it up and started to take it apart, when I went to lift up the SATA cable, it was basically disconnected.

    Thinking that was the problem, I popped it back in and put it back together and everything was right as rain after re-formatting the drives.

    I have no idea why after sitting in one place for 6 months and not being moved the SATA cable would pop loose by itself.

    I got the call that the part was in today but there is really no reason to take it in now since it is working fine.

    Anyone had this happen to them? Any reason the cable would pop loose other then I just didn't push it all then way in when I re-assembled it 6 months ago? Could it be a sign of something else wrong?
  11. davidlv macrumors 65816

    Apr 5, 2009
    Kyoto, Japan
    Cable gremlins. They roam the neighborhood looking for computers with enough space around the SATA cables for a good space to hold chats, and naturally gravitate to Mac Minis rather than MBPs, After 4 or 5 of them are sitting around on the cable and as the conversation gets animated, they start laughing and jumping up and down, which can pop the cable of the connector. Imagine their surprise when that comfortable seat goes slack!
    Of course they all have abandoned ship by the time you get around to taking the mini in for repairs, so Apple has no documented "cable gremlins" cases.
  12. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    While it still can have a different root cause, i'd consider it quite probable that you did not reseat the cable properly. Mechanical drives (and to a certain extent the system fan under load) tend to create vibrations and those may over time have lead to the cable getting "vibrated" more and more out of the place required for a proper connection.

    This can happen far before such vibrations become audible (unless you put your ear on the mini's housing).
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    This is a statistically improbable event. When they returned the computer to you did it have the same SSD and HD in it?

    When I moved from a 240GB SSD/1TB HD to a 240GB SSD/1.5TB HD fusion drive, I had to pull both the SSD and HD from the Mini and initialize them in an external USB enclosure. If they were in the Mini, I couldn't do anything with them in DU or with diskutil, which indicated the drives had failed. I still don't know why.

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