Mac Mini (late 2014) regularly locks up after sleep

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by baryon, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. baryon macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    • Mac Mini (late 2014)
    • macOS Sierra 10.12.5 (16F73)
    • 2.6 GHz i5
    • 8 GB RAM
    • 500 GB SSD
    • Intel Iris 1536 MB

    Someone I know bought a used 2014 Mac Mini from a computer shop. It's in very good condition, barely used. It's running the latest Sierra, I updated everything on it. I made a new user account but didn't reinstall the system that was on it.

    My friend has had it for 2 weeks, and at least 4-5 times the following has happened: he walks up to the sleeping computer, presses Space and the screen (3rd party) remains black, no response. The fans are spinning and the air coming from the vents is warm. Caps Lock key lights up when pressing Caps Lock, though sometimes even this won't respond. Pressing the Volume buttons on the keyboard (wired 3rd party keyboard) doesn't make the "Pluck" sound, so it's not an issue with the screen. Each time this happens, we need to hard reset and boot it up again for it to work.

    The only consistent thing is that when the computer goes to sleep, it sometimes won't wake up from it and requires a hard reset. I can't find anything suspicious in the console, I don't know what to look for.

    There's an option to return the computer for a full refund for a few more weeks, but there is no Apple warranty.

    The seller says this is 100% not a hardware issue, he is offering to reinstall macOS. I'm certain he wouldn't know if this is hardware or software, for all we know this can very well be a hardware issue.

    Should we run some tests, let the seller clean install macOS, and hope that this is a software issue, or should we just return it and get rid of it, and just buy a new Mac Mini with lower specs?

    He bought this for the exact same price as the current base model Mac Mini that Apple is selling. The only benefit is that it has twice the RAM and an SSD, but of course it's used and out of warranty. Is this price even reasonable?
  2. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2008
    Have them re-install the OS but also give you another month to test.
  3. einbahnstrasse macrumors newbie


    Nov 23, 2004
    My refurb 2014 has had similar sleep issues. Sadly I just turn it off. Usually would wake from sleep if it hadn't been hours.
  4. baryon thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2009
    Strangely, it hasn't done it since I posted about it. Before that, it did it consistently almost on a daily basis. I was very close to returning it. Hope it doesn't do it again!
  5. Partron22 macrumors 68020


    Apr 13, 2011
    Try pressing mouse button. I had a 2011 mini on which nothing else would work.
  6. SoCalReviews, Jul 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2012
    I've seen this issue and have dealt with it before and it's something you will have to experiment with. The Mini probably isn't really "locking up" but instead it's likely just a signaling issue with how the Mini's HDMI is communicating with your monitor (turning your monitor off) or it's an issue with the power saver/wake up settings on the Mac Mini. You can try experimenting with adjusting the Mac's sleep and power settings.

    Try plugging your keyboard and/or mouse directly into the Mac Mini USB port without going through any USB Hub. This eliminates the problem of the Mini going into power saving mode where it shuts power to the Mini's USB ports so the USB hub sleeps and then keyboard activity won't wake the Mini. You could try adding and using an Apple wireless keyboard if you are having issues with a regular keyboard waking the Mini.

    When I use an HDMI to the display (Samsung TV/Monitor combination) I have to power on the monitor after the Mini sleeps. I simply increase the Mini's time before fully power saving or sleeping from 1 hour to up to 8 hrs. before it sleeps and turns off the monitor to make it less of a hassle of powering up the monitor all the time while I'm actively using it. You can still have other components such as the drives set to sleep during inactivity. For monitor/tv combo displays you may need to set the monitor sleep time in the monitor's onboard power save settings as well.

    On several of my Mac Minis I use the mini display port to VGA adapter going directly to the monitor and with those set ups tapping on the keyboard space bar seems to wake the display/monitor more easily than having to power back on the entire monitor when using HDMI. This again seems to be a difference of how VGA signals the monitor to "sleep" rather than completely turning off the monitor when it uses HDMI.
  7. krause734 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    I use Caffeine to keep it on all the time and just put the monitor to sleep
  8. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    Of the 13 Macs I've used in my life, Sleep has always been an unreliable feature. Sometimes it works in some machines for a while, other times it's totally unreliable on other machines.
    If you've got a Mac that reliably sleeps & wakes, count yourself lucky. If it's not really working right, or is flakey... That's a Mac. Don't use it. Turn off the machine.

    Sleep can eventually corrupt the operating system and cause mayhem if you use it without restarting your machine regularly (my experience).
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I kinda agree with "now i see it" in the post directly above.

    The Mini in question has an SSD, rignt?
    No "platters" or moving parts to spin down or up, right?

    Why not try this alternative approach:
    - Set energy saver sleep timer to "never" (computer doesn't "sleep" at all)
    - When your friend is going to be away from the computer for any length of time,. just reach up and flip the display power switch to "off".
    - When he returns, power on the display and click the mouse button.

    I use this routine and it works fine for me (late 2012 Mini).

    I, too, power down the Mac (all the way) when I'm not going to be using it for any length of time -- and EVERY night, as well.

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