Mac mini mid 2011 keeps randomly shutting down

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Sossity, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. Sossity macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #1
    Ever since I updated to El Capitan, I have had 3 random shut downs, I will be in the middle of something, and it just shuts down.

    It was about 102-105 degrees F when the shut downs happened.

    I dont know what the problems is, it does seem to be running a little hotter since the update, and it quickly goes from between 77-80 degrees F at startup to 100+ in about 10-20 minutes of use.

    Even before the update gifs and video ads on websites would make the fans spin up loudly too.

    But now I am almost afraid to have websites open for fear of a shut down.

    I also notice after the El Capitan update that when the mini wakes from sleep, my wacom intuos 3 pen does not work for a few seconds, I will see the arrow pointer on the screen, but the pen is for a few moments paralyzed, and then it works. I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling the latest wacom drivers, but this does not seemed to have helped.

    I also tried to dust the mini off, with a little brush in the vents, i even tried to get the back off to see about any dust on the inside, but I could not screw the back off, it is on very tight.
     
  2. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #2
    Check the Wacom website to see if your tablet(?) is explicitly supported in El Capitan. I think Wacom has stopped upgrading drivers for some of their older products. There have been reports of problems with El Capitan and Wacom products that don't have drivers for El Capitan.

    Less likely is if you have the Radeon 6630M dGPU - people have had issues with that.

    If you get the "Your computer has restarted because of a problem..." message, you've had a kernel panic. If you had a kernel panic, a record of what happened is saved on your computer. Copy what's in one of those files, post it here and hopefully somebody can help.

    Two ways of getting to the kernel panic files:
    1) In /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports, Kernel panic files start with "kernel" and have a .panic extension.
    2) In the Console app (in the Utilities folder of Applications), go to "System Diagnostic Reports", open it up and look for the same file type of file - "Kernel" with a .panic extension.
     
  3. Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 12, 2010
    #3
    thank you for the reply, I did not get a kernal panic, I have had those on other macs, it just had had enough and suddenly shut down completely, I had to manually start it up again and there were no kernal panic messages.

    I think wacom does have drivers for el capitan, but I wonder if it might be at least part of the problem.

    I have a macbook pro mid 2014 el capitan with a newer wacom tablet, and noticed it is a bit weird as well, the pointer is jittery. so it does seem the wacoms dont work very well now.

    should I try an smc reset?
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    The Intel CPU will automatically shut itself down if it overheats beyond spec. If you are having high fan noise too, it is suspicious. Get a temperature monitoring problem like iStat or Macs Fan Control and see what CPU temps you have when running a demanding application.

    Also, I'd get that sucker open and check for dust clogging. It's a 5 year old computer.

    El Capitan's USB support is notoriously bad. That's probably all that is. At least you get it back after a few seconds.
     
  5. Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 12, 2010
    #5
    Yeah, I tried to get the back off to look for dust, but it was stuck on there and I did not want to risk breaking anything.

    fan noise is suspicious in what way? what does this mean?

    I also remember after restarting the mac after one of the shut downs, it reopened all my apps, one of the apps; parallels desktop, would open with a window with a message saying a critical failure happened, and it offered to send a repot, I clicked yes and it did, then I proceded to use it as I normally do.

    I have been getting nagging messages for upgrading parallels, says to work optimally with el capitan for dragging and dropping files between mac and windows, but it does work with el capitan now, so I have been cheap and not upgraded yet.
     
  6. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 9, 2015
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    Honolulu HI
    #6
    A SMC and NVRAM reset wouldn't hurt at this point.

    So do you have a quad-core? My dual-core Mini's (2009, 2014) never get hot enough to get the fans going. My quad core will under heavy usage, although I've never had a shutdown because of that. You should take a look at Activity Monitor and see if anything is happening when it gets hot. See if there's a process going that's causing high CPU usage. If there isn't then there probably is some sort of cooling issue. You can also try disconnecting the Wacom tablet to see if makes any difference in behavior.
     
  7. Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 12, 2010
    #7
    It is a dual core i7 16 gb of ram, with discreet graphics. Now that activity monitor is mentioned, I looked at it one time, and i did notice the wacom seemed to being taking a bit of cpu power.

    If I do smc vram reset, which one should I do first? how are these done?
     
  8. treekram macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 9, 2015
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    #8
  9. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #9
    Sorry, wasn't clear. What I mean is that while there are many reasons for random shut downs (such as a bad power supply or overtemp protection) the fact that you are also simultaneously experiencing loud fan issues points more toward the direction of overtemp protection.

    It's just a theory though, which could be checked if you install temperature monitoring software.
     
  10. Osty, Mar 31, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016

    Osty macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, AU
    #10
    There was more to it than random restarts.

    http://www.macrumors.com/2014/01/17/2011-macbook-pro-gpu-glitches/

    I've not had those symptoms with my 2011 (i5 version though) not has it ever randomly shutdown and restarted.

    OP, your problem is mostly likely due to heat and constricted ventilation. The combination of i7 and Radeon GPU may likely run hotter than the i5/Radeon combination. As others have noted, Intel CPUs power off as a fail safe to prevent damage caused by overheating.

    Twist the bottom off and have a look for dust and other obstructions.

    The bottom is held by two pins and just requires a simple turn to remove. It's a tight turn, especially the first time you do it, and if it feels stuck it adds weight to the idea that you've got a lot of crap in there that needs removing.

    Another possibility is that if it's ever been opened in the past for a DIY SSD upgrade, it's possible that internal heat sensor was snapped off (this is a well-known risk on the 2011/2012 mini). If that's happened then the Fan will behave erratically and the system won't be able to regulate it's temperature properly.
     
  11. Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #11
    yeah, I am afarid to break something, because it seems I will need to use force to get it off, and then I am afarid that I may not be able to get it back on.

    I bought it as an upgraded machine, it had a hard drive to ssd upgrade, and upgraded ram.
     
  12. Sossity, Apr 1, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016

    Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #12
    Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 2.08.02 AM.png Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 2.51.34 AM.png Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 2.51.55 AM.png

    here are some screen shots I took of iStats, i am running a trial version of it. The first image of temps is when I first tuned on the mini and doing some browsing on firefox on website A, the second one is processes when I was looking at website B in Firefox, third image is of temps while looking at the website B in Firefox. My mini has dual hard drives; a 240 gb mushkin ssd drive, and a 500 gb hard drive.

    I notice when I start up the mini, I have the ssd as the startup, but I also hear the 500 gb grinding away as well, even though it is not the startup drive.
     
  13. Sossity thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    #13
    Well now, the mini will not stay powered on at all, it shut down on me again, I turned it off, let it sit a few minutes the tried another and as soon as it started up, it shut down again, it just shuts down all the time, it has become unstable and unusable.
     

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