Mac Mini On it's last leg?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by now i see it, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    I've got a 2008 core2duo Mac Mini 1.83ghz that has SL 10.6.8 on it and the machine has served me well these last 8 years. I don't use it much anymore. Just as a file server.

    But it now it has developed an issue that it will just freeze up. No keyboard, no mouse input. Happens all the time now. When the computer is just sitting idle. Not in use. Power saving is off. No sleep. Have tried unplugging USB stuff. Only thing connected to it is monitor and keyboard. Only way to get it going again is a hard restart with the power button.
    Tried resetting PRAM and checked disk utility. No help.

    I think this machine is on its way out. It's not like I haven't gotten my money's worth! Perhaps I could try reinstalling the OS, yuck, but I have my doubts that will help.
    Also Ethernet port died a few years ago.
    It has a OWC 128GB SSD & 4GB ram installed by a mac shop a few years ago. No issues in the past with those.

    Whaddya say? Any last ditch keyboard start up tricks to try before either I reinstall SN or toss this thing in the trash?

  2. Partron22 macrumors 68020


    Apr 13, 2011
    When did you last take it apart and vacuum/blow the dust out?
    You are no longer in danger of voiding the warranty.
    My late 2005 Mini's been brought back from the dead by a good cleaning twice now.
    Internal drive still technically works, but at 40GB, I run things off a TB Firewire ext.
    Works well for serving music, plus I can play System 9 compatible games on it.

    Eight is too young for a Mac to die.
  3. terriyaki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2005
    I think I have a similar Mini. Mine is a 2.0Ghz model with 2 GB of RAM (Model identifier 2,1) from 2007.

    It's been my htpc and torrent box since day one but mine occasionally hangs as well (unresponsive apps, unresponsive finder, sometimes mouse and keyboard inputs work but I'm unable to shutdown or reboot from the UI -- The only way to shutdown is to press and hold the power button or 10 seconds). In my case it was (and still is, since it still happens from time to time) due to a unfixed bug in 10.6.8 were downloading and seeding many large files in transmission 2.84 causes the problem.

    I actually just ordered a base model Mac mini from 2014 off of the refurb store to replace it.
  4. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    Good Choice; I also bought a Refurbished MM(Late 2014), 2.8GHz,8GB Ram, 256 SSD from the Apple On-Line Store in June, 2015 which has met all my MM Performance expectations and then some!
  5. terriyaki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2005
    Lucky! Sounds like a beastly mini. What type of tasks do you do on the machine? Is it your main machine, an HTPC or?

    I just went with the straight stock mini (1.4Ghz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD, Intel HD 5000) and it'll be my new dedicated torrent, media server and HTPC.
  6. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    MY MM(Late 2014) is my daily "Go-To" machine in which I consider myself a light user, i.e., surfing the web, typing correspondence, burning DVD's from my extensive DVD Movie Collection, etc. I paid around $1000 which included AppleCare.

    Also, in August, 2013 I purchased a Refurbished MM(Late 2012), 2.5 GHZ, 4GB Ram(Upgraded to 16GB Ram last year), 500GB HD from the Apple On-Line Store which has also served me well.

    However, a couple of months ago the MM(Late 2012) "froze-up" which necessitated a Costa Rican Apple Distributor reinstalling the OS X which cost me around $100.00 a couple of months ago. I use this MM as my back-up machine, however, I would now not buy any type of computer that does not have a SSD as the MM(Late 2014) boots-up in seconds and on a consistent basis is a much smoother and enjoyable computer experience.
  7. CmdrLaForge macrumors 601


    Feb 26, 2003
    around the world
    You could try a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
  8. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    Curious why you thought that was a "good choice"? The base 2014 Mini is nothing like the refurb that you bought. I have a base 2014 that I use as an iTunes server (just sits there and runs iTunes 24/7). It is fine for that, but whenever I try to do anything interactive on it, I'm just amazed by how slow it is. Seems to take forever for basic tasks like opening System Preferences.

    I had a base 2012 model for a couple years and it was noticeably faster. Also have a 2012 quad i7 2.6ghz server and it's really fast. But the 2014 base model is a disappointment IMO.
  9. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2013
    Costa Rica
    I prefer OS X over the OS Windows which is why I made this comment.

    The OP needed a replacement for his/her old tired Mac and appears to have bought a MM that meets the OP's computer needs and is within his/her budget.
  10. MechaSpanky macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2007
    I second Partron22's recommendations. I also have a first generation 2005 model and I have to do an occasional vacuum and blowout and after that, it runs great. One other thing that I have to do about once a year is rest the RAM stick. I don't know why but for reasons unknown, the RAM works it way up (even though I don't move the mini) and I have to reseat it to get it to work. You might try that. I did move recently and after I moved, my mini wouldn't turn on so I took it apart and reseated the RAM and it booted up just fine.
  11. now i see it thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    All great suggestions.
    Today I started it up (after yet another crash) from the original restore CD that came with it. So we'll see how long the machine stays responsive just sitting like that booted on the CD. After 4 hours so far, the mouse still works, so all is fine (so far).

    If the Mini is still responsive after a few days sitting like this, then I'll know that it's not a motherboard or RAM issue and likely a reinstall of the OS may be in store. I'll also boot it up off an old Leopard HD I have via a USB drive and see if that works reliably. If so, then I guess it'll be time to do a clean install again and cross my fingers. And if it fails again... Then it's the 3 year old OWC Mercury Extreme SSD that's at fault.
  12. SpacemanSpiffed macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2013
    Pacific NW
  13. now i see it thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    That's a good suggestion. The PRAM battery was replaced in 2013 when I put a SSD and more RAM in it. Mac Mall techs did that for me. Last year the Ethernet port died and I had been semi successful with using a Pluggable USB Ethernet adapter, but it was erratic and would cause the computer to hang occasionally.
    Airport wifi on this model is slowish and the integrated GMA 950 video chip in the CPU has been lame since the day I bought it.

    I just reinstalled Leopard (from the install CDs) on an external HD and booted from that to see if that would fix it. And it didn't. The mini still freezes up. So this thing has seen its last days.

    I live in an area that gets several power outages each year, and though I have it connected to a good surge power strip, I'm thinking that might have a little bit to do with it.
    At any rate, im sick of it. 10 years is pretty dang long to use a bottom basement Mac mini that was never zippy from day one.
    I had a 2009 8 core Mac Pro for a few years and loved that machine, but sold it when I changed my job and no longer needed it for 3D rendering.

    I've seen a few 2010 minis going for cheap on eBay. ~$225. At least they'll have a working Ethernet port (for a while). They're only about 25% faster than my pokey thing, but they run SL and their graphics performance will be a little better.

    I can't justify buying a nice 2012 i7 4c mini at the moment (even though it will have to run Sierra) because who knows....The next Mac mini is almost certainly coming. - (Yeah right).

    A 2010 eBay special will hold me over till then (the then which may likely never happen ..)
  14. robotica macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2007
    Have you done a ram test and checked the SMART status of the hard drive?
    Those things could be a quick and easy fix.
    The rj45 port going dead does sound a little worrying.
  15. now i see it, Feb 10, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017

    now i see it thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002

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14 January 23, 2017