Mac Mini won't power on

LeftInTheDust22

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 13, 2013
16
0
All,

I have a Core2Duo Mac Mini that won't power on. I've tried resetting the SMC, I've tried a (G4) power brick, and I've tried sacrificing a small goat. The only other piece of information that I can provide is that the mini was dropped (while turned off) onto a carpeted floor from about 3-5 foot up. Prior to the drop the device turned on just fine. There does not appear to be any cosmetic damage to the case.

Any ideas on what I should check when I start to dissect this thing?

TIA!
 

mojolicious

macrumors 68000
Mar 18, 2014
1,561
310
Sarf London
I have a Core2Duo Mac Mini that won't power on. I've tried resetting the SMC, I've tried a (G4) power brick, and I've tried sacrificing a small goat.
I think the G4 power supply is 85W, whereas the C2D's is 110W? Don't know how your Mini is supposed to react to an 85W brick. Perhaps it should flash you a message in Morse. Perhaps it should do nothing, as it's doing now. I'd get the 110W unit tested before anything else.

If that's okay, and assuming the Mini's power connector socket isn't obviously 'flopping about', then I guess the next step is to strip the Mini right down and reassemble in the hope that some connector was dislodged by the drop. I'm not entirely convinced that any damage beyond the immediate 'power train' would result in the Mini not even attempting to start, though...
 

Kentuckienne

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2013
148
7
No>me<where
I once dropped an external USB drive which then wouldn't work. I opened it up and unplugged/plugged all the cables inside, and then it worked again. Lucky me. The way I got the enclosure was I had an internal HDD fail, so I put it in the freezer for a while, then into the enclosure and was able to get it to fire up for long enough to copy the data. So if you don't get it to boot after checking the internal connections (after you get the right brick) try that.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,298
9,636
Detroit
I once dropped an external USB drive which then wouldn't work. I opened it up and unplugged/plugged all the cables inside, and then it worked again. Lucky me. The way I got the enclosure was I had an internal HDD fail, so I put it in the freezer for a while, then into the enclosure and was able to get it to fire up for long enough to copy the data. So if you don't get it to boot after checking the internal connections (after you get the right brick) try that.
I've read many success stories about the freezer trick and have tried it a few times myself. Unfortunately I've never been able to get it to work for me. :(
 

LeftInTheDust22

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 13, 2013
16
0
I think the G4 power supply is 85W, whereas the C2D's is 110W? Don't know how your Mini is supposed to react to an 85W brick. Perhaps it should flash you a message in Morse. Perhaps it should do nothing, as it's doing now. I'd get the 110W unit tested before anything else.

If that's okay, and assuming the Mini's power connector socket isn't obviously 'flopping about', then I guess the next step is to strip the Mini right down and reassemble in the hope that some connector was dislodged by the drop. I'm not entirely convinced that any damage beyond the immediate 'power train' would result in the Mini not even attempting to start, though...
You are correct on the wattage; the G4 brick was the only other brick I had to test with. The power connecter on the back of the mini isn't 'flopping about' (nice wording!) and, after removing the top cover, I don't see any wires (without any disassembling) that are loose).

My task tomorrow is going to be a disassemble/reassemble to see if that fixes it; I'm hoping I just jarred something loose.

----------

I've read many success stories about the freezer trick and have tried it a few times myself. Unfortunately I've never been able to get it to work for me. :(
I also recall one of the Mac geniuses telling me that certain older hardware (like my black macbook) will power on but won't boot up off of any other media if the hard drive is bad (had this happen - can confirm it is the case). My issue is that the unit doesn't power on at all.

I'll try powering it up tomorrow after the disassemble before reconnecting the RAM/HDD; that should rule out those part(s) being faulty.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,298
9,636
Detroit
You are correct on the wattage; the G4 brick was the only other brick I had to test with. The power connecter on the back of the mini isn't 'flopping about' (nice wording!) and, after removing the top cover, I don't see any wires (without any disassembling) that are loose).

My task tomorrow is going to be a disassemble/reassemble to see if that fixes it; I'm hoping I just jarred something loose.

----------



I also recall one of the Mac geniuses telling me that certain older hardware (like my black macbook) will power on but won't boot up off of any other media if the hard drive is bad (had this happen - can confirm it is the case). My issue is that the unit doesn't power on at all.

I'll try powering it up tomorrow after the disassemble before reconnecting the RAM/HDD; that should rule out those part(s) being faulty.
I guess if it worked before the drop, and then doesn't do anything after the drop, there is probably something physically broke in the PSU.
 

Kentuckienne

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2013
148
7
No>me<where
I also recall one of the Mac geniuses telling me that certain older hardware (like my black macbook) will power on but won't boot up off of any other media if the hard drive is bad (had this happen - can confirm it is the case). My issue is that the unit doesn't power on at all.
That's because it's not old enough. A PPC machine can boot off an external Firewire drive even with dead/no internal drive. Don't ask me how I know.
 

LeftInTheDust22

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 13, 2013
16
0
Found the problem; pictures coming soon.
Here are the pictures of what I'm dealing with; I find it a little difficult to believe that this would have occurred from a drop.

I was thinking that I *might* be able to superglue the end cap piece back together, but no idea what to do with that bulge in the center.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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LeftInTheDust22

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 13, 2013
16
0
That's one heck of a drop! Almost looks like the slot was pried upon.
The drop wasn't really that far; I'd say max 5 feet (as I was carrying it and dropped it) onto a carpeted floor. I think it hit one of the corners, but there's no cosmetic damage to the case itself.
 

mojolicious

macrumors 68000
Mar 18, 2014
1,561
310
Sarf London
That's most bizarre.

I'm not familiar with the innards of a C2D Mini and can't visualise the space available to you, but might it be possible to fabricate a clamp running over the RAM chip to hold it all together?
 

LeftInTheDust22

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 13, 2013
16
0
That's most bizarre.

I'm not familiar with the innards of a C2D Mini and can't visualise the space available to you, but might it be possible to fabricate a clamp running over the RAM chip to hold it all together?
Here's a pretty HQ image (from iFixIt) that shows the layout of the board; in the picture the slot that's damaged is partially hidden by the airport card's wire on the bottom left.
 

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SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,298
9,636
Detroit
What exactly was it that caused the physical damage to the slot during the fall? What made contact with it and damaged it in an outward direction from the center?
 

LeftInTheDust22

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 13, 2013
16
0
What exactly was it that caused the physical damage to the slot during the fall? What made contact with it and damaged it in an outward direction from the center?
No idea. The computer was in it's fully assembled form when it fell out of my hands onto the carpet. The more I think about it, the more it could be that the machine was already damaged and the fall just brought it to my attention.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to superglue the one end back together (since I don't really have any other options with this board) and see what happens.
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,298
9,636
Detroit
No idea. The computer was in it's fully assembled form when it fell out of my hands onto the carpet. The more I think about it, the more it could be that the machine was already damaged and the fall just brought it to my attention.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to superglue the one end back together (since I don't really have any other options with this board) and see what happens.
Are you the original owner of it?
 
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