Mac mini's (2018) power LED not working

opeter

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 5, 2007
1,699
614
Slovenia, EU
Hello everybody.
I have a strange problem. Yesterday I did shutdown my computer - Mac mini 2018 - and today after I turned it on, the LED doesn't work anymore. So if I look at the case, I don't know, if the computer is on, no indication at all. Like there is no LED "bulb" inside.

The strange thing is, the computer is working without problems, the fan is normally spinning etc.

I did read on Apple forum, to try reset the SMC and PRAM, but none of this worked so far.
My problem is even after shutdowns, resets etc. the power LED simply doesn't light up.

For testing purpose, I tried to put back the original RAMs, but the situation is the same.

Here is what I found:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8643730

What should I do? Any ideas?
 

Heat_Fan89

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2016
623
517
Hello everybody.
I have a strange problem. Yesterday I did shutdown my computer - Mac mini 2018 - and today after I turned it on, the LED doesn't work anymore. So if I look at the case, I don't know, if the computer is on, no indication at all. Like there is no LED "bulb" inside.

The strange thing is, the computer is working without problems, the fan is normally spinning etc.

I did read on Apple forum, to try reset the SMC and PRAM, but none of this worked so far.
My problem is even after shutdowns, resets etc. the power LED simply doesn't light up.

For testing purpose, I tried to put back the original RAMs, but the situation is the same.

Here is what I found:
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8643730

What should I do? Any ideas?
The first and foremost thing to do is call Apple technical support. They would have all the answers and maybe provide a fix over the phone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chabig

opeter

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 5, 2007
1,699
614
Slovenia, EU
OK, thanks for your reply. Well, here we don't have official Apple support, but I will try to reach one of the Premium Resellers, who also have a service department.
 

Heat_Fan89

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2016
623
517
Did it work before you upgraded your RAM? I’m wondering if you just didn’t reattach the LED lead correctly when you put it all back together?
Wow, so much for my reading comprehension. I didn't read the last part about replacing the memory modules. :oops:
 
  • Like
Reactions: opeter

opeter

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 5, 2007
1,699
614
Slovenia, EU
Did it work before you upgraded your RAM? I’m wondering if you just didn’t reattach the LED lead correctly when you put it all back together?
OMG. Yes, you were right... Now I feel dumb. :(
I just reattached the cable. :rolleyes::eek:

This little fellow here:


Image by iFixit.
Yes, it does work again. Thank you so much!!! :)
 
Last edited:

vicwind

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2016
15
1
N. Vancouver
Arrrgh! I just broke that little guy. The housing detached from the four solder pads on the board, with barely any pressure at all. Using my ifixit kit tweezers, i had barely begun to lift the connector when the whole assembly popped off. Pretty flimsy mount. I resoldered it onto the board, but still no LED working, and a black screen to boot. I must have doostopped it! I just got it yesterday, have not even been able to use it. Been upgrading Macs since the Classic, never a problem until now. Arrrgh. Wonder if Apple will be generous with me?
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Sep 21, 2012
14,142
14,075
In the middle of several books.
Arrrgh! I just broke that little guy. The housing detached from the four solder pads on the board, with barely any pressure at all. Using my ifixit kit tweezers, i had barely begun to lift the connector when the whole assembly popped off. Pretty flimsy mount. I resoldered it onto the board, but still no LED working, and a black screen to boot. I must have doostopped it! I just got it yesterday, have not even been able to use it. Been upgrading Macs since the Classic, never a problem until now. Arrrgh. Wonder if Apple will be generous with me?
Be honest with them. That is your best hope.

When I ordered my new mini, I decided not to take the risk you did, and ordered 16GB. With my luck, something would have happened to me and I would be right where you are.

I hope Apple will help you.
 

vicwind

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2016
15
1
N. Vancouver
Thanks, I am meeting a tech tomorrow. Will see what happens.
Really, I was on the fence about it, even with my experience. Those tiny parts proved too much fir me!
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,105
1,398
Arrrgh! I just broke that little guy. The housing detached from the four solder pads on the board, with barely any pressure at all. Using my ifixit kit tweezers, i had barely begun to lift the connector when the whole assembly popped off. Pretty flimsy mount. I resoldered it onto the board, but still no LED working, and a black screen to boot. I must have doostopped it! I just got it yesterday, have not even been able to use it. Been upgrading Macs since the Classic, never a problem until now. Arrrgh. Wonder if Apple will be generous with me?
how did you resolder it? isn't it under a chip housing?
there's also 8 wires going underneath it. you're a brave man.
 

vicwind

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2016
15
1
N. Vancouver
Oops, it;s not the fan, it is the LED power indicator and whatever else. The smaller one with only two wires.
Brave, nah, stupid!
 

vicwind

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2016
15
1
N. Vancouver
Replacing the RAM on the Mini is -easy-, right?
Right...?
Not recommended. Would have been easy for me, if the parts were robust enough to withstand a fingernail and a couple Newtons of force. Seriously, that clip should have released, not broke from the mounting pads. Because this happened to me, I would stress extra, extra caution. Now my attempt to save a few hundred will likely cost me a new motherboard, or around $650. I did see in another forum, same situation, Apple replaced it free. The guy said it was because he had just bought it and hadn’t yet used it before upgrading. Same here, fingers crossed. Will post update after the appointment today. Thanks to the forum for the support, btw!
 

Dr. Stealth

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2004
812
721
SoCal-Surf City USA
I damaged the same cable when doing the RAM upgrade. That cable is super fragile. I was able to push it back into place and it worked but it still bugged me knowing it was damaged. So I found the same cable assembly on eBay for about $40.00 and replaced it very carefully. All is good.

I bought this one: IR BOARD SENSOR CABLE - Mac mini Unibody A1347 (Mid 2010, 2011, Late 2012, 2014)

Even though it doesn't state its compatible with the 2018 it fit perfect and works perfect.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: boomspot

vicwind

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2016
15
1
N. Vancouver
Wow, thanks, Dr. stealth! I am so glad to hear someone else had this happen (not glad, but reassured), so it may not have been avoidable, even in an Apple tech’s hands. I am going to look at that option after this appointment. If they agree it was a cold solder, I will let them replace the MB (if I’m lucky). If they say no, I am going to do what you did.
Thanks again Dr. S, and thank you MR forums!
 

boomspot

macrumors member
Apr 10, 2018
71
51
Sorry to hear your upgrade didn't go so smoothly. For what it's worth, step 13 in the ifixit guide points out to be extra careful when removing the LED indicator cable. "Take care not to pry under the socket, or you may break it off the board". Carefully lift the connector for the LED indicator light straight up to disconnect it from its socket on the logic board.

I'm going to be upgrading my machine early next week and will take extra care on this step considering how fragile the connector/cable is.


https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac+mini+Late+2018+Memory+(RAM)+Replacement/115309
 
  • Like
Reactions: russell_314

Dr. Stealth

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2004
812
721
SoCal-Surf City USA
Wow, thanks, Dr. stealth! I am so glad to hear someone else had this happen (not glad, but reassured), so it may not have been avoidable, even in an Apple tech’s hands. I am going to look at that option after this appointment. If they agree it was a cold solder, I will let them replace the MB (if I’m lucky). If they say no, I am going to do what you did.
Thanks again Dr. S, and thank you MR forums!

If you do end up buying one verify with the seller that it is compatible with your 2018 mini. I don't know if I just got lucky or one cable assembly works across different year Minis.

Good Luck !
 

vicwind

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2016
15
1
N. Vancouver
Thanks again, Dr. S! And thanks to boomspot as well; I did note that instruction, and yet . . . It would not release from the housing, only broke from the board.
I just got back from the Apple tech and he said it was $430 plus 2 hours labour. So around 600 plus gst. Lesson learned.
Mind you, he also said he would just live with it, that the cable only runs the power LED.
Hmmmm.
To avoid labor, I asked if I could just buy the board. Nope. Apple says no, plus I’d have to hack the T2 chip, or find their staff-only software or the board would be locked out.
Lesson learned.
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Sep 21, 2012
14,142
14,075
In the middle of several books.
Thanks again, Dr. S! And thanks to boomspot as well; I did note that instruction, and yet . . . It would not release from the housing, only broke from the board.
I just got back from the Apple tech and he said it was $430 plus 2 hours labour. So around 600 plus gst. Lesson learned.
Mind you, he also said he would just live with it, that the cable only runs the power LED.
Hmmmm.
To avoid labor, I asked if I could just buy the board. Nope. Apple says no, plus I’d have to hack the T2 chip, or find their staff-only software or the board would be locked out.
Lesson learned.
What model mini is it?
 

vicwind

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2016
15
1
N. Vancouver
Hehe, this was my first non-refurb in like 12 years! They weren’t available a couple weeks back when i was looking.
Oh well, after ordering the 32gb of ram, and coming this far, i may as well get it fixed. Then use it for the first time!
 

WilliamG

macrumors G3
Mar 29, 2008
9,100
2,559
Seattle
Hehe, this was my first non-refurb in like 12 years! They weren’t available a couple weeks back when i was looking.
Oh well, after ordering the 32gb of ram, and coming this far, i may as well get it fixed. Then use it for the first time!
If you actually pay that much to get that fixed.... oy.

Just plug in a USB hub with an LED indicator on it if you really want to know if your mini is on. At the very least, don’t rush to blow that money on an unnecessary repair. You can always do it later down the road.
 

vicwind

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2016
15
1
N. Vancouver
It’s more just wondering what else may have gone wrong. I’d hate to have some slow, creeping ram issue crop up six months later. But i hear you.
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Sep 21, 2012
14,142
14,075
In the middle of several books.
It’s more just wondering what else may have gone wrong. I’d hate to have some slow, creeping ram issue crop up six months later. But i hear you.
If you send it in to be repaired, ask them to look over and test the entire machine for any other possible problems while there have the unit open. And make sure they sign off on having performed that request. That way, if a problem arises a week later, that may give you some leverage. I would also make sure that they also replace any parts you soldered, and not just the cable itself etc. Make sure you have everything in writing, in regards to what will be looked and repaired before you leave the store. Make sure to take a picture of the outside and inside of the unit before going to the store. The way, if there is damage to the outside of the unit or they failed to do what was in the agreement, you have proof of damage or lack of performance of duty, while in the care, custody, and control.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.