Mini Freezing randomly, leaving weird video on display

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dvdchance, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. dvdchance macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    I'm having an issue with my mid-2011 base mini.

    For the last week or so it has been randomly freezing up. The display will just freeze up leaving an odd fragments of the screen visible.

    All I can do is hold down the power button and shut down then restart.

    I repaired the startup disk, all was fine. Downloaded and installed the Lion 10.7.5 combo update, ran the Apple Hardware test.

    Any other ideas where to troubleshoot?

    Attached Files:

  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Here's some random thoughts:
    Be sure to try the hardware test as soon as possible after the next time the video is corrupted. It could be a heating issue, and the test may fail while it is still warm. Run both the standard and extended tests.
    Which video output are you using?
    Be sure to try the other output (Thunderbolt, instead of HDMI, for example).
    You'll need the proper adapter for the display that you are using.
    If you have them available, try different memory sticks. The basic mini shares video memory with the main memory.

    If nothing helps, then it's likely a logic board (the video chip is faulty)
  3. dvdchance thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    Thanks for reading and responding.

    I did run the hardware test right after it froze, 3 passes with no problems detected.

    I am using both video outputs. I have my monitor connected via Thunderbolt to DVI adapter, and my TV connected to HDMI. I always have Plex running on the second display (TV). It's been working fine like this for 2 years now all of a sudden I'm getting problems. When it freezes I get the same video distortion on both displays.

    I was thinking it might be the memory sticks so I went ahead and reseated them thinking that might help. Perhaps switching positions would help? Do memory sticks just "go bad"? I'm using 2 4gb Corsair sticks that have been working fine since days after I got the mini.
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    You didn't say if you ran both hardware tests. I have sometimes seen the standard test fail, yet the extended test passes - which I can't explain, yet I have seen that result. (Apple has other, more extensive diagnostics that would mean taking to an Apple service shop or a trip to a "genius" for that test.
    You say that your RAM sticks have been working fine - yet you are having video problem recently. One possible issue is the RAM, as it is shared by the video, and it's the only hardware that you can try by replacing with other sticks.
    Or, it may turn out to be a failing video chip on the logic board (and both RAM or chips on the board can certainly "go bad" )
  5. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    It's almost certainly not quite compatible memory.
  6. dvdchance thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    I'm thinking it could be a memory issue as well.

    But what makes you think they are not compatible? The same sticks have been working without any problems for over 2 years.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Replace the current RAM with the factory-original RAM, and run for 3-4 days with it installed.

    Any better?
  8. borostef macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2012
    Zagreb, Croatia
    It looks like a graphics chip problem to me...
  9. dvdchance thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    A Happy Update

    Well what I did was remove the DDR sticks, cleaned the connectors, blew air into the socket and switched the sticks.

    Has been problem free for 6 days and 23 hours now.

    Looking good.

    Thanks for all the suggestions :)
  10. technopimp macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    I'm having the exact same issue with the new mini I just got (same video corruption even). I too had put in 8GB of RAM, it was Corsair that I've used before in a MBP with no issues (not the same sticks but same SKU). Does anyone have recommendations for the "most" compatible RAM?
  11. dvdchance, Dec 24, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013

    dvdchance thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    In your case, perhaps the sticks are bad. What about switching the ones in the MBP with the sticks you put in the mini and see if the corruption follows them around?

    BTW, mine has now been problem free for 8 days and 20 hrs running. I never turn my mini off.
  12. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Perhaps the RAM timing of those chips is marginal. The MBP can handle it, the mini not.... I have not looked at the RAM requirement specs for the two machines. Is the corsair RAM Apple certified?

    My old iMac had similar issues that was video RAM and/or motherboard related.
  13. technopimp macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    I actually don't have the MBP or the old RAM anymore-I don't know if this is Apple certified, I'd have to check. But even since pulling the new RAM out, several times when waking up from sleep, it's been frozen and I had to hard reset it.

    I'm going to try a clean install of Mavericks, but if it still randomly freezes I'm going to take it back.
  14. drkosse macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2014
    Hello everyone!

    I also have (this?) issue with my mac mini but i think its related to HDMI output.

    In my case i have the mac mini (maverick) connected via HDMI to my receiver and then the receiver is connected to a projector. Now by simply switching to different HDMI inputs on the receiver i get the scrambled (artifacts) on screen and sometimes the machine freezes (like 30% of the time).

    I'm thinking of installing Windows 7 via bootcamp and see if the problem persist.

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