Mostly dead mac mini - any hope?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by tomascco, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. tomascco macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    #1
    Forum newbie but Mac oldie here.

    I inherited a mostly dead Mac Mini recently. It's a 1.66 Intel, and I say mostly dead because the power light and fan comes on, but that's as far as it goes.

    From what the user told me he had the Mini running continuously for many months. They moved their office so he powered down and unplugged it. When they reconnected everything - nuthin'.

    I've since replaced his workstation with a 17" iMac I happen to have around (truth be known, I got my Macbook Pro out of the deal).

    Anyway, back to the Mini. I was able to remove the hard drive and copy everything over to the new Mac.

    I just replaced a power supply in a 20" Imac recently so I immediately suspected the "brick." Nope, powered up another Mini just fine, and a fresh brick did nothing to my Mini.

    So, I was wondering if there is a Miracle Max among you who might have a clue as to what I could try next. I've stripped it down to taking out the motherboard, but stopped short of removing the CPU, looking for a magic button or something. Nothing looks amiss.

    I'd bring it to a genius bar, but it's just not that important. I'd really like to get this up and running to replace the G4 my kids have been enduring for the past 10 years. Thanks in advance for advice and sympathies.
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    I occasionally get this problem on my PowerBook (I think). The best solution I've found is to boot up holding shift, eventually the system will fix the drive, then when OS X actually loads, it is in Safe Mode. Once you log in, every thing should be fixed. An easier way to check is to try to boot off the OSX DVD. If you can do that, then it is a simple solution.

    TEG
     
  3. tomascco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    #3
    Thanks, TEG. Let me clarify. The only thing running on the Mini is the power light and fan. The hard drive and optical drive are non-functioning. I was able to remove the hard drive, stick it in a case and move everything over to the new Mac, but it' impossible to boot up to anything.

    I stuck the Mini in a functioning environment (good power supply, monitor, keyboard/mouse) and nothing. So, I'm thinking that I strip the drives and memory and save them for later. The rest seems dead.
     
  4. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Yvan256

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Have you tried booting the Mac mini from an external FireWire drive? Also, are you sure the CD/HD bridge is properly connected? Maybe there's a wire disconnected somewhere?
     
  5. Razmo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #5
    Have you reseated the memory or gone to just one stick of memory?
    Do you even get the "chime" sound when you power it up?
    Have you reset pram?

    Just some thinks I would try when system is unable to "boot".
     
  6. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #6
    Same thing happens with servers.

    If you have them running for months, nay years, you don't want to power them down for long as they may well not boot up again. Looks like thats what has happened here.

    The moving components are moving all the time and generate heat, once you turn it off and the system cools and the parts can warp.
     
  7. cMacSW macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    #7
    If you get no chime, it's likely dead. As another poster said, try resetting
    PRAM.
     
  8. tomascco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    #8
    Well, I guess it's dead, then. Thought I had something when I reset the PMU, but it was just the fan going full blast. Yeah, that was interesting. Seems I unplugged the connector to the motherboard for the fun. Thought it was a power supply, but I'm assuming it's a variable speed control. Because when I unplugged it and gave it power it sure zoomed right up real loud.

    But nothing from either drive. Power light on, but no activity light on hard drive. I've been able to take the hard drive out, put it in a case and it works fine. Don't quite know what to do with the DVD. I have an old G4 that really needs an optical drive. Wonder if I can retrofit?

    Anyway, thanks for all your help. Poor little thing just never had a chance, I guess. I never did find out what really happened. The guy said he just powered it down (probably unplugged it) and it wouldn't power back up.

    So now, any ideas on what to do with a dead Mini?
     
  9. tomascco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    #9
    Thanks for those tips, Razmo.

    I just tried every single one. Didn't think about the memory, so I did that route, too. Swapped, reseated, went to one first in one slot, then in the other, then tried it with the other stick.

    Reset PRAM, PMU, and nada.

    Nope, no chimes. Not a good thing.

    Thanks.
     
  10. blackscooby macrumors 6502

    blackscooby

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    #10
    Not sure how far it gets on your boot sequence, but can you boot into single user mode ?

    Hold down CMD + s and it should boot to a command line.
     
  11. cMacSW macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    #11
    One last thought, Is the battery on the MB dead?
     
  12. tomascco thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    #12
    Well, there's really no boot sequence at all. Nothing on the screen, no chimes, no hard disk activity. The hard disk is fine. I took it out, put it in a case and extracted all the data.

    Drives are dead. The only two things working are the fan and the power light. I don't think the mother board is 100% dead because the variable speed switch on the fan is still working. Might well be a disconnect between the drives and the motherboard, but don't know where to look.

    The battery on the board is reading 3 VDC plus, so it seems to be doing OK. That's about all I know to check right now.

    It's not going anywhere, so please feel free to respond. I'm like a trained dog now. I'll jump through any hoop you show me, so keep posting.

    Thanks,

    Tom
     

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