New Mac mini, one antenna wasn't connected

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by PaulieORF, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. PaulieORF macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #1
    Hi guys. So I decided to cancel my online order before it shipped, and just bought a base model mini with 4GB RAM upgrad through my local Apple Store. The $75 buy back of the 1GB stick that was already in it made the $125 for the upgrade decent, since most online places aren't much cheaper.

    Anyway, I took it home and turned it on, everything worked. I then followed instructions for opening the new mini and went to go put my 320GB 7200rpm hard drive in. The instructions I found said there would be 3 wires that connect to antennae that would have to move moved out of the way before installing the hard drive. Only two of these wires were connected when I opened it up, so I compared it to the pictures online and planned on plugging the other one in (maybe the person who upgraded the RAM at the Apple Store forgot to plug it back in?) But in the spot on the chip where the antenna would connect, there's nothing for it to connect to, just a circle outline (the others are raised and the antennae just snap on). I put my hard drive in anyway and powered it up and everything seems to be working (I tested bluetooth and Airport with my wireless G router).

    I did a little reading and thing that maybe this was a second Airport antenna, which is needed for wireless N, is that true? I don't have an N router, but maybe in the future I will. Has anyone had this problem with their new mini?

    I plan on bringing it back in for an exchange, putting the original hard drive back in.
     
  2. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #2
    I'm confused - can you expand on this? Somebody else mentioned - you seem to be implying - that you can buy RAM at the store and they will install it for you on the spot. Also, what is this "buy back" you speak of?
     
  3. PaulieORF thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #3
    Sure. I asked the guy in the Apple Store if I can upgrade the RAM on the $599 model and he said yes. I said can they upgrade it to 4GB? He said yes. How much I asked, he said it's $200 for the 4GB (I thought YIKES!) but he then said it's a $75 credit for them buying back the 1GB stick that was inclouded originally. The only bummer was I had to wait around the mall for 2 hours while they installed the RAM.

    The best price I got on the DDR3 RAM online for 2x2GB was just under $100, so I figured I'd just get the RAM then and there for a bit more rather than having to order it online, pay shipping, and wait for it to arrive.
     
  4. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 28, 2007
    #4
    Excellent. I'll call to a few of the stores today and see if they offer this. I've built computers before so in general I don't have problem getting inside them, but since this is my first Mac I'd like wash my hands of any potential problems and put them on Apple (should they arise).
     
  5. PaulieORF thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 4, 2009
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    Connecticut
    #5
    I"m sure they'll do it, and good luck.

    Now, going back on my original problem (not necessarily looking for an answer from you Superman). I did some mroe research and it seems that it's defniitely the second antenna for wireless-N. Now my question is this: Since it seems that opening your Mac mini voids warranty, how can I explain to them that about this? If I tell them I'm only getting G wireless (fib to them about having an N router) would they just replace it on the spot? Even if they do, will they open it up to get the RAM out of it to put in the new one, and discover the antenna off? Would they then come down on the person who installed my RAM for either causing the problem, or at least for not noticing it? Would they accuse me of opening it and? I mean, there's no connector on the board for it to snap onto, so I don't know how I'd break that, but I just don't want this to get messy, and afterall had I not opened it up myself, I would never have known that this antenna wasn't connected since I don't have an N router.

    I appologize for going on and on.

    Also, you can order your mini online from your local store, and you can order the memory upgrade there, so all you have to do is go into the store and pick it up.

    I've attached a picture of the exact board connector that isn't connectible. The little red arrow points at it. There's just nothing physically raised up that the antenna can connect to.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Bad Paper macrumors 6502

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    Apr 20, 2007
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    graphite clamshell
    #6
    Why do you think this? It isn't true.
     
  7. thankins macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #7
    Those little wires were a pain in the ass to get back on. The small one on the left in the pic above was the worse. Be careful not to scratch the ribbon when putting it back on. Took me a good 20 mins to get the small one on. On my second mini I managed to just barely left the cd/HD case and snap the RAM in. It was way quicker
     
  8. tobyg macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #8
    Does it look like the connector was never physically soldered on? Are the solder pads completely void of solder or does it look like it was there and snapped/cracked off?

    If it looks like it was never even soldered on, I'd say be honest and go in and tell them. But if it looks like it was on and snapped off, you'll probably have a hard time convincing them you didn't do it.

    Did you look at the antenna wire? Did you see if you actually see that little round connector stuck on it? I'm guessing it snapped off and is still stuck in the wire. And if that's the case, you'll have a hard time convincing them it wasn't your fault. If it truly was not your fault, and it came that way, you should have no moral issues with putting it back together, packing it up and taking it back complaining of wireless problems.
     
  9. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    HiFiGuy528

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #9
    $125 is still too much money to pay and have someone monkey around with your NEW Mac Mini. I paid $67 for 4GB shipped from OWC.
     
  10. jw2002 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    #10
    Plus OWC might buy back your existing memory. The paid me $18 for my two 1gb modules that camewith my macbook. So you could probably get the 4gb for under $60 after discounts.
     
  11. PaulieORF thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 4, 2009
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    Connecticut
    #11
    It looks like it was never there, I see no scratches or anything. It looks like there was supposed to be a metal circle that was to be on the board for the antenna to snap onto, but it's just not there. I guess the real question is, does it void your warranty to open your mini and go so deep as to notice that this was a problem. I have no moral problem with going into the Apple Store and telling them this, it's just that I had an issue with HP a couple of years ago. I got my computer and after a couple of days noticed the machine was running really loudly. I sent it in and they pretty much accused me of swapping out the heat sink fan for the CPU, even though I'd never even gone into the machine. Needless to say in the end I was able to have it fixed for no charge, but this seems like (depending on how Apple handles it) this could result in something similar.
     
  12. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    NY State of mind
    #12
    Put it back to stock RAM and HD. If it's one of the 802.11n antennas, tell Apple you are getting crappy throughput with your wireless LAN and have them take a look at it...they should discover the missing antenna lead connector and give you a new unit.
     
  13. PaulieORF thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #13
    Thanks, I'll do this. FYI, the picture I posted wasn't of my actual Mac mini, but was just using it to illustrate which connector was missing. In the picture you can see that the connector is actually there, but I just took this picture from a website.

    Thanks for the help guys.
     
  14. phobic99 macrumors 6502a

    phobic99

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #14
    Newegg sells Crucial 4GB DDR3 for $52 with free shipping. Got mine in a day and installed it last night. :)

    Weird about the antenna though. When I opened my Mini last night, one of them popped off but I didn't have any problems getting it back on.
     

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