No link on my Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by donb123, May 25, 2009.

  1. donb123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #1
    I have a 1.83 C2D Mac Mini and regardless of what I plug my Ethernet jack to I get, "Ethernet not connected".

    I have tried a Time-Capsule, Sonicwall TZ-170 and a generic Netgear switch.

    The link light doesn't illuminate on the switches and the status on my Mac Mini always remains at "Ethernet not connected". I have tried a couple of different Ethernet cables to eliminate the cable as the source of the issue.

    Does anyone have any ideas how I can trouble-shoot this - the card does show up it just doesn't physically connect. I'd really like to use my Mini at Gig speeds over wireless.

    (No issues at all 24/7 with my Airport - it's just "slow" for managing my files on my Freenas box)
     
  2. BlackMax macrumors 6502a

    BlackMax

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #2
    A pair tester would be ideal for troubleshooting this issue. If you don't have a pair tester, you could always take another networked device and connect it to the same port on your switch using the same cable. If you get a link light on both ends, then your physical NIC on your MacMini may have gone bad. :(
     
  3. donb123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #3
    The ports on the switches I tested are definitely good - I can plug my laptop in the same ports and they work!

    Is this a common occurrence - I'm PC centric and I can't ever re-call seeing a network card that shows up in device manager that can't get link...most odd.

    Is this the sort of thing that could be repaired?
     
  4. BlackMax macrumors 6502a

    BlackMax

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #4
    Not often, but I've seen the pins on a NIC port get bent in such a way that they did not come in contact with the pins on the RJ45 cable any more.

    I'd check the port first. Compare it to a port on another device and see if everything looks the same. Wiggle the cable around when it is plugged into the NIC port and see if you can get the link light to shine for a second. If you can you probably have an issue with the physical connection.

    If you can't, you might have to ask someone (Apple) to check the connection of the port soldered to the motherboard and then the NIC chip itself.
     
  5. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #5
    ...try a USB to ethernet adapter if you have one laying around...
     
  6. donb123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #6
    I did wiggle my cable around "somewhat" to no avail... I'll pull the Mini from its shelf and have a closer look.

    Only have one and not sure if it OS X compatible besides it's only USB 1.1 (good for 5-6 mbits) so that wouldn't really help me.

    I'm getting roughly 20-25 mbits on wireless and I'm trying to best that by a significant margin. I get roughly 300 mbits on my wired Vista box and I'm hoping to get about the same on the Mini.
     
  7. donb123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #7
    Alright – here’s what I did:

    I shutdown my Mac Mini with the first order of business being an SMC reset. Once shutdown I unplugged everything and waited a while. To re-start the Mini I simply connected my keyboard (Apple Aluminum), display and power supply. My mouse is Bluetooth so no connection there.

    I powered up the Mini and waited till it was fully booted. I then connected the Ethernet jack with familiar results – no link. Next I wiggled the Ethernet cable around more than my usual comfort level would allow since the port wasn’t working anyway. Low and behold after wiggling the thing for thirty seconds I got link!! Wow.

    Just to be sure I disconnected and re-connected the cable a couple of times and all was well.

    I then shutdown the Mini, reconnected all my FW/USB peripherals and powered it up. Once the Mini was fully booted I connected an Ethernet cable and it came up just fine. Nice.

    So there you have it – in this case mistreating the Ethernet jack on my Mini fixed my issue...LOL

    :cool:
     
  8. BlackMax macrumors 6502a

    BlackMax

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #8
    Good Job. It would appear you have an issue with the port itself. Did you check the pins in the port to make sure they were all straight? I wonder if the port is loose on the motherboard?

    I would gingerly replace your MacMini to the place were it was resting and try not to move it too much lest this issue return.
     
  9. donb123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #9
    With a new baby in the house my time in limited so I stopped at the part where the Mini's Ethernet jack started working. :) No doubt it is a port issue and if the issue returns I'll have a much closer look but until then I'm not going to touch it lol. The Mini is resting in its designated spot on the desk and happily communication over wired Ethernet. :D
     
  10. donb123 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    #10
    Shortly after I posted this the port stopped working. I replaced the mini with a MacBook and proceeded to repurpose the mini as a server with the Apple MacBook air USB Ethernet adapter. It runs iTunes servicing two ATV2s & a Linux VM via Fusion 24/7/365.

    All this to say the apple USB ethernet adapter is most impressive and a viable alternate to inboard Ethernet.

    The mini continues to serve data to this day.


    ...
    Don
     

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