Problems with Mac Mini 2012 (need opinions/help)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by justinTlME, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. justinTlME macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2014
    Hi everyone. First off I want to apologize in advance. This post will be long, but it should explain my issues and I could really use your HELP!

    The issues I have been having with my mini have dated about 3 weeks now. It all started when I would hear a random clicking/purring noise coming from the machine. Initially I wasn't positive what it was, but my initial thoughts were a hard drive problem. My fears increased when I noticed the same noise coming from the mini when my computer was put in sleep mode. This made no sense to me considering the computer shouldn't make ANY noise when it's in sleep. I figured it was an upcoming hard drive failure, and when I got around to it I was going to make the long drive to an Apple store to get it fixed.

    Fast forward a few days and the noises seemed to be gone. They weren't coming and going every minute like before so I thought maybe it was something random, but I still feared hard drive. That's when I decided to upgrade to Yosemite. Downloaded it on release day, downloaded quick and fast and started installation. It said it was going to take a while so I went downstairs and cooked dinner. Came back an hour or so later and I had this message/error on my screen (gray screen with "X" logo on it), "OS X could not be installed on your computer. (next line) There is not enough free space in the Core Storage Logical Volume Group for this operation. Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again." I had no idea what this meant, but I assumed this was linked to my possible hard drive problem. I tried to hit restart but couldn't, so I held down power, to shut down and reboot.

    Well this is when my computer started taking the crazy pills. The computer would reboot, but I would get a gray screen with a dark gray apple and a status bar that would move and then always get stuck.... So I called Apple Care. I was able to work through some things with the tech to get it booted finally, and my intention was to restore from factory and start over. Well the only thing I didn't notice when I was on the phone with him was that it was only booting into safe mode. Finally I was able to restart in safe mode, into regular mode and the computer seemed fine. Worked fast, all components were checking out, no errors in disk utility, RAM being recognized fine. So I put the computer to sleep and went about my day. Next time I went to use the computer I noticed that when woken from sleep my monitors would wake up but the computer was inoperable. I had a glow around the cursor and nothing was clickable. Hold down power, restart, boot into normal mode fine, computer snappy and good, but same thing....put into sleep mode and it bricks the computer. Called support again, and the tech feared HD and logic board issues.

    This is when I get HULK angry. Apple had my computer for 6 days, could never diagnose anything because they said my computer would consistently pass all of their tests. However, because of everything I was describing to them they decided to repair and replace the 5400 HD and the logic board. Got a call on a Thursday morning, picked it up that night, plugged it all in and same thing as other times. Computer would boot into Apple logo with frozen status bar. I was so TICKED OFF. How could they tell me to drive 3 hours round trip to pick up a computer they obviously had not checked or tried to boot and use? This was followed by a 4 hour call to Apple Care again, that made me run all the same tests before. Reboot to recovery, restore computer, reset pRAM, yada yada yada. Finally was able to boot into normal mode again.....but again, SAME SLEEP MODE ERROR!!!!!

    So here I am, with my computer back at the Apple store because the tech said, "well it could be the SSD." So they are supposedly going to replace that. Initially he kept telling me it was the user installed RAM. I went along with him by putting back in the stock apple ram with changed NOTHING. So, computer went right back, they have had for another 4.5 days now, and they again have no diagnosis. Passes "tests", but these obviously still has issues.

    They called me the other day asking for my iCloud password because they wanted to log in because they said it could be an error with my user account. I happily declined them because I am not giving the Apple Store access to my iCloud. They can restore the computer, boot it with a test account, and they will continually get the same errors with the sleep mode and random frozen status bars.

    I am waiting on a call today, because after I called again yesterday to check on status they made it sound like they were going to install a new SSD to be safe and see if that solves the issues.

    I am just really ticked because by the end of this all I will have spent 12 hours in my car going to and from this store, gas money, and around 7 hours of my time on the phone trying to fix my computer after they had returned it to me the first time.

    It sucks being without my computer considering I use it quite frequently for work when I am home, and they have had it almost 2 weeks now.... I really hope I get it back and working and that they do something to make up for this inconvenience, because it sure has been no fault of mine. Their negligence and stupidity has amazed me.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks in advance. I still think its a hard drive/software issue.
  2. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    Sounds to me like a logic board and although they say they replaced it and the HDD doesn't sound like the whole truth.

    How old is it. Is it still under warranty? If so and you still have trouble when you get it back, tell them you want a new one. Replacing the logic board and HDD would basically make it a new one so something in their repair or they are feeding you a line of you know what.

    Good luck.
  3. justinTlME thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2014
    Actually, I think I was able to figure this out last night. (P.S. Computer was bought 7/29/14)

    Apple Store called me yesterday and said my computer was ready for pickup. They replaced the SSD....bringing the total repairs to the machine to: 5400 drive, logic board, and now SSD. I picked it up and they even made me check and run it with them in store to verify that it worked. Everything was fine, booted from sleep, booted from shut down, everything was good.

    Got it home, plugged it all in, and I had the SAME ISSUES AGAIN! The computer would not properly wake up from sleep and would freeze..... So now that I had seen it running in the store I knew it had to be something weird here on my end. I tried to isolate the issue and it took me hours but I did. I checked ethernet, I checked power strip, HDMI cables, etc etc. At the end of it all, it is a software issue related to dual monitors and Yosemite. My computer will not properly wake up in Yosemite with 2 monitors on and connected.

    The only way I can put the computer to sleep and wake it up without freeze issues is to turn the 2nd monitor off, put the computer to sleep....and then when I want to wake it up I have to, wake up the computer and turn the 2nd monitor back on. I mean WTF?!?!?!?!?! Anyone else with Yosemite and dual monitors seeing these errors?
  4. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    I'm glade you found the problem. You can go to the Yosemite section of MacRumors and try to do a search on it. I'm sure someone during Beta and final release has run into it unless it is related to firmware or something related to one of your monitors. There were a lot of sleep/wake issues during Beta.
  5. justinTlME thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2014
    #5 I think I am not so certain I figured out the problem....

    This morning when I tried to wake up my computer from sleep (with the one monitor on) it was doing the same freeze issue I was getting with both on......

    Now I have no idea what to think. The only thing that has changed is I switched around my set up with shorter HDMI cords and I don't know if its possible that is an issue? These are HDMI cords (made by amazon) with Ethernet built in. Could that cause some weird power fluctuation issue?
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'd like to make a suggestion that will be different from what others might offer.

    Are your problems mostly arising when you try to "wake the Mini from sleep"?

    In that case, I suggest you set it up so that it NEVER sleeps the CPU or hard drive.
    I also suggest that you shut it completely down each night, and do a "boot up from the cold" each morning.

    Your first thought will be, "but then it will be using power all the time?"
    Well, of course. But the Mini doesn't use much power to begin with.

    Try this for one week:
    - Go to the Energy Saver pref pane and set "computer sleep" to "never". You can set "display sleep" to whatever you wish.
    - UNcheck "put hard disks to sleep when possible" (you could try this setting either way to see if it makes any difference)
    - other buttons don't matter
    - Each night before you're done with the Mini, shut it all the way down.
    - Restart when you need to use it the next day.

    Again, try this for one week.
    Does it change anything?
  7. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    I do Beta testing for SCSC, who makes Scannerz, which is a drive testing program (

    They identified a bug in Mavericks when it was in it's initial releases that caused HDs (or SSDs) to basically power off when when the system was allowed to sleep. When someone woke from sleep, the GUI and OS would show up, but the drive wouldn't respond. Just spinning beach balls that inevitably required reboot. This was fixed in something like 10.9.4 or 10.9.5, but from what I've read, they failed to migrate those changes to Yosemite, or they've introduced new problems with Yosemite.

    Solutions that might work around this problem are as follows:

    1. Open up System Preferences->Energy Saver and uncheck (if checked) the option for "put drive to sleep when possible"
    2. If that doesn't work, sequentially try to set the "Computer sleep" time to "Never", and then "Display Sleep" time to "Never"

    It might work, but it might not. A lot of Yosemite users seem to be having a re-occurrence of problems that were in Mavericks, and then fixed. It's almost as if they've forgotten to migrate the changes to Yosemite.

    As I understand it, and I'm not an expert, when Mavericks went to sleep it didn't really put the drive in a sleep mode, it shut it down, and when you wake up the system, the drive is shut down so the logic board wakes up but the drive is essentially dead, and the end result is a lockup. If this is your case, this is a software bug with OS and not a hardware problem. If you can verify this by eliminating the problems using the steps I identified above, you should ***SERIOUSLY*** report it as a bug to Apple.

    Some of the old problems with USB drives ejecting while the system is asleep appear to re-surfaced as well, but I'm not convinced they ever fixed them.

    Hope this helps.
  8. patricem macrumors 6502


    Nov 18, 2005
    Mine does this 98% of the time

    My 2012 mini does this almost every night. I've had it now for about 9months and I think it has NOT done it twice! I've clicked 'never' on all the energy saver things, I've tried all different settings, nothing works. If the mini actually doesn't shut down needing reboot, Chrome will tell me it wasn't shut down correctly and I have to restore everything. Frustrating. I have the i7 with a fusion drive running mavericks, if anyone has any tips? I sort of wish i stuck with the imac now due to this chronic problem.
  9. ZVH, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014

    ZVH macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    Many if not all of the problems seem to have surfaced with Mountain Lion and continue to this day. Some have been fixed, some have resurfaced, like in Yosemite. I suppose a "solution" if you want to call it that is to move back to Lion or Snow Leopard. In fact, doing that as a test could confirm for anyone reading this whether there's a hardware problem or an OS problem.

    SCSC says these are OS bugs - I believe them. Apple should fix them.

    I just realized that my original post is somewhat redundant with Fishrrman's but what that should tell you is that 2 different sources are getting the same advice.

    To show you how ridiculous drive problems have gotten, there was a post on the Apple web site where an external USB drive couldn't be seen by Mavericks. The "fix" as implemented an Apple tech at the Genius bar was to have the user purchase a USB hub and use that as, for lack of better words, a "Mavericks Adapter". Mavericks could see the drive using the hub, but not with it.
  10. justinTlME thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2014
    Well I am still having issues and new ones have arisen.

    I have been getting random shut downs and kernel panics. One time it was running and shut down and started beeping. I'm curious if it could even be a RAM issue...? I didn't want to believe this originally, but I'm drawing blanks and working with Apple on this has been a JOKE!!! If I wasnt a die hard Apple person I would have demanded my money back by now.

  11. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a


    Sep 22, 2010
    34.6700N 118.1590W
    Any further updates? I always like to know what the 'fix' was for weird problems like this. Thanks!
  12. AnalyzeThis, Dec 3, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014

    AnalyzeThis macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2007
    I have 3 MM 2012 and I did have issue with waking up with my old monitor. I also noticed MM would wake up every minute or so and after doing this overnight it would not be able to wake up anymore. So do yourself a favor and check your console logs for "WAKE REASON" messages (you can filter out logs with textbox in upper right corner) - if you have countless occurrences pointing to display as a cause - you may have to replace the monitor as it is killing your mini. I have updated monitors to Dell UltraSharp U2412M and never had any issue with any MM ever since. These monitors are dirt cheap now. I have SSD(OS) and original HDD(data) in all of my MM and allow power management to spin down HDD.

    BTW, I also had issue with another monitor connected with HDMI that happens to have built-in audio as well. On wake - MM would freeze and make weird sound through monitor speakers, but I do not use it and instead use external speakers connected to audio jack. This let me figure out that something going on with audio on wake. So, it seems there is an issue with some monitors connected via HDMI with enabled audio capabilities. I was able to get it working simply by connecting HDMI output from MM to DVI input of the monitor. DVI input blocked HDMI audio. You can use HDMI-to-DVI cable/adapter.

    In general, I was surprised how messed up and picky Macs are when it comes to external monitors. But there are thousands of off standard monitors out there. I would recommend to stick with Dell monitors. Stay away from HP and other after market brands.

    Ah, I also restricted hibernate mode, so it never powers off machine with hibernate (after ~4 hours of sleep):
    sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

    It also allows you to free many GB on SSD:
    sudo rm /Private/var/vm/sleepimage
    sudo touch /Private/var/vm/sleepimage
    sudo chflags uchg /Private/var/vm/sleepimage

    Good Luck !

Share This Page