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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Mini - Several Issues


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Apple4life

 
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Member Since: Jun 11, 2006
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Mac Specs: Mini, iPhone 4, iPods, Seagate 1TB HDD

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I purchased my Mini new just under a year ago. It was right before they updated it so it's the 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo running 10.6.6.

When I first got it, it was running nice and fast. Since then I've noticed it slow down considerably. Many times launching Safari or opening a new tab, or even clicking on a link it will take a few seconds to respond and often the pointer will start spinning for a few seconds. I verified and repaired the disk about 6 months ago and it seemed to help for a little while, but now it's worse than it was before.

The main thing that is concerning me, other than slow performance, is I just spent the last 20 minutes trying to start up my computer. I restarted and let it do it's thing, after a good 5 minutes of nothing but gray screen, no Apple logo/spinner, I force shut down and tried restarting with command, option, P, R. That brought me back to the plain gray screen for another 5 minutes. I then tried restarting from the install disc and it worked, but only after a few minutes of gray screen did it finally start up. I didn't do anything with that, I just restarted it again and after about 3 minutes of gray screen it actually started up all the way and is now allowing me to use it.

I still have a very limited time on my year warranty, I could take it in for some diagnostics but I was hoping to exhaust all my at home options first.

Any advice/tips on what I should try? Should I just set up an appointment at the Apple store?

Mini, iPod, iPhone 5, iPad Air
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chscag

 
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By all means, take it on in and let Apple diagnose the problem. Off hand I think your hard drive may be failing so it would be a good idea to make a backup as soon as possible. Use Time Machine and an external hard drive to backup to. If you don't have an external hard drive handy, use any other method available to back up or copy your data from the Mini.
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Apple4life

 
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I have an appointment in just under an hour, hopefully I'll find out what's going on. I assume if the HD is failing they will replace it for free? I still have a month on my warranty.

Mini, iPod, iPhone 5, iPad Air
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Tander

 
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That would be correct. If the HD is on it's way out - they will put a new one in, no charge.
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Apple4life

 
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He ran all the tests and also ran Disk Warrior (saved me from buying it!) and he found no issue in the diagnostics. DW found and repaired a few small things, no big issues. He started in up about 6 times there, all without major issue. The only thing he mentioned was after the gray screen with the Apple and spinning gear it stays on the blue screen a bit longer than usual. He mentioned a RAM upgrade might help. I have 2GB DDR3. I wanted to upgrade anyway and think I'll go ahead and get 8GB put in.

He said the only other thing right now would be try reinstalling the OS. I may try that if it continues. I also went ahead and picked up Apple Care so I'm covered if anything does go wrong in the next 2 years.

Mini, iPod, iPhone 5, iPad Air
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harryb2448

 
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Try the memory upgrade prior to doing a format and clean install. OWC are Mac specialists who guarantee memory for its lifetime. Make sure any memory you get meets these specs:-


http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor..._Mac_mini/DDR3

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Apple4life

 
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Would it truly be worth getting 8GB vs 4GB? I know more is always better, but do I really need it with this Mini?

Mini, iPod, iPhone 5, iPad Air
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harryb2448

 
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Unless you are into photography and graphics big time, 4GB will be ample. The 2GB should be enough also for the boot sequence so suggest there is something else wrong somewhere.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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mcbrew

 
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I have the new Mini, and I just put 8 gigs in it. I bought G.Skill memory, which is Apple tested and has a lifetime warranty. I had no problems installing it and the Mini recognized it without a hitch. I have rarely seen it call for more than 4 gigs, but if you do much with professional photo or video software, it might be beneficial.

Only cost $109 when I bought it, but I just got an email and the same G.Skill memory I bought is on sale for $79, IIRC.
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Apple4life

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
Unless you are into photography and graphics big time, 4GB will be ample. The 2GB should be enough also for the boot sequence so suggest there is something else wrong somewhere.
I do some photography/photo editing but in no way would I call it big time. I'll probably just get the 4GB and that should tide me over until I upgrade to an iMac in a few years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
I have the new Mini, and I just put 8 gigs in it. I bought G.Skill memory, which is Apple tested and has a lifetime warranty. I had no problems installing it and the Mini recognized it without a hitch. I have rarely seen it call for more than 4 gigs, but if you do much with professional photo or video software, it might be beneficial.

Only cost $109 when I bought it, but I just got an email and the same G.Skill memory I bought is on sale for $79, IIRC.
Thanks I'll look into that.

Mini, iPod, iPhone 5, iPad Air
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Apple4life

 
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I've still been having issues with it, the original issues have not really gone away. I haven't been able to shut it down or restart it properly in several days. After letting it sit for 10+ minutes after selecting shutdown/restart I finally force the shut down process. Recently applications, mainly Safari and Mail have been extremely buggy. It's not uncommon for me to have to force quit either of those apps several times each day because they stop responding. Just know I had to force quit Safari, and when I did the window stayed open, but the app was closed. I was even able to relaunch the Safari, until it stop responding again.

I did take it in a few weeks ago and they ran tests and all systems checked out. Should I try reinstalling the original software? Having to force quit and/or force shut down daily is not cool. Something is wrong and I know it's not all fixable but adding more ram.

Mini, iPod, iPhone 5, iPad Air
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chscag

 
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As I pointed out to you in Post #2 above, I believe your hard drive is failing. It could be intermittent but it seems it gave you trouble before as you indicated in your first post. My advice again is backup your data and take it back to the Apple store. Gather up the record of the last repair they did and take that along with you to show them.
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Apple4life

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
As I pointed out to you in Post #2 above, I believe your hard drive is failing. It could be intermittent but it seems it gave you trouble before as you indicated in your first post. My advice again is backup your data and take it back to the Apple store. Gather up the record of the last repair they did and take that along with you to show them.
I have backed it up so all my files will be safe. I've scheduled a call with an Apple tech on Monday so see if we can get anywhere with that, if that doesn't work, or tomorrow I may just schedule another appoint at the store.

Side note: I installed the Safari update today, everything went fine until I clicked restart. It went to the blue screen with spinning gear and I left for work. 13 hours later I return home and... blue screen with a spinning gear. I haven't had a successful unforced restart in quite a while. After force restarting it spend about 45 seconds on the blue transition screen (before you choose your log in). I guess my next step is talking with Apple and taking it in again. My Applecare is going to get a workout!

Mini, iPod, iPhone 5, iPad Air
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Apple4life

 
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After multiple calls to Apple and 3 visit to the Genius bar, I finally got them to replace my hard drive. Got it back yesterday, restored my system, and so far it's working well. Hopefully this solves the issue!

Mini, iPod, iPhone 5, iPad Air
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