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Unable to Troubleshoot Power Issues on Mac mini 2011

625 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: May 7, 2012 10:57 AM by bluetortilla RSS
bluetortilla Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 3, 2012 9:58 PM

I have been having odd and intermittent power issues with my Mac mini 2011 and could really use some help before I resign myself to taking it into an Apple Store. It's under warranty, but I now live in another country so I hope I don't need to ship it should it come down to that.

However, I have searched this topic a lot, and not only have I tried troubleshooting it, I haven't seen any power issues with other owners of this model. That leads me to think that the power supply itself is probably OK.

First of all, I live in China and the building I live in seems to have a questionable power supply. The air conditioner for example simply would not work and the repairman spent two hours messing around with wires inside the outlet and in the breakers. That did the trick, so I wonder if I'm simply not getting enough juice?

Main symptoms:

- My monitor recognizes an analog signal but will not light up (black monitor). Unplugging and replugging adaptor doesn't do anything.

- Startup Keyboard Commands (e.g. Cmmd-R) may work, but I can't tell because the monitor won't light up. Letting the computer boot up though I can hear keyboard volume keys and such making the standard sounds. I can usually restart using the keyboard too.

- My 2T external HD more often than not dismounts as well.

- I can't hear any computer activity after the chime (hard drive, etc.).

- Since I can hear the chime and there is audio feedback through the keyboard, I think that eliminates hardware problems such as logic board failure or bad RAM.

- I can't boot even if I unplug all USB peripherals.

- Holding down the power button (I have it set to make the computer sleep as well as shut down) often won't shut down the computer, but it seems to stay in sleep no matter how long I hold it. Unplugging the computer finally shuts it down, obviously.

- Unplugging and waiting 5 minutes or so and powering up again doesn't seem to make any difference, nor does switching sockets, plugging directly into the wall, etc.


Problems began about two weeks ago, got better, and then worse again. Now I'm just keeping the computer and monitor on (never sleep 24/7).


Miraculously, after much frustration and countless restarts, suddenly the screen will turn on to reveal a fully booted system that was running all along in the background. No startup screen- the monitor just magically comes on again. Often I find that my external has unmounted, but it's no big deal to get to remount. At this stage, the Mac is still very quiet and for a while the system is sluggish, though it hops back into action in 5 or 10 minutes.


At first I thought it was just my monitor, and though that's possible I suppose, it seems I'm just not getting enough juice. Once the monitor is on though, everything is fine: I can power it off and on with no problems. But I can't just leave my computer on forever though.


Any help appreciated.

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,780 points)

    More info on this exteral please, us it Bus owered or does it have A/C power?What brand/Mdel is it?

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,780 points)

    I think I'd see about getting a Replacent A/C PSU for it, not familiar with that ecact model, bit many others have this PSU problem.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,780 points)

    WEll, let's see what the other Monitor does & get back to this.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,780 points)

    Great work, thanks for the report!


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