10 Replies Latest reply: Jul 10, 2009 12:07 PM by Artsy Sue
Artsy Sue Level 1 (75 points)
My husband has a Mac Mini, 2 years old, running Leopard. He shuts down his Mac 2 - 3 times a day via the Apple menu > Shut Down... But when he goes to turn it back on with the button on the back of the Mini, it sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. When it balks, he takes out the power supply plug (in back of the Mini), turns it around, tries that a couple of times, tries the button again, etc. Could the button just not "like" being used that many times a day? Is something else going on? Thanks in advance!

iMac Leopard, Mac OS X (10.5.5), AirPort Extreme
  • Joseph Kriz Level 5 (5,095 points)
    Sounds like something is going on with the button.

    The button should work no matter how many times you use it a day.

    What about leaving the computer on and letting the Energy Saver control panel turn the computer on in the morning and off at night?
    The Mini is very energy efficient however I understand some people choose not to leave anything on that isn't necessary.

    If you have the AppleCare plan and it is still under warranty, I would have it looked at.
  • Boece Level 5 (6,245 points)
    +when he goes to turn it back on with the button on the back of the Mini, it sometimes works, sometimes doesn't.+

    Could you be more specific about what happens when it doesn't work? Does any light turn on on the Mini, or anything come up on the screen?

    What devices are attached to the Mini and how are they attached?

    (I seem to recall having this problem for a while, and the solution had to do with how my usb devices were attached: a bad usb hub in my monitor and a low-quality usb cable. I suspect the routine of unplugging the power supply is simply achieving an SMC reset, which is what I was regularly doing to "fix" the problem until I sorted out my usb device issues.)

    You might also check to make sure the Mini is actually shutting off when your husband thinks he is shutting it down. Carefully feel for hot air coming out the rear vent the next time pushing the power button fails to turn on the Mini. A mini that is truly "off" won't be pushing hot air.

    I have a mini of the same vintage and use it the same way your husband does -- and have encountered both issues in the previous two paragraphs. But the Mini is still chugging along.
  • Artsy Sue Level 1 (75 points)
    Responding to both replies...
    No warranty. No AppleCare.
    No air moving, the Mini really is off when he shuts down.
    When he tries to turn it back on with the button, nothing happens: no lights on the Mini, no air, no monitor activity.
    All that is attached to the Mini is keyboard, mouse, monitor - all thru the Mini's USB ports.
    He's thinking of leaving it on all the time so he won't have to jump thru hoops each time.
    Other ideas out there? All are welcome! - Sue
  • Artsy Sue Level 1 (75 points)
    Responding to my own post here!!
    Husband just said that a printer and an external hard drive are also attached to the Mini! [The hard drive uses firewire, not usb.]
  • Boece Level 5 (6,245 points)
    +Husband just said that a printer and an external hard drive are also attached to the Mini+

    I'd suggest unplugging the usb cable for the printer (as an experiment) and see if the problem continues to happen. Keep it unplugged from the rear of the mini for the duration of the experiment.

    Question: does the firewire drive have its own power supply and on/off switch, or does it get its power via the firewire data cable?

    What is the firewire drive used for?
  • Artsy Sue Level 1 (75 points)
    Thank you, Boece - I'll tell my husband to try the printer-usb-cable-experiment.

    As for your questions: The firewire drive has its own power supply and on/off switch. It is used for backup. It stays plugged in, but is turned on infrequently (maybe once a month).
  • Boece Level 5 (6,245 points)
    If the problem persists even when the usb cable to the printer is not attached to the Mini, I would suggest trying a proper full SMC reset:


    assuming, of course, that this is an Intel Mini (4 usb ports on rear), and not a PPC Mini (2 usb ports on rear).

    (My hunch is that his fiddling with the power supply attachment has been performing a semi/pseudo SMC reset. But doing the real thing might work better.)
  • Artsy Sue Level 1 (75 points)
    Thank you, again, Boece.
    The Mini is an Intel Mini / 4 usb ports in back.
    I'll give him the link you sent, and share the rest of your reply with him.

    Thanks to all who have jumped in here to help! - Sue
  • Joseph Kriz Level 5 (5,095 points)
    If it turns out to be a problem with the button and you do not want to spend the money to fix it, setup a schedule for turning the mini off at night and on in the morning automatically. This way you won't have to use the button.

    Doing the above you will not have to leave the computer on 24/7 and save you some money on your power bill each month.

    Go into the Energy Saver control panel.
    Click on the button "Schedule"...
    Choose your startup time and your shutdown down.
    I use this method on all my computers.
  • Artsy Sue Level 1 (75 points)
    Thanks, Joseph. I'll give him your suggestion.