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strange crash leads to another noisy mini...how to fix?

 
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sdfs
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:55 am    Post subject: strange crash leads to another noisy mini...how to fix? Reply with quote

I'm running a 1.83 GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo Mini. I had a system crash yesterday. Not sure why. It had many strange characteristics. Basically, the Finder was being extremely erratic, when it worked at all. It was not the usual sort of freeze. That is, there was no spinning beach ball. I could see the desk top and use the mouse and cursor to do limited things. For example, I could open Dashboard, highlight file icons on the desk top, mouse over the dock and it showed the app/file names, right-click to create a new folder on the desktop, highlight and edit the names of files on the desktop, open dropdown menus for features such as Time Machine and Bluetooth and Date/Time. But no applications or files would actually open when I click on them. And I could not access any drop down menus in the Finder. Also, the force quit dialogue box showed no apps open--not even the Finder.

Now, here is the really strange thing: a forced restart gave me a few seconds of access to the dock and finder before things "froze" up again. Anything I opened in those few seconds (file, app, system prefs,) would actually stay open and function (ie: I could surf the web in Safari or Firefox), but none of the open applications appeared in Force Quit. And after a few seconds, I couldn't open anything else.

Eventually, it seemed to restore itself completely on another restart, but then on the next restart all bets were off. It wouldn't go past blue screen and it showed erratic "application unexpectedly quit" messages for Dock, iCal Helper and other apps.

In the end I had to reboot from my Leopard install disk and restore the HD from Time Machine using a b/u from before the crash. I also repaired permissions.

Now the machine is running again and the finder is Fine. But the fan runs constantly at a loud volume. Previously, I barely ever even noticed the fan. Now, from the moment I hit the power button, till I shut down it runs at a constant loud speed. It is much, much louder than before. It sounds like an old G3. Activity monitor shows the CPU running at what seem like reasonable speeds. (ie: with nothing running but firefox and this forum window it stays under 20%; it hovers up around 30-40% while a full-screen video is playing in iTunes; and spikes to about 70-80% while a large site like nba.com is loading, then drops back down to about 20%)

Also, there is no LED now. (Though there is a start-up chime.)

I have read on other forums that there is a small cable that can come loose if the case is opened to install memory, but the case has never been opened, and the computer has barely been moved more than sliding it 12 inches across a desktop. It is well ventilated with nothing blocking the sides, top or back.

It used to run fairly hot, but now is constantly cool. I can feel the air blowing out the back of it. I am concerned about the constant fan speed, to say nothing of being annoyed by the noise.

The machine was purchased in Dec 2007, so it is still under the 1 year hardware warranty, but lord knows what that will entail. And I would rather not be without the machine for an extended period of time if they need to keep it for repair.

So, before I pull that trigger, does anyone have any ideas on A) what has gone wrong, and B) how to fix it?

Many thanks.

p.s. Sorry for the long post.
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macmanmacman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your fan is on constantly it could be three things.


1. Bad memory this is actually common with the fan over acting or always running this doesn't mean the memory itself is bad but that the memory you have is running at a higher mhz then what the mini can handle which in turns trips the fan.

2. Bad fan sensor check the heat sensor you may find out that the heat sensor on the heat sink for the fan may have gone out and is not relaying information to the system correctly to control the fan.


3. Bad mainboard this is a last resort.


I found that most memory when used by the mac mini causes the fan to be on all the time this isn't your fault as long as you use apple issued memory you are fine but if you use third party memory there may be a chance the memory will trip your fan and cause the constant on fan issue

System crashes.

I am sorry to say leopard does crash every now and then there really isn't much you can do i am sorry to say this is why time machine is a great tool to use and keep around.

far from that the only other thing is return it to a apple authorized repair dealer.
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sdfs
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks macmanmacman. Those are causes I'd not seen mentioned elsewhere, so I appreciate your post.

I've never opened the mini, so all memory is factory (Apple) issue.

I've spoken to the dealer and they are going to take it in under warranty next week and do a hardware diagnostic.
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macmanmacman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to hear.

Once they run the diagnostic they should be able to find out what's wrong.
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valefortia
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