Big Death for a Mac Mini
January 19, 2010 11:50 AM   Subscribe

My Mac Mini (bought Oct 2008) has died. I've done all the SMC/PRAM/whatever resettings, and now I've been led to believe it's the logic board. Somehow, I don't have AppleCare (I've gotten it for every other mac I've ever bought). So, my question is whether it's possible/practical to replace the logic board - if that is indeed the problem. If not, how can I put the brick to good, creative use?

I've been using the machine as a HTPC primarily, and as a backup computer (my primary, a macbook pro is going into the shop for a broken fan. I'm really doubting apple these days...). As a HTPC, it's been fantastic - though I wonder if it got overworked in that capacity.

If it is impossible or impractical to get the mac mini fixed, what creative uses can you think of for the body?

I've seen this, but was hoping for something a little less ...cynical. All the other blogposts I've seen seem to require a live mac.
posted by prophetsearcher to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
I had a Mac Mini that was dead to the world, threw it in a bag, took it to the Apple store, and miraculously it booted right up. The only hypothesis we could come up with is that it was a bad connection, and all the jostling in my bag re-seated something. So, try shaking it.

Or, you know, actually open it up and re-seat everything. But shaking is easier.
posted by bobot at 12:27 PM on January 19, 2010

Response by poster: hmm. mac mini salt shaker?
posted by prophetsearcher at 12:58 PM on January 19, 2010

It's possible to repair it. If Apple can do, you can too. Have you tried looking at the relevant iFixit guide?
posted by LuckySeven~ at 1:45 PM on January 19, 2010

Response by poster: i have, thanks @luckyseven~. though I'm not sure how to confirm that it's the logic board that's the problem, and whether it's cost-effective for me to try to replace it... that's what I'm hoping to find out.

i cant believe i didn't by applecare on this one... never again.
posted by prophetsearcher at 2:00 PM on January 19, 2010

Response by poster: *buy
posted by prophetsearcher at 2:00 PM on January 19, 2010

Assuming you have tried a known good power adapter, it's more than likely a bad MLB. This is a borderline cost effective repair. I work for an Apple Authorized Service Provider, although in the US. MeMail me and I can tell you what I'd charge for the MLB replacement.
posted by BryanPayne at 2:53 PM on January 19, 2010

Is there an Apple store you can take it to? They may be able to confirm that it's the logic board, even if it's not under warranty. If that's the case I'd definitely replace the logic board myself if I could find one at a reasonable price.
posted by 6550 at 3:28 PM on January 19, 2010

I, too, have a dead Mac Mini with what appears to be a bum logic board. I really don't think it's cost effective to repair this -- the logic board is pretty much all there is to this machine, although depending on speed the processor may have some resale value. I have sourced replacement logic boards, and they run around $100 more than a used Mac Mini with the same chipset on eBay. My .02 cents.
posted by mosk at 5:19 PM on January 19, 2010

A logic board replacement will cost almost as much as an entire new Mini, and if you're not sure that's the problem, it could be money wasted. As BP says, this is a cost that's right on the line between cost-effective and silly. I'd probably buy a new one myself just to be done with it -- modern Minis have been as cheap as $419 on the Apple Refurb page lately, and those are the sexy dual-monitor ones, too.

If you (or mosk) give up on your Mini, I know a person who's looking for a couple of dead Minis or AppleTVs for some sort of lamp-making project. She'll probaby cough up a few dollars and pay for shipping for the 'box' part.
posted by rokusan at 6:39 PM on January 19, 2010

I have a 2006 Mac Mini that was diagnosed with a failing logic board about 2 months after the warranty expired (no Applecare). Our authorized Apple Service provider quoted ~$700 to replace the logic board, which was more than we paid for the Mini when it was new. So I vote for no, not cost effective.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 9:40 PM on January 19, 2010

Response by poster: thanks for the all the pointers, folks. i'll probably see if there is anyone local who happens to have some parts - or else i'll start an arts and crafts project with it. a lamp is an interesting idea :)
posted by prophetsearcher at 3:41 AM on January 20, 2010

I would take it into a local Apple Store and see if they will take a look at it. If there is one fairly close by, it might be worth the effort. Who knows, they might be able to do something.

If not, you can always cry piteously. That might work.
posted by drstein at 3:12 PM on January 20, 2010

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