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David Das
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How to diagnose random freezes (prob hardware based)?

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I've got a mid-2010 Mac Mini which had been flawless up until a week or two ago. Now, roughly once a day, I'm getting total random freezes. When the freezes happen, sometimes everything just stops (mouse won't move). Sometimes video goes berserk (horizontal lines of different colors). For this reason, I'm suspecting some kind of hardware failure.

Are there any guides to help me troubleshoot/diagnose the specific part that could be the problem?

Edited by: iRobot ( )

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mayer
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Start up from your original system installation DVD and hold down the "D" key while starting. This is the AHT (Apple Hardware Test). Let us know your results.

Thanks mayer. Did that, and AHT says no problems. (Phew!)

David Das,

If it's not a hardware problem then...... Run Disk Utilities from your system DVD.

mayer,

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fgcarrubba
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Hello, I as well have the same mac mini (mid 2010), and after about an hour or so, the unit freezes up, no response at all. It requires a hard reset. Apple just replaced the logic board, and did a complete head to toe check, and all the hardware is fine. This behavior began after the last software update, and now I just installed a new update again, and I'm hoping for the best. Did you ever figure out what the cause was on yours? I could use all the help I can get. Thank you so much.

I did indeed figure it out! In my case, it was a bad RAM stick that spontaneously went bad. The Mini has 2 RAM slots, so it's possible to run the computer with just 1 of the 2 chips in there. In my case, I had 2GB+2GB, so I took one chip out and let the computer sit (on) for 48 hours. Because it had so little RAM, it ran extremely slow. However, it didn't freeze once! I put the chip back...freezes came back. Problem isolated.

David Das,

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Fred Smith
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Hi, Me again, and since writing this inquiry, I have gained some knowlege.

The behavior of my mid 2010 mini has been consistantly poor. I too had the "bad RAM" problem.

I have built many computers, used as control units for several diferent government installations, and many of which are still in use, and the first time I have ever heard the term "bad RAM" with a low density RAM bar from Apple. I as well reconfigured my RAM and the problem will subside until the FSB gets accustomed to the reallocation of power, then you will experience freezes again.

Mine currently has 8GB and you can run away from the problem by simply changing the brand of RAM, or rotating the slots, but it will come back.

Under warranty, I have had 3 logic boards put in, I have about 12 replacement sets of RAM, 2 hard drives swiped out the airport cards (bluetooth & wireless) and reinstalled every OS a multitude of times each.

Applecare is now "considering" replacing my computer. The mid 2010 mini line is a lemon. Against my better judgement, I got tired of waiting for Applecare (2 years of this bs) and purchased a new 2.5 dual core mac mini, and it is quite solid.

Apple knows this because they will not replace the mid 2010 models, only substitute. I can tell you this, when it comes to vital components in important places, Apple has proven undependable.

Applecare has also been instructed to do whatever they can to limp these models past there warranties.

The sooner I get a replacement, the better. I shelved mine in waiting for the box to ship it back to Apple for its replacement. It has taken enough of my time already.

If Apple was paying me for QC and diagnostics fine, but I paid for their top of the line product and service, and it has left much to be desired.

You shouldnt have to coax something to work, or situate RAM a particular way to "get it to work". They are expensive little machines, and should perform accordingly.

Good luck to you, and thank you for the response.

Edited by: Dan ( )

Fred - What can I say we have over 100 of these systems. While we have had our problems we have not had the level of issues you have had. We did have one site that had the so called bad RAM issue (when we had it here it did not have a problem). It ended up being a power issue within the building. After shipping them a UPS the problems have disappeared. Some of the other things we do that you might consider is we clean the RAM module contacts (both sides) with a high grade of Isopropyl alcohol and then wipe the memory module contacts with an electrical contact lubricant (very light coating) when we swap or add new memory into a system.

Dan,

As to Apples handling of your problem: I think you have Apple flummoxed as I'm sure they too don't find a problem on their bench. In our case we had shipped out three different systems to that site each had the same issue. Which made us think outside of the box what else it could be? Apple (or any other systems outfit) would likely not think what else it could be outside of their product. Which is why Apple has failed you. As to them not upgrading your system thats SOP in all warranty service unless your contract states otherwise. I do think your actions moving the RAM modules around is more likely wearing the system Vs fixing it. Unless you have the wrong modules you shouldn't need to move them about (the slot in its self doesn't matter unless its worn-out or broken). While I can't explain why your newer system is not encountering a problem its likely the power supply could be less sensitive in these newer systems.

Dan,

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