Released on July 21, 2011. Core i5 or Core i7 Processor. Thunderbolt. This unit is also used to run the Mac Mini Server configuration.

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Not All Peripheral Connections Are Working

Hello — I've had this Mac mini since 2011 when I bought it brand new. We had a bad thunderstorm one day, and I believe that's when the computer started acting up. I took it to able and it was literally 5 days out of Apple Care and they refused to look at it.

I ran Apple Diagnostics and everything has a passing score.

I've tried resetting PRAM and SMC and still no luck. I can try them again if you think that should do the trick.

I recently upgraded my system drive to an SSD from IFIXIT, and installed macOS Sierra.

I went in System Information and here are the things it does not detect:

  • No Bluetooth found
  • No Card Reader found
  • (Diagnostics passes)
  • No Ethernet Card found
  • USB is detected, but only two of the four usb ports work. All four draw power, like I can charge my phone on the ports that don't have data going through them, but I can't plug an external HDD or mouse in that port. It won't work, but power works.

You guys seem like experts here — can someone please help me?

Thank you.

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Ouch! Sorry guy the lightning storm fried your logic board. Not much you can do here other than replace the logic board.

Some of the components on the logic board got damaged from the lightning strike. While it might be possible for someone to diagnose what parts need replacing its beyond what a DIY or even what I attempt to do any more.

There are a few board level repair services like PowerBookMedic which you could try to see if they can fix it. Otherwise you're talking about replacing the logic board.

Here's the IFIXIT guide you'll need to follow to take the logic board out: Mac Mini Mid 2011 Logic Board Replacement and here's the Apple part numbers for the different versions of the board:

  • 2.3GHz Dual-Core - 661-6032
  • 2.5GHz Dual-Core - 661-6033
  • 2.7GHz Dual-Core - 661-6063
  • 2.0GHz Quad-Core - 661-6034

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Make sure you get a good surge protector or UPS to plug your system and all of your peripherals. One thing people for forget is the electrical surge from the lightning can come in via other cabling that directly or indirectly connects to your system. So make sure your cable modem or network cable that runs outside is protected by a surge suppressor and is properly grounded.

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Thank you for your response, Dan.

Can you think of any type of diagnostics I could run on the computer that would actually tell me what's wrong with it?

Also, how is it that certain things are working and others are not? It just doesn't make sense to me. For example, 2 out of 4 USB work (power and data), the other two only power works. How could an electrical surge mess up just certain parts? And bluetooth doesn't seem like it could be damaged by a surge...

Is there anything else I could self-diagnose without having to replace the logic board?

Thanks a million!

by

Lighting damage is always difficult to diagnose. The fact two of the four USB ports are not working tells me the surge came in or exited thru the USB ports that are damaged. If you know what devices you had plugged into these ports you would likely find they could also be damaged. Sadly there is limits on what diagnostic software can test from within the system.

To test a USB port you need a tool that plugs into the port to monitor the power & data. There are some cheap power testers like this one: RMT. You would need a digital scope like this: digital oscilloscope to monitor the data lines.

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By the time you got the tools to test things you have spent over a third of what a used logic board costs and still haven't fixed the logic board.

You would still need a microscope to see things, a micro soldering iron, a rework station to deal with the smaller stuff. The larger chips would need a special rework tool which is quite expensive.

And we still would need to find a source for the parts. This is why this is beyond the scope of a DIY person.

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Dan, you are the man! Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I think, I'll just treat this Mac mini as a backup computer and not worry about fixing it. I will plan to purchase a replacement for it in the future.

Since you've been so helpful, do you see any reason why 2x8GB sticks of RAM for a MAC would not work on this computer? It goes into a chime cycle when you power it on. I contacted the manufacturers and they don't know why. Could it be the RAM or my (half of a) computer?

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