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The Mac Mini is usually left on but stopped working overnight, was off when user found it.

Tried:

  • reset SMC and NVRAM
  • hardware diagnostics (fwiw) showed no problems
  • single-user mode – wasn’t able to fsck the APFS SSD due to being mounted
  • recovery and internet recovery (still boot looped)
  • bootable Monterey USB (still boot looped)
  • safe mode (still boot looped)
  • the Time Machine backup doesn’t show up on boot choices screen when holding option on power on

Only peripherals connected are display, ethernet, keyboard and mouse.

Recently ran First Aid on all disks as a matter of maintenance, and had just updated to latest public release of Monterey. Machine booted fine after these. SSD was new and installed a couple of months ago.

Ideally I’d like a list of possible causes (I’m guessing a hardware fault or firmware issue) and signposts to next steps (guessing an Apple Store Genius Bar is the logical next step for their more detailed diagnostics).

1 Answer 1

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I consulted an expert who was fairly certain it's an issue with the logic board, given that the SSD is new and connected via SATA (not via an M.2 to Apple 12+16 adapter), and the macOS installation has been working up until this fault occurred.

They advised not to take it to the Genius Bar as they don't tend to get involved with Macs this old.

So the only options left for me are to retire the machine or source a second-hand logic board and try a replacement. iFixit has a logic board replacement guide for a similar model of Mac Mini.

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