Mac Mini

Why do I have to reboot my Mac Mini to get it to work?

Mac Mini

Episode 1732

Alan from Houston, Texas

Alan has a 2011 Mac Mini that acts as his home entertainment system. Leo recommends using Plex to run it because it'll organize it really well. But the MacMini acts as a great home theater system. But Alan has to reboot it before it the screen stops being blank. Should he reset the SMC? Leo says that's a good guess. It could be that it's not powering up the first time. But resetting it isn't a touch of a button. It varies from model to model. You can also do CMD-OPT-PR to reset your PRAM. But Leo also says you don't really have to turn the Mac Mini off.

What Happened to My Original Photo Files?

Apple Photos

Episode 1719

Charles from Virginia

Charles is noticing several of his recent photo files aren't as large as they should be on his Mac Mini. Leo says that if Charles is using Apple Photos for an App to store his photos, to r/c on the photos library, and then select Show Package Contents, he'll see photo folders, including the "originals" photo folder. That'll verify his originals are there.

My Mac Mini is Kernel Panciking. What can I do?

Mac Mini

Episode 1714

Dave from Burbank, CA

Dave is trying to update his MacMini with security updates for Mojave, but so far, they've been a disaster. Thunderbolt ports aren't reading his multiple monitors, causing him to reset his PRam. Now there's a new Mojave update and he's having mouse issues. Leo says that kernel panics are a sign of hardware issues. It could be a flakey power supply, a type-C port problem or badly soldered chip. It could be a driver issue, but it's usually indicative of hardware and that points to needing to call Apple.

Should I upgrade to a Mac Mini?

Mac MIni

Episode 1700

John from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

John needs to replace his 2007 iMac. He doesn't want to get one with a fusion drive though. Leo says that you can upgrade to the SSD drive. SSDs have dropped in price to the point where they are affordable to opt for in the customize section. And if you have a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, the Mac Mini is a great choice. It's easier to repair and upgrade, too. You'll also save a lot of money.  Check out iFixIt.com for repair guides though.

Can I use an old iMac as a display for a new mac?

iMac

Episode 1698

Mark from Panama City, FL

Mark has a 2012 iMac and a 2018 Mac Mini, along with a 2016 MacBook Pro and 12" iPad Pro. Can he hook up his Macbook Pro or his MacMini to his iMac and use the display? It can on a limited number of iMacs and is called Target Display Mode. IT requires a thunderbolt connection. Here's how - https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/use-an-imac-as-a-display-mh30822/mac. It may not work with Mark's model, but you can do it. Only for models mid 2011 to late 2014.

What iMac should I buy?

iMac 27"

Episode 1692

Richard from Centerville, OH

Richard wants to upgrade his Mac Mini to an iMac. What's the biggest bang for the buck, the 21.5" or the 27"? Leo says to get the larger screen if you can afford it. If not, why not just get a new Mac Mini? Richard always has a screen, mouse and keyboard. The Mini has been upgraded and is now a pretty compelling product. You can get a six-core i7 Mini with a nice SSD and RAM for less than that iMac. Or if you need the iMac, go with a six-core i5 and the Radeon Pro instead of the i7. It'll save you $200 that you can put into more RAM or the larger screen.

Will an External GPU Cool Down My Mac Mini?

Mac Mini

Episode 1681

"Beefteam" from Purdue University

Beefteam has a Mac Mini and he wants to know if he should upgrade it by beefing up the RAM in his Mac Mini for better video performance or get an external GPU. It's also overheating. Blackmagic has an external GPU that is well ventilated and won't be subject to the heat from the processor. Adding RAM will not make the computer cooler, but the external GPU will. Check out the Sonnet EGPU Puck. She can get it at the Apple Store too.

Can I Use a Mac Mini as a Media Server?

 Mac Mini

Episode 1628

Mini Cooper Mike from Spokane, WA

Mike bought a used 2012 Mac Mini that he wants to turn into a media server. Will he be able to manage it locally, or does he have to do window sharing? Leo says that a Mac is kinda expensive for a media server, but it will do the job great with Apple's macOS Server software, which is $20 from the app store. He can also use PLEX for free. If he wants to access from the internet, he'll need to set up port forwarding. But if it's just from the network, it'll work as is. But there's a heat issue, so Leo says that he can use external hard drives to bring the heat down.

How can I get Apple to replace my defective Mac Mini?

Mac Mini

Episode 1621

Jerry from Westminster, MD

Jerry bought a new MacMini a few months ago, and after he shut it down, it never came back on.  Apple replaced the logic board, but when he returned it, his RAM capacity was cut in half. So he returned it to Apple. After a few weeks, he got an error and would restart. Now it just locks up. Leo suspects that Jerry has a "Lemon." He should take it into Apple, talk to the manager, and tell them you want a brand new one. Be direct, but pleasant. You catch more flies with sugar than honey. Use the term CRU - Complete Replacement Unit.