I have a Mac Mini (late 2012 model). It has an internal SSD and 16 GB of RAM. The entire thing was built by Apple and has never been opened since I bought it. It is running the latest Mac OS.
A few months ago, I started having an issue where when it booted, the Apple logo would appear and the status indicator under it would only progress to the middle and stay that way. The Apple Trackpad would still work if I moved it around, but I even let it sit this way for 30 minutes and it never finished booted. It usually boots in about 30 seconds. When it would act this way, I would hold the power/boot button in the back until it would power off. Then I would boot it again and it would always come up without a problem, but it would have a message referring to that it wasn’t shutdown correctly.
I contacted AppleCare and they had me do the normal things like reset the PRAM (NVRAM) stuff, reset the SMC, run Disk Utility and run Hardware Test but it never showed there was a problem with the system.
I have a Linux background and knowing that the Mac OS is built on UNIX, I decided to look into this further. However, I don’t know the internals of the Mac platform that well, so I can’t be sure I am even looking in the right place.
So I logged into the Terminal application as ‘su’ and did a ‘cd’ to /var/log and found the ‘system.log’. I’m looking in here because I am wondering if there are error messages that would reveal something hardware wise or whatever might be causing the problem.
Nothing really jumped out at me. If it could be an intermittent SSD problem, then I would expect to see something about that device in the error logs as a problem. But I still don’t know if I’m looking in the right place for this or what it looks like to determine if it is an SSD problem.
The fact that when it finally gets to come up, it knows there was a problem that it wasn’t shut down properly indicates to me it got far enough in the boot to start running the OS at least on some level. Could it be software that is causing the problem? Or the SSD?
It could be the power supply, but would there be an error message about that? This system is connected to a UPS, so the voltage coming in is stable.
I am considering wipe the drive clean and doing a fresh install and see if that takes care of the problem.
My gut feeling is that the SSD is flaking out, but I’m not sure which log would contain a message about it and what it would say. I did a ‘grep’ for the words ‘error’ and ‘failed’ but they usually refer to things which appear even on a normal boot. The only thing that referred to a device failing said something about USB, which the only USB things connected are a keyboard and the Viewsonic monitor’s hub, and a Samson Go Mic.
I was having this problem before the major upgrade to Mac OS X El Capitan.