Our G4 Mac Mini dies costing us $44 a month

In December, 2006 I bought a G4 Apple Mac Mini for my wife for Christmas and three days ago it died. It’s bad enough Apple came out with an Intel version within 4 or 5 weeks of my purchase but to have the thing die after 18 months makes it by far the most expensive computer I’ve ever owned based on of operation. That’s not to mention my wife used it maybe 15-30 minutes a day, if that. It’s not like it was running protein folding or some similar CPU intensive task rather it was in sleep mode the vast majority of the past 18 months.

And by died I mean pressing the power button does absolutely nothing. I’ve tried two different power supplies, resetting the PMU as well as taking out the RAM and re-seating it all to no avail. Yesterday, I took it to the Apple store Los Gatos where they told me “the worst case scenario for repair is $460.23” and that my only option is to authorize them for the worst case and they would charge me accordingly based on the type of repair required. They mentioned that if the machine had to be completely replaced the data on it would be lost, so I don’t even get the dead box back. Perhaps needless to say but I’m not going to go that route.

If anyone has suggestions for Mac Mini repair I’m all ears. I’ve read a few good things about DT&T in Fremont and that will likely be my choice unless I hear otherwise.

[Update: July 7, 2008] Here is how things turned out.

3 thoughts on “Our G4 Mac Mini dies costing us $44 a month

  1. Hi Steve,
    similar problem over here, my Dell notebook died last week, but with the 36 months Dell warranty (that costed me about nothing after some negotiations) I just called and I got it fixed for free here at home by the Dell guy that came with the new MB to replace the broken one, one hour and it was done. The cool thing is that over the phone, the Dell hotline guy asked me to remove the battery, the hard drive, the DVD, the RAM, the WiFi and BT modules and try to start the notebook holding the Fn key… so I figured out that I can open the laptop and still have a valid warranty and in fact there’s nothing sealed, that’s nice.
    So I suggest to you: don’t buy Apple anymore… think REALLY different, build your own hackintosh using a Dell hardware! 😉

  2. Sounds like something went "pfft!" on on the motherboard. After reading about how the Mini is laid out, the motheboard may have been too hot and some random component on the wrong end of the quality bell curve couldn’t take it. You may want to open it up yourself and see if anything came loose or has that "I’ve just fried myself" look. At this point, it can’t get any worse.
    DT&T may be the cheapest option. For what Apple wants to charge you, For that kind of money, you can get a new Core Duo Mac Mini.

  3. Sorry to hear of your loss, but thanks for curing me of "mini envy". I have been tempted, again and again, but no more.

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