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The long-awaited refresh of the popular Mac mini. Processor options include 3.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i3, 3.0 GHz 6-core Intel Core i5, and 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 processors.

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My Mini Won’t Turn On. Is the SSD Data salvageable, and how?

My late 2018 Mac mini won’t turn on. It shows no led and makes no fan sounds. I still have Apple Care on it. I am going to ask them to replace the power supply. If this does not fix the machine, will it be possible to harvest the SSD to salvage my data and possibly put it into an external enclosure or slot it into a new device some how? If so, could someone mention some basic aspects of how this would be achievable? Thank you!

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Ouch! The Flash chips (SSD) are soldered to the logic board and not removable. To add to it even if you did you couldn’t access the data off of them as they are encrypted by the T2 chip!

Hopefully the power supply is the issue.

Update (01/01/2022)

To clarify here is an image of your logic board from Step-8 from Mac mini Late 2018 Teardown

Block Image

The Orange marked chips are the Flash chips,

A typical 2.5” SSD drive has a few chips inside, which are the interface to the system via SATA as well as deal with the management of the writing of the blocks and noting which set of blocks is for the given file being stored. These chips also deal with the housecleaning tasks.

The data is stored within the Flash chips. Here’ Apple uses the T2 chip for all of the interface and other functions. So simply put the T2 and the flash chips equal what a SSD would be, and the Flash chips is what holds the data.

As far as any tools to recover data the Mac Mini does not offer any backdoor access, and besides, without the T2 to decrypt the data its useless!

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Thanks so much! Is there not a proprietary apple solution to transferring that data to a new machine, or a proprietary reader? Just to clarify, that is where my saved data exists right? The SSD?

I was using a 3rd party power cable before the system stopped powering on, do you think that could be the culprit? I noticed no kernel panics or anything occurring. Thank you so much for your expertise, really worried about my data.


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