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Mac Mini Ethernet Port Replacement

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Earlier this year one of our Georgia lightning storms rocked my Mac Mini's world. After that the Ethernet port no longer functioned (though the rest of the unit seemed to be unscathed).


My PPC Mac Mini is running Leopard (and does not have Airport). Whenever I plug an cat-5 cable into the Ethernet port and check the status in Sys Prefs-->Network it says that no cable is connected. I have tried different cables, different routers. I have even re-installed Leopard, all to no avail.


I was on the verge of sending my Mini off to iResQ to have them diagnose it for me and give me a quote. However upon further research it has come to my attention that the Ethernet for the Mac Mini is a part of the Motherboard and therefore can be quite expensive to replace (I am no computer engineer so I hope that I am using these terms properly).


The other option is to purchase a USB WiFi adapter and use the Mac Mini over my wireless network. I would not be opposed to that if it is a viable option. I do not use this Mac Mini all that often since I have a Macbook that I use most of the time. The main issue with my Mini is that my printer is hooked up to it and as long as the Mini is not on the network I can not print to it from my Macbook. That's a pain.


Bottom Line: How expensive can it be to replace the Ethernet port on the Mac Mini and is it worth it considering the limited usage that my Mini gets (as described above). Furthermore would a USB WiFi adapter (e.g. http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Asus/WL167G/) be a viable option?

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The same thing happened to my Mac after a thunderstorm. Apple sells a USB to ethernet adapter that works just fine. It says that it is for the Macbook Air only, but it works fine with my old G4.

I did have an issue with it after I installed the latest update (10.5.6) but it worked just fine as long as you have OS 10.5.4 or 10.5.5. I think it was around $30. No driver needed, you just have to go to system prefs, network, and choose USB Ethernet instead of Built in Ethernet.

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