Mac mini server disappears from network


Has anyone experienced a Mac suddenly disappearing off their network?

I have a mid 2011 Mac mini sever (OS X 10.12.6 Sierra), primarily used as a Plex server. It is directly connected to an Airport base station. In the past it has occasionally disappeared from ‘locations’ on the finder on my MB), though a force quit of finder has resolved this. I thought this might have been due to the MBP being on different networks at times.

I have Screens 4 installed for remote connections, and similarly have not been able to connect when the Mac mini disappears from the finder.

I can still access the Plex server (i.e. play files on another device) when unable to connect directly to the machine.

I have had to shutdown (hold the power button down) the Mac mini to resolve this the over the last couple days (it shows up in the finder afterwards, and I can connect).

Any advice?

[I did not update the mini as it has run fine under Sierra.]


one of the HDDs was ~90% full, and since removing some files it has not happened agin. Hopefully that was all it was…


I had the issue again (possibly linked to a close-to-full HDD again).

The Mac mini is not listed under shared (finder sidebar), though shows up under network with a PC icon. I can ‘connect as’ to access the SSD/HDD, though not screen share.

Screens 4 also would not/could not not connect).

I followed a tip I found online: enter the IP address in Safari as vnc://mac-mini-ip-address (I looked up the IP address for the Mac mini in the router). Screen sharing is launched.

I added this as a bookmark in case I have similar issues in the future.


Sounds like Bonjour has died.


do you think this would be own the Mac mini of the MPB?


On the Mac mini, if you can’t see that from your MBP.


I am thinking this might be the HDD on the way out.

Might be time to replace it, possibly with an SSD (overkill as it is primarily a Plex server, with media on a 4TB external HDD).


An ongoing saga it seems…

I set up a different Mac mini on the network (High Sierra). This mini also does not show up in the Finder/under shared on my MBP, though my MBP shows up on the new mini. I can connect to this mini using the IP address trick via Safari mentioned above.

Maybe there is an issue with Bonjour on the MBP — I currently without an idea of what to try next…


I’d your router blocking bonjour? :thinking:


I have to dig into it some more. The machines are plugged into an AirPort Extreme. Today the new Mac mini showed up on under ‘locations’ in the Finder sidebar (not ‘shared’) on the MBP (Mojave). On the Mac mini (High Sierra), the MBP is shown under 'shared in the Finder sidebar. Maybe this is an OS change I did not notice?

I have ordered new drives for the Mac mini server (SSD and 7000rpm HDD) as there might be clicking noise in there, and an attempt to update the High Sierra headless did not go to plan (and it won’t boot/no display when plugged into a monitor). I will try to High Sierra and see how it goes.