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I’d been looking for a home server solution that offered me more disk space, but that ran cool and quieter than my server-closet behemoth. I wanted the server to also be able to execute scripts and scheduled jobs. I researched several options, including the Dell Zino, but none seemed to capture my attention like the Mac Mini Server.

The day it arrived, I set it up and spent hours pouring over Apple’s documentation. I got file sharing, SSH, WebDAV, and other services set up easily, but realized that I had to download Server Admin Tools separately in order to get access to DHCP and DNS. Some admins speculate that this is a separate download to prevent would be admins from accidentally turning on DHCP in a network that already had it. Screen sharing worked flawlessly. I had it using my 46″ television as a monitor, so watching online video and iTunes was awesome!

The next day I went back to my new toy, and… it had locked up. I was not pleased. Murmuring curses and threats of sending the server back didn’t bring the server back from its limbo. This was UNIX! UNIX was not supposed to do this! I felt betrayed by a company I’ve been growing in support for. Why did they do this to me?

I think I’ve solved the problem. Nothing useful was in the logs, but I came across a forum post where someone had suggested that there were bugs [1][2] in Lion’s display drivers that caused some Macs to lock up when returning from sleep.

I went into System Preferences, then chose Energy Saver. I slid the slider next to Display Sleep all the way to the right, choosing Never. I have not had a lockup since.

I can’t recommend this for everyone, because they don’t have a display that is either off, or using another input, like my TV, but it might work in a pinch if you don’t mind manually turning your display off. Also, I’m a little surprised that it’s affecting my brand new Mac Mini Server, because the articles I’ve found refer to older Macs.

Update: This may have been fixed by the 10.7.1 patch. I haven’t tested it yet.