The strange case of the iPad Mini 5th Gen with “corrupted” storage

#hope
5 min readSep 12, 2021

I got the latest generation iPad Mini not so long ago. It is out of warranty, but definitely not that old. It is a child of the pandemic. I got it because I wanted to use it for a more comfortable reading experience because of its larger screen size. I won’t call it a better screen because it does not have an OLED screen like the Samsungs or the newer iPhones.

I expected the larger iPad to be more powerful than my iPhone XS Max. However, it turns out that the iPhone is more reliable and powerful, and has a better build quality. This has just been my experience comparing the two devices so far. The iPhone seems to work better in almost every way than the iPad Mini.

But, what I did not expect was the constant crashing after the last Tablet OS update. It started a few weeks ago, and got worse over time with the newer updates. This was what was happening:

  • First the apps started “dying” — which is something we have all observed occasionally before, but not with core apps like Apple News. Google News used to crash as well. Youtube never crashed though for some reason.
  • Then the iPad started “logging out” and going to the lock screen after a black screen of death.
  • Then black screen of death + iPad reboot.

The last problem is not something I have ever had happen to me on any iOS/ Tablet OS device.

I debugged the issue with Apple Support, which included a fresh reinstall and restore of the OS using a Mac — nothing changed. I talked to a senior support engineer who was very easy to work with.

The conclusion of the case was that I could send it in, and get a new iPad Mini for $299 as it was out of warranty and was not protected by Apple Care. I did send them the diagnostic logs, and they did not think it was a software issue.

Because the iPhone screen is better than the iPad mini, I was not interested in getting the device replaced. So, I was stuck with the tablet. On a side note, I had also sent in a pristine, “like new”, but used iPhone 7 for battery replacement — and they refused to do it because they found some other issues and asked for $350 to do the…

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#hope

“If you see something that’s not right, not fair, not just, do something about it. Say something. Do something.” — Rep. John Lewis