Mac Mini Mid 2010 Hard Drive Replacement

Replace your Mac Mini Mid 2010's hard drive for more storage space.

Use this guide to completely replace your mini's hard drive. Completing this guide requires rubber cement to stick the old thermal sensors to your new hard drive.

Image #1

Edit Step 1 Bottom Cover  ¶ 

  • Place your thumbs in the depressions cut into the bottom cover.

  • Rotate the bottom cover counter-clockwise until the white dot painted on the bottom cover is aligned with the ring inscribed on the outer case.

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Tilt the mini enough to allow the bottom cover to fall away from the outer case.

  • Remove the bottom cover and set it aside.

Image #1

Edit Step 3 Fan  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 11.3 mm T6 Torx screws securing the fan to the logic board near the antenna plate.

Image #1

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Lift the ear of the fan nearest the RAM up off the standoff secured to the outer case.

Image #1

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Lift the fan out of the mini for enough clearance to access its connector.

  • Carefully pull the fan cables upward to lift the fan connector up out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Remove the fan.

Image #1

Edit Step 6 Cowling  ¶ 

  • Remove the single 3.5 mm T6 Torx screw securing the cowling to the heat sink.

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Lift the cowling from the end nearest the antenna plate.

  • Rotate the cowling away from the outer case and remove it from the mini.

Image #1

Edit Step 8 Antenna Plate  ¶ 

  • Remove the following screws securing the antenna plate to the mini:

    • Two 6.6 mm T8 Torx screws

    • Two 5.0 mm T8 Torx or 2.0 mm Hex screws (either will work)

Image #1

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Slightly lift the antenna plate from the end closest to the RAM.

  • Carefully pull the antenna plate straight away from the circular rim of the outer case.

  • Do not remove the antenna plate yet. It is still attached to the AirPort/ Bluetooth board.

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully pry the antenna connector up off the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

Image #1

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the antenna plate from the mini.

Image #1

Edit Step 12 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three screws:

    • One 5.0 mm T8 Torx or 2.0 mm Hex screw (either will work)

    • One 16.2 mm T6 Torx screw

    • One 26 mm T6 Torx standoff

Image #1

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Carefully pull the wires for both hard drive thermal sensors upward to lift their connectors up and out of their respective sockets on the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both the hard drive and optical drive connectors up out of their sockets on the logic board.

Image #1

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • For enough clearance to remove the hard drive, the logic board must be slightly removed. To accomplish this, two cylindrical rods must be inserted into the holes highlighted in red.

  • Inserting instruments into any logic board holes other than the ones highlighted in red may severely damage the logic board.

  • Insert a Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool into the two holes highlighted in red. Be sure it makes contact with the outer case below the logic board before proceeding.

  • If you don't have a Logic Board Removal Tool handy, you can use two tools having a maximum diameter of 2.5 mm instead. Just insert one into each of the highlighted holes.

  • Carefully pull the tool toward the I/O board. The logic board and I/O board assembly should slightly slide out of the outer case.

  • Cease prying when the I/O board is visibly separated from the outer case. Remove the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal tool.

Image #1

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Simultaneously push the two plastic clips on the far left and right sides of the I/O board toward the middle of the I/O board and pull the I/O board slightly away from the outer case.

  • Pull the I/O board/logic board assembly out of the outer case a maximum of 5 mm. Pulling the assembly out further may damage the IR sensor connector (highlighted in red in the third picture).

Image #1

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Lift the hard drive from the edge nearest the logic board and remove it from the mini, minding the RAM socket and any cables that may get caught.

  • When reinstalling the hard drive, be sure the two T8 Torx lugs on its far end are inserted into the two rubber grommets highlighted in red in the second picture before sliding the logic board back into place.

Image #1

Edit Step 18 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Remove the strip of tape covering the hard drive connector.

Image #1

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Remove the hard drive cable by pulling its connector straight away from the hard drive.

Image #1

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Remove the piece of tape covering the thermal sensor attached to the edge of the hard drive.

Image #1

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the thermal sensor off the end of the hard drive.

Image #1

Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Remove the two 6.2 mm T8 Torx screws from the side of the hard drive.

Image #1

Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Carefully peel the hard drive cover off the hard drive.

  • Hard drive remains.

  • If you are installing a new hard drive, we have an OS X install guide to get you up and running.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the Mac Mini Mid 2010 device page.

Required Tools

TR8 Torx Security Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$9.95 · 29 In stock

T6 Torx Screwdriver

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Related Products

500 GB 5400 RPM 2.5" Hard Drive

$74.95 · 9 In stock

Universal Drive Adapter

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

Universal Drive Adapter

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

iFixit Lock Pick Set

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Inspection Scope

$39.95 · 50+ In stock

Frictionless Ratchet

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Portable Anti-Static Mat

$34.95 · 40 In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

These instructions and a little common sense can also be used to replace the lower hard drive in the server version of the Mac Mini. Luckily that was the drive that had failed in my case. Replacing the upper drive looks like a tougher proposition.

Bozo Z Clown, · Reply

Fantastic guide, thank you very much Mr. Bookholt!

As with the above commenter, I accidentally mistook the fan's standoff for a screw and removed it while removing the fan. Also the top right fan screw's standoff came out along with it. I edited the guide with a note on this.

While replacing the antenna, it wasn't immediately clear why the screws weren't lining up, until I realized that two of the screws were in the (otherwise free-floating but for the back grommets) hard drive, I also added a note on that.

Jon Bailey, · Reply

STEP 15: If you don't have the time to purchase the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool, the round stock on a large binder clip is PERFECT for the job. It requires a little bending and cutting but it worked perfectly!!

And as jon jon stated, it works like a lever - not a pull. You can feel it kind of click in to the lever points below.

Bravo to ifixit.com for the easy to follow instruction!!

blavin, · Reply

Hey, what about the 2nd harddrive? how does that come out?

This was a superb guide. Thank you very, very much.

Tyrone Steele, · Reply

Ok, just did here. 1 tera HD working fine. Thanks iFixit, for repacking my tools because the Brazilian mail lost them. So, for those who want to do the same, just have in mind that not ALL things happen just like the how-to. I have to figure out What to do with the logic board removal tool... And, no, I did not fuss with those initial thermal stuff, because they are impossible to unplug. I only fuss with the HD thermal.

giorio, · Reply

Excellent guide -- worked exactly as defined. I ordered the replacement kit (drive + tools) and its working great. Thank you!

DBHERTEL, · Reply

Followed the guide and it worked perfectly. One thing to note: when replacing the hard drive which is 9.5mm thick with a newer SSD that is only 7mm thick, it's useful to use a cushion of some double sided foam tape on the top of the SSD. This prevents the SSD from angling down towards the rear of the mini (assuming you have the lugs placed back in the grommets in Step 17), which makes replacing the 2 6.6 mm T8 Torx screws in Step 8 easier since they screw into the bottom of the hard drive or SSD.

brad, · Reply

There are actually 3 T6 screws securing the fan. The third screw is out of the screenshot, just below the RAM.

inferno10, · Reply

Nope, that third screw is actually just a post that the rubber grommet attached to the fan body slips over. Step 4 shows how the fan comes off of it. When you go to remove the fan, you simply remove the two screws closest to the antenna plate and then lift the fan off this post. The screw you are talking about is removed in Step 14 and does not need to be removed until this point.

Andrew Bookholt,

Successful install completed, but I had some trouble getting the fan reinstalled. When I removed the fan from the "Step 14" post, the rubber piece stayed on the post. When attempting to reinstall the fan, it was impossible to get the loop to go back over that rubber piece. So, I had to remove the post (again), and with the help of the spudger and some patience, worked it through. Then installed the fan using the 2 screws and the post. I think it may have saved some time and trouble if I just removed all 3 in the first place, leaving the post in the fan.

meag,

Whats a standoff? Is that a screw?

brzmn, · Reply

A standoff is like a screw extender. It screws into a screw-hole, and its head has a screw hole on it. When you attach something to a standoff, it makes that something stand off the original screw-hole surface.

cityzen,

Pulling on the ear didn't do anything, so I removed the whole screw at this step. The screw stayed fixed on the fan and I didn't have to remove it at the step where you remove the logic board screws.

Probably I didn't want to use too much force .. but it worked

Alexander Kogler, · Reply

Loosen the fan standoff from the motherboard using a T6 driver.

bobcloninger, · Reply

This is a screw into the head of another screw below it that holds the main board. When I took out the fan, the top screw AND the longer 26 mm screw came out together so when I was putting my mini back together I thought for a moment I had lost a screw.

info, · Reply

The red circled screws are T9 in my Mac mini (not T8).

Sven Harmstorf, · Reply

BEWARE! Gently pulling one thermal sensor wire up from its logic board connector caused wire to rip loose from connector, leaving connector still in logic board socket. Using spudger on other connector caused same result. Even after wires ripped lose, it was impossible to get connector out of logic board socket (using spudger and needle nose pliers the connector came away in pieces). Connectors almost seem glued/fused into sockets and the wires will apparently break lose before the connector will release. What a terrible design. Here's hoping the mini will run without HDD thermal sensors :( I am experienced with repairing laptops and am kind of ticked because I am sure this damage was not due to incorrect/rough handling during attempt to disassemble.

emcnally, · Reply

Followup Note: Ending up with disconnected HDD thermal sensors due to breakage apparently causes the main system fan to run at full speed all the time. This is extremely loud and pretty much defeats the purpose of the Mini form factor. Going to have to try to rig something up with actual solder or adhesive tape.

This is just stupid. A computer where logic board connections get broken while replacing a frickin HDD. All in an attempt to do something about the pathetic and feeble hard disk the vendor includes with their crap hardware (50MB/s transfer--what is this 1998?). Last Mac Mini I will ever buy. Slow, yet expensive and fragile.

emcnally,

Not sure what emcnally is talking about but mine came off fine. I have a 2010 mac mini and just upgraded to a 500 gig WD drive. Everything worked went great and was easier than I thought. My connectors pulled right off with no damage.

Dave, · Reply

tell the people to remove the superdrive’s thermal sensor as well! i just broke mine.

Simon Meisinger, · Reply

WARNING! Remove superdrive thermal sensor as well from the connector, or it will break in step 16.

Laszlo Nyirfa, · Reply

The plastic part broke for me. Barely putting any pressure on the connector and the thin plastic covering the metal connectors broke and the wires came out leaving the plastic connector in place. I was able to get the connector out without any more damage. Can I purchase a new thermal connector for this? I can't find the part listed anywhere.

In the meantime I'm going to try and get the wires rigged to the board some how. Super glue them to the connector maybe. But I'm not sure if there is a polarity concern. Can the wires go to either pin on the board?

Darrel Tenter, · Reply

I was able to get the plastic connector back in place, and fit the wires into it. Polarity is needed. First time I got the fan running full. Switched the wires and now I think the fan is running normally.

But I don't trust this connection over and time would like to find a replacement hard drive thermal sensor wire assembly.

Darrel Tenter,

Each of the hard drive temperature cable connectors have tiny little tabs on the sides. I found success using a small needle to carefully push under and pop the tab out.

Leon Roy, · Reply

These connectors are fairly easy to unplug. You can pull up on the wires GENTLY to remove them. I used a wooden spudger to pry gently and the connectors popped right out. Putting them back in is easy just make sure they are right side up and they snap right back in.

info, · Reply

One MASSIVE hint to do this step: DON'T pull the tools towards you; rather, lever the top ends of the tools towards you, at and angle (so that the bottom of the tools don't move). Took me a while to figure this out!

jon jon, · Reply

Didn't have that special tool. Used iPhone repairset screwdriver. Worked fine with sticking it in to the holes verticaly and then push it towards me a bit, then changing holes and repeating that step.

Alexander Kogler, · Reply

I suggest to pull the wires for the cd drive thermal sensor and and the infrared sensor upward to lift their connectors up and out of their respective sockets on the logic board ((highlighted in red in the third picture of step 16).

Riccardo Zulian, · Reply

Two 3/32" drill bits work great at replacing the tool. Place the shaft of the bits into the holes.

iceman, · Reply

I had to watch a youtube video to see how this works. Then I realized you are just using the tools to pull the main board out toward the back of the mini.

info, · Reply

I found that when removing the logic board out a bit that the IR sensor was not so much of a problem as was the HDD temperature sensor located next to the IR sensor.

My logic board accidentally popped out rather quickly and pulled out the sensor for the HDD.

I don't know why it's not mentioned in the earlier step to just use the spudger to pop this cable off. Since it is mentioned in other guides for removal when replacing other parts.

This would have been really helpful and most likely I would not have been left with loose cables and now looking for a new sensor cable.

So fo any others out there replacing/upgrading your HDD and have some what of a hard time getting the logic board to budge just a bit, use the spudger to pop the cable off, it's not hard and pops back on as easily as the others. That's just an FYI and a preventative measure.

tdowse1, · Reply

Ifixit note, Mac mini mid-2010 step 16

@tdowse1 I agree completely. I take issue with this guide because I believe it has an error. With just one of two changes I wouldn't have destroyed my ZIF sensor connectors:

1) Issue the warning BEFORE or even with the instruction. Following the instructions step by step and not reading a step ahead, you don't realize you can damage your cable irretrievably. Even if you read the entire guide first, you can't be expected to memorize all warnings BEFORE you act on the instructions.

2) Instruct the user to disconnect ALL of the ZIF cables first. This is truly the only safe thing to do.

LelandHendrix, · Reply

This mini circuit board for the thermal sensor is very delicate and stuck on quite firmly, so be very careful removing it. I ended up cracking mine in half. On re-assembly the system would run but the fans were on 100% until this sensor was replaced with a new part which was not easy to find.

Steve Booth, · Reply

@Steve Booth

I am in the exact same situation now.

My board assembly was snugly stuck (most are) and using only enough force to budge it at all also caused it to slip far enough as to crack apart my ZIF connector shells. ZIFs are not so difficult so I have NO idea why the author wouldn't recommend removing then all for safety. Or noting--INLINE WITH THE INSTRUCTION--that they all be disconnected before sliding the board assembly though not entirely necessary.

If you know where I can find the temperature sensors, please let me know? I really don't want to have to take this back to the Genius Bar and they see what I've done. It's humiliating. I should have known better. And had I just been exploring on my own instead of mindlessly following this guide step-by-step, I would have removed all my cables first before trying to budge the logic board.

Very disappointing.

LelandHendrix, · Reply

Carefully note the orientation of the hard drive cover before you remove it. I was putting in an SSD with no label and no clearly identifiable "bottom" so I made note of the SATA connector position relative to the cover.

info, · Reply

View Statistics:

Today: 40

This Week: 40

This Month: 2,329

All Time: 244,212