Installing Mac Mini Late 2012 Dual Hard Drive Kit

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Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

Install a second hard drive in your late 2012 Mac Mini.

Use this guide to install iFixit's Dual Hard Drive Kit in your Late 2012 Mac Mini.


Edit Step 1 Bottom Cover  ¶ 

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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.

    • You do not need to apply much downward pressure while turning.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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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.

Edit Step 3 Fan  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3 Fan  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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

  • Removing the standoff screw is not necessary to remove the fan. You need only raise the fan enough to lift it off the standoff screw.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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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.

Edit Step 6 Cowling  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6 Cowling  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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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.

Edit Step 8 Antenna Plate  ¶ 

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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 screwdriver will work)

  • When putting back together:

  • It can be difficult to get the hard drive seated correctly such that the antenna plate fits in place correctly. If the screw holes don't line up with those on the hard drive, make sure that the two pins that are in the back of the hard drive are properly seated in the holes at the back of the case, above the housing for the second hard drive.

  • The antenna attaches directly to the hard drive (red markers), therefore attaching the antenna can move the hard drive around and loosen the connection of the hard drive cable to the logic board.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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

  • Carefully pull the antenna plate 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.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully pry the antenna connector up from its socket on the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Remove the antenna plate from the mini.

Edit Step 12 Logic Board  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the hard drive connector up from its socket on the logic board.

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to lift the IR sensor connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

  • Make sure to pry up from beneath the wires and not underneath the socket.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Remove the following three screws:

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

    • One 16.2 mm T6 Torx screw

    • One 26 mm T6 Torx standoff

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • To remove the logic board, the two cylindrical rods of the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool must be inserted into the holes highlighted in red. Inserting instruments into any logic board holes other than the ones highlighted in red may destroy the logic board.

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

  • 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.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Pull the I/O board/logic board assembly out of the outer case enough to access the power connector.

  • Use your fingers to disconnect the DC-In cable from the logic board.

  • Pull the power cable connector toward the front side of the mini.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Carefully slide the logic board assembly out of the mini, minding any cables that may get caught.

Edit Step 18 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Pull the hard drive away from the front edge of the mini and remove it from the outer case.

  • During reassembly, there are two pins on the inside edge of the hard drive that fit into the case. The holes have rubber grommets around them, so it may be difficult to tell when you have seated the hard drive correctly.

Edit Step 19 Power Supply  ¶ 

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Edit Step 19 Power Supply  ¶ 

  • Remove the 7.9 mm T6 Torx screw securing the power supply and hard drive tray to the outer case.

  • During reassembly, ensure the cables that run alongside the hard drive are tucked under the power supply. This will ensure the hard drive is properly seated. In addition, the antenna screw holes will not line up if there are cables in the way.

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Pull the silver metal AC-In socket retainer away from the side of the outer case and remove it from the mini.

  • During reassembly, notice that the silver clip hugs either side of the lower beveled edge of the AC connector. When sliding the clip back in it will hit a stop, but not click into place. You will know that you did it correctly because it will not easily move out of position.

Edit Step 21  ¶ 

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Rotate the AC-In connector 90 degrees counter-clockwise.

Edit Step 22  ¶ 

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Slide the power supply out of the mini, minding any cables that may get caught.

Edit Step 23 Hard Drive Tray  ¶ 

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Edit Step 23 Hard Drive Tray  ¶ 

  • Remove the 7.9 mm T6 Torx screw securing the hard drive tray to the outer case.

Edit Step 24  ¶ 

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Remove the hard drive tray from the outer case.

Edit Step 25 Dual Hard Drive Kit  ¶ 

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Edit Step 25 Dual Hard Drive Kit  ¶ 

  • The following steps will guide you through installing a second hard drive in your Mini.

  • In the next few steps you will be installing the grommets in the holes located along the brackets boxed in red.

Edit Step 26  ¶ 

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Edit Step 26  ¶ 

  • While working from the inner side of the bracket, push the grommet through the hole in the side of the bracket.

  • Be sure the grommet is seated nicely in the bracket as seen in the third picture.

  • Repeat the process for the remaining three grommets on either sides of the brackets.

Edit Step 27  ¶ 

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Edit Step 27  ¶ 

  • The bracket with all four grommets installed should look like the bracket shown in this picture.

Edit Step 28  ¶ 

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Edit Step 28  ¶ 

  • Bend the ribbon cable along the dotted lines to help the connectors remain seated in their sockets.

  • Bend the ribbon cable 90 degrees at the SSD connector so that it is parallel to the connector.

Edit Step 29  ¶ 

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Edit Step 29  ¶ 

  • Use the edge of the SSD connector to put a 90 degree downward bend in the cable along the first large dotted line.

  • Bend the ribbon cable back up 90 degrees along the second large dotted line.

Edit Step 30  ¶ 

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Edit Step 30  ¶ 

  • Hold the ribbon cable on either side of the first small dotted line and bend it up 90 degrees.

Edit Step 31  ¶ 

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Edit Step 31  ¶ 

  • Bend the ribbon cable down 90 degrees along the second small dotted line.

Edit Step 32  ¶ 

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Edit Step 32  ¶ 

  • Attach the cable included in the kit to your second hard drive. In our case, we are using an SSD.

  • If your cable came with a small piece of black tape with rounded corners, you can install it over the hard drive cable connector to to secure the connector to its socket on the hard drive. The piece of tape is not required and not installing it will have no adverse effects on your machine's performance.

  • Before attaching the cable to your hard drive make sure it has been properly folded along the dotted white lines. This will help the cable attach and stay in-place.

Edit Step 33  ¶ 

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Edit Step 33  ¶ 

  • Use a T6 Torx screwdriver to install two of the set screws on the side of the hard drive closest to the end of the hard drive cable that attaches to the logic board.

  • Tighten the screws until they contact the end of the threaded holes in the side of the hard drive. They are shown correctly installed in the third picture.

Edit Step 34  ¶ 

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Edit Step 34  ¶ 

  • In the next two steps, you will install the hard drive into its bracket.

  • When inserting the hard drive, be sure to place it in its bracket cable side up with the SATA connector closest to the bulge in the bracket seen in the third picture.

  • Push the set screws into the grommets in the bracket and install the hard drive up into its bracket as seen in the second picture.

Edit Step 35  ¶ 

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Edit Step 35  ¶ 

  • Use a T6 Torx screwdriver to install the remaining two set screws through the grommets and into the side of the hard drive.

Edit Step 36  ¶ 

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Edit Step 36  ¶ 

  • Install the second hard drive assembly into the outer case.

  • Be sure that the mounting holes line up with the threaded holes in the outer case as seen in the second picture.

  • When the logic board is installed, simply connect the second hard drive cable to the free socket on the logic board.

  • The second hard drive cable should lay flat between the two hard drives. If the second hard drive cable is placed on top of the first, the antenna plate will not reattach, and you could damage your cable.

Edit Step 37  ¶ 

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Edit Step 37  ¶ 

  • When you start up your machine, you'll see both drives are recognized by the Mini.

  • Xbench scores show that if you install hard drives in either the top or the bottom position, their speeds will remain the same.

  • To minimize the amount of work necessary when adding an SSD to be used as your primary drive, we recommend installing the SSD like we did in this guide and leaving the stock platter drive in its original bottom position (closest to the antenna plate). After reassembly, boot the Mini into Lion Recovery and use disk utility to erase your SSD. Then install Lion on your SSD. After rebooting, go into system preferences>startup disk and choose your SSD as the startup disk.

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

For more information, check out the Mac Mini Late 2012 device page.

Required Tools

Mac mini Dual Drive Kit

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Comments Comments are onturn off

In my system the only way to get an SSD drive (OCZ Agility 3 120G) to work was to install it to the first SATA interface and the original HD to the second SATA interface.

I tried first as said in this guide, but the whole system got very unstable, the SSD was basicly unusable with lots of read errors, kernel panics etc...

After switch everything went smoothly. I cloned the original system to the new SSD with Carbon Copy Cloner, selected the SSD to be the startup disk and rebooted, Now the SSD is primary drive (with huge difference in speed, some 340/300 read/write) and the original 1T HD is secondary drive hosting my iTunes, iMovie and iPhoto archives.

marcojohansson, · Reply

The iFixit SATA cable does not work with the OCZ Vertex 4 drive using OS X 10.8. I tried both the "upper" and "lower" ports, neither work. Using the Apple supplied SATA cable, the drive works in both ports. Using the iFixit cable with the Apple supplied HDD drive works. Using the iFixit cable, the OCZ drive is detected using the OCZ Mac boot tools. It's just OS X 10.8 that can not see the drive when using the iFixit cable. I've contacted OCZ support.

brainsik, · Reply

Same for me as for marcojohansson. While my SSD worked in the "empty" bay, I was experiencing frequent system hangs and beach balling. Moving the SSD to the original hard drive position, and the hard drive into the extra bay seems to have solved the problem entirely!

Patrick, · Reply

(Same as Patrick noted above) If you are adding a new SSD to your factory 1TB HD using iFixit's Mac mini HD kit, SWAP the drive positions—so that the SSD is in the original slot connected Apple's SATA cable and the original HD is now in the other bay using iFixit's cable. This issue affects only late-2012 Mac minis that come with a mini-specific build of OS X 10.8.2.

Vin, · Reply

The most difficult part of the process, as mentioned is fitting up the antenna platter again. It has an explanation.

You have to make sure hard drive (primary one, the one on the top), is correctly fitted. You can make sure it is by matching the screws on the hidden part, on the mounting holes of the plastic hard drive chasis. Once this is matched, it fits perfectly and screws are perfectly aligned.

Just keep calm, and be patient, all parts have perfect milimetric match. IT'S NOT DIFFICULT! PERFECT GUIDE!

fsanchez, · Reply

Just leave out the logic board removal!

You can do the job with the logic board in place.

- It is way easier

- No risk of damaging IR receiver and power light

- No special tools required, only Torx and Hex drivers

Blkksss, · Reply

You can definitely omit the logic board removal if you are ONLY replacing the drive in the "old" (i.e. closer to opening) slot and not planning to put anything in the "new" (buried) slot.

anonymous 3693,

OK, I should have read through all the comments before going ahead with this. I have a Mac Mini late 2012 i7 with 1TB HD. I wanted to add a Samsung 840 256GB SSD. Initially, I installed that drive into the open bay as described in this guide, but it didn't work. Disk Utility saw it as a broken fusion drive (as outlined elsewhere). So I removed the original hard drive, leaving only the SSD in the new slot. This also didn't work - internet install of OS X failed multiple times and the machine was extremely hot. I finally got it to work by 1) taking original HD cable and putting it on the SSD, 2) installing original HD into the new slot using the iFixit cable (but leaving it unplugged from board after reassembly), 3) installing OS X onto the SSD which is now sitting in the old slot with old cable, 4) reconnecting the old HD/new cable to logic board, 5) restarting and using Disk Utility to reformat old HD. iFixit really needs to update this guide to indicate the SSD will probably not work in the new slot!

anonymous 3693, · Reply

Yes, new SSD (in my case Crucial CT 512 MX100) should be installed into the place of original HDD!!! and connected with the original connector!!!, then original HDD goes into the bracket and connects with the new connector, otherwise - "wheel of death" pops up regularly... It was painful learning exercise :(


Excellent guide!

Only if OSX wasn't a piece of junk, causing a ridiculously slow install on a new SSD (4 hours) because it wasn't an Apple certified drive. All disk activity would halt every 10-20 seconds for about 20 seconds. Once the install was complete I was able to use "Enable Trim" to bring the speed up with no more halts.

Thank you iFixIt!!

Stephen, · Reply

Before I started this ifixit I read a lot of people talking about the antenna not going on properly and problems with the hard drive. I found that the problem is the two grommets inside the front of the casing. These grommets are where the two screws on the existing or upper most (when the case is inverted) hard drive should go into.

I was placing the hard drive flat against the second hard drive I'd added which ment the two screws weren't in the grommets and we instead pushing on the outer casing. This meant the hard drive was in the wrong position and if I had continued with the rest of the reassembly the antenna definitely couldn't have fit correctly. I spotted this and made sure the hard drive was in the grommets, leaving enough room for the power cables to sit between the two hard drives.

With the hard drive sitting correctly you should find everything goes back together very easily. If you get to the end and nothing seems to fit this is probably the reason why!

Martyn, · Reply

Worked almost perfectly. A few notes:

-The Standoff that the fan is attached to DOES NOT need to be removed in order to get the fan off. However, it did make me uncomfortable pulling up on it thinking I might break it. You just have to go for it.

-I had to move the 2 HDD screws in the side of the stock HDD in to the new SSD and the 4 HDD screws in to the new SSD.

-Upon installing the grommets, don't install all 4 at once. Install the first two, put in the HDD, and put in the remaining two screws afterwards. I missed that and nearly broke the dual HDD bay chassis.

-I installed the SSD in the position where the stock HDD was and moved the stock HDD to the secondary open bay, leaving the original SATA connector to be used on the new SSD. I completed the installation without doing the install/restart prior to the second HDD installation business as suggested earlier in these comments. Worked perfectly.

-The only issue I had was plugging back in the power supply which was hard to do with big fingers.

Jesse Russell, · Reply

Confirming other people's experience, I also had to swap the position of the original HDD and the new SSD (a Plextor 256GB in my case) which I added in the free slot. In the configuration described in the guide, the SSD proved unreliable and disappeared during mirroring the system drive with Carbon Copy Cloner. After connecting the SSD with the existing cable (i.e., in the location closer to the WiFi antenna) everything worked fine.

flipperuno, · Reply

Another issue I encountered was interference with the Mac Mini's internal Bluetooth adapter. This may be related to a suggested general weakness of the adapter's design (people report trouble with USB3.0 interference elsewhere). I had severe problems to get a pair of wireless Bluetooth speakers working. When I disconnected the newly installed SSD, everything worked fine.

What did the trick in the end, was to shield the SATA cable attached to the SSD with a thick layer of tin foil that I wrapped around the SSD on the side with the ribbon cable and that I fixed with Sellotape. Also, to avoid electrical contact with the WiFi antenna's plug, I added a layer of Sellotape in that region. Not exactly elegant but it worked for me.

flipperuno, · Reply


Add a Samsung SSD 840 PRO Series 512GB + 16GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM.

Here's an accelerated video of the installation:

kristofferlr, · Reply

I recently bought my Core i5 2.5 base model.

Upon opening my case, i noticed that the original drive was not on the upper most slot but in the buried location. This makes installation that much easier. Unfortunately, my sata ribbon cable had a tear in it and could not be installed.

Reading the above comments, it seems i will need to switch the drives? If it was not for that, there would be no need to remove the logic board. You only need to remove the Fan assembly and the plastic cover and fit the drive in. the grommets are already there but the screws are not. you may need to fins screws that will fit in the grommets as the ones provided in this kit may be too skinny.

Ill have to try it once i get the ribbon replaced.

andrepaquette, · Reply

Great tutorial, Thank

Bartosz, · Reply

Absolutely superb.

Very straightforward and easy steps to run through.


Why do I ever need a Desktop PC for again!?

Stuart Harris, · Reply

Migrated SSD from other machine into Upper bay of "new" Apple refurb'd 2012 mini, everything seemed to go well, but the existing 1TB spinner in the Lower bay shows negotiated connection at 3Gb vs the 6Gb for the SSD.

Is this expected behavior?

I am confused about mixed experience with SSD in Upper bay vs Lower. Would be nice to have a more definitive answer.

larryleonard, · Reply

Followed the Guide and added a 250g Samsung EVO SSD Drive. Everything went smooth as silk. I also purchased the expanded kit with the driver set. Made it extremely easy having all the right tools. After completion I decided to convert to a Fusions set up which worked out perfectly. After installing Yosemite, I did a restore and everything is just how it should be.

Thanks for the Guide & Tools !

crgagner, · Reply

Thanks for the guide! I used OWC's kit (no reason why I chose that over IFixit's, as far as I can tell they're the same). Between doing this and taking care of my 11 month old it took me a few hours with lots of forced breaks to get it done, but everything seems to work.

I'm kind of bummed with the realization that enabling TRIM on Yosemite will cause all sorts of crazy issues. Thinking of going back to 10.9.....

CiViCKiDD, · Reply

I have a dual drive server. I'm thinking of replacing one drive with an SSD. I'm assuming I should put it in the 1st (easiest to access) slot.

lederermc, · Reply

The guide is great, and the iFixit toolkit is awesome. The SATA cable itself though is not great.

Had a bunch of issues with it when connecting a SSD.The cable would cause my RAID1 to fail, and attempts to install OS X on just the iFixit cable connected drive resulted in kernel panics. Have tried multiple cables all with the same result. Ended up getting the SATA cable from OWC and all issues went away.

adam, · Reply

Follows this guide and consulted all comments as o went through each step. What others have said was invaluable to my success- thank you to all the pioneers who paved the way, and some who even sacrificed their machines by boldly going first! I surely would have broken something we're it not for your words of caution.

Also wanted to add that I installed a Samsung SSHD (1tb) in the original slot and moved the original HD to the open slot, and all seems to be well. Boot times are exponentially faster, and I use my mini as a server so normal SSD speeds are not important for me, just the boot. I highly recommend this option for servers as you get SSD boot times for a fraction of the cost.

Good luck!

ShapeShifter, · Reply

Hi ! I dismounted the mini i5 2012 but the original 500gb HDD is already set as one must secure the new SSD! So I put the SSD instead of the original screws and rubber are already fixed. but my concern then is how to install the second DD (original 500gb) I do not understand there is 2 holes on the plastic support! I have to fix it before replacing the media? then the sata connectors are identical and no obvious place! the second sata connectors should be between 2 SSD and HD discs? thank you

gregory Pedurand, · Reply

I dismounted the mini i5 2012 but the original 500gb HDD is already set as one must secure the new SSD! So I put the SSD instead of the original screws and rubber are already fixed. but my concern then is how to install the second DD (original 500gb) I do not understand there is 2 holes on the plastic support! I have to fix it before replacing the media? then the sata connectors are identical and no obvious place! the second sata connectors should be between 2 SSD and HD discs? thank you

gregory Pedurand, · Reply

Is there a way to tell in software, without opening it up, which drive is in which location? I added the SSD and made a Fusion Drive well over a year ago and now I can't remember whether I switched the drives or not. My Samsung 840 Evo 750GB is rife with CRC errors, rendering my computer basically unusable.

Andrew, · Reply

Yes. Apple Logo in top left -> About this Mac -> System Report -> Click on SATA/SATA Express. Select your drive and look for which bay it is in "upper or lower".

Remember when you have the mini open this is reversed so "lower" would be at the top when the cover is off.


I also destroyed 2 very fragile connections from the IR to my logic board in attempting to perform step 13 on my brand new Server. Rather than replace the entire logic board I started it up and it seemed to have worked OK for a while but over one year, the sound card seems to have disappeared. Now Photos and Quicktime will not open video files.

Beware! I would rate this upgrade as "challenging" or 9 based on the risk benefit ratio.

cvmd, · Reply

BEWARE. Easy to destroy your logic board with this DIY. Difficulty 9/10!

cvmd, · Reply

This took a lot of force on my Mac mini. A lot.

nh3, · Reply

I agree. It took a crap ton of force from my thumbs to twist the bottom off.


I accidentally broke the little things that hold the cover to the case. Is there a cheap replacement to the cover? Those clips are held onto it very weakly.

Jacob Halton, · Reply

Don't just use your thumbs... Use your whole palm to twist it, with maybe a thumb in one of the recesses, applying slight downward pressure.

markbart, · Reply

On my mini, the fan has a 3rd screw on the bottom right of its housing just out of sight on the step 3 photo. I believe it was in the hole later referred to as the 26 mm T6 Torx standoff in step 14.

benjamin, · Reply

Remove a third screw at the opposite end of the fan near the DRAM

Craig Foster, · Reply

I needed a T7 for this, and had to remove all three screws before I could take the fan out.

mackrell, · Reply

The fan has in fact, 3 screws that need to be removed before you can lift it out.

FinnCrisp888, · Reply

The 3rd screw needed a T5, for me.

Martin Cleaver, · Reply

All of mine have 3-T6 screws.

Kadah Coba, · Reply

Contrary to the instructions, I had to remove the fan screw

radonr, · Reply

Same for me, couldn't get it to move without feeling it was going to break so I just removed the screw.


Mid 2011. I too had to remove the standoff screw. It seems to be a T5.

lsbf, · Reply

You will have to remove this screw in step 14, so why not now ;)

mpalma, · Reply

You actually don't need to disconnect the fan. You can just let it hang on the side while working. I accidentally killed my connector trying to pry it loose. It's being held together now by some tape, after spending hours trying to reconnect it and figuring out pin outs.

Nick Michielsen, · Reply

Be careful to LIFT UP on the fan connector cable. Using a spudger tool helps here. I mistakenly thought that the connector would slide off the logic board and tried to remove the connector this way. I ended up lifting the connector off of the logic board, thus ruining my logic board and requiring a $350 logic board replacement at the genius bar. The second time I did a HD/SSD replacement, everything worked fine.

wattmagner, · Reply

Yeah, I did the same thing by following someone elses "shortcut". Now I am going to shell out 289 for quad core i5 board, and a new fan BTW. . . . . . Oh well never a dull moment :) and it gets an upgrade as well!

rob Stewart,

That's probably the must tricky part of the replacement. I did the same thing, i just pull on my cables and the connector stays on the board. Tried many times to switch cables into but any order i try is not the good one.

The avoid this, now, when i want to pull out my fan, i just use a plate screwdriver and lift up the connector. That's work perfectly.

ayottepl, · Reply

I've just pulled out the connector that's soldered to the logic board because I used a pry tool. Be careful at this point to just pull gently on the four cables that go to the fan.

Mike Vlasman, · Reply

The CAUTION in step 13, "Make sure to pry up from beneath the wires and not underneath the socket," applies to this step as well, for removal of the fan wires.

lsbf, · Reply

I screwed it too... Not reading carefully enough, I accidentally removed the whole socket from the board. This happened with the IR connector too. When re-assembling the parts, the socket wouldn't stick to the board, now I know why. I don't want to buy a new logic board, because I can't afford one, so I'm trying to find someone to solder it. Seems hard to find someone able to repair logic boards these days. Hope I'll be successful, otherwise this is an expensive upgrade to my mac...

Floffrob, · Reply

Don't remove it with your fingers, use a tool for that. And underneath the wires!

sebcthiebaud, · Reply

in Step 6 — Cowling ; " Remove the single 3.5 mm T6 Torx screw securing the cowling to the heat sink", does it mean that it is the same T6 Torx screw for the cowling and the heat sink ?

In fact at the end, I mess this T6 Torx screw !

cegondaireun, · Reply

Uhh I can't get this to go back in? Not sure what is going on...

David Inman, · Reply

When reassembling this aerial plate, it may take a very strong force to align the side lips with the screw bays. The circular edge on the body is meant to slot into the plate by less than 1mm. I followed the rule of thumb, which is, if it takes an unusual force, stop and think it out to avoid a disaster! Then, I hit on using a paper clip to get around this problem. Make a paper clip L-shaped to loop through a hole close to the edge of the plate, where the slotting is not deep enough. Gently lifting the paper clip, slide and push the aerial plate in place. This worked like a charm without using a strong force.

al dente, · Reply

Worked like a charm, saved my day!!!


My only real problem in the whole process was putting back the antenna plate. Couldn't get both side screws to align. Ended up leaving one out but might try the paper clip trick now

andrewarwas, · Reply

I had a similar experience, but when I realized the two 5.0mm T8 Torx screws were 2 of a set of 3 that also served to hold the cover on, I wasn't comfortable with only securing the cover with 2.

UNSC Jon 117,

DO NOT BRUTE FORCE the reinstallation of the plate. In my case, the top lip of the antenna plate has a notch which aligns with the edge of the opening was preventing the perfect fit. All I did in my case was use the spudger to pry open the notch a little more to give me a little bit extra space so that edge of the aluminum enclosure fits into that notch on the top of the antenna plate. Hope that helps. :)

chicosy, · Reply

I was installing an SSD in my mini and when I got to this step, an issue came up. The two 6.6mm screws on the antenna plate screw into one side of, and secure, the hard drive. The problem was the SSD was thinner than the original hard drive, so when I tried to reassemble, the hard drive sat too low for the screws to reach it.

Here's how I got around the problem. I loosely attached the antenna plate to the hard drive, leaving plenty of wiggle room between the plate and the drive. I also left the two stand off screws on the logic board off to give me more wiggle room there.

With the SSD attached to the antenna plate, I carefully connected and stowed the Bluetooth cable. Using the antenna plate as a handle, I was able to guide the SSD into the hard drive mount. Once in place, I tightened the 6.6mm screws more, which raised the SSD to the proper level.

After insuring that the screws all lined up, I installed and tightened the logic board, then the other antenna plate screws.

yourgenius, · Reply

The "engineering tolerances" are definitely tight for the AirPort antenna plate. I would recommend trying to replace it as soon as it's removed for the first time, in order to work out the (precise) alignment of it.

Nothing I tried (including the suggestions here) seemed to help me during reassembly. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get the holes for the two 5.0mm T8 screws to line up. Eventually, I had to resort to CAREFULLY and SLIGHTLY re-bending the curved edge of the antenna plate.

UNSC Jon 117, · Reply

REATTACHING grate - al dente's trick helped me.

The tiny perforations on the grate rest ON TOP of the lip of the case, while the remainder of the grate slides UNDER the lip. It is very hard to see - I used a magnifying glass.

To get it into place, create a tiny hook on the end of a paperclip. Moving along the edge of the grate, lift a perforation with the hook to help it slip into place. Keep moving along the edge until entire grate is shifted into place.

Chris 1000, · Reply

I had several 2-terminal connectors that went to what appeared to be temperature sensors on several components including the hard disk and optical drive. I accidentally pulled the wires out of one of these connectors. Lucky for me, they came out clean and I was able to just re-insert them into the connector

Kyle Jurick, · Reply

On a Mini bought Jan 2014, Red screws were T-9 and orange were 2mm Hex, T-8 didn't work in either one. T-9 didn't work in orange.

michael, · Reply

As everyone else has noted during re-assembly, seating the antenna plate is tricky. For me, what ended up working was to attach the hard drive screws first. After this, with just a little wiggling of the plate, the 2 5mm screw holes lined up perfectly.

jonathansturges, · Reply

Aligning the drive holes with the ones on the antenna grate was easy – just take the pointy end of the spudger. Also, for getting the circular part of the grate set correctly, I had to bend down the outermost part a tiny little bit and then used curved tweezers to lift the grate once it was near its final position to get it slide in the last millimeter. Frustrating at first, but it worked after a few tries.

Julian, · Reply

Has anyone had any trouble getting the two 5.0mm screws back in place? I can't seem to get them in, as they just keep on turning. I thought the thread may have been damaged but I then removed the plate and could screw them in position okay. It seems the depth of the plate is causing the screws to not go down far enough. I've had to leave these off at the moment (obviously not great as this means the bottom cover is loose. Any ideas?

alan, · Reply

I had the same problem but only on one of the two screws. Then I realized there's a little tiny "o-ring" underneath which is acting like a nut. I lost one of them in the process of upgrading. If I could find out where to buy a new one I would!


The antenna plate seems to give most people problems. Somewhere along the line I found reference to "a wiggle here and a wiggle there" and that seemed to work. Shy away from the brute force - it's the surest way to damage something.

Steen Rancher January 12, 2015

Steen Rancher, · Reply

If 5.0 mm T8 holes don't line up with those on the body, you should hook the antenna up a bit.

manwe, · Reply

Despite all the efforts, I couldn't manage to insert both side screws for the antenna plate. I ended up only using a single one (the one nearest to the HD connector), hoping it will hold the weight of the SSD.

ngt, · Reply

Here's where it started going south on me because the two T8 screws aren't really attached to anything because my hard drive is on the top of the case where the DVD drive used to be.

jpmist, · Reply

steps 10 11 13 14 15 16 not necessary …

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 12 17 only needed to change hard drive …

radioman, · Reply

Step 10 is different for late mini Mac 2012

The antennaplug is different (round)

Josse, · Reply

I skipped steps 10 and 11 but had to do the rest to get the drive out. My system had a second drive so that may be why the logic board had to be removed to have enough room to get the drive out past the DIMM sockets.

Craig Foster, · Reply

On the Late 2012 model the antenna connector is hidden under the case, so unlike as indicated in step 10 you can not see the connector and definitely not remove it until the Logic Board has been eased out an inch. Note how the cable makes a loop under the case as it is removed. Remember to reconnect the same way with the loop and connected before the logic board is pushed in all the way.

Indy, · Reply

The antenna connector is underneath a black flap. I just lifted the flap slightly with a spudger and used my fingers to disconnect.

FinnCrisp888, · Reply the latest delivery of the mac mini they had changed something. The antenna plug is hidden under a plastic cover and some tape on it.

You have to push up the cover and remove the tape...not really difficult, it was formed so you can put up easilly.

Tom, · Reply

If your machine came with a 7mm drive and you are replacing with a 7mm drive you do not need to move the logic board. I installed an Intel 335 240GB drive which is a 9.5mm drive and to get that drive in I did need to bump the logic board out to clear the memory slot brackets. I did not need to remote any other wires or connections as the logic board only needs to move maybe an 1/8" to get the drive to clear the memory bracket.

klaubscher326, · Reply

When removing the wifi antenna make sure you use a plastic spudger and lever up underneath the wire. I used a metal screwdriver and levered up from the side opposite the wire and ripped the pico-ITX connector right off the board! Fortunately I only use my mini via Ethernet, but now I have no choice!

Kevin Broadey, · Reply

Did you actually break it? It pops out easily and can actually be plugged back in easily too with tweezers or small needle nose pliers. I did the same thing with no permanent damage.

Steen Rancher

January 12, 2015

Steen Rancher,

I skipped this step with no problems.

manwe, · Reply

There's no real need to disconnect the antenna. You can just lay the grill gently on its side and leave it connected.

FinnCrisp888, · Reply

That is true if you do not need to remove the logic board (i.e. you are only replacing the drive in the original slot position).

anonymous 3693,

You can leave the antenna plate attached and remove the logic board if you're careful while removing the motherboard.

Dan Wilson, · Reply

It may just be my own experience, but the hard drive connectors appear to be "sensitive" to ANY pressure, even when (re)connected properly. I found that I had to repeatedly re-seat them when re-installing the drive, AirPort antenna, and cowling. I would recommend holding off on putting the screws back for the AirPort antenna and cowling until both are in place, and re-checking the hard drive connectors before installing/tightening those screws.

UNSC Jon 117, · Reply

Note the hard drive connector attaches to the outermost connector on the logic board. On my Mini it attached to the inner connector.

The cable I got in the Dual Drive kit was exactly the same as the one installed in my Mini. I had to fold it to shift it over to snap on the outer connector.

And, no, my hard drive wasn't where the picture shows it to be.

jpmist, · Reply

This board component is very delicate, I screwed up my Mac Mini IR receiver and HDD led light by doing this wrong. PLEASE take your time to do this delicately.

lcba813, · Reply

I have the same problem. I damaged the connecter for IR Sensor which is on the Logic Board.

Is there a way to fix it?


Yes, this is extremely fragile. A couple of the pins on the logic board broke off. They are very tiny pins that are secured to the board surface with solder. I was very careful with it too, but they broke nevertheless. There is no repairing that when it happens. Thus, I have no IR sensor (which I never used) and no front LED (minor loss - not worth the cost of a new logic board). Works fine otherwise.

davidw, · Reply

Mannn this part is difficult. Tks for my girlfriend that disconected it for me. Hands of fary!

luiscortex, · Reply

I also just snapped this off by levering at the wrong point. So this is just for the IR sensor and the flashing light? If so, I'll just ignore it and happily carry on with life without these two features that I never used or noticed! I've been searching for someone who can do the delicate welding to reconnect the 5 pins but if what you say is true I'll stop searching.

Recommend emphasizing even more in the instructions, the potential for disaster!

warren, · Reply

Hi, I can't remove the yellow screw, I don't even see it (it look like more like on this picture:

So I don't know what to do, I don't want to damage the tread (if there is actually one..) and I can't move the logic-board..

Do you hav any idea?

broussesimon, · Reply

The "yellow screw" depicted in this picture doesn't exist in the Mac Mini late 2012, at least in mine. Well, to be more precise, it exists but was already removed when the fan was unscrewed (it was actually in the fan).

Jeff Evans,

I found the same as Jeff.

Martin Cleaver, · Reply

For reassembly, note that the red T8/2mm hex screw doesn't screw all the way down. It is for the bottom lid to slide-lock onto. Don't look for a hole beneath it on the logic board.

malcolmgin, · Reply

If you're in a pinch and don't have time to order the removal tool, you can use two 2mm hex wrenches.

philomathius, · Reply

You can also use the probes from a Digital Multi-Meter. Just be very careful not to stab the pointed end into the casing. With a little care, you can get the logic board out.

mattgarfield, · Reply

On re-assembly, when you're putting the HD back in place, before you've pushed the logic board fully back into place, make sure the disk is in the right place for the antenna plate screw holes (step 8/9) or you'll have problems getting the screws back in. I did, and had to back up a few steps to realign the disk drive!

Kevin Broadey, · Reply

Look at all of the images. Initially, I took the text literally. I pulled the tool straight back without letting it pivot, and without success. I suggest the following additions: "The tool acts as a lever. Carefully pull the top of the tool down and toward the I/O board. The logic board and I/O board assembly should slightly slide out of the outer case."

anonymous 1829, · Reply

A length of coat hanger wire bent to the width of the two holes worked fine for me.

jpmist, · Reply

You can pull the board out about 1cm with the wires intact.

Martin Cleaver, · Reply

While you can remove this pin with your fingers as shown in the photo, putting back in proved frustrating by hand. I finally got out a forcep which allowed me to grab each side of the plug and push it in at a flat angle.

Dan Ochiva, · Reply

I found way easier to remove the power wire line by removing the hard drive (loose already) first!

alextc, · Reply

When reconnect it on the board, make it when the board is in the middle of the mac, or you will be not abble to do it!

luiscortex, · Reply

In April, I purchased a late 2012 mini (MD387LL/A) - 2.5Ghz i5 with 500MB hard drive.

It looks like Apple now secures the drive to the tray with 3 screws. 2 on back side and one on front. This means the entire drive tray has to come out to remove the drive - it no longer just "lifts out" as in step 18. In order to remove the drive tray, you have to remove the power supply (step 22).

Gary Leatherman, · Reply

During reassembly, watch the power harness and connector from the power supply when reinserting the logic board assembly into the case. When the board is close enough for the connector to reach, re-attach it before inserting the board the rest of the way. I found that if the connector is lined up properly, it almost attaches itself.

Also be careful of the hard drive and IR sensor connectors.

UNSC Jon 117, · Reply

Also, when you're re-assembling (especially with a tight squeeze if you've got dual drives), be sure that the internal AC power connector matches up in profile with the port outline on the rear plate of the main logic board assembly. If the two aren't mated identically, the black port plate won't mate flush with the aluminum case.


Speaker trademark? Is it a sony, or a Bose...

I think it is a bad quality speaker.What do you thick?

Hugo BURGUILLOS, · Reply

Does anyone know if the airport/bt board from a mac mini late 2012 can be retrofitted to the 2011 mini? this would add the airdrop functionality to the older device in theory and I have seen a similar procedure performed on MacBook pro's

Steven Fox, · Reply

During reassembly, after putting the "lower" drive back, test fit the AirPort antenna to make sure the two holes in the antenna plate line up with the two holes in the drive. If not, check that the power harness from the power supply is routed correctly. If the power harness is next to the power supply, go back and re-route it properly.

UNSC Jon 117, · Reply

Before I started this ifixit I read a lot of people talking about the antenna not going on properly and problems with the hard drive. I found that the problem is the two grommets inside the front of the casing. These grommets are where the two screws on the existing or upper most (when the case is inverted) hard drive should go into.

I was placing the hard drive flat against the second hard drive I'd added which ment the two screws weren't in the grommets and we instead pushing on the outer casing. This meant the hard drive was in the wrong position and if I had continued with the rest of the reassembly the antenna definitely couldn't have fit correctly. I spotted this and made sure the hard drive was in the grommets, leaving enough room for the power cables to sit between the two hard drives.

With the hard drive sitting correctly you should find everything goes back together very easily. If you get to the end and nothing seems to fit this is probably the reason why!

Martyn, · Reply

I bought my mini in late June 2013. My hard drive was not mounted as indicated, it was in the lower slot. I had to insert the grommets into the upper holes. You need to use a non metal flat edge to get them in, my fingers had no leverage when reaching into the aluminum shell. I also waited until I had removed everything from the case before inserting them to minimize the risk of harming an internal component.

rob545, · Reply

This is one case where having the actual reassembly instructions would be helpful. When I put my drive back in the upper position, I thought it was in the right place, even tried to move it and it seemed like it was locked into the holes, but it wasn't, so I had the issue with the antenna plate not going back on. It was so close. It seemed like it should work, but nope.

So, after disassembling again, I played with it some and the best, most surefire way to get it to line up is to hold the unibody upside down when inserting the drive. It has to be essentially at the top to catch the holes. Thin drives make it even more of a problem.

Once I did this, it fit in great and stayed in with no need to hold down, and there was now another 1/8" between the motherboard and the drive, which doesn't seem like much, but in this tight case, its everything. The antenna plate then went in perfectly, all 4 screws were in with no issues at all and the connectors for the two drives stayed on with no issue.

Sherifftruman, · Reply

Like others, I found with my November 2013 purchased Mac Mini, Apple had installed the internal hard disk in the bottom location (bottom when working on the unit upside down as detailed in this guide).

I found that it was best to remove that drive, and install the SSD in the bottom location, but use

* 2 of the rubber grommets and screws (that came with the ifixit kit) on the front edge of the drive

* that let me use 2 of the screws from the original mac mini on the back top HDD as they are larger screws than came with the kit

That way the HDD didn't rattle in the top location.

I also

* Installed the SSD in the bottom location with the original apple cable

* Installed the spinning 1TB drive into the top location (which made it easier for the top wifi screws to screw into

* But I had to reshape the cable (that came with the ifixit kit) quite a bit to get it to line up with the connector on the logic board.

brian, · Reply

During reassembly I had the reported problems of getting the original drive in the right spot. You should note that there is a gap on the left side. My drive slid in (twice) so it was right up against where the connectors are on the left side. Slide it right so there is a gap.

mikeubell, · Reply

Found it easier to place the SSD in the "lower" position (closer to the bottom of the Mini, but upper while working on the disassembly/reassembly) by resting the Mini on its front side. Easier to move the pegs into the grommets installed in the case. Easier to see if they're not lined up at all.

malcolmgin, · Reply

I'm refitting a mid 2011 mini. Reinstalling the drive easy with a few tricks:

*Step 11.5: add registration marks to the thin plastic drive cover.

**Use a fine point blue sharpie (or similar).

**Add two lines a couple inches apart, extending back from the metal housing lip onto the drive shroud.

**Add two short lines by tracing the curve of the housing across the first two lines.

**Use the marks to line everything up when reassembling.

*Reinstall with the mini standing on it's front end

**The drive slots in high in the case. There is a substantial gap between it and a 9.5mm second drive. This makes it hard to line up with the mac flat on the table.

*You can absolutely feel the drive's pegs engage into the rubber mounts.

*When seated properly:

**The drive slants slightly down from the front to the back of the housing.

**There is a sizable gap (~2mm) between the visible long edge of the drive and the flange on the plastic frame that sits behind it.

**The motherboard will seat ~1mm from the drive.

anonymous 1829, · Reply

Careful when reassembling. Don't make the same mistake I did by attempting to screw in the hard drive bracket without having the power supply re-inserted and aligned. Otherwise the screw will end up in the piece attached to the bottom of the case (where it's not supposed to be) and you will have no choice but to pry the glued part off the case to remove it. If you start to hear a "crunchy" sound when screwing, stop immediately because it's probably a glued part coming off.

anonymous 3693, · Reply

When putting it back, make sure that it's both in the correct place and fits properly; otherwise, it may come loose. After reassembly, if you hear what sounds somewhat but not quite like a loose screw rattling around in the case, it's probably this clip.

Don't worry: it's only 20 steps to get back to it. I hate this metal clip. ;-)

UNSC Jon 117, · Reply

What's the use of this silver metal AC ?? I couldn't put it ... sou I assemble the mac mini without it...


For the late 2012 model at least, when re-assembling, make sure the edges of the plug are lined up with the innermost grooves in the case (there appears to be another set that is closer to the outside of the case).

anonymous 3693, · Reply

I'm going to add that with the opening up it is actually counter clockwise.


Specifically, note the power harness and connector, and that it's routed "above" the inner edge of the power supply ("below" when viewed from this angle). That power harness needs to be in the same position when replacing the power supply during reassembly. If the power harness ends up next to the power supply instead, the "lower" drive won't fit properly and the AirPort antenna won't line up correctly.

UNSC Jon 117, · Reply

With virtually everything removed from the outer case, this is a good time to look toward the front of the case to notice the two locations where the standoffs from the "lower" drive normally fit. You'll want to be aware of this when reinstalling that drive later.

UNSC Jon 117, · Reply

My MacMini (bought late 2013), had the HDD installed in the upper bay, so a complete teardown was required in order to change the driver.

However, if you are planning just to add a second driver, there is no need for the doubler kit (only a new lower flex drive).

Antonis Spanakis, · Reply

With this Dual kit, Can I install 2 Hard Drives of 2TB: the new slim seagate (9,5mm) 0.37"? Thanks

ProMac, · Reply

The spudger is very handy at this point.

Martin Cleaver, · Reply

The ribbon cable with my kit was already bent correctly when I received it. Not sure if it was just that one or if they're all going out like that now, but it saved me a few steps (and worries about ruining the cable). Thanks! :-)

UNSC Jon 117, · Reply

I bought my mini in late June 2013. My internal hard drive had the same cable as the one in the iFixit kit. I had to position the cable for the upper drive on top and not in-between the drives as indicated. I also had to bend the ribbon in the opposite directions. Be careful. The ribbon can be adjusted but due to the location of the sata connectors on the mainboard the cable for the upper hard drive does not lay flat against the drive. There is room for it under the vent that the wireless cable is attached to if you have the upper drive seated correctly in the grommets but it is not pretty.

rob545, · Reply

90 degree bends :), not 45.

Christer, · Reply

I have been using my mid-2011 Mac Mini as a media player while working/living oversees. Decided to upgrade to an SSD HD and add more RAM (4 to 8 GB). With the ifixit kit, I was able to add the SSD in a little over an hour. My only issue was with the SSD data ribbon. I didn't realize at first that the new drive's data ribbon was designed to be routed underneath the original drive, which required me to backtrack to reinstall the original drive. Otherwise a smooth installation and I like the toolkit that's included which will be handy for other projects.

Eric, · Reply

On my corsair SSD, the set screws don't extend beyond the edge of the drive when full screwed in. I guess I'll try some blue thread locker to hold them at the right distance.

davidamis, · Reply

My SSD kit had countersunk screws which protruded a long way, causing the disk bracket to catch on the front of the mini when I re-inserted it. I avoided the problem by putting the grub screws in the other side so they point towards the front of the mini. This left the countersunk screws pointing towards the logic board, where there was plenty of room.

Kevin Broadey, · Reply

When re-installing the original hard drive (aka - inner hard drive), be sure that this drive's two side pins fit exactly into their rubber mounts that are deep inside the Mac Mini.I achieved a nice fit by turning the Mac Mini on its side so gravity would align the pins with their respective holes with ease.

jeffchambers, · Reply

Yes, I struggled until I spotted this. When I finally got these pegs in the holes, all was much easier

andrewarwas, · Reply

Same here. I basically had to turn the Mac Mini completely upside-down (hence, "right side up" from the normal operational standpoint), then gently move the drive pins into place against the side of the case. Once they went in, then the antenna plate screws lined up nicely.

anonymous 3693,

I suffered the same with this. In the end I sat the Mac Mini on it's end and lowered the originally fitted hard drive into the pin lugs on the casing. Once the logic board was in place it stopped it from falling forward / out of position.

warrencox, · Reply

I installed an OWC Mercury Extreme 6G SSD into my Mac Mini. Comparing this SSD to others it is almost 1 mm wider and the screw holes are not quite as deep. Because of this it does not fit very well into the upper HD space. I recommend swapping the stock drive into the upper spot and putting this SSD in the lower slot. It fits much better.

chris, · Reply

I also very much recommend turning the Mac upside-down. I struggled to get the pegs in the holes, until I held the Mac upside down and started wiggling the drive. It was pretty easy to see when the drive was seated correctly: there's a plastic tab under the top drive. If the pegs are not in the holes, you'll see that the drive is flush with the plastic tab. When the pegs are in the holes, you'll have around 2mm clearance between tab and drive.

Vincent, · Reply

En français s'il vous plait :)

Une fois le disque du dessous installé je conseil de préparer celui du dessus avant de tout remonter, sinon va falloir viser les petits trous après.. quelle misère !

Donc on démonte tout, mon place le disque dur du dessous, on remet celui du dessus dans ses petits trous, on insère le braquet avec le disque du dessous et on remonte tout : nickel !

Merci beaucoup iFixit ! mon Mac Mini est une machine de guerre ^^ Et merci pour les bonbons !!

zhorglub, · Reply

Everthing ok with this guide. I took a lot of time, about 2:30h but it worsed. The ssd is in the lower position and the system boot ok. Now Im installing the system in the ssd and I will format the HD. I will pray for this works.

luiscortex, · Reply

Everthing is fine, the IOS was installed with sucess in the SSD!


Thanks guys! It works perfectly (mac late 2012 i7)! :)

I had to install again Mac OS from the web on my Vertex 4 SSD and after my mac automatically has enabled the SSD as primary disc. It's really fast! :) Wow! :)

P.S. I have switched my HD positions. So the SSD is on the bottom now.

Alexey, · Reply

I would appreciate seeing another photo or two to differentiate the two drives in place-- I dont see the difference between the original hard drive location-- the old one-- and the new one. The end of the guide mentions installing the 2nd drive to the outer case, but thats confusing.

Can someone post some clearer photographs?

jacob, · Reply

I have followed the good advice here on upgrading a 2013 Mac Mini (500GB) to SSD.

However, on step 37 I disagree. What happened:

- I had OS X Maverick on the original 500 GB HDD

- installed the SSD in the "Upper" position, as in the figure

- left the original 500 GB drive in its original, "Lower" position (meaning upper when the Mac is upside down)

- followed the steps in 37

- install was terribly slow, ~6 hours; there was some data corruption, the SSD would not boot; I tried to fix permissions, disk etc, no help; benchmarks showed slow read with normal write speed; after a while there was an error about the SSD could not be repaired and it disappeared (unmounted)

- at some point I've seen some complaint about Fusion drive. Then l realized that is it possible Maverick tried to treat the SSD + HDD as a single fusion drive?

- switched the positions of the HDD and the SSD, so now the SSD was in "Lower" position. Also moved the protecting/insulating sheet to the SSD.

- Now everything works. So, position matters!

Zoltan, · Reply

Just realized that many people had the same problem. If I read the comments too, I would have saved myself a lot of trouble :). But at least we have a plausible reason for the described behavior: the position matters, and OS X may try to handle the 2 drives as one Fusion drive (and somehow fails at that). Maybe it's a setting issue, or just has not been tested this way. Consumers should not upgrade to SSD by themselves :).

Zoltan, · Reply

Thank you for this advice. I had the same problem and you resolved it :)

quentin Castel,

After connecting the new SSD to the empty bay I tried to follow the steps that recommend making a fresh install with Lion internet recovery. This process got stuck the 3 times I tried. So I googled for other options and found that I you clone your former HD with Carbon Copy Cloner, fix the permissions with disk utility and then make the SSD the bootable drive, everything goes fine. I used this tutorial:

gillagher, · Reply

Everything worked like a charm for me, with the exception of my new drive needing to be formatted! Thanks a million for the guide (and the extra comments attached to most of the steps)!

SugeKNice, · Reply

To avoid the SSD becoming a fusion driver follow this

Vip, · Reply

Zoltan I had a very similar experience as you yesterday, I installed a Samsung 840 evo SSD into the upper position and kept the original 1TB HDD in the same place, according to the guide. Then I encountered lots of weird issues trying to partition the SSD with disk utility. Not to mention its slow and sometimes the disk even unmount by itself. I spent many hours and figured out swapping the positions of the two drives might help, then it worked!!! I hope I read the comment here earlier.

POINT IS: Better to put the SSD in the lower position and move the original disk to upper position, you may or may not have issue following the guide, but apparently lots of people have run into performance or stability issues .

Anyway thanks for the great kit and the guide!

JiaJing WANG, · Reply


You are right, install an ssd in the upper position make the mini think that a Fusion drive is installed and try to configure itself as fusion while the twin has not the proper firmware, while with the ssd in the lower position do not fool the system.

Marco Mazzocchi

Marco Mazzocchi,

When will this step get updated? I followed this instruction and ended up with original HDD as /dev/sda and SSD as /dev/sdb. Flipped it back and all is good, but why leave up backwards/wrong info?

anonymous 6407, · Reply

"After reassembly, boot the Mini into Lion Recovery and use disk utility to erase your SSD. Then install Lion on your SSD. After rebooting, go into system preferences>startup disk and choose your SSD as the startup disk."

NO! STOP! DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Do NOT use the Disk Utility on the Recovery partition. Boot your Mini normally and use the Disk Utility that you access through your Applications/Utilities folder. Use Disk Utility to create a new Single Partition (Mac OS Journaled) on your new drive and verify that it can be seen in Finder. After that, Install OS X using Command - R and specifying the new SSD drive. After reboot restore from your old disk and Bob's your Uncle.

Doug, · Reply

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