Introduction

Use this guide to remove the small molded plastic cowling used to direct cool air toward the heat sink.

Parts

No parts required.

Image 1/2: 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 2/2: You do not need to apply much downward pressure while turning.
  • 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.

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.

sleeve -

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

I think it depends, I have seen some that are very difficult to open and some super easy. But I see them everyday. I wish there was a tool that fit in the holes.

Justin Weathersbee - Reply

When seating the bottom RAM chip you may have to apply a little extra side force to get it to seat properly. I put in the new RAM and just got a beeping sound upon starting. I then put the old RAM back in and got the same result.

Here is the solution I found on the Apple discussion board.

"Take a small flat head screwdriver and after you put the memory in slot 0, put the screwdriver between the top of the mac mini and the memory then turn the screwdriver a little to exert pressure on the memory into the slot. Do it on both sides of the memory."

This worked for me.

littlemas2 - Reply

I remember this when I was changing my memory ... I realized (after opening) that more you push, more force it take to open the cover. As you push down you force the cover "to rub" the casing and possibly other things inside. If you "lightly" hold the cover it comes right off ... Remember: less is more! :-)

Have fun!

Radek - Reply

We found it hard to use the thumbs but if you put the casing on a carpet and one person is holding the case while the other is using his palm of one hand to turn the cover it comes off quite smoothly and without much downward pressure.

Alexander - Reply

Image 1/1: Remove the bottom cover and set it aside.
  • Tilt the mini enough to allow the bottom cover to fall away from the outer case.

  • Remove the bottom cover and set it aside.

I have a late 2012 Mac mini, but it must be an earlier version than this late 2012 Mac mini in this description, because removing the hard drive is much more complicated than described here. Please see this YouTube video if you have trouble removing your hard drive with these directions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvmuQIZP... There is a longer process you've got to go through. It can be done, it just takes much longer. (3-4 hours for me)

sandyfacebook - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two 11.3 mm T6 Torx screws securing the fan to the logic board near the antenna plate.

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

Not necessary to remove that screw at that point to get the fan out. It is only a post at that point.

Remove it in step 14.

Craig Reilly -

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

That screw is a post at that point. I removed it at step 14.

Craig Reilly -

The 3rd screw needed a T5, for me.

Martin Cleaver - Reply

All of mine have 3-T6 screws.

Kadah Coba - Reply

I can't, for the life of me, get the left screw out of the cowling. Had to pull both out together. Now having a very hard time getting the cowling back in to replace the fan.

Elvin Lucic - Reply

Image 1/1: 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.
  • 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.

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.

warrencox -

Ditto re: standoff screw

turkeyneck -

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

For me it was no prob to remove the fan just pulling carefully upwards.

Timpetou - Reply

Mid 2011 Server, I had to remove the fan screw

garzov - Reply

Mid 2011. The "yellow screw" from step 14 is captive in the fan and has to be removed in step 4.

eric - Reply

Also it is much easier getting the fan correctly aligned on the stand of rubbery bit if you have the screw removed.

aron - Reply

Image 1/1: Carefully pull the fan cables upward to lift the fan connector up out of its socket on the logic board.
  • 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.

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

Did it just as Nick suggested, hang the assembly to the side.

David Chan -

Agreed. It is much better to leave the fan connected. The only thing you actually need to disconnect is the hard drive.

ablack3 -

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.

No Name - 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

Followed all the instructions, everything went well, but now my mini fan won't turn off. It starts as soon as I boot up. I've tried every fan control software out there, and nothing works; the fan just constantly runs. I was very careful when I disconnected/reconnected the fan cable, and it looks fine. What else can I do?

Ben Dunkle - Reply

The problem is most likely a disconnected or damaged temperature sensor, I had this problem when reassembling a 2007 Mac mini. It can't read the temperature, so assumes the worst and sets the fan to maximum.

patrick27leiser -

I broke the fan wires from the connector plug. Impossible to repair. I have ordered a new fan. Is there a correct orientation to plugging in the new connector?

ronhixson - Reply

For heavens sake please DON'T remove the fan. It's really really hard to reconnect it properly. And besides that you don't have to remove the Logic Board for just changing the HDD.

Greg Kollmann - Reply

Does anyone know how to solve the full RPM fan issue? My computer guy couldn't solve with fan control software

J beneventi - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the single 3.5 mm T6 Torx screw securing the cowling to the heat sink.

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

Note that when you are replacing this cowling you are putting the screw back into what looks like another screw that holds the heat sink to the logic board. Disconcerting but correct.

thrint - Reply

Note That the arc of the cowling does not butt to the edge of the chassis. But slides in below it. Once the two screws on the heat sink are aligned with the cowling holes, it's good to go.

imtimrob - Reply

Image 1/1: Rotate the cowling away from the outer case and remove it from the mini.
  • Lift the cowling from the end nearest the antenna plate.

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

Look very closely at how this is set. Take a photo. Because when I put mine back together it took 45 minutes just to get the fan and this cowling to fit in place next to each other.

sandyfacebook - Reply

The cowling has a notch close to the midpoint of the flange that goes under the outer case, which slides onto a standoff screw attached to the logic board. I used a Sharpie marker to put one "alignment mark" on the inner edge of the outer case. I put another alignment mark from the midpoint of the cowling notch out onto the visible part of the cowling. This made it much easer to reassemble, especially since my standoff post provided a tight fit, which, when I did this the first time, felt like "it doesn't fit . . . again?" It also helped to insert the end of the cowling closest to the heat sink first, which acted as a "fulcrum" for the cowling to "click" onto the standoff post.

carrick - Reply

On reassembly, if you're having trouble lining up the cowling with the screw holes, you can try pulling the logic board out a tad and set the cowling in place. Just try not to damage the cowling or the inside of the outer case when sliding it back in!

Drew - Reply

Conclusion

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

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