Mac Mini Late 2012 Hard Drive Replacement

Replace your Mac Mini's hard drive.

Use this guide to completely replace your mini's hard drive.

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 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • 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.

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  ¶ 

  • 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 away from the outer case.

  • Only pull the logic board assembly out of the outer case until the edge of the I/O board is about .5" away from the edge of the aluminum outer case.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 18 Hard Drive Cable  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18 Hard Drive Cable  ¶ 

  • Remove the strip of tape connecting the hard drive cable to the hard drive.

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

Edit Step 19 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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Edit Step 19 Hard Drive  ¶ 

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

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • 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 Late 2012 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 · 18 In stock

Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

54 Bit Driver Kit

$29.95 · 50+ In stock

Pro Magnetic Project Mat

$19.95 · 50+ In stock

Pro Tech Screwdriver Set

$59.95 · 50+ In stock

Anti-Static Project Tray

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Popular Device Products

500 GB SSD Hybrid 2.5" Hard Drive

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Comments Comments are onturn off

no need to remove the logic board! the disk comes out after step 12.

Also you do not really need to disconnect the antenna. Just be carefull no to break the wire.

robert, · Reply

i replaced 5400 rpm hdd with Samsung SSD 840 Pro

I did it Rober's way - thanks - no disconnecting antenna in step 10

Stopping after step 12 and replacing hard drive there without removing logic board

I put the sheet that was around the old hard drive over the new one - not sure if its needed?

After it is all done i did Command + R to do internet recovery and get OS X mountain lion on the blank drive

Last thing to do is go here to enable trim: http://www.groths.org/?page_id=322

royl123,

Very helpful guide, thanks! As many have said before, I would not detach the fan or antenna, just move it out of the way.

One very trivial tip: slide a piece of paper over the logic board as soon as you've removed the fan, as a protection against accidentally touching the components with your fingers or tools.

I did not reinstall the plastic cover on the HDD. This is only to protect the logic board of the HDD, which ofcourse is very well protected in SSD's.

Hans Erik Hazelhorst,

Dismantling the Mini was simple, but the two hardest steps when installing a new hard drive were sliding the drive back in aligned correctly, and replacing the antenna grill.

Even with the logic board pushed out, I found it difficult to line up the screws on the hard drive and get it seated properly. As for the grill, it would not line up with the screw holes. I had to use the Mac Mini tool hooked into a hole in the grill as a lever to lift it up and in towards the lip of the rim it was sitting on. There was an audible snap as it settled into place.

FinnCrisp888, · Reply

I can also confirm that the drive can be replaced at step 12, WITHOUT disconnecting the antenna. the hardest part was getting the new drive in correctly. I turned the unit right-side-up to get the drive to "fall" into place correctly.

intrusdave, · Reply

Great guide. Thanks! Upgraded stock 350GB with a 1TB and restoring from Time Machine as I type this.

John, · Reply

Excellent guide. The detailed pictures, and the crystal clear instructions, were vital. Used this to upgrade late 2012 MacMini to Crucial SSD. It went very well and took about an hour and a half (I did not want to rush it.)

I did get a little nervous trying to insert the new hard drive. There is a space for drive number 2 and it was a little difficult to get the new SSD into position as it sort of has to "float" in place, above the empty chamber, until the two screws are in place. It took several tries to get this right. (Possibly the instructions should be modified to include attaching the hard drive loosely to the the antenna plate, to assist in placement of the new drive.)

After that, restored OS, all settings, file and apps from old drive. Two hours later, back up and running. Bravo, Apple! With a Windows machine you'll be there for days doing the same thing!

Michael, · Reply

In the comments to the MacMini mid 2011 guide there's an excellent tip in how get the SSD in place, by first attaching it loosely to the antenna plate and then use the antenna plate to manoeuver the SSD into position (the two screws on the thin side of the SSD must fit into two rubber sockets). Then carefully loosen the screws again leaving the SSD in place, and finally resposition the antenna plate.

I also thought about using a plastic suction cap on the SSD to grip it, but I didn't have one.

Hans Erik Hazelhorst,

This guide left out some very difficult steps for me. The Mini has two hard drive slots, and this guide assumes that the drive is in the "upper" slot (closest to the antenna plate). On my machine (refurbished Mac Mini late 2012 purchased October 2013) the hard drive was in the "lower" slot, and was firmly screwed in to a holding post. In order to reach the screws the motherboard needs to be completely taken out of the machine, and you'll need a really long-necked or a really tiny Torx screwdriver. The drive is still held by two rubber stoppers; I couldn't find a way to remove the plastic mounting bracket, and the screws required a surprising amount of force and jiggling to free the drive. I couldn't find a way to re-secure those screws into the bracket holes, and just forced the drive into place. Unless you want to forego or modify the black cover for the drive, you need to replace the drive in the "lower slot" because the cover isn't cut to reveal the drive's upper screw holes. (comment 1 of 2)

Ledgem, · Reply

Removing the motherboard entirely isn't too difficult - just make sure that everything is disconnected (IR sensor, power supply line; I got away without disconnecting the wireless antenna, preferring to carefully maneuver it out of the case with the motherboard). Just be careful for a rubber covering around the power supply. Mine popped out when I removed the motherboard; it seems easy enough to replace, but when I closed up the motherboard for the first time, the rubber contorted and covered the power port. I had to remove the motherboard again in order to reposition the rubber.

Best of luck to you if your hard drive is in the "lower" position. Having done it once I can do it again, but I never want to. I've opened many Macbook Pros, but this Mac Mini is far worse... (comment 2/2)

Ledgem, · Reply

I just installed a Samsung SSD in a brand new MacMini Corei7. Surprise! It had the HDD in the lower (actually the upper) bay. And then you have to completely remove the logic board to get to the two screws on the side of the HDD. Just follow the steps for 'installing a second harddisk'.

Interesting detail: the two holes in the logic board where you have to put the 'logic board removal tool' are aligned with two plastic rings glued to the aluminum frame, so you actually use the tool as a lever to edge out the logic board.

One question remains: is the SATA cable for the lower position identical to that of the upper position?

Hans Erik Hazelhorst,

Check replacement drive dimensions - My original drive was a 7.0mm thick (Hitachi 500G) drive. While I did get a 9.5mm replacement drive (SSD) to fit, the shortness of the disk drive cable (mentioned in step 18) made it an awkward fit. I'd recommend 7.0mm thick drives in the future.

Phil Wood, · Reply

Thanks for this useful step-by-step.

My 2 cents about replacing the original hard drive with a Crucial M500 960GB ssd:

- Opening the bottom cover works much better if you apply the force on the whole surface with the palm of your hand, and then rotating, instead of just using your thumbs.

- You don't have to remove the fan connector, just put the fan aside during the whole operation. I would advise against messing with these very fragile connectors, unless you know exactly what you're doing.

- You definitely don't need to remove the logic board, when you've achieved the first 12 steps you can skip to 17.

- The two screws from the original hard drive are very important: you have to put them back in the same place on the new hard drive. Without them the new HD won't fit into the aluminium enclosure, there are two small holes designed for the screws.

Clement Simon, · Reply

- Putting everything back in place was pretty straightforward, except for the antenna grid. The only way to do it was to twist the grid a little, since you only need a fraction of a millimeter to get the two screws to fit.

Clement Simon, · Reply

Great guide, thanks!!

My experience when replacing the HDD:

- I didn't disconnect the fan, just moved it carefully around whenever it was in the way. However I had to unscrew the standoff screw - I just didn't understand how to move the fan without it

- Didn't disconnect the antenna plate either, just put it carefully aside

- I was really hoping to be able to skip steps 13 to 16 like many user comments suggest, but I couldn't. My 9.5mm HDD wouldn't get past the DIMM slots. I was trying to lift it up while sliding it out and there was 1mm or so of thickness that wouldn't pass, so I had to remove the logic board. However once I had inserted the new disc I realised I had forgotten to put back 2 screws from step 19. Without those the disk is loose, not really holding in place, so I didn't have to remove the logic board again. What is weird is I also managed to put it back with the screws, just by tilting the mac a little. So now I don't really know if I could have actually managed to pull it out at step 12..

Elica, · Reply

I successfully completed this for a Mac Mini Late 2012 purchased at the end of Feb 2014, replacing the stock 500gb snail drive with a 500gb Samsung 840 Series SSD. No logic board removal was required, and the antenna could remain attached - there was actually a plastic cover over the antenna connector, meaning removal and replacement would've been a pain anyway.

This replacement was a breeze, and even though I took my time and was every careful, it was only a 20 minute job. The only thing that caused me pause was the removal of the tape holding the old drive's protective sheet onto the SATA connector... Trying to do that without tearing and creasing was not fun, though my iFixit spudger helped.

I just want to add that I think it's criminal that this very capable little Mac is still sold with the antiquated likes of a 5400rpm drive. My intention on the outset of purchase was to upgrade to an SSD, but I was shocked at how slow the stock drive made the Mac run, with countless slowdowns and lockups.

markbart, · Reply

Overall, a great guide. replacing the HDD was more difficult than i expected as the holes are hard to line up on the back surface. Turning the computer bottom side down helped. This also allowed better fitment of the antenna surface. Its worth noting that not all HDDs have a screw hole located on the left hand side, so mine is secured by only one screw.

I took the opportunity to pull the heatsink and replace the paste with Arctic Silver paste. So far my temp gauge (palm of my hand:)) says its running cooler.

Great work ifixit!

kennin, · 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.

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

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

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,

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!!!

David,

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!

lyleberman,

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

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

...in 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

You can remove the hard drive by lifting out after step 9, it's not necessary to disconnect the wireless, nor remove the system board.

Zinger z, · Reply

I did not remove the IR sensor. I attempted to and it was very difficult, (I felt like I was going to snap or damage the logic board). I would advise skipping this part since it's not necessary to removal of the hard drive, and it seems like a number of people have damaged their logic board while trying to disconnect the IR sensor. Skip.

FinnCrisp888, · Reply

That third screw on the lower right hand side should be removed in the beginning when you remove the fan.

FinnCrisp888, · Reply

You can skip this step with no problems.

manwe, · Reply

The 26 mm T6 Torx standoff is actually part of the the third fan screw which was removed earlier in order to get the fan out.

Craig Foster, · Reply

If you skipped step 13, skip this one as well.

manwe, · Reply

You may not find it necessary to push out the logic board in order to slide in (or out) the hard drive. It helps to have the extra room to maneuver, but it can be done without.

FinnCrisp888, · Reply

I had read all the comments thet said the HDD can be taken out at step 12, besides I'm in France, so I hadn't bought the special tool. when I realised I had to remove the logic board after all, I managed without the tool but I'm not doing it again. I inserted 2 screwdrivers in the holes and tried to move them both simultaneously. It worked but instead of sliding out slowly, the I/O board came out all the way with a noise! The clips from step 16 had unclipped by themselves, causing the noise. For a second I thought I had broken everything. I really don't recomment doing this without the tool.

Elica, · Reply

Instead of the removal tool it is also possible to use two metal pins with 2,5mm diameter.

Martin Born, · Reply

I didn't have the opportunity to get the removal tool before starting my tear-down but when I got to the Removal Tool stage I used a pair of small allen keys, just big enough to fit through the holes in the logic board. You can feel them engage into the holes below the logic board. Easy, steady pressure on both does the job well. I think the main thing through the whole disassembly process is SLOW and Gentle.

January 11, 2015

Steen Rancher, · Reply

If you are this far into a tear-down it's a good idea to pop the logic board and replace the battery - a 3Volt #2032. It's on the under side of the board below the antenna and HDD. May save having to come back this way again...

Steen Rancher January 12, 2015

Steen Rancher, · Reply

This step may require more force than expected. I was very careful and pulled the remove tool out too early. You have to put a bit of will into it and push it at least 0.5cm (= 0.2 in), less won't do the trick.

Wenzel Massag, · Reply

If you have no such tool, just skip this step. You can pull HDD anyway.

manwe, · Reply

steps 10 11 13 14 15 16 not necessary …

radioman, · Reply

Really, not necessary.

manwe, · Reply

Be careful when replacing the HD/SSD in this step. If you are not careful, you can mess up the rubber shock absorbers by misaligning the posts. If that happens, you will have a hard time getting the screws to line up when putting the perforated grille back on (wifi antenna grill).

wattmagner, · Reply

I have macMini (late 2012) and buy a Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB to replace original 500GB Apple HDD. Your guide is OK, but in step 17 I have a big problem. HDD in my Mini was securing with two screws. So first I need to remove logic board and unplug the power connector. Then remove two screws from HDD side.

Roman Pucko, · 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

If you are having a !&&* of a time trying to re-position the upper HDD - or just putting it back in - try putting the screws from the antenna grill back into the two upwards facing holes in the drive and using them as 'handles'. The drive has 2 small screws on the forward edge that need to line up with 2 holes in the outer case and as the drive flops around at first it is really hard to hold & maneuver it at the same time.

January 14, 2015

Steen Rancher, · Reply

You can pull the HDD out without sliding the board at steps 15 and 16. Quite tricky, but you can.

manwe, · Reply

I had the same problem as Roman, I just figured I would add that those "two screws" are T8 screws and that there is a cable on the right side which you should be careful about while removing and reinserting the said screws.

philippott, · Reply

Not sure why Steps 19 & 20 are in German, here on the English page.

Samuel Owens, · Reply

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