Introduction

Use this guide to strip and replace the drive tray and IR sensor in your Mac Mini Late 2014.

This guide was made with a Fusion Drive Mac Mini, and may have more connectors and components than your model. Don't be alarmed if you're missing a hard drive or SSD connector!

Image 1/1: Pry near, but not right on the screw posts.
  • The bottom cover is clipped onto three screw posts.

  • Pry near, but not right on the screw posts.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac Mini.

I used some wooden toothpicks instead of the opening tool. This worked flawless for me.

mhomscheidt - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Lift and remove the bottom cover.

I taped the "Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool" to the flat part of the antenna plate before sealing everything up again. I mean, where else am I supposed to store it without forgetting where it is? I'm pretty sure it won't cause any problems there.

Richard - Reply

Image 1/1: Three 4.1 mm screws
  • Remove the following TR6 screws from the antenna plate:

    • Three 4.1 mm screws

    • Three 1.9 mm screws

Had a T7 security screw driver [and didn't want to wait to have the T6 version shipped to me], so I gave it a whirl. I lined up the driver with the screw socket, pressed down a bit to make sure the driver would get enough grip, and slowly [but forcefully] rotated the driver and got these screws out. BE CAUTIOUS not to strip the screws. May not work for everyone.

KevCoStudios - Reply

As TR6 screwdrivers were sold out all over Germany and I wanted to exchange the HDD THIS friday, I took a VERY fine dental milling tip (0,8 mm head diameter) for my proxxon and milled away the little dots in the center of the the TR6 screws. After that I could open the case with a regular T6 screwdriver. All went fine, MM is closed again + working like a charm with it's new SSD. NOTE: For this task I used my loupe glasses (3x) ;)

Martin Gerner - Reply

On the whole screw thing. I just used a tiny dremel drill bit and drilled out the security pin. I hate those screws. I don't see the point in locking the them with those. they should have left the screws alone.

That Mac Guy - Reply

That worked for me, thanks for the trick!

Arroba -

great trick!

James Almeida -

I used the T7 very carefully. No problems.

randywardak - Reply

I just had success using standard pliers to remove the longer screw posts, and then I used standard needle nose pliers to press down and grip the tiny screws. Please note that this method may/will cause scrapping of the aluminium cover.

Barrythetech - Reply

Northern Tools sells a set of 13 Torx Security Keys for $28.99 that has the TR6 size.

Gary Craig - Reply

Image 1/2: With the I/O ports facing you, flip the antenna plate to the right to allow access to the antenna cable connector. Image 2/2: With the I/O ports facing you, flip the antenna plate to the right to allow access to the antenna cable connector.
  • Do not completely remove the antenna plate; it is still connected to the Mac Mini by an antenna cable.

  • With the I/O ports facing you, flip the antenna plate to the right to allow access to the antenna cable connector.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: Be careful not to lose the washer when removing the screw.
  • Remove the single 3.4 mm T6 screw and washer from the antenna cable.

    • Be careful not to lose the washer when removing the screw.

Add Comment

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Use the point of a spudger to lift the antenna connector straight up off its socket on the airport card.

Is this really necessary? The antenna is no where near the SSD drive....

mike - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case.

Add Comment

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the antenna plate from the Mac Mini.

Add Comment

Image 1/1: Loosen the 27 mm T6 captive screw.
  • Remove the two 12 mm T6 screws from the fan.

  • Loosen the 27 mm T6 captive screw.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: '''Do not''' attempt to remove the fan entirely. Image 2/3: Lift the fan straight up to free the captive screw from its hole in the logic board. Image 3/3: Pull the fan away from the SSD until you can easily access the fan connector.
  • The fan connector is trapped under the edge of the fan and cannot be disconnected until the fan is moved.

    • Do not attempt to remove the fan entirely.

  • Lift the fan straight up to free the captive screw from its hole in the logic board.

  • Pull the fan away from the SSD until you can easily access the fan connector.

Add Comment

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Use the point of a spudger to lift the fan connector straight up out of its socket on the logic board.

Add Comment

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the fan from the Mac Mini.

Add Comment

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the 2.6 mm T6 screw securing the SATA cable connector bracket.

Add Comment

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Remove the SATA cable connector bracket.

This procedure works to add a SATA hard drive/SSD to a PCIe SSD-only Mac Mini using iFixit's Mac Mini Dual Drive Kit. The one thing that's missing from the kit is SATA cable connector bracket (and screw). This is not the end of the world: the cable is a snug fit in the logic board socket, so the bracket is only a safety measure.

Dominic Dunlop - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to lift the SATA cable connector up off of its socket on the logic board.

Add Comment

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Use the tip of a spudger to disconnect the IR sensor cable connector by prying it straight up from its socket.

Add Comment

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two 2.6 mm T6 screws securing the PCIe SSD cable bracket.

Steps 18-20 only apply if you are removing a fusion drive. Otherwise skip to step 21 during removal.

Stephen Reaser - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Remove the PCIe SSD cable bracket.

Add Comment

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Lift the PCIe SSD connector up off its socket.

Is the PCIe connector present and usable on the mid-range Mac mini? I don't need the ~$300 fusion drive but would like the comfort of knowing that I can add an extra SSD in the future.

Michael Johnson - Reply

No, only present in Mac Minis configured with a fusion drive.

rasmus - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the single 16 mm T6 screw securing the logic board.

Add Comment

  • 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 the rods make contact with the case under the logic board before proceeding.

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

Yuuki Galaxy - Reply

A T8 screw driver worked best for me on the 4 hard drive screws.

rparks89 - Reply

Yes - You need a T8 there rather than T9.

amrgardner -

T9 was a perfect fit for me.

dloftis -

T8 screws in my HDD

aiino - Reply

Image 1/3: Cease prying when the removal tool makes contact with the opening in the rear case. Image 2/3: Remove the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal tool. Image 3/3: Remove the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal tool.
  • 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 removal tool makes contact with the opening in the rear case.

  • Remove the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal tool.

I had some trouble getting mine started here. If your logic board seems stuck, try pushing the removal tool on both sides near the bottom (vs the top like the photos show) with your index fingers, holding the case with your ring and pinky fingers so that your hands are completely free of the back of the computer (the side with the ports). This worked for me. Otherwise, this guide made the process smooth!

moorejeffery - Reply

The removal tool fits into sockets below the board, just 'lean' the tool over and the logic board will ease out. When refitting the logic board make sure the tabs around the I/O shield slip inside the shell and press home firmly. If the fixing screw does not thread into it's hole, the board is not fully home.

Malcolm Norwood - Reply

Make sure you do *not* have your thumbs on the black plastic I/O shield while attempting this step!

Stephen Reaser - Reply

I was able to push the logic board out, with a little bit of stress and patience, without the specified tool. Rather I used two paper clips, larger than average, and being very gentle to get the initial nudge. I then finished it off using only my fingers, as the paper clips were not strong enough and would have bended. Doable, but probably easier with the tool.

mt - Reply

I used 2 mini flathead screwdrivers with the same thickness as the holes with the heads aligned straight up and down. They will fit into little sockets attached to the case below the board. The side with the power cord came out much easier than the side with the headphone jack, so I removed the tools after a small gap was created and pushed semi-hard on the logic board with a broken spudger (a screwdriver would have worked, too) right in the elbow curve shown to the left of the screw in step 14, and the whole thing slid right out.

unixmonkey1 - Reply

I saw a video where a guy just used a coat hanger to make his own tool. Good to know in case you've already started taking it apart and haven't already purchased the tool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgEBPlz4...

James Almeida - Reply

May be its me, but I had a right issue with this, I then noticed the screw I loosened in step 10 was bending over. I removed the screw completely, logic board came out, and the metal pillar on the underneath of the board where said screw went in was bent. When I put it all back together afterwards after changing the drive, that long screw was bend, on straightening everything up, the pillar snapped off the logic board. Everything tightened up and its booted up fine. It might just me not following the instructions properly though

steve - Reply

For me the screw loosened in step 10 came out with the fan. it "should" be a captive screw meaning it doesn't stay in when the fan comes out

Bill Pennock - Reply

I had 2 complete sets of allen wrenches, one metric and one standard and found one each that fit the holes perfectly. With those I was able to find the "pry spots" that are on the base of the case very easily and a slight nudge moved the board. really worked EXCELLENTLY

Bill Pennock - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Pull the DC-In cable connector straight out of its socket on the logic board.

When reassembling, I made the mistake of pushing the logic board all the way in before trying to reattach the DC-In cable connector. It is much easier to reattach the connector with the logic board pushed in just short of final seating.

Saqib Qazi - Reply

Very usefull comment!!!

Jean-Marie Sengelen -

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Carefully slide the logic board assembly out of the Mac Mini, minding any cables that may get caught.

When sliding the logic board assembly back in later, mind the tabs, especially those at each end.

Richard - Reply

Image 1/3: Use tweezers or your fingers to pull the clip away from the AC-in socket, and remove it from the Mac Mini. Image 2/3: When replacing the clip, push it in until it stops—it should be secure even if there is no audible click. Image 3/3: When replacing the clip, push it in until it stops—it should be secure even if there is no audible click.
  • The AC-in socket is secured with a small metal retaining clip.

  • Use tweezers or your fingers to pull the clip away from the AC-in socket, and remove it from the Mac Mini.

  • When replacing the clip, push it in until it stops—it should be secure even if there is no audible click.

Be careful with this seemingly easy step. A few weeks after following this guide to replace my hard drive I noticed that something inside the Mac mini was loose and moving around. I was very annoyed but decided to open it again to have a look and it turned out the be the retaining clip.

I think I damaged it a little bit and it's not holding into place firmly like it is supposed to anymore. I wonder if I can remove it completely in case it happens again.

Franck Thomas - Reply

This re-install of the clip was surprisingly pesky, I agree. The AC-in socket wanted to sit too far towards the edge of the case, so the retaining clip couldn't be slipped on far enough to close fully around it. I had to push the AC socket to the left while sliding the clip to the right until the wings were really securely closed.

Jon Scott - Reply

Image 1/3: Rotate the AC-In connector 90 degrees counter-clockwise. Image 2/3: Rotate the AC-In connector 90 degrees counter-clockwise. Image 3/3: Rotate the AC-In connector 90 degrees counter-clockwise.
  • To free the power supply from the case, grab the AC-In connector, which acts like a latch.

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

Add Comment

Image 1/1: During reassembly ensure the power supply is inserted far enough into the case that the latch will engage with the groove.
  • The AC-In latch should fit into the groove above it in the case.

  • During reassembly ensure the power supply is inserted far enough into the case that the latch will engage with the groove.

"During reassembly ensure the power supply is inserted far enough into the case that the latch will engage with the groove." -- Tip: Flip the case upside down and wiggle the power supply a bit to get it seated properly so the screw hole lines up.

Brad Bowers - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the 8 mm T6 screw securing the power supply.

During reassembly, leave this a bit loose so that you can wiggle the AC-in latch into place in step 28

Sandip Bhattacharya - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Slide the power supply out of the Mini, minding any cables that may get caught.

Add Comment

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the single 8 mm T6 screw securing the drive tray.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Lift the drive tray up out of the Mac Mini.

When re-installing drive tray, note two holes in tray engage two spuds at the far end. I fumbled with this for a minute.

Jon Scott - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Remove the four (two on each side) 6.5 mm T9 screws securing the hard drive to the drive tray.

Like others, a T8 screw driver worked best for me on the 4 hard drive screws.

sorinjc - Reply

it is t8 not t9. you owe me a TR6 Torx Security bit :D

giammin - Reply

I found the 4 screws quite hard to remove and needed to use an 8mm spanner on the back of my T8 screwdriver to get them loose.

Reiner Friedel - Reply

Screws have loctite residue. I put a tiny drop of fresh blue (semi-permanent) on each screw before reinstalling.

Jon Scott - Reply

T9 was the right one for mine

Bill Pennock - Reply

T9 Torx from recommended barely allowed me to remove these screws. I had to press very strong them into screws, so that pressure and minimal adhesion made it possible to move something.

Vitalijs Ozornins - Reply

Image 1/3: During reassembly, be sure to thread the hard drive cable through the slot in the drive tray. Image 2/3: During reassembly, be sure to thread the hard drive cable through the slot in the drive tray. Image 3/3: During reassembly, be sure to thread the hard drive cable through the slot in the drive tray.
  • Lift the hard drive up and remove it from the drive tray.

  • During reassembly, be sure to thread the hard drive cable through the slot in the drive tray.

Add Comment

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the 5 mm T5 Torx screw securing the SSD.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Lift the free end of the SSD up slightly and pull it out of its socket.

Add Comment

Image 1/3: Image 2/3: Image 3/3:
  • Slip the flat end of a spudger under the SSD cable to lift it off the adhesive holding it to the drive tray.

Add Comment

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the PCIe SSD cable from the drive tray.

Add Comment

Conclusion

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

4 other people completed this guide.

Sam Lionheart

Member since: 10/18/2012

267,113 Reputation

1,122 Guides authored

Team

iFixit Member of iFixit

Community

127 Members

5,896 Guides authored

0 Comments

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 2

Past 7 Days: 42

Past 30 Days: 227

All Time: 6,583