Introduction

Prerequisite only.

Remove the 2.6 mm T6 screw securing the SATA cable connector bracket.
  • Remove the 2.6 mm T6 screw securing the SATA cable connector bracket.

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Remove the SATA cable connector bracket. Remove the SATA cable connector bracket.
  • 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

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

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

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The following three steps only apply to Mac Minis equipped with a PCIe SSD. Skip the next three steps if your Mac Mini only has a hard drive.
  • The following three steps only apply to Mac Minis equipped with a PCIe SSD. Skip the next three steps if your Mac Mini only has a hard drive.

  • 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

Remove the PCIe SSD cable bracket. Remove the PCIe SSD cable bracket.
  • Remove the PCIe SSD cable bracket.

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Lift the PCIe SSD connector up off its socket. Lift the PCIe SSD connector up off its socket.
  • 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

Not true. I am looking @ the inside of a mac mini _not_ configured with a fusion drive, and the connector is present.

Samuel Bostick - Reply

The PCIe connector is only present if the computer came factory configured with any sort of flash storage (SSD or fusion drive). Otherwise, the cable, the connector, the bracket, and the 2 screws are all missing. The fusion drive is essentially a disk drive plus a small capacity SSD blade which the OS recognizes as a combined drive. Fortunately, if you didn’t have an SSD before, you can easily buy the connector cable part on the internet. The bracket and screws are not necessary.

SBR249 - Reply

Remove the single 16 mm T6 screw securing the logic board.
  • Remove the single 16 mm T6 screw securing the logic board.

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  • 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

You don’t need a tool for this step, just turn the Mac Mini around 180º and push the vent for the fan with your thumbs. The board will push straight out. That’s what I did.

Daniel De Ciantis - Reply

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.
  • 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

The coat hanger trick worked flawlessly for me. Very easy.

Jochen -

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

My logic board was hung up on the left side with the plastic retainer or the two grounding tabs not giving up the ghost. There is no good picture of this on this procedure. If you go the the heat sink replacement procedure you can see a pretty good bit of it below the presenter’s right thumb in the opening pic and in a larger pic at step 27. Not that the logic board assembly can move much while seated I was able to shift (ever so slightly) the black plastic backside to the right and the board finally unlatched and came out. I was so worried that I was going to over force it and break something, you know, like the logic board. Not sure if I have a solution other than don’t force it. If it seems hard and one side seems to have a screw or other some such locking device stop forcing it and try shifting the logic board to the side opposite were it is catching.

Eric Jorgensen - Reply

Pull the DC-In cable connector straight out of its socket on the logic board. Pull the DC-In cable connector straight out of its socket on the logic board.
  • 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 -

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

Conclusion

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

One other person completed this guide.

Sam Lionheart

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