Introduction

Use this guide to replace the SSD stick in an SSD only, or Fusion Drive model of the Mac Mini Late 2014.

The bottom cover is clipped onto three screw posts.
  • The bottom cover is clipped onto three screw posts.

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

Read Me First: I purchased an SSD drive directly from Crucial and, of course, it came uninitialized. After going thru the entire tear down, installing the new drive, and rebuilding the mini, it refused to recognize the new drive. So, of course, I had to re-tear it down, remove the new drive, insert it into an external housing and format it using my Macbook. After that the mini recognized the new drive. A word to the wise: format the new drive before installing it.

tom - Reply

How were you installing the OS? I am planning on booting into a USB drive with a copy of OS High Sierra on it, and I assume I will be able to format my new Samsung SSD using that?

Simon - Reply

On my Samsung EVO 850, mac mini download system automaticly

Stefan Repac - Reply

Pre-formatting is not necessary if you make a USB boot installation drive with macOS installer. During boot up, hold down the option key until the mac boot into the USB, formatting can then be done using disk utility running off the USB drive.

SBR249 - Reply

Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac Mini. Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac Mini. Use the plastic opening tool to pry the bottom cover up off of the Mac Mini.
  • 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

Lift and remove the bottom cover. Lift and remove the bottom cover.
  • 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

Remove the following TR6 screws from the antenna plate:
  • 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

On my 2nd drive replacement (swapping out to an SSD this time). Could not find my logic board removal tool. So I made another one from a metal coat hanger. So, here’s my tip, when you put it all back together: the logic board removal tool fits around that small black circle antenna perfectly and you can replace the large black cover over the top snuggly. No rattles or anything.. So, next time: I’m guaranteed to find my logic board removal tool.

Andy Milne - Reply

Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
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.
  • 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.

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Remove the single 3.4 mm T6 screw and washer from the antenna cable.
  • 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.

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

This was the most tricky part for me when remounting the Mac Mini. With my bad eyes, I’ve spent 10 minutes inserting this tiny round antenna plug in the hole. I’ve decided to put the screw back without tighten it too strongly and then it was easier.

afajner - Reply

I have been having wifi issues ever since I changed the drive. I don’t know if this connector is the cause or not.

Simon - Reply

I have been having wifi issues ever since I did this upgrade. Don’t know if it’s this connector or not.

Simon - Reply

Afajner great rip. Worked great. Thx

Milton - Reply

Afajner, your tip worked great. Thanks.

Milton - Reply

Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case. Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case.
  • Carefully pull the antenna cable out from the gap between the power supply and case.

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Remove the antenna plate from the Mac Mini.
  • Remove the antenna plate from the Mac Mini.

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Remove the 5 mm T5 screw securing the SSD.
  • Remove the 5 mm T5 screw securing the SSD.

Lift the free end of the SSD up slightly and pull it out of its socket. Lift the free end of the SSD up slightly and pull it out of its socket. Lift the free end of the SSD up slightly and pull it out of its socket.
  • Lift the free end of the SSD up slightly and pull it out of its socket.

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Carefully lift the SSD out of the case without scratching or touching the gold contacts. Carefully lift the SSD out of the case without scratching or touching the gold contacts. Carefully lift the SSD out of the case without scratching or touching the gold contacts.
  • Carefully lift the SSD out of the case without scratching or touching the gold contacts.

What PCIe SSDs are compatible? I was hoping OWC's site would say, but it looks like OWC is pushing the 2.5" style hard drive for the 2014 Mac mini. The guide for replacing a 2.5" drive looks like you dismantle the entire computer to get there and I'm not really up for that right now. This slot looks like a reasonable alternative.

jeff - Reply

I was thinking the same, Jeff. It looks like OWC is planning to release drives for these MacMinis soon.

Mike G - Reply

Conclusion

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

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Sam Lionheart

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8 Comments

If I have a Mac Mini without SSD, only with normal Hard Drive (NO Fusion). Can I install a new one SSD like on this tutorial?. Thanks!

Juan Miguel Ramirez - Reply

Please see my comment later in the thread.

Thomas Hall -

I have the same question as Juan

Cronan McNamara - Reply

yes But You Need To Buy Parts Used Ifixet Or Ebay

william petreman - Reply

I can source the custom PCIe cables. Please reply if interested.

Thomas Hall - Reply

I am interested in this cable if you can source it. Also is there a particular SSD that is compatible with it? Will the ones from the 2013 Macbook Air work?

Geoff Clarke -

Hello. Do you know if a NVMe PCIe drive might be used instead of the AHCI version? Thanks in advance!

Guille -

I am interested in this cable also. Would this be an M.2 or NVMe interface ssd that would be able to be installed?

thanks

Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver - Reply

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