Introduction

Internal Prereq.

Image 1/1: One 5.0 mm T8 Torx or 2.0 mm Hex screw (either will work)
  • Remove the following three screws:

    • One 5.0 mm T8 Torx or 2.0 mm Hex screw (either will work)

    • One 16.2 mm T6 Torx screw

    • One 26 mm T6 Torx standoff

On mine I needed to remove the 26 mm T6 Torx standoff during step 3

philipashlock - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Carefully pull the wires for both hard drive thermal sensors upward to lift their connectors up and out of their respective sockets on the logic board.

BEWARE! Gently pulling one thermal sensor wire up from its logic board connector caused wire to rip loose from connector, leaving connector still in logic board socket. Using spudger on other connector caused same result. Even after wires ripped lose, it was impossible to get connector out of logic board socket (using spudger and needle nose pliers the connector came away in pieces). Connectors almost seem glued/fused into sockets and the wires will apparently break lose before the connector will release. What a terrible design. Here's hoping the mini will run without HDD thermal sensors :( I am experienced with repairing laptops and am kind of ticked because I am sure this damage was not due to incorrect/rough handling during attempt to disassemble.

emcnally - Reply

Followup Note: Ending up with disconnected HDD thermal sensors due to breakage apparently causes the main system fan to run at full speed all the time. This is extremely loud and pretty much defeats the purpose of the Mini form factor. Going to have to try to rig something up with actual solder or adhesive tape.

This is just stupid. A computer where logic board connections get broken while replacing a frickin HDD. All in an attempt to do something about the pathetic and feeble hard disk the vendor includes with their crap hardware (50MB/s transfer--what is this 1998?). Last Mac Mini I will ever buy. Slow, yet expensive and fragile.

emcnally -

Not sure what emcnally is talking about but mine came off fine. I have a 2010 mac mini and just upgraded to a 500 gig WD drive. Everything worked went great and was easier than I thought. My connectors pulled right off with no damage.

Dave - Reply

tell the people to remove the superdrive’s thermal sensor as well! i just broke mine.

Simon Meisinger - Reply

WARNING! Remove superdrive thermal sensor as well from the connector, or it will break in step 16.

Laszlo Nyirfa - Reply

The plastic part broke for me. Barely putting any pressure on the connector and the thin plastic covering the metal connectors broke and the wires came out leaving the plastic connector in place. I was able to get the connector out without any more damage. Can I purchase a new thermal connector for this? I can't find the part listed anywhere.

In the meantime I'm going to try and get the wires rigged to the board some how. Super glue them to the connector maybe. But I'm not sure if there is a polarity concern. Can the wires go to either pin on the board?

Darrel Tenter - Reply

I was able to get the plastic connector back in place, and fit the wires into it. Polarity is needed. First time I got the fan running full. Switched the wires and now I think the fan is running normally.

But I don't trust this connection over and time would like to find a replacement hard drive thermal sensor wire assembly.

Darrel Tenter -

Each of the hard drive temperature cable connectors have tiny little tabs on the sides. I found success using a small needle to carefully push under and pop the tab out.

Leon Roy - Reply

Thanks, that's a nice way, works really well for me. Just try to stick a needle on the side and lift it up, if it has come up a little you can gently pull the cable and it will come off with very little force on the cable.

gertjan -

These connectors are fairly easy to unplug. You can pull up on the wires GENTLY to remove them. I used a wooden spudger to pry gently and the connectors popped right out. Putting them back in is easy just make sure they are right side up and they snap right back in.

info - Reply

This is where I got in trouble too. No problems on the first of my Minis, but this time one of these sockets had poor soldering and just came off the board. Basically no solder connection to the posts that are there to hold the socket in place. I ended up using a pin to pry the rest of them off, in case the others were also poorly connected. The outside of the socket is U shaped, with 2 small tabs at the lower end of the U. I inserted a pin next to these tabs and it let me lever the connectors out easily. Now I get to practice my soldering!

moecastleton - Reply

I used a pick (like a fine ice pick - available at Harbor Freight) to pry up the plastic clips while gently pulling at the wires with tweezers. They pull straight up. There are tiny tabs on the sides that kind of lock them in. I would not try just pulling on the wires. Everything is tiny and yrying to fix wires pulled out of the connectors would be very difficult.

Steve Dollar - Reply

The pin method is definitely better. I used the pin to slightly spread the "wings" of the connector on the board. Then I levered out the part that is attached to the wires. All done with the aid of a magnifying loop.

Fred Cat - Reply

Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry both the hard drive and optical drive connectors up out of their sockets on the logic board.

I skipped this step as well as step 15 and 16.

What I did, was just wiggle the drive out of the pc. Just pull it a little bit up and towards. Might need a little bit of force. But it should come out. Then, just remove the tape from the sata connector and then remove the sata connector from the hdd. Then you can replace the hdd like mentioned in this tutorial.

And I removed only the left thermal sensor. The right one can stay on unless you need more room.

gertjan - Reply

Image 1/3: Inserting instruments into any logic board holes other than the ones highlighted in red may severely damage the logic board. Image 2/3: Insert a Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool into the two holes highlighted in red. Be sure it makes contact with the outer case below the logic board before proceeding. Image 3/3: If you don't have a Logic Board Removal Tool handy, you can use two tools having a maximum diameter of 2.5 mm instead. Just insert one into each of the highlighted holes.
  • For enough clearance to remove the hard drive, the logic board must be slightly removed. To accomplish this, two cylindrical rods must be inserted into the holes highlighted in red.

  • Inserting instruments into any logic board holes other than the ones highlighted in red may severely damage the logic board.

  • Insert a Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool into the two holes highlighted in red. Be sure it makes contact with the outer case below the logic board before proceeding.

  • If you don't have a Logic Board Removal Tool handy, you can use two tools having a maximum diameter of 2.5 mm instead. Just insert one into each of the highlighted holes.

  • 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.

One MASSIVE hint to do this step: DON'T pull the tools towards you; rather, lever the top ends of the tools towards you, at and angle (so that the bottom of the tools don't move). Took me a while to figure this out!

jon jon - Reply

Didn't have that special tool. Used iPhone repairset screwdriver. Worked fine with sticking it in to the holes verticaly and then push it towards me a bit, then changing holes and repeating that step.

Alexander Kogler - Reply

I suggest to pull the wires for the cd drive thermal sensor and and the infrared sensor upward to lift their connectors up and out of their respective sockets on the logic board ((highlighted in red in the third picture of step 16).

Riccardo Zulian - Reply

Two 3/32" drill bits work great at replacing the tool. Place the shaft of the bits into the holes.

iceman - Reply

I had to watch a youtube video to see how this works. Then I realized you are just using the tools to pull the main board out toward the back of the mini.

info - Reply

A couple of small screw drivers will do. Just make sure they go far enough into the hole to be able to lever against the bottom as you pull them towards you. Without this I started to damage the logic board slightly.

David Jackson - Reply

How much pressure is necessary? Is it hard? Mine seams stuck.

douglaslondrina - Reply

Image 1/3: Pull the I/O board/logic board assembly out of the outer case a maximum of 5 mm. Pulling the assembly out further may damage the IR sensor connector (highlighted in red in the third picture). Image 2/3: Pull the I/O board/logic board assembly out of the outer case a maximum of 5 mm. Pulling the assembly out further may damage the IR sensor connector (highlighted in red in the third picture). Image 3/3: Pull the I/O board/logic board assembly out of the outer case a maximum of 5 mm. Pulling the assembly out further may damage the IR sensor connector (highlighted in red in the third picture).
  • 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 slightly away from the outer case.

  • Pull the I/O board/logic board assembly out of the outer case a maximum of 5 mm. Pulling the assembly out further may damage the IR sensor connector (highlighted in red in the third picture).

I found that when removing the logic board out a bit that the IR sensor was not so much of a problem as was the HDD temperature sensor located next to the IR sensor.

My logic board accidentally popped out rather quickly and pulled out the sensor for the HDD.

I don't know why it's not mentioned in the earlier step to just use the spudger to pop this cable off. Since it is mentioned in other guides for removal when replacing other parts.

This would have been really helpful and most likely I would not have been left with loose cables and now looking for a new sensor cable.

So fo any others out there replacing/upgrading your HDD and have some what of a hard time getting the logic board to budge just a bit, use the spudger to pop the cable off, it's not hard and pops back on as easily as the others. That's just an FYI and a preventative measure.

tdowse1 - Reply

Ifixit note, Mac mini mid-2010 step 16

@tdowse1 I agree completely. I take issue with this guide because I believe it has an error. With just one of two changes I wouldn't have destroyed my ZIF sensor connectors:

1) Issue the warning BEFORE or even with the instruction. Following the instructions step by step and not reading a step ahead, you don't realize you can damage your cable irretrievably. Even if you read the entire guide first, you can't be expected to memorize all warnings BEFORE you act on the instructions.

2) Instruct the user to disconnect ALL of the ZIF cables first. This is truly the only safe thing to do.

LelandHendrix - Reply

Image 1/2: When reinstalling the hard drive, be sure the two T8 Torx lugs on its far end are inserted into the two rubber grommets highlighted in red in the second picture before sliding the logic board back into place. Image 2/2: When reinstalling the hard drive, be sure the two T8 Torx lugs on its far end are inserted into the two rubber grommets highlighted in red in the second picture before sliding the logic board back into place.
  • Lift the hard drive from the edge nearest the logic board and remove it from the mini, minding the RAM socket and any cables that may get caught.

  • When reinstalling the hard drive, be sure the two T8 Torx lugs on its far end are inserted into the two rubber grommets highlighted in red in the second picture before sliding the logic board back into place.

The new drive, being thinner than the old one, was a bit tricky to get seated into the rubber grommets. I found that temporarily screwing a couple of screws into the top mounting holes on the drive helped with getting a grip on it. This, and standing the unit up on its end so that the drive would "fall" into the rubber grommets, worked OK for me.

Fred Cat - Reply

Conclusion

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

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