Use this guide to completely replace your mini's hard drive. Completing this guide requires rubber cement to stick the old thermal sensors to your new hard drive.

Image 1/2: 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.
  • 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.

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Image 1/1: Remove the bottom cover and set it aside.
  • Tilt the mini enough to allow the bottom cover to fall away from the outer case.

  • Remove the bottom cover and set it aside.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two 11.3 mm T6 Torx screws securing the fan to the logic board near the antenna plate.

There are actually 3 T6 screws securing the fan. The third screw is out of the screenshot, just below the RAM.

inferno10 - Reply

Nope, that third screw is actually just a post that the rubber grommet attached to the fan body slips over. Step 4 shows how the fan comes off of it. When you go to remove the fan, you simply remove the two screws closest to the antenna plate and then lift the fan off this post. The screw you are talking about is removed in Step 14 and does not need to be removed until this point.

Andrew Bookholt -

Successful install completed, but I had some trouble getting the fan reinstalled. When I removed the fan from the "Step 14" post, the rubber piece stayed on the post. When attempting to reinstall the fan, it was impossible to get the loop to go back over that rubber piece. So, I had to remove the post (again), and with the help of the spudger and some patience, worked it through. Then installed the fan using the 2 screws and the post. I think it may have saved some time and trouble if I just removed all 3 in the first place, leaving the post in the fan.

meag -

On mine I needed to remove the 26 mm T6 Torx standoff during this step rather than step 12

philipashlock - Reply

on my mid-2011 mac mini, that 3rd T6 post/screw had to be removed to get the fan out. It goes right through a hole in the fan housing. No way the grommet is slipping over anything without wreaking major havoc.

Derek Shaw - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Lift the ear of the fan nearest the RAM up off the standoff secured to the outer case.

Whats a standoff? Is that a screw?

brzmn - Reply

A standoff is like a screw extender. It screws into a screw-hole, and its head has a screw hole on it. When you attach something to a standoff, it makes that something stand off the original screw-hole surface.

cityzen -

Pulling on the ear didn't do anything, so I removed the whole screw at this step. The screw stayed fixed on the fan and I didn't have to remove it at the step where you remove the logic board screws.

Probably I didn't want to use too much force .. but it worked

Alexander Kogler - Reply

This is the approach I used. no way was the "ear" pulling over the head of the standoff without breaking something. The standoff simply unscrewed from whatever is under the logic board and stayed with the fan assembly. WAY safe

Derek Shaw -

Loosen the fan standoff from the motherboard using a T6 driver.

bobcloninger - Reply

When I pulled the fan ear off the standoff the rubber grommet stayed on the standoff. That's fine, but it makes it difficult to put the fan ear back on during reassembly. So I just pulled the rubber grommet off the standoff and put it into the hole in the fan ear. Then I was able to push the fan ear onto the standoff with out trouble during reassembly.

dhein - Reply

It seems easiest to just remove this screw now. It comes out in Step 12 anyway. This way you don't have to mess with the rubber grommet.

moecastleton - Reply

Image 1/1: Carefully pull the fan cables upward to lift the fan connector up out of its socket on the logic board.
  • 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.

I was a bit too rough in unclipping the fan and broke off the connector on the board?

Is my only option to replace the board?

Anthony DeFreitas - Reply

You may be able to use something like Macs Fan Control to adjust the fans manually (or tell them to use another sensor to adjust the speed).

maccentric -

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the single 3.5 mm T6 Torx screw securing the cowling to the heat sink.

This is a screw into the head of another screw below it that holds the main board. When I took out the fan, the top screw AND the longer 26 mm screw came out together so when I was putting my mini back together I thought for a moment I had lost a screw.

info - Reply

Image 1/1: Rotate the cowling away from the outer case and remove it from the mini.
  • Lift the cowling from the end nearest the antenna plate.

  • Rotate the cowling away from the outer case and remove it from the mini.

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Image 1/1: Two 6.6 mm T8 Torx screws
  • 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 will work)

The red circled screws are T9 in my Mac mini (not T8).

Sven Harmstorf - Reply

ditto here - the 6.6 mm screws that anchor to the HD (now SSD) are T9

Derek Shaw -

I have tried several times but I have been unable to get all four holes to line up when replacing the antenna plate. I can get the two closer to the center of the mini just fine but no matter how I align the plate, one of the screws closer to the edge of the mini will be so far out of alignment that I cannot get the screw to go in. I had to leave one screw uninstalled. The plate is not distorted in any way. It is installed the same way it was before I removed, as far as I can tell. I am baffled! Has anyone been through this?

GalvanicMacPro - Reply

Galvanic, it pops in.

bkbkbk -

I had a really hard time with this. I was able to resolve it though: secure the other three screws first. Then I pushed my precision screwdriver into the hole and levered the wayward tab into position: it wedged in with an audible snap sound! Then I was able to fasten the final screw.

Aaron Vegh -

I have trouble with this step every time I repair one of these minis. Aaron, your tip worked perfectly for me, thanks. -Anne

DA IT Department -

The antenna plate assembly is a tongue and groove type. The plate has a "groove" and the rim of the outer case is the "lip". You have to slide it in and align the parts ant it fits perfectly .

jvilella -

To solve this, just pick on the plate on the semi circle side and with the tool "open" just slighter the space where the semicircle have to fit

Pedro -

Had the same problem - the reason was the replacement drive I used - it is thinner than the original one. So I could not get the far side of the drive correctly into the holes for the notches mounted on the drive; that is - the drive was always a little bit too far to the center of the mac case. Everything works fine until you try to install all four screws.

I found a simple solution: I attached some adhesive tape temporarily to the drive cover. By pulling on the tape while pushing the drive in its space the notches slipped into their holes. After this installing the antenna was no problem any more.

Erwin Sommerauer -

I had a similar problem with getting the antenna cover to fit back into place. I tried putting 3 screws back in and levering the 4th, but it did not work in my case. Finally, with three screws in place,, I carefully placed a thin pair of forceps into one of the holes in the cover and levered the entire cover upwards. That worked for me.

Don - Reply

Image 1/2: Carefully pull the antenna plate straight away from the circular rim of the outer case.
  • Slightly lift the antenna plate from the end closest to the RAM.

  • Carefully pull the antenna plate straight 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.

When I tried to do step 9 and disconnect these connectors, I found that not only the cable/connector but the receptacle tore off the logic board -- momentary panic! This happened to both connectors.

Left on the logic board were two tiny fragile gold pins (per connector). Fortunately they were pretty straight, and upon re-assembly, I was able to gently slot the receptacles back into the tiny pins. Upon reassembly, everything's working fine (no crazy fan noise) so I guess I got lucky...maybe VERY lucky. :)

Thanks iFixIt for a fantastic guide. I've got a replacement drive in there and it's definitely going to extend the life of my Mini for another season.

David Das - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Use the tip of a spudger to carefully pry the antenna connector up off the AirPort/Bluetooth board.

I broke the connector on the bluetooth board when trying to remove the antenna when I tried to replace the hard drive. Currently, the exact replacement bluetooth board 607-6509A is very hard to find or otherwise, expensive. Instead, I was able to use a cheap replacement that can be found on eBay: Apple Macbook Unibody A1342 Airport Bluetooth Module 607-6771A. There is a black plastic sheath at the back of the 607-6771A. Just cut out the part that cover the 2 holes, you are good to go.

millicurie77 - Reply

Good info, thanks

maccentric -

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the antenna plate from the mini.

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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:
  • 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

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

Image 1/2:
  • 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.

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Image 1/3: Inserting instruments into any logic board holes other than the ones highlighted in red may severely damage the logic board.
  • 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

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).
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the strip of tape covering the hard drive connector.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the hard drive cable by pulling its connector straight away from the hard drive.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the piece of tape covering the thermal sensor attached to the edge of the hard drive.

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Image 1/1:
  • Carefully peel the thermal sensor off the end of the hard drive.

This mini circuit board for the thermal sensor is very delicate and stuck on quite firmly, so be very careful removing it. I ended up cracking mine in half. On re-assembly the system would run but the fans were on 100% until this sensor was replaced with a new part which was not easy to find.

Steve Booth - Reply

@Steve Booth

I am in the exact same situation now.

My board assembly was snugly stuck (most are) and using only enough force to budge it at all also caused it to slip far enough as to crack apart my ZIF connector shells. ZIFs are not so difficult so I have NO idea why the author wouldn't recommend removing then all for safety. Or noting--INLINE WITH THE INSTRUCTION--that they all be disconnected before sliding the board assembly though not entirely necessary.

If you know where I can find the temperature sensors, please let me know? I really don't want to have to take this back to the Genius Bar and they see what I've done. It's humiliating. I should have known better. And had I just been exploring on my own instead of mindlessly following this guide step-by-step, I would have removed all my cables first before trying to budge the logic board.

Very disappointing.

LelandHendrix - Reply

Top Tip! Dont bother trying to peal the sensor off. Instead start from the other end of the barcode sticker and peel that off and as you get closer to the sensor you will see that you will be able to safely remove the barcode sticker and thermal sensor at the same time.

Anthony Christensen - Reply

Do not peel. I think that peeling will lead to breakage.

I was able to remove the sensor intact by twisting it back and forth rather than peeling it. The sensor is held on by something like rubber cement; you can just rotate the sensor, gently, keeping it flat against the drive, until it becomes free.

Note: I did try removing the bar code sticker, but it just tore at the sensor as I peeled the bar code sticker away, so no help there.

dhein - Reply

Agree with dhein. Grab the sensor at its base by its wires (carefully) and rotate the sensor right/left or clockwise/counterclockwise several times until the glue is loosened and the sensor lifts off the hard drive. Works like a charm.

When it's time to attach the sensor to the new HD, press it in place fairly firmly and hold it there for 20 seconds or so. Then reapply the tape.

meklir - Reply

So, once I peeled the heat sensors, what should I use to stick them back to the new drive? Rubber cement is not available in Europe and I’d rather avoid product that would be hard to remove, would prevent proper reading by the sensors or contain inappropriate solvants for the machine and user.

Zigzag - Reply

To make removing the sensor easier apply some alcohol to a cotton ball and wipe around the sensor. It should remove some of the adhesive to make it easier to gently slide off. Save the thermal tape from the hard drive and use a strip to secure the sensor back in place.

miseryengine - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the two 6.2 mm T8 Torx screws from the side of the hard drive.

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Image 1/1: Hard drive remains.
  • 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.

Carefully note the orientation of the hard drive cover before you remove it. I was putting in an SSD with no label and no clearly identifiable "bottom" so I made note of the SATA connector position relative to the cover.

info - Reply

Replacing the upper drive in a Mac Mini Server:

1) disconnect the heat sensor from the motherboard as shown for the lower drive in step 13. This is the 2-wire socket adjacent to the fan socket disconnected in step 5

2) remove motherboard (see the iFixit guide)

3) remove power supply (see the iFixit guide)

4) remove T6 screw holding the plastic retaining bracket to the aluminum shell. With the screw removed, slide the plastic bracket out the back. The lower drive will come along with the bracket

5) remove the 4 T8 retaining screws in the sides of the drive unit.

6) remove the black tape and carefully remove the heat sensor unit just like steps 18-21

7) remove the SATA connecter

8) if you're installing a thinner profile drive, like an SSD, you don't need to use a spacer because the 4 T8 retaining screws "suspend" the drive in the right position relative to the lower drive.

9) reassemble everything in reverse order.

If you're slow and careful, this isn't any harder than the lower drive procedure.

mbleyle - Reply

correction to step #4: should say "upper" drive, not lower

mbleyle -


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

286 other people completed this guide.


These instructions and a little common sense can also be used to replace the lower hard drive in the server version of the Mac Mini. Luckily that was the drive that had failed in my case. Replacing the upper drive looks like a tougher proposition.

Bozo Z Clown - Reply

Fantastic guide, thank you very much Mr. Bookholt!

As with the above commenter, I accidentally mistook the fan's standoff for a screw and removed it while removing the fan. Also the top right fan screw's standoff came out along with it. I edited the guide with a note on this.

While replacing the antenna, it wasn't immediately clear why the screws weren't lining up, until I realized that two of the screws were in the (otherwise free-floating but for the back grommets) hard drive, I also added a note on that.

Jon Bailey - Reply

STEP 15: If you don't have the time to purchase the Mac Mini Logic Board Removal Tool, the round stock on a large binder clip is PERFECT for the job. It requires a little bending and cutting but it worked perfectly!!

And as jon jon stated, it works like a lever - not a pull. You can feel it kind of click in to the lever points below.

Bravo to for the easy to follow instruction!!

blavin - Reply

Hey, what about the 2nd harddrive? how does that come out?

This was a superb guide. Thank you very, very much.

Tyrone Steele - Reply

Ok, just did here. 1 tera HD working fine. Thanks iFixit, for repacking my tools because the Brazilian mail lost them. So, for those who want to do the same, just have in mind that not ALL things happen just like the how-to. I have to figure out What to do with the logic board removal tool... And, no, I did not fuss with those initial thermal stuff, because they are impossible to unplug. I only fuss with the HD thermal.

giorio - Reply

Excellent guide -- worked exactly as defined. I ordered the replacement kit (drive + tools) and its working great. Thank you!


Followed the guide and it worked perfectly. One thing to note: when replacing the hard drive which is 9.5mm thick with a newer SSD that is only 7mm thick, it's useful to use a cushion of some double sided foam tape on the top of the SSD. This prevents the SSD from angling down towards the rear of the mini (assuming you have the lugs placed back in the grommets in Step 17), which makes replacing the 2 6.6 mm T8 Torx screws in Step 8 easier since they screw into the bottom of the hard drive or SSD.

brad - Reply

Thank you for this guide - it was very helpful and well written. I highly recommend buying the mac mini logic board tool - it made a huge difference in the ease of that step. Now I have a 1TB HDD in my trusty mini and it took less than one hour to do - thank you.

boss302beav - Reply

Excellent guide. Much less scary than it might look. Just take your time and read each steps comment before executing the step.

meklir - Reply

I followed these instructions diligently. After re-assembly and booting the system, I am experiencing intermittent video, mostly black screen with flashing grey and brief appearance of the Apple logo. While I cannot say for sure, the boot process makes it as far as the filevault login screen. I have tried multiple boot drives with no change. It seems like the system has been bricked.

Has anyone seen this before? It does not matter if I tap into the HDMI or mini-display port.

Thanks in advance.

jyana - Reply

It is extremely irritating to take the whole thing apart and replace the upper drive, only to find that it was the other drive I needed to replace. As far as I know there is know way of telling which drive was faulty!

Don - Reply

I removed the drive without doing steps 15 and 16. I was able to pry it out with a little bit of force and then I installed an SSD. There is enough room for the hard to come out if you just nudge it out. Someone suggested using foam to make up for the 2.5mm difference in thickness. I used a piece of paper that I folded 3 or 4 times and then taped it to the SSD. The SSD slid in with no problem.

metope - Reply

Thank you so much, this worked perfectly and helped me bring a mid-2010 mac mini back to life with a brand new Crucial MX200 500 GB SSD!

Jeff Olson - Reply

Step 8 - The antenna has a lip on it (the half crescent side). After the other side is lined up and in the groove, use a pair of tweezers or two mini screw drivers and stick them in two holes near the side that won't fit. Gently lift the antenna grill into place as you push it towards the edge of the Mac mini.

Noel Pardo - Reply

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