Introduction

Use this guide to replace your mini's IR sensor/sleep LED assembly. Replacing this component requires removal of the logic board and most other components in your mini.

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. Image 2/2: 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

Mine is stuck together too, but with a twist. They are not coming off. It starts to "jump" in the end, probably because the cover is pushing inwards the metal case. Any suggestion?

douglaslondrina - 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

Pulling up on the cover worked for me too. I found that the best place to pull up on the cover is at about "true north" in the picture ... near the black dot used to indicate lid-is-closed. I did it before installing any screws and all four screws went in fine.

Fred Cat -

As others have noted, the hardest part of the whole process is getting the holes lined up in reassembly. I ended up stripping one of the short screws, but it fits well enough to engage the slots in the circular plastic cover. If you leave a short screw out, I don't know how the bottom cover would fit securely. I would carefully note how the antenna cover fits while you remove it. The longer screws go into the actual hard drive, so I think alignment of the hard drive is part of the problem.

Steve Dollar - Reply

I had same problem..! U tried EVERTHING, and what worked PERFECT for me, and with very little effort is what "x10target" described here (scroll about half way down): Difficulty in re-installing Antenna Plate

Mikey Marvel - Reply

Image 1/2: Carefully pull the antenna plate straight away from the circular rim of the outer case. Image 2/2: Do not remove the antenna plate yet. It is still attached to the AirPort/ Bluetooth board.
  • 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

In my case, the yellow circled standoff already came out with the previously removed fan.

Sven Harmstorf - Reply

My standoff screw was really tight and my T6 stripped the screw. :( But, because it's effectively just used as a post to stabilise the fan, I ended up using some surgical clamps, grabbing the standoff where the rubber grommet sits, and gently twisted the screw loose. No major damage because that part of the screw isn't really used! Just be careful and gently twist (patience is KEY) to loosen.

alc217 - 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 the sockets on the logic board.

The thermal sensor is VERY delicate, hold the connector down with a spudger and lift the cable with some tweezers. Long list of people online who have accidentally removed the connector from the logic board because the solder is insufficient.

anthonypshaw - Reply

I second the comment about using something, say a small screwdriver, to carefully put some pressure on the connector whilst then prying the cable up.

Simon Martin - Reply

Excellent advice - thanks. I used a small set of tweezers to gently lift up enough cable to hold onto, and then to hold the sockets onto the logic board whilst I pulled! Success!

Mike Haines - Reply

Note: the clips lift straight up, although after they are removed, it appears that tiny "prongs" are in the remaining socket. What look like tiny prongs are just horizontal wires. To replace, push the clips straight down. I used metal picks (like fine bent ice picks - available at Harbor Freight) to get under the edge of the plastic clip and lift up. I pulled gently on the wires with tweezers as I pried up the clips, but I would not count on pulling alone to get the job done.

Steve Dollar - 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.

The removal of the SATA connectors for the hard drive and the optical drive should probably be separated into two steps. It's easy to miss the second one and pull a SATA connector off.

Not confirming that I did it, but I am looking for someone to solder a SATA connector back on. ;)

jrmn - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • To disconnect the optical drive thermal sensor, pinch its cables between your thumb and a spudger and pry the spudger upward to lift the connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

These sensors are too fragile in some cases. In my case both the hard drive and optical sensor cables tore off despite all my best efforts. The plastic holding down the cables appears to be too fragile or brittle and simply tears as the cables are pulled away.

nirv - Reply

Pulling the socket off the board seems to be a common problem. I am going to investigate making a tool to hold down the socket while prying up on the plug.

For the time being I am using an app that controls the fan speed by sampling other sensors, such as the CPU heat sink.

papa Hajek - Reply

There are two problems with these connectors. First off they're made of very thin plastic so break easily (something addressed in later Mac mini's). Second the socket melts to the connector making it impossible to lift it.

If you do break it the metal tabs of the socket should we easily resoldered. Some practice beforehand, a fine tip solder iron, some leaded solder and your away.

Brent - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Use the tip of a spudger to lift the IR sensor connector up and out of its socket on the logic board.

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Image 1/3: Insert a [product|IF145-159|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 2/3: 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. Image 3/3: 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.
  • To remove the logic board, 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 destroy 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.

I had a couple of 3/32" drill bits in my tool chest. Worked perfectly (2.38 mm)

Derek Shaw - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • 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 away from the outer case.

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Image 1/1: Use a pair of tweezers to disconnect the power cable from the logic board.
  • Pull the I/O board/logic board assembly out of the outer case enough to access the power connector.

  • Use a pair of tweezers to disconnect the power cable from the logic board.

  • Pull the power cable connector toward the optical drive opening.

Tweezers aren't strong enough. Use some small needle-nose pliers. Hold the I/O board and it pull away.

Tyrone Steele - Reply

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

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the 7.9 mm T6 Torx screw securing the power supply and optical drive to the outer case.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Pull the silver metal AC-In socket retainer away from the side of the outer case and remove it from the mini.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Rotate the AC-In connector 90 degrees counter-clockwise.

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

I had to wiggle the power cable to help remove the power supply.

Simon Martin - Reply

The plastic tab with the 7.9 mm T6 Torx screw which secures the power supply has an internal lip which may get caught on the part underneath. Lift the tab to slide out the power supply.

Ben Patterson - Reply

Thanks, Ben, for highlighting the little lip underneath the plastic tab! I was starting to get frustrated with the power supply!

alc217 - Reply

When re-installing the power supply, double check the position of the plug before inserting back into the chassis. Keep in mind that you need to hold the plug in that earlier (90 deg counter clockwise) position as you slot it in, otherwise you'll have a heck of a time twisting the plug back properly.

alc217 - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Remove the hard drive from the mini, minding any cables that may get caught.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the 7.9 mm T6 Torx screw securing the optical drive to the outer case.

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Image 1/1:
  • Slide the optical drive out of the outer case, minding any cables that may get caught.

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Image 1/1:
  • Carefully de-route the IR sensor cables from the channel in the optical drive bracket.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the 5 mm Phillips screw securing the IR board to the optical drive bracket.

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Image 1/1: Be careful when removing the IR board from the optical drive bracket, as the lower plastic positioning pin has the tendency to get caught on the delicate IR board.
  • Remove the IR sensor from the optical drive bracket.

  • Be careful when removing the IR board from the optical drive bracket, as the lower plastic positioning pin has the tendency to get caught on the delicate IR board.

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Conclusion

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

One other person completed this guide.

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