Mac Mini Mid 2011 Hard Drive Replacement

Prerequisite Only

Prerequisite Only

Please note that this guide is only a prerequisite for other guides.

Prereq only when logic board is out.

Edit Step 1 Hard Drive  ¶ 

Image #1

Edit Step 1 Hard Drive  ¶ 

  • Pull the hard drive away from the front edge of the mini and remove it from the outer case.

  • During reassembly, there are two pins on the inside edge of the hard drive that fit into the case. The holes have rubber grommets around them, so it may be difficult to tell when you have seated the hard drive correctly.

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

For more information, check out the Mac Mini Mid 2011 device page.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

During reassembly, after putting the "lower" drive back, test fit the AirPort antenna to make sure the two holes in the antenna plate line up with the two holes in the drive. If not, check that the power harness from the power supply is routed correctly. If the power harness is next to the power supply, go back and re-route it properly.

UNSC Jon 117, · Reply

Before I started this ifixit I read a lot of people talking about the antenna not going on properly and problems with the hard drive. I found that the problem is the two grommets inside the front of the casing. These grommets are where the two screws on the existing or upper most (when the case is inverted) hard drive should go into.

I was placing the hard drive flat against the second hard drive I'd added which ment the two screws weren't in the grommets and we instead pushing on the outer casing. This meant the hard drive was in the wrong position and if I had continued with the rest of the reassembly the antenna definitely couldn't have fit correctly. I spotted this and made sure the hard drive was in the grommets, leaving enough room for the power cables to sit between the two hard drives.

With the hard drive sitting correctly you should find everything goes back together very easily. If you get to the end and nothing seems to fit this is probably the reason why!

Martyn, · Reply

I bought my mini in late June 2013. My hard drive was not mounted as indicated, it was in the lower slot. I had to insert the grommets into the upper holes. You need to use a non metal flat edge to get them in, my fingers had no leverage when reaching into the aluminum shell. I also waited until I had removed everything from the case before inserting them to minimize the risk of harming an internal component.

rob545, · Reply

This is one case where having the actual reassembly instructions would be helpful. When I put my drive back in the upper position, I thought it was in the right place, even tried to move it and it seemed like it was locked into the holes, but it wasn't, so I had the issue with the antenna plate not going back on. It was so close. It seemed like it should work, but nope.

So, after disassembling again, I played with it some and the best, most surefire way to get it to line up is to hold the unibody upside down when inserting the drive. It has to be essentially at the top to catch the holes. Thin drives make it even more of a problem.

Once I did this, it fit in great and stayed in with no need to hold down, and there was now another 1/8" between the motherboard and the drive, which doesn't seem like much, but in this tight case, its everything. The antenna plate then went in perfectly, all 4 screws were in with no issues at all and the connectors for the two drives stayed on with no issue.

Sherifftruman, · Reply

Like others, I found with my November 2013 purchased Mac Mini, Apple had installed the internal hard disk in the bottom location (bottom when working on the unit upside down as detailed in this guide).

I found that it was best to remove that drive, and install the SSD in the bottom location, but use

* 2 of the rubber grommets and screws (that came with the ifixit kit) on the front edge of the drive

* that let me use 2 of the screws from the original mac mini on the back top HDD as they are larger screws than came with the kit

That way the HDD didn't rattle in the top location.

I also

* Installed the SSD in the bottom location with the original apple cable

* Installed the spinning 1TB drive into the top location (which made it easier for the top wifi screws to screw into

* But I had to reshape the cable (that came with the ifixit kit) quite a bit to get it to line up with the connector on the logic board.

brian, · Reply

During reassembly I had the reported problems of getting the original drive in the right spot. You should note that there is a gap on the left side. My drive slid in (twice) so it was right up against where the connectors are on the left side. Slide it right so there is a gap.

mikeubell, · Reply

Found it easier to place the SSD in the "lower" position (closer to the bottom of the Mini, but upper while working on the disassembly/reassembly) by resting the Mini on its front side. Easier to move the pegs into the grommets installed in the case. Easier to see if they're not lined up at all.

malcolmgin, · Reply

I'm refitting a mid 2011 mini. Reinstalling the drive easy with a few tricks:

*Step 11.5: add registration marks to the thin plastic drive cover.

**Use a fine point blue sharpie (or similar).

**Add two lines a couple inches apart, extending back from the metal housing lip onto the drive shroud.

**Add two short lines by tracing the curve of the housing across the first two lines.

**Use the marks to line everything up when reassembling.

*Reinstall with the mini standing on it's front end

**The drive slots in high in the case. There is a substantial gap between it and a 9.5mm second drive. This makes it hard to line up with the mac flat on the table.

*You can absolutely feel the drive's pegs engage into the rubber mounts.

*When seated properly:

**The drive slants slightly down from the front to the back of the housing.

**There is a sizable gap (~2mm) between the visible long edge of the drive and the flange on the plastic frame that sits behind it.

**The motherboard will seat ~1mm from the drive.

anonymous 1829, · Reply

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