Introduction

Upgrade your storage with a new hard drive.

Power down your Mac Mini, disconnect all of the cables, and flip it over. Insert the Jimmy into the crack between the aluminum top housing and the plastic lower housing.
  • Power down your Mac Mini, disconnect all of the cables, and flip it over.

  • Insert the Jimmy into the crack between the aluminum top housing and the plastic lower housing.

  • The Jimmy should reach a stop about 3/8" down.

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Gently bend the Jimmy outwards to pry the crack open a little larger and lift the lower housing up a small amount. There are several plastic clips on the lower housing that fit into a channel in the aluminum top housing. Your goal is to use the Jimmy to push these clips inward enough to free them from the channel, while gently pulling up on the lower housing. There are several plastic clips on the lower housing that fit into a channel in the aluminum top housing. Your goal is to use the Jimmy to push these clips inward enough to free them from the channel, while gently pulling up on the lower housing.
  • Gently bend the Jimmy outwards to pry the crack open a little larger and lift the lower housing up a small amount.

  • There are several plastic clips on the lower housing that fit into a channel in the aluminum top housing. Your goal is to use the Jimmy to push these clips inward enough to free them from the channel, while gently pulling up on the lower housing.

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Once you have the first side free, rotate the Mac Mini and start prying up on the front edge. Use the same prying motion to both bend the clips inward and lift the lower housing up out of the top housing.
  • Once you have the first side free, rotate the Mac Mini and start prying up on the front edge.

  • Use the same prying motion to both bend the clips inward and lift the lower housing up out of the top housing.

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You may need to move the Jimmy along the edge to pry up all of the clips. Be patient and do a little bit at a time. You may need to move the Jimmy along the edge to pry up all of the clips. Be patient and do a little bit at a time.
  • You may need to move the Jimmy along the edge to pry up all of the clips. Be patient and do a little bit at a time.

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Keep working around the perimeter, freeing the clips along the final edge. Keep working around the perimeter, freeing the clips along the final edge.
  • Keep working around the perimeter, freeing the clips along the final edge.

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Flip the Mac Mini back over and lift the top housing off of the lower housing. Flip the Mac Mini back over and lift the top housing off of the lower housing.
  • Flip the Mac Mini back over and lift the top housing off of the lower housing.

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits
If your mini does not have Airport installed, then skip this step.
  • If your mini does not have Airport installed, then skip this step.

  • Grasp the Airport antenna board and lift it off of the two plastic posts holding it in place. You may need to push back the black plastic tab jutting through the lower left corner of the board.

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Remove the yellow tape securing the power button cable to the black plastic framework.
  • Remove the yellow tape securing the power button cable to the black plastic framework.

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Remove the three black Phillips screws securing the plastic framework to the logic board and lower case.
  • Remove the three black Phillips screws securing the plastic framework to the logic board and lower case.

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Grasp the optical drive and mass storage unit in one hand and lift up enough so that you can see beneath it.
  • Grasp the optical drive and mass storage unit in one hand and lift up enough so that you can see beneath it.

I just put in a 1G RAM chip that just came in the mail from iFixit. And though I followed every step this step (removing the HD, cooling fan, and drive unit) was not needed. I put the chip in, put everything back in place then removed and replaced the RAM with no problems. So it would seem that for a/my PowerPC Mac Mini (I have a 1.33 Ghz processor) it was not a needed step.

mbob518 - Reply

BTW, it took about 15 - 20 min even with my experimentation.

Quote from mbob518:

I just put in a 1G RAM chip that just came in the mail from iFixit. And though I followed every step this step (removing the HD, cooling fan, and drive unit) was not needed. I put the chip in, put everything back in place then removed and replaced the RAM with no problems. So it would seem that for a/my PowerPC Mac Mini (I have a 1.33 Ghz processor) it was not a needed step.

mbob518 - Reply

If your mini has neither an Airport card nor a Bluetooth board, you can simply lift the optical drive up and away. Otherwise, you need to disconnect the Airport and/or Bluetooth antenna cables first.
  • If your mini has neither an Airport card nor a Bluetooth board, you can simply lift the optical drive up and away. Otherwise, you need to disconnect the Airport and/or Bluetooth antenna cables first.

  • With your free hand, pull the Bluetooth cable up from Bluetooth board and unplug the Airport antenna cable from the right of the Airport card. Caution: both of these connections are very small. When re-assembling unit after repair, you may want to remove the two screws holding the airport card to the assembly and lift the card up and out to re-attach the cables.

havin a hard time with step 9. i don't really see how I'm supposed to remove the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth cables from the Airport card. They seem to be soldered in! is there a twisting motion involved? I just don't wanna mess it up more than i already did with my putty knife haha!

chris - Reply

Same problem here on this one. There seems to be no way to get them off and I can't seem to unscrew this thing. I think this otherwise great guide should be more precise about how to get the antenna cables out of the way :-(

sebastian.patting - Reply

Remove the three long, black Phillips screws from the corners of the fan. These screws are strongly threaded, and will offer significant resistance.
  • Remove the three long, black Phillips screws from the corners of the fan. These screws are strongly threaded, and will offer significant resistance.

  • There is no screw in the bottom left corner.

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Lift the fan out of the computer.
  • Lift the fan out of the computer.

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Peel up the yellow tape securing the speaker and fan cables to the bottom of the hard drive.
  • Peel up the yellow tape securing the speaker and fan cables to the bottom of the hard drive.

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Use a #1 Phillips to remove the two screws attaching the right side of the hard drive to the plastic framework. You'll need to angle the screwdriver down to get access to the lower right screw. Be sure to apply steady force to the screws and turn slowly so as not to strip them.
  • Use a #1 Phillips to remove the two screws attaching the right side of the hard drive to the plastic framework. You'll need to angle the screwdriver down to get access to the lower right screw. Be sure to apply steady force to the screws and turn slowly so as not to strip them.

If one has a thin screwdriver, there is a hole in the plastic to keep the screwdriver straight when removing the lower right screw. That hole is closed with a piece of yellow tape to keep the airflow, so after replacing the drive, one needs to use a piece of scotch tape to cover the hole again.

robek - Reply

Use the same screwdriver and steady force to remove the two screws attaching the left side of the hard drive to the plastic framework.
  • Use the same screwdriver and steady force to remove the two screws attaching the left side of the hard drive to the plastic framework.

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Use a spudger to pry the hard drive away from the interface board. Wedge the flat end of the spudger between the interface board and the far right side of hard drive and wiggle back and forth until the hard drive slides out about a sixteenth of an inch. Then move to the other side and repeat the procedure. Go back and forth until the hard drive slides free.
  • Use a spudger to pry the hard drive away from the interface board. Wedge the flat end of the spudger between the interface board and the far right side of hard drive and wiggle back and forth until the hard drive slides out about a sixteenth of an inch. Then move to the other side and repeat the procedure. Go back and forth until the hard drive slides free.

  • When reinstalling the hard drive, make sure that you don't slide the top pins into the lower row of holes.

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Lift the hard drive out of the assembly.
  • Lift the hard drive out of the assembly.

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Conclusion

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

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iRobot

Member since: 09/24/2009

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726 Guides authored

One Comment

Pulled the 40GB drive from my Mac Mini G4 and replaced it with a solid state drive (mSATA to PATA enclosure with a 120GB mSATA drive). Since my Mac Mini runs MorphOS instead of OS X, it’s been absolutely screaming; MorphOS booted in 10 seconds on the HDD, and now it’s “blink and you’ll miss it” fast on the SSD! :)

LambdaCalculus - Reply

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