Introduction

This guide will show you how to replace the logic board.

  • You can skip this step if you bought your putty knife from iFixit. Putty knives purchased from iFixit come with pre-ground edges.

  • You'll need a putty knife in order to open the case. A 1.5 inch thin putty knife will work well, but you'll want to grind the edge down. Rub the putty knife's short edge back and forth on a sheet of all purpose rough grit sandpaper (100 grit will work fine) until it attains a beveled edge.

I used a tool for opening the back of watches to replace the battery (the type that have the non screw-on backs). Worked fine!

Mike Haines - Reply

IMHO there are many steps not necessary. The guide is very good but i can't find the reason for steps 7-15. It is all about freeing the internal frame. As far as i know it is enough to remove the antennas and the 4 screws holding the optical drive?!?!

Markus Obdenbusch - Reply

Carefully insert a putty knife into the crevice in between the top cover and bottom housing. Start on the left side first. Push the blade down until you meet firm resistance (roughly 3/8 of an inch). Gently enlarge the existing crevice by prying the handle of the putty knife downward and away from the mini. It helps to start in the middle, then work along the edge until the bottom housing pops up slightly.
  • Carefully insert a putty knife into the crevice in between the top cover and bottom housing. Start on the left side first. Push the blade down until you meet firm resistance (roughly 3/8 of an inch).

  • Gently enlarge the existing crevice by prying the handle of the putty knife downward and away from the mini.

  • It helps to start in the middle, then work along the edge until the bottom housing pops up slightly.

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Next insert the putty knife into the crevice on the optical drive slot side of the computer.
  • Next insert the putty knife into the crevice on the optical drive slot side of the computer.

  • Pry the putty knife downward while working along the edge of the mini until the bottom housing further separates from the top housing.

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Repeat the same procedure as the past few steps for the right side of the mini.
  • Repeat the same procedure as the past few steps for the right side of the mini.

  • At this point, there should be a noticeable gap between the bottom and top housing around the perimeter of the mini.

  • Turn the mini over.

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Gently lift the top housing straight up off the mini and set it aside.
  • Gently lift the top housing straight up off the mini and set it aside.

  • It may be necessary to wiggle the top housing while lifting it off the bottom housing. If any of the tabs get stuck on the top housing, use the putty knife to free them.

For reassembly, test your Mini before replacing the cover. This could save time, should the test reveal problems.

Steve - Reply

Later in this guide you will remove several recessed Phillips screws. Bit drivers are generally too large to fit in the recesses, so be sure to have a thin shafted Phillips screwdriver on hand. First remove the AirPort antenna (the larger of the two), located near the power button. Slightly squeeze the two retaining arms toward each other and lift the AirPort antenna off its post.
  • Later in this guide you will remove several recessed Phillips screws. Bit drivers are generally too large to fit in the recesses, so be sure to have a thin shafted Phillips screwdriver on hand.

  • First remove the AirPort antenna (the larger of the two), located near the power button.

  • Slightly squeeze the two retaining arms toward each other and lift the AirPort antenna off its post.

  • Squeezing the two posts excessively will surely break them off the internal frame. Work delicately.

  • During reinstallation, you will have to slightly squeeze the two posts together so they fit into the openings on the AirPort antenna board.

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Use the tip of a spudger to slightly lift the left side of the ZIF cable lock up from its socket. The ZIF cable lock will lift about 1 mm and stop. Do not try to completely remove the ZIF cable lock.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to slightly lift the left side of the ZIF cable lock up from its socket.

  • The ZIF cable lock will lift about 1 mm and stop. Do not try to completely remove the ZIF cable lock.

Now also lift the right side of the ZIF cable lock up from its socket.

chriZ - Reply

Good catch of the incomplete unlocking instructions. ;P

lamarhavard -

Hmmm... what if I didn't read this before and I removed the cable and the lock sort of broke?... what would happen... would I experience problems? I can still put the cable back in place and push the lock back down with the spudger.

Dan O - Reply

Same. I totally removed the lock , the edges are busted and won't stay in place, How can I get the cable to stay? what's the fix?

Suzanne -

Dan O & Suzanne, hold the cable in the socket and put a dab of hot glue on both sides, It's non-conductive and should hold...worked for me.

lamarhavard -

does any one know, where to get the connector from zhe ZIF Cable?

someone, that preowned my mac broke the holder!

julian gmeiner - Reply

Julian, did you ever find where to get a replacement lock for the Zip Cable. Mine is also broken..

Suzanne -

This is not my first memory replacement in a Mini and I got over-confident and stupidly fully removed the audio cable ZIF lock and assumed I had broken something. But, now that I have read this guide more carefully, I am not sure. I sure would love to hear some detailed instructions for putting a ZIF lock back on.

Is it possible that I have removed it without having broken it? If I have broken it, do I have to buy a new cable? Just a new ZIF lock? A new audio board? This is a 2.0 GHz A1176.

Thanks!

GalvanicMacPro - Reply

Michael, Mine seems to be broken. I bought & tried the Kapton Tape that was suggested & still no sound.

Suzanne -

Lift the audio board ribbon cable up out of its socket.
  • Lift the audio board ribbon cable up out of its socket.

  • If it refuses to lift from its socket, the ZIF cable lock is not fully released. Make sure it is evenly lifted about 1 mm from the socket on the interconnect board.

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Rotate the mini so that the SuperDrive slot loading mechanism is facing you. Use a pair of tweezers to lift the hard drive thermal sensor cable connector up off its socket on the logic board.
  • Rotate the mini so that the SuperDrive slot loading mechanism is facing you.

  • Use a pair of tweezers to lift the hard drive thermal sensor cable connector up off its socket on the logic board.

  • Use tweezers to grab the connector (as seen in the picture), not the wires.

  • The connector is located under the optical drive opening, next to the PRAM battery.

Managed to leave this connected by flopping back the drive rather than totally removing

pglock - Reply

WATCH OUT!!

separated one of the wires from the connector very easily. i would have preferred to use a spudger at this step. the tweezers in effect snipped the wire!!

mklsvg - Reply

As my experience you should definitely use angeled tweezers as shown in several pictures. To avoid stripped cable deflash sharp edges of the tweezers a little bit. I never experienced problems when using that kind of tool carefully.

Timpetou - Reply

I've had to remove a few of these connectors on iBooks and other small Apple devices ... I've found that, with careful and gentle pressure (working first one side and then the other) using a small flat-headed jeweller's screwdriver is best.

Mike Haines - Reply

Note where the airport antennae connecting wire comes out from the interior along the top. When reassembling, it has to be routed the same way, or it won't reach its install position.

robert - Reply

If your fan runs at high speed after you complete this project, you have forgotten to reconnect the thermal sensor.

Curt - Reply

In the next few steps, you will remove the four Phillips screws securing the internal frame to the bottom case. Included in each step is an overview picture showing the general location and a closeup showing the actual screw. Remove the recessed Phillips screw near the power button securing the internal frame to the bottom housing.
  • In the next few steps, you will remove the four Phillips screws securing the internal frame to the bottom case. Included in each step is an overview picture showing the general location and a closeup showing the actual screw.

  • Remove the recessed Phillips screw near the power button securing the internal frame to the bottom housing.

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Remove the recessed Phillips screw near the sleep light securing the internal frame to the bottom housing. This screw is the longest of the four screws securing the internal frame to the bottom case.
  • Remove the recessed Phillips screw near the sleep light securing the internal frame to the bottom housing.

  • This screw is the longest of the four screws securing the internal frame to the bottom case.

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Remove the Phillips screw from the internal frame near the Bluetooth antenna. Remove the Phillips screw from the internal frame near the Bluetooth antenna.
  • Remove the Phillips screw from the internal frame near the Bluetooth antenna.

Before removing any of these screws, there is another step needed which is not here:

On the front of the optical drive, right side as you look at the slot-load, is a small blue board attached by a single black screw. This needs to be removed before the optical drive can be taken out.

Mike Haines - Reply

Remove the Phillips screw near the audio ports securing the internal frame to the bottom case. Remove the Phillips screw near the audio ports securing the internal frame to the bottom case.
  • Remove the Phillips screw near the audio ports securing the internal frame to the bottom case.

On reassembly, if you don't have a magnetic screwdriver, a tiny dab of grease at the tip of your screwdriver will help hold the screw on the driver so you can lower it into the recessed slot.

pfbloom - Reply

Gently lift the internal frame up from the bottom housing, minding the AirPort antenna and any other cables that may get caught. It may be necessary to pull up near the interconnect board to separate it from the logic board.
  • Gently lift the internal frame up from the bottom housing, minding the AirPort antenna and any other cables that may get caught.

  • It may be necessary to pull up near the interconnect board to separate it from the logic board.

At this point be careful that you don't pull out the Airport antenna ... but if you do, just check that it is back before re-assembling.

Mike Haines - Reply

During re-assembly, the internal frame has to go in at an angle ... the back of the optical drive goes in first.

This means that you can seat the fan cover correctly, but more importantly, there is an interconnect board on the back of the optical drive that must be firmly pushed back into its housing on the logic board.

Mike Haines - Reply

Reassembly: Before slipping the main frame back into its place, refer to earlier photos, ensuring proper routing of the WiFi cable.

Steve - Reply

If, like me, you pull the wire on the airport antenna free, it snaps back into place easily. The connector is on the extra card screwed to the motherboard that looks like it has a phone battery embedded in it. The connector is at the top of the 'battery'. This accessory card is the wifi card, so it makes sense that the antenna plugs onto this.

Dan - Reply

Firmly grasp the power button cable connector with a pair of tweezers and lift it straight up off the logic board.
  • Firmly grasp the power button cable connector with a pair of tweezers and lift it straight up off the logic board.

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Firmly grasp the sleep light cable connector with a pair of tweezers and lift it straight up off the logic board.
  • Firmly grasp the sleep light cable connector with a pair of tweezers and lift it straight up off the logic board.

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Remove the single T10 torx lug securing the logic board to the bottom housing.
  • Remove the single T10 torx lug securing the logic board to the bottom housing.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to slightly lift the logic board near the PRAM battery to separate it from the bottom housing.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to slightly lift the logic board near the PRAM battery to separate it from the bottom housing.

  • It will be necessary to gently pull the sleep light (shown in red) away from the mini to clear the edge of the logic board.

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Gently lift the free end of the logic board and wiggle the board as you pull it away from the I/O ports.
  • Gently lift the free end of the logic board and wiggle the board as you pull it away from the I/O ports.

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Push the PRAM battery toward the center of the logic board and pull it up out of its holder. You'll have to push the battery in further than you'd expect in order to get it to pop free. Don't bend the metal finger too much or it will break off, requiring a new logic board.
  • Push the PRAM battery toward the center of the logic board and pull it up out of its holder. You'll have to push the battery in further than you'd expect in order to get it to pop free.

  • Don't bend the metal finger too much or it will break off, requiring a new logic board.

  • When inserting the new battery, make sure the side with writing along the edges faces the black plastic holder. You should also ensure that the metal connectors make contact with the battery (you can bend them forward if they do not).

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Simultaneously pull the tabs on each side of the RAM chip away from the center of the chip. These tabs lock the chip in place and releasing them will cause the chip to "pop" up. Pull the RAM chip directly out from its connector. If there are two RAM chips installed, repeat the above procedure for the second chip.
  • Simultaneously pull the tabs on each side of the RAM chip away from the center of the chip. These tabs lock the chip in place and releasing them will cause the chip to "pop" up.

  • Pull the RAM chip directly out from its connector.

  • If there are two RAM chips installed, repeat the above procedure for the second chip.

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Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort antenna cable connector up off the AirPort card.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the AirPort antenna cable connector up off the AirPort card.

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Remove the single Phillips screw securing the AirPort card to the logic board. After removing this screw, the free end of the AirPort card should pop up slightly.
  • Remove the single Phillips screw securing the AirPort card to the logic board.

  • After removing this screw, the free end of the AirPort card should pop up slightly.

  • Pull the AirPort card away from its socket on the logic board.

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Conclusion

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

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